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Thread: LF mistakes made so far

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Swindon, UK

    Red face LF mistakes made so far

    It's confession time...

    During my brief time as a LF camera user, I've made the following mistakes...

    - Taken the dark slide out before closing the lens
    - Loading film in the lolder the wrong way around. Very frustrating when I'd spent ages preflashing the film and stuff to get the image I wanted
    - Placing my shadows on zone VII instead of Zone III
    - forgetting to reset the camera's movements
    - watching the image jump out of focus because I hadn't locked the front standard when I opened the camera up.

    I wonder how many more mistakes are out there just waiting to trip me up...
    This doesn't include the unmitigated disaster casued by attempts to use a Paterson Orbital print processor to develop my first set of negs.

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    USA, North Carolina

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Pope
    I wonder how many more mistakes are out there just waiting to trip me up...
    There are a bunch, just with film holders. My favorite is loading the film in the darkslide guide rails (so you can't push the darkslide back in after the shot). And of course finger printing the film as you load the holder when you are hot, tired, and working with a changing tent on a table that's just too small for it. There's the ever popular turning on the darkroom light after loading holders to see the film box still open. And the reverse - turning on the light after unloading holders with the film box full of your exposed but unprocessed film still open. Then you can always load two sheets into one side of a holder. You only use that holder for the shot where focus accuracy is critical ;-) Then there's forgetting to flip the darkslide when you put it back in after an exposure resulting in those lovely double exposures where you kill two setups for the cost of one sheet of film. And forgetting to shield the darkslide from the sun when you pull it or push it in resulting in lightseal light leaks. And setting a holder down on a surface that you didn't check for cleanliness. And...

    I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface here.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2003

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    Here are some you others you may find yourself doing in the future.

    Forgetting to put the film holder in the camera.

    Forgetting to take out the darkslide altogether.

    Forgetting to replace the darkslide before removing the film holder from the camera. This is hard to do if you hold the darkslide while taking the picture, but sometimes you have to put it down.

    Forgetting to put a filter on the lens.

    Forgetting to set the ISO setting on your exposure meter to match your film.

    Shooting wide open because you forgot to set the lens to the shooting aperture.

    Forgetting to set the shutter speed.

    Putting film in a film holder so one side rests on top of the groove instead of in the groove. You can avoid this by remembering to check with your fingernail on both sides.

    In case you are compulsive like me about keeping records, forgetting to record the focal length, aperture and shutter speed.

    In case you have put something in the scene to help in focusing, composition, or determining exposure, forgetting to remove it before taking the picture.

    I'm sure there are some other mistakes I've made which don't come to mind right now.

  4. #4
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    Loading film in the holders, complete with the interleaf paper.

    Pulling the wrong slide, thus exposing the other film through the ground glass.

    Loading 5x7" film in a 13x18cm holder and hearing it fall out of the holder and flop down in the bellows-

    Loading 13x18cm film in a 5x7" holder, and realising you can't get the dark slide back in because the film is bowing out from the too narrow film slot.

  5. #5

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    Finishing the shot and getting ready to fold the camera, removing the lens and then remembering you have not put the dark slide on the film holder this with a 12x20 so it really hurts...

    Try to focus with the film holder in place and wondering why you cant see a thing...

    Going from a B&W shot to a color shot and forgetting to remove the red filter.....

    The possibilities to do something stupid are endless........

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    my favorite mistake is with the grafmatics that I use. Namely, forgetting to push the darkslide back in after the spring pushes the next plate up, and exposing -thereby burning all six sheets of film in the grafmatic through the notch in the septums. On really bright days, the first 3 sheets tend to be writeoffs. Then there's the infamous removing the darkslide before closing the shutter. yeesh. These days I've developed the habit of glancing quickly at the front of the lense before removing the darkslide. Has worked wonders.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Swindon, UK

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    So many mistakes and so little time...
    I had a close call in the darkroom this afternoon. I loaded my combiplan and when I'd switched the light on, I noticed that the lid wasn't quite seated properly. Fortunately, it wasn't bad enough to fog the sheets of film. Phew!

    Actually looking at the list so far, there are quite a few on there that I've already done! Its a wonder how any of us actually get anything to print!
    This thread has given my wife a good laugh!

  8. #8
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Smile Re: LF mistakes made so far

    Part of the fun of LF is that it is totally manual, and there are SO many more ways to screw up.
    Last edited by Louie Powell; 5-Aug-2006 at 12:22.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Orange, CA

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    These few just scratch the surface....

    - Pulling the dark slide while the shutter is still open. Always test fire the shutter before pulling the dark slide!
    - Failure to properly stabilize the camera to withstand a slight breeze (images come out soft), this is a big problem when shooting 8x10.
    - Forgot to put on the center filter when using a wide-angle lens.
    - Forgot to exposure compensate for said center filter, in cases where I do remember to put it on.
    - Waste film by accidentally loading two sheets of film into the same film holder slot.
    - Ruin the top sheet or two of exposed film (and singe the edges of the rest of my exposed film pile) by absent-mindedly opening the changing bag before my exposed film box was closed. I've actually managed to do this more than once.
    - Drive hours to reach my shooting location, and then realize I forgot to bring my tripod or focusing loupe.
    - Drive hours to reach the trailhead, then hike more hours to reach my shooting location, only to realize that the knob which tightens/loosens my tripod head's quick-release clamp had fallen off and disappeared, leaving me with no way to attach my camera to the tripod.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2002

    Re: LF mistakes made so far

    Surely, I'm not the only one who has forgotten to check for vignetting due to excessive movements? (and paid the predictable price!)

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