View Full Version : Film exposed through the base

Bob Wagner
12-Aug-2004, 08:47
Based on reading another thread I realize I have shot several 4x5 sheets with the emulsion side facing away from the lens instead of toward it. I thought I was loading correctly but I had the holders oriented landscape, side I was loading facing me, slid the film in with the notch on the upper right corner, dark slide to the left. At any rate, I have several sheets of TMax 100 that I guess are going to be severely underexposed? Is there any point in adjusting development time to compensate or should I just see what happens? I was planning on developing tonight, have a batch of D76 ready to go... Oddly enough I have a test negative I shot that looks printable to me and I'm sure I loaded it the same way, I suppose you could say the negative looks a very little light, therefore possibly underexposed?, but has good detail all the way through, although I haven't printed it

Ralph Barker
12-Aug-2004, 09:05
I think that's a tough call, Bob. While increasing development might bring density and contrast back up to compensate for the reduced exposure caused by shooting through the base and anti-halation coating, it's not likely that you'd end up with negatives that are actually "normal". I think I'd be tempted to develop normally, and see what happens, expecting that I'd end up with "artsy" negatives that would require other-than-normal printing. By that, I mean images that would be akin to applying a series of Photoshop "filters" for artistic effect.

Gem Singer
12-Aug-2004, 09:22
Hi Bob,

Chalk it up to experience. I'm sure you realize by now, that the next time you load film into holders, orient the holder portrait, darkslide at the bottom. Hold the film by the notch, in your right hand, and load it into the holder with the notch in the upper right corner. If you orient the holder landscape, darkslide to the left, the notch should be in the lower right corner.

Negatives loaded with the base side facing the lens will not only be underexposed, but the shades of grey will also be messed up (that is not technical terminology). The light passed through the anti-halation layer, as well as the film base, in order to reach the emulsion layer. Compensating the development time won't save those negatives. Of course you'll get an image on the film. Try printing the negatives, it's the only way to prove it to yourself.

John Cook
12-Aug-2004, 10:18
Several years ago while working just north of Nome, Alaska, I knew a photographer who was using a lovely new Technika outfit complete with case, lenses and all the accessories.

He said he had taken a chance and purchased it from another photographer for only one hundred dollars. The previous owner said the camera had some sort of defect which even the factory repair facility couldn't fix. Not one picture ever came out. The camera was worthless and he was fed up with it.

When my friend got the outfit home and took everything apart, he noticed that all the holders were loaded with the film face down.

Sometimes it pays to gamble...

Paul Metcalf
12-Aug-2004, 10:23
I would suspect that focus would be off as well, maybe not critically, but at least by as much as the thickness of the film, much like unsharp masking.

LeBaron Smith
12-Aug-2004, 10:48
We have all made mistakes. That's one of the many ways we learn! I doubt that you will do it again. Just go shoot some more film, and enjoy life.

tim atherton
12-Aug-2004, 12:24
"Do you mean vertically? Almost every nature magazine is set up for vertical landscape photos. I can think of none that are set up for horizontal formats at all."


Bob Wagner
12-Aug-2004, 12:51
I assume landscape means the long dimension (5") is horizontal and portrait means the long dimension is vertical. When you read instructions regarding loading that say "the notch goes in the upper right corner" it makes a big difference whether the upper right corner is the right end of the 5" dimension or the right end of the 4" dimension

Bob Wagner
12-Aug-2004, 13:06
See this thread: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0098zX

Gem Singer
12-Aug-2004, 14:21
When loading sheet film into a holder, if you grasp the film by the notched corner between the index finger and the thumb of your right hand, and hold it up in front of your face, you are looking at the emulsion side of the film (even in complete darkness).

The film only loads into the holder at one end and one direction. The thing to remember is to hang onto the film and don't change hands. It doesn't matter if the holder is oriented vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape) during the loading procedure.

Bob Wagner
12-Aug-2004, 14:50
Eugene; Well - Not exactly. Picture this: Placed between the index finger and thumb of the right hand as you say, the film sheet can either extend downwards from your fingers or upwards from them. Of course, to make the change one would have to flip it over, hence the problem. The correct way no doubt seems intuitive to all you experienced users, however to a newbie like me it's not quite so obvious

Gem Singer
12-Aug-2004, 14:59
You're correct, of course Bob. I just took it for granted that the film would hang downwards when held between the thumb and index finger. I'll have to remember that detail the next time I explain the procedure to somebody. Thanks for pointing that out.

jonathan smith
13-Aug-2004, 02:44
You could always reload them and double expose them for fun/experimental results.

14-Aug-2004, 01:50
Any text in your composition? I think it will read from right to left in your print. Well, I guess you could print with the neg upside down too. I'm not glad that you made this mistake but I'm glad I got to read about it. I'm real new to LF and now I know that the film I loaded into my holders for tomorrow's shoot is correct. I hope you didn't shoot a bunch.

Bob Wagner
16-Aug-2004, 06:17
To all: Thanks for the help, To M Thompson: Of course I shot a lot, what's the point of screwing up if it isn't painful. Oh Well, like Smitty says I'll never make that mistake again, the correct film position is permanently burned in my brain