View Full Version : Possible Light Leak??

Nicholas White
25-Jan-2013, 14:37
Hey everyone! This is my first post on this forum, so apologies if this is something you regularly get asked about!

I'm a final year photography student; and began playing with large format last year. I'm currently working on a project that involves a lot of hiking; and I was originally shooting on a Sinar F1 but soon realized that this was just far too bulky for my needs (mainly the tripod). Having said that, the results I got from that camera were fantastic. I moved across to a field camera that I borrowed from a friend. I trusted him when he said the camera "was fine" and after familiarizing myself with it - headed out and began shooting. I just received the negs back from a lab, and was pretty upset/annoyed/confused with what appears to be a light leak. It doesn't look like the sort of leak you would expect from the bellows. I shot with the same darkslides and lens as I had the week previously on the Sinar, so I doubt that these are the culprits.

The leak doesn't appear on all of the negs, but when it does appear, it is in the same place but varies in width. On the neg, it is on the edge that sits at the "bottom" of the darkslide, which confuses me even more. I have attached a low-res scan of one of the shots and you can see the leak on the far right hand side of the frame. Any suggestions would be great!

NB: I don't know if its just my eyes playing tricks on me, but there seems to be a faint line that runs around the frame near the very edge. The cast is also horrible; which could either mean hours of photoshop pain or is it due to dirty chemicals in the lab?

Thanks All,



Nicholas White
25-Jan-2013, 14:40
Just for comparison purposes; here is a shot taken on the same day as the above image. I had no problems with cast and no "light leaks" at what-so-ever. I'm so confused!


Light Guru
25-Jan-2013, 14:51
The leak doesn't appear on all of the negs, but when it does appear, it is in the same place but varies in width. On the neg, it is on the edge that sits at the "bottom" of the darkslide

You probably have a bad holder, or they were not loaded properly, but im betting its the holder. The light is obviously coming from where the edge of the dark slide sits at the bottom

25-Jan-2013, 17:00
On high key subjects like this, it is awfully hard to see the scope of the leak, and without the code notches showing on the film,, it is also had to determine which end of the holder or camera the leak is coming from. Any chance you have some images that show the leak on a darker background, and can you tell us how the film was oriented in the camera so it might be easier to assess where the problem originates? If it is the holder, it could also well be from the slot where the slide goes in as the light trap in there can compress over time and with hard use.

C. D. Keth
25-Jan-2013, 18:42
If you can, load all of your holders with sheets of photo paper labeled on the back with the number of the holder that sheet of paper is loaded into. Then take them outdoors and just rotate them around in full sun. Your goal is to expose the closed holder to sun from every angle. Go back inside and develop all the paper. That should very clearly point out any leaks in your holders. Once that is done, you can do a similar thing but with a holder in the camera, darkslide out and the lens closed. Rack the bellows the whole way out and back in then turn 180 degrees and do it again.

Jerry Bodine
25-Jan-2013, 23:44
Also a good habit to form is to apply some pressure (thumb/forefinger squeeze) to hold the GG frame against the holder when withdrawing & inserting the darkslide. This will prevent any tendency to separate the holder from its seat and allow light to strike the film. This can happen especially when working quickly and likely random occurrences. Don't ask how I know!