Burning a hole.

Prosophos - Burning a Shutter Curtain Hole

Yes, I did it.

I managed to burn a hole in my M3 shutter curtain.

After all of these years… this is a first.  I had read about it but never really worried about it.

As far as I can tell, it was caused by not having the lens cap on while I was outside in intense sunlight (at the Blue Jays game).  My uncapped lens likely focused the rays of light onto a small area of the shutter cloth and — voila! — a hole was created.

This is what the hole was doing to all of my film images:

(iPhone shot of a scanned image on my computer screen)

Prosophos - Shutter Hole

Fortunately the curtain can be easily repaired/patched.

Now I have to reconsider my w(hole) modus operandi for shooting.  I have been using my lenses with protective hoods and filters but no lens caps.


12 thoughts on “Burning a hole.

  1. Jose Salcedo says:

    Very interesting. I am glad that the problem was quickly resolved.

  2. mewanchuk says:

    …Now THAT, is a website graphic!

    (Love the little “flaming shutter curtain”)


    Glad it’s repaired.


  3. Pi says:

    Wow – never heard of that.

  4. Are you using a neck strap? I burned a hole in my M3 shutter by having my camera hanging around my neck, sitting down on a park bench, and leaning back for a few minutes while out in the bright noonday sun.

    Now I use finger straps and don’t have the problem.

  5. Jim says:

    I noticed that my Sony a6000 will stop down the lens when you turn it off. I guess I really should stop down my M mount Voigtlander lenses when done shooting to protect the sensor.

  6. This is going to sound like something out of left field (heh) but maybe you could prevent this from happening by painting the outer surface of the first curtain white? I wonder if that would be detrimental to image quality.

    I remember when I was about 5 or 6, trying to burn a hole in a tissue with a magnifying glass. The damned thing wouldn’t burn. Of course I eventually figured out why.

  7. Mark says:

    Ah yes, the infallible reliability of mechanical cameras!

    I also managed to burn a hole in my M7’s curtain – In the autumn and spring here it is all to easy to have the low sun simply catch the camera at an unfortunate angle for a few seconds.

    Capping and uncapping the lens is frustrating, so I have gotten in to the habit of always stopping down to the narrowest aperture when I am not immediately about to take a photograph…

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