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Thread: Did I just ruin my film?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Did I just ruin my film?

    Sorry, for the beginner question, but I'm on vacation and was loading some new film in a changing tent. I had just opened the box and taken the film out when, without thinking, I took my arm out of the changing tent to reach for an article I printed out on how to load the film.

    The room was pretty bright with a window opened. I put my arm back in quickly, but have I ruined all of the film? Each sheet was stacked on top of each other, so is it possible that only the top sheet is ruined?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    Possibly.
    The elastic in the sleeves of most tents are pretty good at self closing so unless you stretched them open and held them out so light could directly enter the tent and onto the stack of film, then maybe not.
    But you won't know for certain until you develop your film.
    Keep good thoughts!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    One thing is for certain. That's one mistake that you won't make again.

    That's the thing about large format. There are lots more ways to make mistakes and just when you think you made all of them then you do something else!

    Good luck to you!

  4. #4

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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    Most likely only the top sheet or two of film were fogged. Undeveloped film is fairly opaque.

    Be sure to mark the sheet film holders of those two. Then use them for tests or other non-important images.

    Sheets of film under the first two might have some edge fog. Only after developing those will you know.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    Quote Originally Posted by nimo956 View Post
    The room was pretty bright with a window opened. I put my arm back in quickly, but have I ruined all of the film?
    Did you put your arm back in less than 1/50 s? Less than 1/100s? There is your answer.

  6. #6
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    When you come home from vacation, make sure you don't put any film (exposed or unexposed) in your checked luggage. Only in carry-on.

    Thus speaks experience...

  7. #7
    Old School Wayne
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    Dec 1999
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    I once had a box full of exposed undeveloped sheets and a box of developed sheets. I opened the box of exposed undeveloped sheets in daylight, and with a sound something like that of a mad cow giving birth I slammed the box shut. Only the top ones were ruined, the others had diminishing amounts of edge "fog" and some were just fine. But these were in the box at all times. .

  8. #8
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    Possibly but not likely. I have done that more than once and never had a problem.

    None of us were born with this knowledge we had to learn about photography too.
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  9. #9

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    Jan 2012
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    Just to give everyone an update, I returned home from my trip to Acadia National Park and got my film developed. All of it was fine, and there was no edge fog. It's true, however, that there are countless ways to ruin a photo. In more than one instance of trying to use my new WA lens, my hand appears in front of the lens!!! I'll post pictures when I get everything scanned.

  10. #10

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    Mar 2005
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    Re: Did I just ruin my film?

    Then there are those times when a willful premature withdrawal of hands from the changing bag is almost a given....as in while being bombarded by mosquitoes! Cannot say how many times I've come dangerously close to doing this!

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