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Sirius Glass
22-Oct-2011, 18:25
I have a problem with two sheet film holders. When I load the two sheet film holders, I am very careful to make sure that the film is in the grooves on each side and the dark slide is about half way in. Then I close the flap and push the dark slide all the way in. Yet, sometimes [way too often] after I have taken the photograph and put the dark slide in, the film has pulled away far enough from the film holder base that the dark slide pushes the film into the camera chamber. The result is a film jam and the negative is lost.

What am I doing wrong and how do I prevent this problem.

TheDeardorffGuy
22-Oct-2011, 18:28
You are not getting it under the edge of the dark slide end. The film is held flat on all 4 edges. Look carefully.

Sirius Glass
22-Oct-2011, 18:30
No, I keep the dark slide in half way to make sure that the film went under the dark slide.

lenser
22-Oct-2011, 18:35
Uless you are not getting the film properly seated, which seems most likely, I suppose you could be going from one extreme to another in humidity (either direction) and having the film curl just enough to catch the dark slide. That however seems very unlikely.

TheDeardorffGuy
22-Oct-2011, 18:36
Pull it almost out!! Look at the slot that the film goes UNDER!!

Sirius Glass
22-Oct-2011, 19:40
Pull it almost out!! Look at the slot that the film goes UNDER!!

Ah, the pull out method! I thought that that had unintended consequences! :eek:

Opps, sorry we are talking about film. I will try that.

Leigh
22-Oct-2011, 22:06
No, I keep the dark slide in half way to make sure that the film went under the dark slide.
Hi Steve,

"under the dark slide" is not the same as "in the septum".

The latter is the desirable condition.

I always lift the free end of the film after it's seated in the holder. If it's not loaded properly one edge will pull free.

- Leigh

Joanna Carter
23-Oct-2011, 03:38
No, I keep the dark slide in half way to make sure that the film went under the dark slide.
And that could be your problem. If the film doesn't stay in the holder without the dark slide, you are not getting it right. There are two grooves in the holder, one for the slide, the other, behind that, is where the film goes.

There is a video here (http://photondetector.com/blog/2007/10/26/how-to-load-large-format-film-video-tutorial/) and a series of pictures here (http://zo-d.com/stuff/photography/how-to-load-4x5-sheet-film-holders.html) that make it clear that there are the two grooves.

RichardRitter
23-Oct-2011, 04:58
Take some scrape film and load the holders in the dark. After loading turn on the light and open the holder to see if you loaded the film correctly. Sounds like you are loading the film in the wrong grove which can be easy to do.

tgtaylor
23-Oct-2011, 05:32
If the holder is loaded incorrectly with one side out of the septum - which usually happens during a loading session - the end flap on the holder will not close flush with rest of the holder. At least that is the way it is with Toyo holders. A good way to check is to feel that the holders end flap is completely flush with the rest of the holder after the dark slide is completely inserted. If it is then the sheet is correctly inserted in the septum.

Thomas

Sirius Glass
23-Oct-2011, 05:38
I know that the film starts in the right grooves. I now think that it is not into the groove on the other end. That end must rise up and then the dark slide pushes it out of the holder.

I am going to pull the dark slide almost all the way out and run a fingernail around the three sides.

Preston
23-Oct-2011, 06:24
Although it's not very likely, you might check the grooves to see if there is piece of crud lodged in them, or a burr that would prevent the film from seating properly.

--P

Jim C.
23-Oct-2011, 07:56
I've always loaded film with the dark slide halfway out, never had a problem, if you're loading the film into the dark slide groove you should feel it hit the dark slide as you slide it home, at least a tick as the film edge hits the slide edge and goes under the slide. I also slide the film in at an angle that way the leading edge of the film is touching the bottom of the film holder and will slide in the film groove.
Do what RichardWitter said, but do it with the lights on, eyes closed, lots faster than reaching for a light switch. :)

TheDeardorffGuy
23-Oct-2011, 10:02
I know that the film starts in the right grooves. I now think that it is not into the groove on the other end. That end must rise up and then the dark slide pushes it out of the holder.

I am going to pull the dark slide almost all the way out and run a fingernail around the three sides.

Put a cotton glove on. If the film is NOT seated the light trap flap will not seat correctly. How did you force that down anyway?

This sounds wild but I do it. A friend has a large private color lab for his studio. He uses InfraRed goggles to load film. I use them when I cut 16x20 down to 12x20 Greatest thing ever. Like working in daylight. Google IR goggles

Leigh
23-Oct-2011, 13:32
The following procedure has worked well on 4x5 holders for over 50 years, for me...

Thin Latex/Nitrile glove on right hand, cotton glove on left (I'm right-handed).
Film holder on the counter, dark slide to the left, pulled halfway out.
Place the ends of the left index and middle fingers at the entrance to the septum grooves on each side.
Push the film under the fingers into the septum and seat fully.

I taught this process at school, and the students had a high success rate using it; few mis-loads.

- Leigh

Sirius Glass
23-Oct-2011, 14:22
If the film is NOT seated the light trap flap will not seat correctly. How did you force that down anyway?

I never have to force the flap closed. That is why the problem has baffled me. Pun very much intended.

Steve

Leigh
23-Oct-2011, 14:31
I never have to force the flap closed.
That indicates that the film is completely outside of the septum.

If it's in on one side and out on the other, it can't seat fully because the edge of the film hits the septum groove on the dark slide end, preventing it from going into proper position.

- Leigh

Sirius Glass
23-Oct-2011, 15:35
That indicates that the film is completely outside of the septum.

If it's in on one side and out on the other, it can't seat fully because the edge of the film hits the septum groove on the dark slide end, preventing it from going into proper position.

- Leigh

That is my understanding and therefore I have this quandary.

Steve

Leigh
23-Oct-2011, 15:41
That is my understanding and therefore I have this quandary.
Hi Steve,

OK. I don't understand the quandary.

Expanding on my previous technique description...

I normally hold the film at about a 45 angle when introducing it to the septum, then push down and to the left.

This guarantees that the leading edge is flat, and that it doesn't rise up above the edges of the septum.

You might compare the two holders that have the problem with others that don't, particularly the entrance to the septum grooves. It's possible these have been damaged or distorted such that the film doesn't enter the groove smoothly.

- Leigh

Sirius Glass
23-Oct-2011, 16:01
There are no "problem" holders. It can happen in any holder at any time.

Sal Santamaura
23-Oct-2011, 16:14
There are no "problem" holders. It can happen in any holder at any time.
Leigh's confusion probably stems from your thread title. Had you used a hyphen between "two" and "sheet" he would likely have understood you were referring to standard, two-sheet holders, which our British members call "double dark slides." Instead, he appears to have interpreted the title to indicate two particular samples of the standard plastic film holder were problematic.

On the other hand, Leigh writes about film being "in the septum," which isn't possible unless you've used a very fine saw to split the aluminum septum into two planes, then placed a sheet of film between them and reassembled the holder. :)

Leigh
23-Oct-2011, 16:39
There are no "problem" holders. It can happen in any holder at any time.
OK. In your original post you said:
"I have a problem with two sheet film holders. When I load the two sheet film holders..."

which I took to mean that it happened with specific holders.

If not, it's just a problem with loading technique.

- Leigh

Leigh
23-Oct-2011, 16:42
On the other hand, Leigh writes about film being "in the septum," which isn't possible unless you've used a very fine saw to split the aluminum septum into two planes, then placed a sheet of film between them and reassembled the holder. :)
The 'septum' is what holds the film in place. It can be integral or removable.

It's just a convenient way of describing that portion of the holder, as a function separate and distinct from the dark slide.

Is there a better term to use for this feature, i.e. the grooves that surround and support the film?

- Leigh

Sirius Glass
23-Oct-2011, 17:01
If not, it's just a problem with loading technique.

Which is what I believe I am dealing with. Technically the term would be an "operator assisted failure" which is abbreviated OAF. The proper usage for OAF is:

The OAF did this ...
The OAF did that ...

:D :D :D

Steve

Leigh
23-Oct-2011, 17:04
Hi Steve,

I generally prefer "operator malfunction", but the result is the same. :D

Please consider my technique regarding introducing the sheet at an angle to the holder. This pretty much guarantees it will seat properly in the grooves.

- Leigh

northway
23-Oct-2011, 17:30
Late here, but i have had this same problem...film is in the septum but it's not ALL the way in, and gets caught by the slide on the way back in after exposure. Try making sure there's no space when loading and i'll bet it solves the problem..

Sal Santamaura
24-Oct-2011, 06:54
The 'septum' is what holds the film in place. It can be integral or removable.

It's just a convenient way of describing that portion of the holder, as a function separate and distinct from the dark slide.

Is there a better term to use for this feature, i.e. the grooves that surround and support the film?...You're probably accustomed to how the word was used with respect to Grafmatic holders, where "septums" were sheet metal that folded over at the edges to hold film. That was a case where the manufacturer misapplied an existing word to describe its unique design.

For standard, two-sheet film holders, not to mention one's nose and many other anatomical features, the septum is simply a wall dividing two sides. In modern Fidelity/Lisco plastic holders, it's made of aluminum. The grooves into which film slides, which are part of the overall molded plastic shape, are appropriately termed "film grooves." :)

jnantz
24-Oct-2011, 08:14
steve

i am guessing a few things ...

do you have european film/holders ?
sometimes they look just like american holders
but are a teeensey weeensey bit smaller / larger
so american sized /format film doesn't stay in the grooves ...
(does it happen with your grafmatics / bag mags too ? )

or ...
you aren't loading the film under the edges inside the holder

or ...
your film has a case of mo-go-onthe-ga'go-go

either way,
if you take a sheet of your scrap/used &c film
and load it, and look at it in the daylight
you might have a better idea what is going on ...

if your film has mo-go onthe ga'go-go
if you can get some water from
lake chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg
wipe your holders with it prior to loading, air dry ... and you should be OK

Scott Davis
24-Oct-2011, 12:46
In the technology industy we have a similar term for that: PEBCAK (Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard). I've noticed this problem with certain film stocks (Kodak HIE was notorious for being a HAIR smaller than standard 4x5, and because of the emulsion/base stock, it was also thinner/springier than regular 4x5 film, and it would often curl just enough that it would unseat in the holder while shooting and fall out into the camera. I'm not sure what film you're using, Steve, but that COULD possibly be a factor as well. If you're using that Ilford I remember you talking about, that's probably not the issue.

Vaughn
24-Oct-2011, 13:32
I have the same problem with some Hoffman 11x14 holders. I am loading them correctly (I have been loading holders of various sizes for 30+ years). Has only happened when shooting vertical imagaes.

With the 11x14 holders I am guessing that the flap does not always hold the film in tightly and allows the film to slip down a little -- thus leaving the upper edge of the film in danger of a slight bowing, which would then allow the darkslide to hit that edge.

I might be making the problem worse by giving the holder a bit of a thump on the bottom (against the palm of my hand) to seat the neg properly (I have had film shift in the holders during exposure). Next time I will hold the flaps tightly together when I thump the holder and see if this helps.

Sirius Glass
24-Oct-2011, 17:23
Kodak 4x5 Porta, Ilford HP5+ and FP4+

Standard US 4"x5" two sheet film holders

The film is definitely in the slots

Leigh
24-Oct-2011, 18:46
Sorry, Steve, but I can't offer any other suggestions.

The dark slide is hitting the film, for reasons unknown.

The film might be bowed, or the dark slide might have a burr or other problem on the end.

Perhaps there's something in the film groove preventing the film from seating fully, as others have suggested.

There's a limited number of possibilities.

- Leigh

Tom J McDonald
24-Oct-2011, 20:09
You're meant to remove the exposed sheets of film before loading more :)

SMBooth
25-Oct-2011, 13:55
You sure your not accidentally loading the film between the removable darkslide and film holder rail instead of under the film holder rails.

TheDeardorffGuy
25-Oct-2011, 16:36
Ok....Four pages of answers. POST some pictures of these holders with the darkslide REMOVED. Thanks

ashlee52
26-Oct-2011, 12:20
Here's a long shot possibility... maybe your holders are "plate" holders designed for glass plates rather than film holders.

M A Y B E ??? that would be sloppy enough for the film to be able to work loose. But my guess is that you aren't under the metal ridges that start about 3/4" into the holder when loading. I'll often have to try several times to get the film started right under both of these... often enough it only gets under one of the two.

E. von Hoegh
26-Oct-2011, 12:29
Or try using a junk negative or sheet of film and load under light, paying attention to what it FEELS like to get the sheet under all three lips. When I first learned how to load film, I found I had to keep my eyes closed, even in the dark, because the messages from my fingers weren't getting through with them open. To this day, 25+ years later, I still close my eyes when loading sheet film, or when spooling film onto developing reels. Wierd, huh? :)

Tom J McDonald
26-Oct-2011, 16:15
Or try using a junk negative or sheet of film and load under light, paying attention to what it FEELS like to get the sheet under all three lips. When I first learned how to load film, I found I had to keep my eyes closed, even in the dark, because the messages from my fingers weren't getting through with them open. To this day, 25+ years later, I still close my eyes when loading sheet film, or when spooling film onto developing reels. Wierd, huh? :)

Not weird at all. If you're not using your eyes, why waste the energy to keep them open? :p