View Full Version : Loading/unloading film holders....simple questions

28-Sep-2012, 10:35
Hi Folks,

I'm new to LF and have been practising loading/unloading film holders with an exposed sheet of film. I have been following advice from video's on you tube and internet guides (e.g http://www.butzi.net/articles/filmload.htm) and have a few questions:

1) I find that by holding the film along the long edges and slotting into the holder, it is curving slightly. Is this problematic?

2) When you insert the film, do you push it all the way or do you pull it back to the square indent?

3) I will not go through a whole box of film in one go, so need to able to transfer exposed film to another box. I guess the best thing would be to use an old film box, but because I am new to this I don't have any! So, where do you get them from?

4) I plan on sending off film to a lab. As long as it is all, say, negative film does it matter if I mix up films in the same box?

Thanks in advance


28-Sep-2012, 10:51
1. I find it easier to hold a short side and feed the film into the holder. When in the holder the film should not curve at all; it needs to lay flat.

2. All the way in.

3. Yes, segregate exposed film from unexposed. Get some extra boxes. Ask around here... there seems to alwyas be someone with spares they are willing to offer.

4. If it is all the same film, sure. But if I'm shooting C-41 400 speed and C-41 160 speed I use two separate boxes. It might not matter but...

28-Sep-2012, 12:41
1) I hold film by the notched corner with my right thumb and middle finger. I push it home with my forefinger along the adjacent narrow edge.

2) All the way.

3) Separate boxes. You can get them gratis from members here.

4) I recommend not mixing films at all. Choose one and shoot it until you know it well, and are familiar with its characteristics.
Then you can expand your horizons by shooting one other film, likewise until you're fully comfortable with it.

- Leigh

John Koehrer
28-Sep-2012, 12:55
No mixing allowed. different films have different requirements for chemistry or temps.
B&W and color use different chemistry too.

29-Sep-2012, 05:25
Thanks everyone for your time. Comments noted!



29-Sep-2012, 08:16
As LF is new to me, I am surprised by the amount of force necessary to insert the film holder; the impression that focus has changed keeps me worried all the time.

29-Sep-2012, 08:46
The film should go into the holder very easily without any force needed.

29-Sep-2012, 09:21
3) Careful, not all triple nesting boxes are lightproof (http://www.rangeoflightphotography.com/pages/film#tripleboxes). An empty paper box can be used if sufficiently taped, until you accrue empty film boxes. Ask that they be returned from the lab.

4) The important thing to remember about development is that films will be handled it the dark, and all different developments, E-6 vs. B/W, normal vs. push (Zone +N) vs. pull (Zone -N) of the same type should be segregated into separate boxes. Marking each type–development box is the only practical way for the lab to know what your films are (notch codes, if present, aside) and how they are to be developed. This will become self-evident when you begin to develop film yourself :).

29-Sep-2012, 09:40
It follows then, that different films (i.e., Tri-X, FP4+, Efke, etc.) destined for the same development, say normal, may be included within the same box.

Different films may require different TIMES in the same developer.

Each box should contain only one type of film.

- Leigh

29-Sep-2012, 10:18

Different films may require different TIMES in the same developer.

Each box should contain only one type of film.

- Leigh

Thanks for the correction. Of course, different films may require different times in the same developer. What I meant to indicate was different films destined for the same development can be boxed together. Wait a minute, isn't that what I wrote? I never indicated a specific developer/film combos, though I agree it is unneccesarily confusing for the OP in his beginning dealings with a lab. The sentence has been deleted.

Not for the OP: Each box does not necessarily have to be of the same film if all the films get the same development, from the same developer, but this may not be evident from any particular lab – oh nevermind.

29-Sep-2012, 11:00
I think the key here is communication. If you clearly mark the box as to what's in it, the lab can probably sort it out.

Ask if they use infrared goggles in the darkroom before development. If so, they can read labels on the film envelopes inside the box.
That way you could put two or three different films in a box, each in its own envelope clearly labeled as to the contents.

- Leigh