View Full Version : Newbie question.....

21-Dec-2011, 12:20
Ok, someone has to ask the dumb questions......
I bought my first box of 5x4 film - Ilford 125. It comes in a little box and I cannot open it until the film changing bag arrives. So what is under the lid, when I first open the box? In other words is the film sitting one sheet on top of another, or is it inside wrapping, or what? I have no idea!!

21-Dec-2011, 12:47
There are two lids, and then a lightproof plastic bag,
with the open end folded over. Inside that, the film
sits inside a cardboard sleeve. You can do it!

Robert Oliver
21-Dec-2011, 12:54
Your first homework assignment is to read this text....


MIke Sherck
21-Dec-2011, 13:09
A couple of "buts". The film is inside a black plastic bag with the end folded over. It is likely that the bag is lightproof BUT it isn't intended to be the film's sole defense against light and don't trust it to be so! Keep everything inside all the packaging until you are safely ensconced inside a truly dark and locked darkroom.

Dust is The Enemy. It's amazing how a couple of specs of dust manage to migrate to the only smooth tones on the entire negative! Clean the darkroom thoroughly before you open the box, clean the film holders before you open the film box, and if possible try to make sure the humidity isn't so dry that static electricity makes its little lightning bolts over the surface of your film as you load it in the dark.

21-Dec-2011, 18:20
I use Ilford and Fuji film in 4x5 and 8x10.

In some types of film, the bag containing the film is completely sealed.
You unfold the end (about an inch long) and then cut the sealed end off with a pair of scissors (in complete darkness, obviously).

Some film types come in unsealed bags, some in sealed bags. Any given film type will always use the same packaging.

Also, on some films there is no third box part; only two, like a normal box.

- Leigh

26-Dec-2011, 10:07
Here's a youtube clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHegx8LiPSk&feature=related) which may be of help. It deals with Kodak colour film but the use of Ilford film is the same except that the inner bag is black plastic and just folded over.

26-Dec-2011, 10:09
I should have added that it will pay you to sacrifice a couple of sheets of your film so that you can practice loading / unloading your darkslides in daylight.

27-Dec-2011, 16:30
Ditto on the dust and you should blow film holders out with a hand held blower, not you warm moist breath out of you mouth, each time you load film! I seem to recall the Gittos blowers have a better release agent so there is, in theory, less material left inside after assembly. Some will load film in their holders then store in zip lock bags prior to shooting. Also use a vacuum cleaner to clean camera bags every so often.

Richard M. Coda
27-Dec-2011, 16:56
Or you can cut some pieces of mylar or plastic sheet to 4x5" and practice with those instead of wasting expensive film.

Richard M. Coda
27-Dec-2011, 19:02
Scorpions! Three-inches-long scorpions.

If you can't feel them when you open the box . . . don't worry. They always run towards the sleeve openings inside your changing bag. They'll come out when you remove your hands from the bag.


You mean like this one I found in my garage a few years ago?

Richard M. Coda
27-Dec-2011, 20:20
Yep! Tis one of them there devils. It was so dry this year, I had to eliminated six within a three week period. Four of which made it clean into the house. Looking for food I suppose. Turning on the light after a printing session to find one at your feet is a "notable moment" that all darkroom operators should experience at least once. :eek:

How do you eliminate them? I go after them with needle nose pliers then put them down the garbage disposal!

Jim Andrada
27-Dec-2011, 21:51
Or you can mince them by repeated quick motions of the dark slides. Or send in a cat - They seem to not be affected by the venom.

Had one in the living room a few weeks back - this year has been a two tarantula, one scorpion, and three rattlesnake in the house year. I love Arizona - it keeps you so alert.