Camera problems

(a beginning photographer observation)

Problems, Problems, Problems.... The stuff they never tell you....
So what happened to me...... I bought a brand new Canon 500N (silver) and noticed stripes in the negative. Now how did I come to that conclusion? I've shot one roll of film and saw a stripe from one end of the foto to the next end. Checking the negative I saw the same stripe running down the full length of the film ! Not good... So thinking this was a one time anomaly (development error?) I shot 2 rolls of film and took them to two different development centers (good thinking on my part) Result in both of the films, there was a stripe over the full length of the negative, so this proved it was the camera and not the developers.
The dealer (best dealer I've seen sofar) was very good to me and gave me a new camera. I shot a couple of rolls of film and noticed the same problem. Not as severe as the last camera but stil noticable if you checked the negative. Note that you could not see the stripe on the photos. So it was better than the last camera, but it was displaying the same problem (stripes were in another place though....but still irritatingly there...)
So I contacted Canon Benelux. They had NEVER heard of the problem. A bit strange for people with that kind of experience? I went to three different photo shops and ALL of them had heard from this problem. Not only with Canon though. It can happen on all cameras.
Now... there is something about me you must know. I'm an engineer. I like to tinker with stuff, I like to find out how stuff works and I like to strip it down and find out why its not working as good as it should.

Call it a bad habit...

So rather than take ik back to the stores and asking for another camera I sat down and looked at it to find out what the problem was. As suspected it was an easy one. The stripes were caused by a piece of plastic in the cameras back. It should have been smooth, but a little bit was rough. And this rough bit slid along the negative each time you took a picture. So I took a scalpel and removed the bit of rought plastic. After that I carefully made it smooth again with a tiny diamond file, ofcourse keeping a lookout for bits falling in the camera. Then I carefully cleaned it, the rough bit was on the right side of the camera, The bit were you put the film in :-).
Then I loaded the camera, shot a roll of film and took it to the cheapest developer I could find... Suprise! No More Stripes. A Perfect Working Camera! So I took it along to the RIAT airshow in the UK and no more problems. Now did Canon really not know this problem? Offcourse they did. They know more about cameras than I. But it would have been nice to hear something like...
"Yes, this can happen. Its caused by this and this... Come round and we'll fix it for you."
Instead, I got, "We have never heard of a problem like this, these cameras don't have problems, you can bring it to us and we'll have a look."

For the engineers under us... does sound like typical Helpdesk behaviour doesn't it.
The bottom picture displays what I used to repair this camera...


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