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Thread: long exposure light leak?

  1. #1

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    long exposure light leak?

    Hi,

    Been trying some long exposure photography in the mornings. Exposure time 5 minutes, 2-stop centre filter, polariser and 3-stop hard grad.

    Nearly every shot is showing some sort of light leak coming from the top of the shot. The strongest band of light that leaks in from the top is in the same place every time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have changed film holders but the result is the same.

    Could this be due to stacking the polariser and grad? Could it be a leak from somewhere else?

    Many thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    mitch
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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    check your view finder is covered

  3. #3
    mitch
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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    sorry cover the top of your film holder with your dark cloth

  4. #4

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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by wager123 View Post
    sorry cover the top of your film holder with your dark cloth
    Many thanks for your advice. Shall try placing the dark cloth over the holder, bellows and front standard.

    It's such a pain as everything else is working well. I changed to using ID11 at stock, and agitating once a minute which reduced the grain.

  5. #5

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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    the top of that photo is actually the bottom of your film holder or camera. its inverted.

  6. #6

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    Unhappy Re: long exposure light leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Ron View Post
    the top of that photo is actually the bottom of your film holder or camera. its inverted.
    So light maybe leaking from the bottom where the film-holder meets the standard

    Is there any cure for this (apart from a new rear standard)?

  7. #7
    loujon
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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    I would take your camera with a holder inserted in the spring back in a dark room put a bright flashlight inside the bellows and sit for 5-10 min until your eyes adjust & see if you get a hint of light making it's way out anywhere camera bellows,spring back.
    You will also want to make sure you have no leaks in the holder/holders so do a paper test in your holders by putting a piece of RC paper in each side of the holder put them in strong light for a few hours then develop in Dektol or like paper developer and see if your troubles there. I doubt this but worth checking.

  8. #8
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattKHardy View Post
    Nearly every shot is showing some sort of light leak coming from the top of the shot. The strongest band of light that leaks in from the top is in the same place every time.
    If it's consistent across film holders, it's the camera and not the film holders. Most likely the springs that pull the back toward the camera body to "squeeze" the film holder aren't doing the job like they should. Easy enough to check. When you insert the film holder (before you pull the dark slide) use your hand to squeeze the "package" together -- that is, squeeze the camera body, film holder, and ground glass frame together, especially across the bottom where the light leak is. You can even tape (opaque) across the bottom of the camera (where your light leak is coming from) if you want. If that doesn't make it go away, the leak is farther forward. Maybe where the bellows attaches to the back.

    The other thing to consider is whether the film holder is seating properly. Early in my LF learning curve I missed some good shots because I got in a hurry and didn't seat the film holder properly. Learned that lesson and hundreds more besides. LF photography is more exacting than I thought when I started out.

    Bruce Watson

  9. #9
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    Some view of the negative might be helpful so one does not have to guess. Otherwise, guessing most people would insert the film holder from the top when making this shot, so that puts the light leak at the film notch side, yes? Do you open the film bags at the notch side? Maybe the bag is not sealed to light after opening? Do you process in some kind of tank with the film notches up? Maybe to tank top leaks light. Or check light leaks on the attachment of the bellows and film back on the bottom of the camera.

  10. #10

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    Re: long exposure light leak?

    Uhhh, film notches can go on either side of the film holder... just depends on how you like to load your film. Many people load filmholders with the notches up. My notches are always at the bottom (flap-side) of the holder so they have less tendency to impinge on the image area and so I can check to make sure the emulsion side is up just before closing the flap and inserting the dark slide.

    I concur that the leak may be due to a misfit between either the camera back and holder or the camera back itself, but don't rule out leaks from the top of the back/holder area either, since that is where the light comes from... Do check the fit of both back and holder, but don't discount a small bellows leak just forward of the rear standard on the top of the bellows or where the bellows attaches to the camera.

    Light traps in film holders aren't designed to be left open for minutes at a time either. Using the dark cloth over the whole camera for long exposures is a good idea if the wind allows. If not, you can do what I have: build a small cover out of old film boxes (they're black) that slips over the top of the filmholder when the slide is pulled.

    Best,

    Doremus

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