View Full Version : fogging of distant vistas

Jerry Cunningham
6-Sep-2005, 17:52
I have relocated in central South Dakota on mostly open prairie. Vista views of 50+ miles are common. I am shooting in the last two hours of daylight. The sun is sinking in the west and I am shooting due east. I am getting fogging in the sky section only. I have checked for light leaks and everything checks out fine. I have checked the holders and different batches of film. Everything is normal. There is no reason I can see for flaring. Perhaps the vast blue/white sky is acting as some type of mirror? Has anyone else had this problem? I am shooting a 4x5 camera with a normal 150mm lens. I am losing great shots due to this problem. Any advice would be welcome. Interestingly enough I can shoot right into the setting sun and get no flaring or fogging. This really has me going.
Jerry Cunningham

6-Sep-2005, 17:58

What film are you using? Are you using any sort of filter?

Atmospheric haze is a possibility. What about some sort of post-camera fogging? Those of us who shoot a lot of horizontal landscapes tend to have all the film facing the same way. Could it be in developing? Is it on the neg or could it be fogging of your printing paper?


John Cook
6-Sep-2005, 18:11
When I, as a novice art school student, was first out and about shooting in Los Angeles, with new Riteway holders and a brand new Linhof, I was getting partially fogged film.

Old-timers told me that neither the felt holder-slide light traps nor the seal between the holders and camera back were 100% reliable.

Their solution was threefold:

First, consciously squeeze the camera back elements together while removing the slide from the holder.

Second, keep the dark cloth draped over the camera back and holder while making the exposure.

Third, wax the holder slides with Meguiar’s Hi Tech yellow wax:

This wax won’t dry white on matte surfaces and leaves no powdery residue. It will prevent having a tug-of-war with the dark slide, causing the holder to momentarily loosen from the camera back, flashing the film.

Paul Fitzgerald
6-Sep-2005, 19:16
HI there,

Never had the problem but if you drap the darkcloth over the camera when loading the holder, pull the slide, make the exposure and replace the slide AND IT CURES THE PROBLEM, it's a light leak. If it does not cure the problem it sounds like a post-exposure problem.

The sky flaring the film would show up in the foreground. Is there something in the foreground flaring your lens???

Just a thought.

Donald Qualls
6-Sep-2005, 22:34
Start with a UV or skylight filter. In effect, the sky *is* acting as a mirror, scattering back UV light that you can't see, but to which your film is most definitely sensitive. You might also find that, even with a lowering sun, you still need a gradient filter to avoid halation from massively overexposing the sky, trying to get enough light from the ground; this will depend on just how low the sun is.

Brian Ellis
7-Sep-2005, 05:24
The first thing to do is determine whether your problem is film fogging or flare. In your question you use both terms as though they were synonomous and they aren't. They're two different things and while the effect may look the same on the film the causes are different. So you need to know which you're dealing with before you can find a solution.

Jerry Cunningham
7-Sep-2005, 08:42
Thank you all for your help. I will let you know what I track down.