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Nicolai Morrisson
26-Oct-2007, 05:45
I made this video tutorial for how to load standard double darkslide film holders (http://photondetector.com/blog/2007/10/26/how-to-load-large-format-film-video-tutorial/) for a friend, who is just starting out in LF. Hopefully it'll be useful for any beginner.

Enjoy!

Juergen Sattler
26-Oct-2007, 06:27
Very good job, Nicolai. I am sure many beginners in LF will very much appreciate this video.

Steven Barall
26-Oct-2007, 07:50
I've loaded countless film holders in my life and I enjoyed watching it none the less. Thanks.

Jonathan Block
26-Oct-2007, 07:51
I still say there weren't enough girls in that video. :>

Ralph Barker
26-Oct-2007, 08:40
Nice job on the video, Nicolai.

Nicolai Morrisson
26-Oct-2007, 20:29
Thanks, y'all. I plan on doing more of these, so if there's anything you think would be helpful to see covered, please let me know!

Daniel_Buck
26-Oct-2007, 23:53
On a note about knowing if there is film in the holder or not (3 possible states of the holder, loaded, unloaded, and spent, but only two sides/colors on the dark slide), give the holder a good shake (long ways) and you can hear if it has film in there or not.

When using the "white slide = ready to shoot" method, if you see a dark slide and don't have a note written for that slide (meaning you don't know what it is, is it empty, or spent) if you give it a shake and hear film, chances are the film has already been exposed (that is... if you remember to correctly flip the dark slide to the correct side when loading and shooting). If you don't hear film, then the holder is empty.

This has been useful to me several times, when I accidentally set a holder down and forgot if it was exposed, or empty. THe first time it happened, out of chance I just gave it a shake, and heard film in there! So I knew it was exposed film. It's worked great several other times in similar situations.

And also, if you really need to you can press on the dark slide and determine which side has the film, if for some reason you suspect only one side has film (if you process each side in a different batch, this can come up every now and then). If you press the middle of the slide inwards towards the film (pressing it against the film), shake, and don't hear any film? Then chances are that side of the holder has film, and the other side doesn't. I don't think this has any affect on the film (pressing the dark slide into it, possibly making a scratch), if it has, I haven't noticed.

Not sure if this is common knowledge or not, I found it out on my own.


But back to the video, you have a great way of explaining things, I think you should do more of these tutorials for folks learning! :-)

Nicolai Morrisson
27-Oct-2007, 04:41
Good idea, I've got to try that!

walter23
27-Oct-2007, 09:48
Good video - will probably help newbies.

We all have our own systems, so I'm not criticizing yours, but just for the sake of newbies working out their own methods:

I usually take a couple of extra steps to avoid dust & scratches. I pull the film all the way out of the box and lay it, emulsion down, on the box (crosswise so it rests on the edge of the box, sticking out partly). Whether you put it emulsion down or emulsion up is a matter of taste; sometime I've bumped the stack in the dark and I'd rather bump the non-emulsion side... but of course if the stack doesn't have a piece of cardboard under it, you're risking a scratch on the emulsion side that rests against the lip of the box. in any case, I can just lift sheets off the top of the stack instead of pulling them out and dragging them across other sheets. I often don't put the film back into the bag (at least with those foil-type bags - the larger plastic ones are easy) and I've had no problems with the box leaking (though I store it in a dark place except during transport). The downside is that without a bag they bounce around more - the bag provides some cushion and stops the film from jostling.

Dust: Even though I dust my holders regularly I still dust them immediately before and after loading film. So I take my rubber bulb (another thing bouncing around in the changing tent, hah) and puff the inside just after opening it, then insert a film sheet, then puff the surface of the film, then close the slide. Might be more important in a dusty environment (I live in a dry climate which apparently increases our dust problem, though I'm also a bad house cleaner). I have definitely noticed a difference; if I forget to do this I'm often sorry.

big_ben_blue
27-Oct-2007, 11:43
Good video - will probably help newbies.

We all have our own systems, so I'm not criticizing yours, but just for the sake of newbies working out their own methods:

Dust: Even though I dust my holders regularly I still dust them immediately before and after loading film. So I take my rubber bulb (another thing bouncing around in the changing tent, hah) and puff the inside just after opening it, then insert a film sheet, then puff the surface of the film, then close the slide. Might be more important in a dusty environment (I live in a dry climate which apparently increases our dust problem, though I'm also a bad house cleaner). I have definitely noticed a difference; if I forget to do this I'm often sorry.

Different persectives, different systems - whatever works:) . I myself DO NOT take the blower bulb into the dark tent for dusting off the holders. My reasoning behind it, is that using it in this confined space would probably just cause a cloud (OK, a TINY cloud) of dust to nicely spread all around iside, thus causing more problems than it solved. I prefer the "compulsive obsessive vacuuming method" before loading the tent whenever possible.

Cheers, Chris

walter23
27-Oct-2007, 11:52
Hmm, good point Chris. I suspect these all have very minor impacts anyway - best to just load 'em up in whatever way works for you and get out shooting.

Of course keeping them clean in the first place is probably the most important thing (I do that too).

Alan Davenport
31-Oct-2007, 15:55
I use St. Ansel's "white slide, new film inside" method. In the field, there are really only TWO states for a holder: (1) unexposed film inside, or (2) "do not use." It doesn't really make any difference at that point, whether the holder with the dark side of the slide out is already exposed or just empty; either a double exposure or no exposure will result, and either is bad.

To solve the tri-state ambiguity, I use a rubber band on each holder. If there is film in the holder, exposed or not, the rubber band goes around the long dimension of the holder. This also serves as an additional safety to prevent accidental darkslide extraction! If the holder is empty, the rubber band goes around the short dimension of the holder. In the event I find a holder without a rubber band (they break sometimes) I just assume there's film inside and don't open it except in a changing bag or darkroom.

riooso
1-Nov-2007, 04:07
Good video I wish I would have had it when I started. Alan the rubber band method is great I have been using the same system for a little while and I love it. It saves reaching into the bag and pulling the dark slide out and ruining film and doubles for an empty holder indicator. You do not want to run around with a dark slide not engaged with the flap you will ruin it.

Richard

Sergio Caetano
6-Nov-2007, 09:26
Nicolai, excellent job/idea. Useful for many. Congratulations.

Clay Turtle
13-Feb-2008, 15:45
:D
Good place for campers to load your film is at truck stops. They have private shower rooms averaging $2.50-$5. You got your own shower room, no windows, throw the towel they give you along bottom of door...total darkness! Now you got lots of room and time to load your film. When done, take your shower. I have never needed a film loading tent yet. I use readyloads most of the time, but when I run out, I rely on loading film having a 50 sheet box along for insurance.I generally carry a dark bag & a pair of white gloves so that when I am in need I can reload. Ah, funny thing use the bath room , , , one day I long ago I was sitting in the photo class when a fellow student (we became good friends) came running in & told me to come with him. We went back into the lab area, to the set of darkrooms that were set aside for color work & film loading. After dragging me into one of the rooms & closing the door, we stood there in the dark. Time passed & I came impatient, afterall what could he want to show me in a dark room? Time passed & each time I asked him, he said wait. Finally he asked me to look around & tell him what I saw? I looked around & saw nothing. Then he said look up. What I saw was light being reflected through the vent system and anyone loading film of course were taking a chance on fogging their film. How much was dependent on the time of day & the speed of the film.