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Thread: Is this a development problem or light leak?

  1. #1

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    Is this a development problem or light leak?

    I occasionally have a negative like this. This was processed in a sp4-45 tank the other 3 negatives came out fine. It always happens like this I get one bad one and the others are fine. I am pretty sure the film holder was properly inserted into the camera.

    Untitled by biotecbob, on Flickr

  2. #2

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?


    Whenever removing and inserting a dark slide with one hand, squeeze the back with the other hand, to keep the light seal closed.

  3. #3

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    So you think it is a light leak rather than development problem? I am using a Linhof Master Technika camera I think the camera back holds the film holder pretty tight but will try implementing your advice in future. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    Light leak, possibly in the film holder. Note the light leaking into the area that the holder flap should cover. Many of my film holders are uniquely identified by identifying notches filed in the flap so problems with a holder can be traced to a particular holder.

  5. #5

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    Jim may be right of course

    When we shoot a portrait like yours, the subject's head appears at the lower end of the negative. If like most people you load your film so that the notch is near the holder flap, that's where the light leak appears.

    It's possible that the film holder was not positioned snugly. When removing or inserting the dark slide, a little leverage (or torque) can unseat the film holder, especially if it's an older film holder.

    But as Jim suggests, perhaps the tape or flap is broken or loose.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    Definitely a light leak. I doubt that it's a problem with the tape or the flap on the holder (even if the tape is completely gone, the flap should be lightproof as long as it's seated properly). Check the holder for cracks/separation in the area corresponding to the upper right of the image. If that looks alright, then, as Ken suggests, make sure the holder is seated correctly before pulling the darkslide, and make sure to pinch the camera back to the body when pulling and re-inserting the slide.

    If the problem persists with other holders, then it's time to check the camera back for leaks (probably a good idea anyway...). Look for bellows separation, warping, etc., anything that would cause a misalignment to let light in around that area of the camera that corresponds to the upper right in the image you show.

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #7

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    ...make sure the holder is seated correctly before pulling the darkslide,
    Excellent point (in addition to your other excellent points).

    A spring-loaded back will hold a wrongly seated film holder in place just as firmly as it holds one in the correct position.

    Clasping the camera back even more tightly doesn't fix the problem because by then it's too late.

    I've had to learn the hard way, to check the film holder and make sure it is seated properly.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 4-Aug-2017 at 14:03.

  8. #8

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    I am still having problems with light leaks. I did some testing with the holders in the spring back.

    I noticed that there is a bit of play in that after it is inserted I can pull the film holder slightly out before it comes to a hard stop. This means that there is a small gap between the edge of the film holder frame and the film holder but with the film holder still firmly seated against the camera back. I wonder if this small gap could cause a light leak?

    Can anyone else with a Technika see if they have this play in theirs?

  9. #9

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    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    Could be a dark slide insertion problem. Did you have a light source over the back of the camera? If so, just as outside in bright sunlight, rotate the back and insert from below or if horizontal from the side opposite the sun. One reason I suspect this is the angle of the fogging. If you insert a dark slide one corner first it opens the light trap all across its length. Insert the slide straight in.

  10. #10

    Re: Is this a development problem or light leak?

    There's no question it's a light leak. The fog leaks over into the film's rebate. And I'll ad that I think it happened during either film loading or unloading because of the intensity and angle of the fog.

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