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Thread: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

  1. #1
    jvuokko's Avatar
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    Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    Hi,


    I did just some last time checks for my 4x5 wooden field camera before going on two month trip.. And noticed that there's some light leaks between the back (GG + film back assembly).
    I used very bright flash light inside the camera and looked carefully for light leaks at my darkroom. The light is visible but very dim.





    I haven't noticed this in negatives, but I guess it's something that must be sealed.


    However, this makes me wonder that how light tight should these fittings be? The camera is worn and there's obviously some freeplay...

  2. #2

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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    That kind of gap would make me concerned too. I'm surprised it hasn't been noticable in your negs. Maybe you should look into adding a thin foam material to seal the gap.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    Did you actually shine a light in the camera to see if light was coming through the gap? (One can check the bellows for pin holes at the same time). Keeping your darkcloth over the camera while the darkslide is pulled will reduce the chance of light striking the film from that area.

    I have a light-leak problem in about the same area on my Zone VI 8x10 if the camera back is not lined up exactly centered (on the sides instead of the top). I should add extra baffles inside the camera.

    Vaughn

  4. #4
    jvuokko's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    I added some baffle, and now there's no light leak...

    That's a good thing!


    While checking if there's more small gaps where light can be seen, it took also the darkslide out from the film back that I used to block light coming out towards the ground glass.

    To my big surprise (or shock), there was quite strong light visible from the dark slide's slot.
    I checked some other film backs and every single has more or less similar light leak thru dark slide's slot.

    These all film backs have been in my use long time. I have had occasional problems along the years, but nothing that I could trace down. This may be cause.

    As I searched the forums, I found out that common solution seems to be simply to not to pull dark slide completely out for exposure, but leave it hanging on the film back.
    That does not sound very useful as dark slide acts like a sail and I noticed also that the light leak is strongest when the dark slide is not pulled (fully) out.
    During pulling/pushing dark slide to it's place the light may enter most freely to the film :O

  5. #5

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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    I'm in the practice of keeping the dark cloth over the whole thing when I'm shooting. It's cheap insurance.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    Wooden field cameras always light tight?
    preferably.....
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #7
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    I'm in the practice of keeping the dark cloth over the whole thing when I'm shooting. It's cheap insurance.
    I do the same. It saves having to find a place to put the dark cloth where it won't get dirty.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  8. #8
    jvuokko's Avatar
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    Film back dark slide leaking

    I checked all my film backs.


    12 of them has let more or less light thru the dark slide's slot. These all were film backs that I had tested couple of years ago with a unexposed film and opening the dark slide in bright sunny day and let film back sit on the camera 10-30 minutes. They passed my test successfully.

    But not led flash light check


    Only 9 were completely light tight. I could not see any light coming thru the dark slide slot.


    There is not much common between leaky ones. The pile includes all my Linhof backs, several Lisco REGAL and REGAL II backs, some Fidelity Deluxe and Elites...


    The light tight backs has more in common: Majority of them are Lisco REGAL II backs. Some are Fidelity Elites.


    I haven't never opened any film back, so I don't really know how much there's done for fixing them. Perhaps dark cloth will do the job for those backs with some light leak...

  9. #9
    jvuokko's Avatar
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    Re: Film back dark slide leaking

    I was couple of months trip, using only those 100% light tight film backs.


    Now as I am back in home, the film back question is again my current intrest.
    Should I open them and do something or just keep dark cloth wrapped around camera?

    As so many of my 4x5 film backs let some light thru, this is probably very common issue.
    I examined only by watching the dark slide's slot from outside, the back was attached to camera and I held bright against the film back but I assume that if light comes from inside out, it also goes from outside to inside


    I checked some of those film backs with dark slide pulled out but still attached to the back (like some LF photographers does). It was a surprise to see that hanging dark slide let more light come out from the film back's slot than completely removed dark slide.


    Quote Originally Posted by jvuokko View Post
    I checked all my film backs.


    12 of them has let more or less light thru the dark slide's slot. These all were film backs that I had tested couple of years ago with a unexposed film and opening the dark slide in bright sunny day and let film back sit on the camera 10-30 minutes. They passed my test successfully.

    But not led flash light check


    Only 9 were completely light tight. I could not see any light coming thru the dark slide slot.


    There is not much common between leaky ones. The pile includes all my Linhof backs, several Lisco REGAL and REGAL II backs, some Fidelity Deluxe and Elites...


    The light tight backs has more in common: Majority of them are Lisco REGAL II backs. Some are Fidelity Elites.


    I haven't never opened any film back, so I don't really know how much there's done for fixing them. Perhaps dark cloth will do the job for those backs with some light leak...

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Wooden field cameras always light tight?

    There is a ridge behind that joint that keeps it light proof.

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