View Poll Results: How do you orient the film holder? (You can choose more than one.)

Voters
59. You may not vote on this poll
  • 1) Vertical w/ flaps bottom

    2 3.39%
  • 2) Horizontal w/ flaps left

    10 16.95%
  • 3) Vertical w/ flaps top

    17 28.81%
  • 4) Horizontal w/ flaps right

    28 47.46%
  • 5) “I’m ambi-orientational, baby!”

    3 5.08%
  • 6) “My way is different” (Please share)

    0 0%
  • 7) “Depends on holder/format/circumstances” (Please share)

    3 5.08%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

  1. #1
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Here’s a poll to determine our preferred way to orient the film holder when loading film.

    The photos below illustrate, in order, the poll’s first four choices:

    Option 1: Vertical w/ flaps bottom
    Option 2: Horizontal w/ flaps left
    Option 3: Vertical w/ flaps top
    Option 4: Horizontal w/ flaps right

    If you have time to add comments, we want to know why your preference is best for you.

    And please, tell us more about your film-loading habits:

    • What preparations do you make before the lights go off?
    • When you load film, do you sit or stand, and where do you put your holders/film?
    • How far out do you pull the dark slide – and why?
    • How do you confirm the film is properly loaded?
    • What are your most common glitches?
    • Any secrets about reducing or managing dust?
    • What’s your final step before the lights go back on?

    Your remarks will likely improve the way the rest of us load film – beginners and veterans alike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Option 1.jpg   Option 2.jpg   Option 3.jpg   Option 4.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    You must be really bored today.

  3. #3
    Salt Nerd
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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Crap...what does that say about me! I even took the time to figure out the question, look at the images and vote! Ha!
    Michael Slade

  4. #4
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Well, let’s just say it’s rainy here in Seattle today, and I want to learn something about film loading that I didn’t already know...

    BTW, I’m a “vertical-flaps-top” man. (Say, that sounds like a good country song! )

  5. #5
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    "It depends" because people have preferred hands. You want the more dexterous hand doing the hard part: holding the film and loading it into the holder under the guides and sans fingerprints. The other hand can hold the film holder up. Since I'm right-handed, I hold the film holder in my left hand, flap pointing to the right where I'm holding a sheet of film. My left index finger holds the flap open and the dark slide is inserted about half-way into the holder.

    Then there are those days where I'm loading 8x10 and for some stupid reason (arthritis) my left hand won't get a good grip on the film holder. Then I lay it on the table and my left hand just holds the flap open and keeps the whole thing from sliding off into the wastebasket, which now that I think of it, would be a great timesaver.

    Once the film is in and the dark slide pushed home, I run a finger over the side edge of the flap: if it's sticking up higher than the face of the film holder, I know that the film or the dark slide aren't inserted properly and I can try again.

    Mike
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  6. #6

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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    ---> Snip

    • What preparations do you make before the lights go off?
    • When you load film, do you sit or stand, and where do you put your holders/film?
    • How far out do you pull the dark slide – and why?
    • How do you confirm the film is properly loaded?
    • What are your most common glitches?
    • Any secrets about reducing or managing dust?
    • What’s your final step before the lights go back on?

    Your remarks will likely improve the way the rest of us load film – beginners and veterans alike.
    OK, I'll bite...

    You forgot the bullet point about closing our eyes (that would fall soon after turning off the lights. Usual final step before turning on lights is to open eyes again...

    But seriously, over the course of a bunch of years I needed to teach students how to load film, reliably, into such holders. Being left handed I load with the film in my left hand and the holder, horizontal with flaps facing the left, held down with my right. My nonambidexterity made it somewhat challenging as I showed them how to do it "right handed". Made me really think about the steps.

    Over the years the common mistakes I've seen have been, film emulsion down, film with one edge in the slide's track (makes for hard to install slides but hey, student's find a way to do it. Then they wonder why there's a piece of film inside the camera...), and film not inserted "all the way" so the flap is hard to close and often leaks light.

    Once years ago I did meet a student who carefully loaded a stack of holders with the interleaving paper that used to be in the Ilford 4x5 boxes leaving all the film tossed on the counter. Big surprise when the lights came back on. I don't know if he ever did it again. I like to think he didn't

    These days I'm using Grafmatics but still insert film from left to right...and no longer have to show others how to do it.

  7. #7
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Quote Originally Posted by MIke Sherck View Post
    My left index finger holds the flap open...
    Now that’s an oft-forgotten hazard.

    I wonder how many times film sheets have been scratched by a sneaky, wayward flap – just like a cat’s paw.

    I’ve certainly been a victim of this, during both the loading and unloading process.

  8. #8
    8x10, 4x5, ..., Tessina
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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    And please, tell us more about your film-loading habits:
    • What preparations do you make before the lights go off?
    • When you load film, do you sit or stand, and where do you put your holders/film?
    • How far out do you pull the dark slide – and why?
    • How do you confirm the film is properly loaded?
    • What are your most common glitches?
    • Any secrets about reducing or managing dust?
    • What’s your final step before the lights go back on?
    Answering slightly out of order...

    I'm right-handed, so I put a cotton glove on my left hand and a nitrile glove on my right.
    The film slides under the cotton when loading, and the nitrile provides tack for separating single sheets of film.

    I load on the counter in the darkroom, standing, just to the left of my enlarger drop table. I put the film boxes
    where I can reach them easily, then stack the empty holders in piles of 6 or 12, all to my left.

    Lights off.
    Remove one film pack from the box, open it, and place it about halfway back on the counter with
    the open end toward the void above the drop table, making it easy to pick up and put down.

    Place an empty holder parallel to the counter front, darkslide out halfway, with the open flap overhanging the void.

    Remove one sheet of film from the pouch and return the rest; close the pouch flap.
    The thumb and middle finger of my left hand go at the open end of the slots in the holder, to locate them.
    Index finger holdes the flap open. Slide the film under the gloved fingers into the slots.
    Lift the free end of the film with a finger nail to make sure it's in both slots; easy with the nitrile glove.

    Close the flap and push the darkslide home. Turn the holder over and repeat (darkslide halfway out).

    Stack the loaded holders on the enlarger drop table toward the rear, so they won't fall on the floor.

    When the session is done, return any non-empty film pouches to their boxes. I only load one type at a time.

    Lights on.

    Dust is not a problem in my darkroom as I have a highly-filtered positive air flow.

    My only recurrent problem has been forgetting to return unused film to its box before turning the lights on. ;(
    Did that with an almost full 20-sheet box of 8x10. Oh well... One learns from one's mistakes.

    Don't know if this is the "best" way or not, but it's worked for me for many years.

    - Leigh

  9. #9

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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    how many polls has Heroique started?
    option 1:too many
    option 2: give him a break. at film prices being what they are, he's got nothing better to do.

  10. #10
    8x10, 4x5, ..., Tessina
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    Re: Loading film – best way to orient the holder?

    Quote Originally Posted by vinny View Post
    how many polls has Heroique started?
    Now, now. Be kind.

    This time we're up to seven options.

    I didn't realize he could count that high.

    - Leigh

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