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View Full Version : Film Holder Issue, Please Help Diagnose



asf
23-Nov-2016, 17:56
Had this problem twice now

Modern Lisco holders, Ilford HP5 8x10, camera has new bellows, no other frames from same setup had the problem

First time only this frame

157880

Looks like light leak and the film shifted in the holder, see red arrows
Also the top is way out of focus where the bottom stayed in focus, this seems to mean the film wasn't seated properly (again all other frames had no problems, all in focus, nothing changed between exposures).

On this shoot I exposed both sides of every holder but only 1 sheet had a problem


THEN

on this shoot I got 2 sheets with MIRRORED leaks

157881
157882

mostly identical problems to first shoot, leaks, out of focus at top, apparent double exposure of rebate edge, but this time mirrored on both sides of a holder

I've done an inspection of all the holders used and can see no problems.

I did have 2 different inexperienced interns on the shoots, perhaps they mis-handled a holder somehow? Grabbed one by the middle or top instead of the sides? Could something like that cause a leak by the light trap and move the film enough to shift out of its seat?

The HP5 does shift a tiny bit in the holders but not enough where I can easily get it to come out from under the rails.

Ideas?

LabRat
23-Nov-2016, 18:12
Sometimes film when exposed to changes of temp/humidity will slightly buckle until it reaches equilibrium and relaxes to it's flatness... That's why the second shot might be fine, as it had the chance to relax while sitting on the other side... Easing film into the shooting environment will help by keeping it there (instead of, for instance, leaving the inside of a building, or car, etc and exposing very soon after)... Big problem while it's raining/hot/humid/cold/damp/dry etc...

Today's thinner sheet film bases might scan better, but tends to flop around more in the holder, while processing, etc...

Steve K

asf
23-Nov-2016, 18:27
Thanks LabRat

Yes, I've had those kinds of film pops happen before can't imagine it's the case this time - dry environments both shoots, case had been open and outside for a long enough time before shooting, but it's possible that could have caused it, IDK

I am assuming on the 2nd shoot it was the same film holder both sides (and same holder as first shoot) but I can't be absolutely sure either

The thin film base and it's very slight room to move in the holder does lead me to think it could have popped, or the vacuum effect of pulling the slide could have had enough force to pull it out of its seat

This hasn't happened with FP4, which I've also shot on both shoots, only HP5

Is double stick tape the solution?

asf
23-Nov-2016, 18:29
Mr LabRat/Steve

Do you think all the problems evidenced here can be explained by the film popping?

LabRat
23-Nov-2016, 18:38
Sometimes before shooting pulling the dark slide and re-inserting, then letting it sit a spell before shooting will give it an even dose of the environment it will be shooting in, and a chance to relax... There is probably more air leakage near the flap, so that might explain the OOF thing happening on that end of the holder... The slight double edge shadow on that rail end says pop movement on the notch side...

Just slow down the process a little more so the film has a chance to relax...

Steve K

asf
23-Nov-2016, 18:58
Thanks Steve

Greg Davis
23-Nov-2016, 19:24
Since it the same corner of each frame but same holder, I would suspect the holder wasn't fully seated in the camera. Did you load the film into the holder, or the interns? Did you insert the holder into the camera, or the interns?

asf
23-Nov-2016, 19:27
I thought that could be a part of it also, actually after the first shoot I was sure that was the problem

I inserted on both

I loaded all film

On the 2nd shoot the intern handed me the holders and we were moving quickly

asf
23-Nov-2016, 19:29
I did check frequently on the 2nd shoot if the holders were fully seated and didn't see a problem

I didn't check carefully every time so can't be sure it didn't happen

dentkimterry
23-Nov-2016, 19:44
Don't know what kind of camera your using but I had some negatives like that with my Deardorff 8x10. Figured out that one corner of the back wasn't clicked in place when I switched it from horizontal to vertical. Light leaked in at that point. Pics looked just like yours. I check the back very carefully now!
Terry

LabRat
23-Nov-2016, 19:47
It also does look like there might be some fogging like Greg said... Look carefully at the insertion end while the holder is full & empty and try to find if there is a gap or seating funny...

I have also noticed when using some 50's era holders that when used with today's thinner based films that sometimes the flap might over-depress as the holders were made for a thicker film and might not seal correctly when inserted, AND not hold that edge as firmly... When a holder is loaded, run you finger or straight edge on the ends of the flap and see if they are slightly recessed... If so, putting a spacer strip of Scotch tape under the flap where it meets the film will take up the slack... (I have restored old holders that this had been done to way back when and replaced the tape that was added then...)

Steve K

asf
23-Nov-2016, 19:56
It's a sinar p

All other exposures from same setup had no problems so couldn't be the back or bellows

No adjustments made to camera after shooting started

asf
23-Nov-2016, 20:24
Interesting

Using all most modern Lisco Regal II holders

The fogging is throwing me off, especially at the light trap end

Could be a combination of not seated properly each time and sliding film

Can't quite understand how it would happen on only one frame on one shoot though, it should have happened on both sides both times if there was anything wrong with the holder, and why the edge leak effect is mirrored on the 2 from the second shoot

makes me think it's not a holder issue and it could be happening on any of the holders as the film sits in them all the same (I emptied them and loaded with these processed negs to see where they line up)

The negs without problems don't show the notches on the flap side as can be seen in these, so perhaps the fogging is from something or someone depressing the dark slide against the film before or after the shot






It also does look like there might be some fogging like Greg said... Look carefully at the insertion end while the holder is full & empty and try to find if there is a gap or seating funny...

I have also noticed when using some 50's era holders that when used with today's thinner based films that sometimes the flap might over-depress as the holders were made for a thicker film and might not seal correctly when inserted, AND not hold that edge as firmly... When a holder is loaded, run you finger or straight edge on the ends of the flap and see if they are slightly recessed... If so, putting a spacer strip of Scotch tape under the flap where it meets the film will take up the slack... (I have restored old holders that this had been done to way back when and replaced the tape that was added then...)

Steve K

asf
27-Nov-2016, 13:29
Can't seem to replicate the problem, my current theory is the holder(s) were not handled properly
That is as they were taken from the case they were grabbed at the inside edge where the dark slide meets the sides pressing the slide in and resulting is a leak

I store the loaded holders in my location case top to bottom, 2 to a ziplock
the easiest place to grab the one that is upside down in the bag is by one of the corners on the dark slide just inside where it meets the film holder sides

If the film had shifted I would have had trouble closing the holder after and/or noticed it not being seated properly when unloading as it wouldn't naturally reseat itself

This theory explains the fogging/double exposure at the image edges
It explains the leak at the notches on the loading side (and why it's mirrored on one holder), and the leak at the light trap side, both of which look to be from the inside out with the light coming at a very sharp angle
It also could explain why I only got one on one shoot and 2 on another (not the same intern handling the holders)

The out of focus area could be just fogged rather than truly out of focus

I cannot see any leaks in any of the holders used on either of the shoots, they all hold the film exactly the same

Tracy Storer
27-Nov-2016, 13:48
I have had several Regal II 8"x10" holders(and now that I think of it, some 4x5s that showed up in a rental package in NYC which I decided to not use) that were not sufficiently glued at the factory, and the sides are a bit loose from an internal plastic frame that holds the metal septum. This is observed at the flap-end, the edges can be slightly spread like wings away from the internal frame.
On holders where I noticed this, I carefully injected some thin glue and used tape to "clamp" the edges in place and left the holder on a flat surface while the glue cured.
I noticed this problem when handling holders in preparation to loading, and set them aside until I could address it, but I imagine the lightleaks I see on your images could have occurred with this problem, the film would have remained seated with the rebate edge intact.


Interesting

Using all most modern Lisco Regal II holders

The fogging is throwing me off, especially at the light trap end

Could be a combination of not seated properly each time and sliding film

Can't quite understand how it would happen on only one frame on one shoot though, it should have happened on both sides both times if there was anything wrong with the holder, and why the edge leak effect is mirrored on the 2 from the second shoot

makes me think it's not a holder issue and it could be happening on any of the holders as the film sits in them all the same (I emptied them and loaded with these processed negs to see where they line up)

The negs without problems don't show the notches on the flap side as can be seen in these, so perhaps the fogging is from something or someone depressing the dark slide against the film before or after the shot

asf
27-Nov-2016, 14:23
Thanks Tracy, I just checked for that, none of the holders that were on the shoots nor any of the ones that weren't exhibit the problem you describe
but it's good to know and if I get more of this type I'll be sure to check them

I know I've definitely shot all these holders before with 0 problems so my thinking still goes to human interaction with them

Have another shoot to process, different assistant who is more experienced and made sure to watch how he handled the holders so should know more after I see this film

Doremus Scudder
28-Nov-2016, 02:39
I think you have a light leak caused either by 1) a holder with a light trap that is not light tight, or 2) filmholders not seating properly in the camera back, or 3) pulling the camera back open a bit when inserting/removing the darkslide.

1) If this happens consistently with the same holder, then a faulty light trap is likely the problem. You have to keep track of which holder is which in order to figure this out. A numbering system for holders helps a lot in tracking things like this down.

2) If the holder is not seated properly, then the film is also not in the plane of sharp focus you planned for. This would affect the subject as well as the background. When the holder is not seated properly, the light leak grows in intensity the longer the darkslide is out of the holder. Sometimes you get just a little fog if you pull-shoot-insert quickly. If you pull-wait-shoot-insert then the leak can be rather intense.

3) Pulling the spring back away from the seat when removing/inserting the darkslide is a very common mistake. Note that this will make the light leak appear to move around, since you've actually changed the position of the film while the light is striking it. The focus for the exposure should remain as you planned.

That said, I think you need to separate your light-leak problem from your focus problem. In the shots you post, it just looks like there are out-of-focus areas because the depth-of-field isn't great enough to keep them sharp; not that the film moved during exposure (which is a completely different look, more like a double-exposure).

So, work on finding your light leak: Examine the holders in the dark with a small flashlight shining up and down through the light trap with the darkslide out. Check how the holders seat in the camera; all of them, and make sure everything is in order there. Start pinching the spring back tight when you insert a holder and hold it tight with one hand while pulling/inserting the darkslide. And, don't let inexperienced "interns" handle important stuff for you...

Keep in mind that the leak is consistently in the corners on the flap end (bottom) of the holder. Look for seating and possible defects in the camera back there.

Don't conflate the focus issue (if there is one) with the light-leak issue; it will only confuse things.

Hope this helps,

Doremus

asf
28-Nov-2016, 03:25
Thank you Doremus

It's possible this could be caused by a warped holder not seating properly

I'm using a Sinar with a very strong spring back so pulling the holder away when removing the slide is possible but unlikely

I checked for light leaks at the traps and didn't find any. I'd expect light coming from the traps to have a stronger effect on the rebate. These leaks seem to spill over into the rebate rather than come from the outside in at the flap end. At the slide end it has a greater effect on the rebate. That could be a bad trap, but if so why wouldn't it leak on both sides of the holder on both shoots? That part is puzzling. Unless it failed on that first shoot in between exposures

A warped holder would explain the focus shift in just one part of the frame and the leaks at the flap end I think.

I'll check the suspect holders carefully later this am.

Greg Davis
28-Nov-2016, 11:27
You have well defined edge markings, so the light is not getting in through the holder. It is definitely somewhere between the holder and the camera, and it is too random to be a pinhole somewhere in the camera. I also have a Sinar P 8x10, but I don't remember if they have a felt gasket on the back. Could that be missing or bunched up in the corner? If both negatives posted were from the same holder, then it seems to have lifted up from the camera in the same corner of the back.

asf
28-Nov-2016, 11:32
Hi Greg, yes I agree

Am testing the holders now in the back, the spring is very tight and holds them in place very well

I did notice just now one time a the back closed and didn't seat one corner properly but I tried 10 more times and couldn't repeat the problem

User error? Will just have to insert more carefully

Seeing as it's only happened on portraits it could be my rushing and it always double checking/relying on the soundness of the sinar system

asf
28-Nov-2016, 12:08
Ok, think I replicated it

99% sure its user error

Misloaded the holder in the camera, see now how it can feel right but it just out if done too quickly, little more gap on bottom left which coincides with the brighter leak across the frame from that corner
And was able to replicate a couple times

asf
28-Nov-2016, 12:18
Info for the archives

The bail on the p 8x10 back will open the frame much wider than necessary, this extra space allowed me to "hang" the holder just below where it should be with the bottom jamming the back very slightly open causing the leaks and focus issues.

The p2 pneumatic bail is much superior in this regard but even though I use a p2 I use the p 810 back as it's much more compact

Doremus Scudder
29-Nov-2016, 02:08
asf,

Glad you found your problem. I've pushed holders to far in and past the seat before myself. Now, at least, you know what to check to avoid the problem.

Best,

Doremus

asf
29-Nov-2016, 06:05
Thanks Doremus and everyone who helped solve this mystery