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Thread: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

  1. #1
    Foamer
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    Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    A continuation of my post in the processing forum, "Processing Woes."

    I've determined that my problem isn't processing but is light leaks on the camera back. The back would not seat tightly into the rear standard so I carefully looked at all four clips on the standard and the eight pins on the 8x10 back. Turns out there was one pin missing from the back, so I replaced it. Another wasn't sitting up high enough to reliably catch so I pulled it up with pliers. Second issue were the clips. The one on the lower right was bent downwards, and allowed the back to rock back and forth. It also wasn't pulling the back tightly against the standard. I unscrewed and removed the clip, carefully and slowly bent it back into position and reinstalled. The clip on the top left was also bent, this time upwards. I removed it and carefully bent it downwards just a bit, reinstalled. Rechecking, this seemed to pull the back up much tighter. There is still some light showing when I stick a bright flashlight inside and shine it directly through the crack, but when I do the same thing with my 5x7 Gundlach Korona it does the same thing but doesn't show any fogging on my film. The other problem is the 8x10 back is slightly warped (checked it by placing on a sheet of glass.) The adjustments to the clips seem to have been enough to pull the back into shape when mounted.

    Now for the final issue. I tried three different film holders in the 8x10 back and saw the same thing. They don't seem to cover the opening completely, especially the top corners (with back in portrait/vertical orientation.) No amount of fiddling could totally eliminate this. The two film backs I tried (a modern plastic one and a vintage black Kodak wooden one) both have a ridge/lip along the top to act as a light trap, but they don' go far enough across to completely seal. Today I received a Stenopeika wet plate holder. It has no ridges on the face at all and there is a bit more light leak. Not sure what to think about this. The Chamonix and Lund do have a ridge, but don't accept full cut 8x10. Not sure what to do. If I try the Stenopeika and it doesn't work for me don't know if I can return it used. I have a Lund 4x5 wet plate holder but don't like it--very fiddly and cheap. I have a Chamonix 5x7 wet plate holder and like it as it's very well built but it won't take full size 5x7 (or 8x10 plates). Hopefully the light leak of the Stenopeika won't matter but it clearly doesn't seal up as well as my Chamonix and Lund do in my Chamonix 045n and Gundlach Korona 5x7. It's also very bulky and heavy.

    There are a few things I like about the Kodak 2D, mainly the big 6 inch lens boards, but all in all I might have been happier with the more finely finished Gundlach Korona 8x10. I'll see how the 2D works now that I've adjusted the clips. Crossing my fingers! Any suggestions, I'm listening!


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  2. #2

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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    A photo of the misalignment problem (gap) between holder and seat/back would be worth a thousand words...

    There are a lot of 2D owners out there who can diagnose your problem at a glance.

    Doremus

  3. #3

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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    How old is the D2? I wonder if was made for the older plate holders and not the more modern film holders. Were plate holders a standard size or specific to the manufacturer? If it was made for the older plate holders it probably won't accept a newer film holder.

    I don't have these answers, but someone here does.

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    Camera backs are not necessarily designed to be light tight without a film holder in it. Testing with a holder installed is needed -- not sure you have done it by your post.

    I am not sure what you mean by your holders do not completely cover the opening...what opening? My holders (4x5 to 11x14) all seem to have a certain amount of wiggle room side-to-side when in 'portrait mode' -- up to 1/8 inch with the Chamonix 11x14, my Zone VI 8x10 and my 2D 8x10. Never has been a problem -- enough wood to holder contact 360 degrees. If it is a problem, glue some felt in, perhaps?
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5
    jim_jm's Avatar
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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    I've got a later 8x10 2D (1940's) and a 5x7 Eastman View #2 from before 1920, and they both use standard film and dry plate holders without any problem. Even though they're decades apart, construction and design are almost identical.
    After refurbishing the 2D, it did take time to diagnose a few light leaks coming from where the 8x10 back attached to the rear standard, mostly in the corners. I've been able to identify and mitigate all of these by shining a flashlight from inside the camera, then adding adhesive foam/felt strips where appropriate. I use printing paper rather than film for light leak testing as it's quite a bit cheaper.
    I've also found that some holders are prone to leaks if you insert the dark slides corner-first, rather than straight in.

  6. #6
    Bertha DeCool
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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    Quote Originally Posted by jim_jm View Post
    I've also found that some holders are prone to leaks if you insert the dark slides corner-first, rather than straight in.
    ALWAYS straight in!

  7. #7
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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    I went out and shot two sheets as a test. Lens was a Nikon 300mm f9 M known to be good. I used the modern Lisco Regal holder, FP4+. Conditions were heavy overcast--exposure was ISO 125, f32, 1/2s. Film holder was slid into the back from the camera left (as facing the waterfall.) First shot I made sure the film holder was locked in front and rear, covering any visible gap against the holder. Second shot was the same everything only this time I placed my black jacket over the rear of the camera. I did have trouble inserting the floppy darkslide back in and I think I did try sticking just a corner in first.

    So, while I've improved the light leak I haven't eliminated it by any means. Note how the image looks normal on the left side, which was opposite where the darkslide goes in, and was opened so I could pull it out. What sort of photos of the camera back can I take to help you better diagnose?


    Kent in SD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails K2Dfalls3aP.jpg   K2Dfalls3bP.jpg  
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  8. #8
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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    I put my 5x7 back on the 2D and headed back to the falls this afternoon. Pretty much the same conditions--heavy overcast/light mist, 22 F degrees. I took two shots using Fuji 180mm f5.6 lens: ISO 125, f32, 1/2s. I took one shot with the back covered with a black jacket and one uncovered. There was no difference! This means the light leak is with the 8x10 back, which narrows it down for me. Now on to something else I think I've figured out. Notice the weird look of the falls? I been getting that in all my photos with this camera. At first I thought it was a processing error, then thought it was a light leak. I now think it's a natural phenomenon. I think it's freezing spray coming off the waterfall, and the long shutter speed is making it appear as a shiny surface? The part of the image where there would be no fine mist/spray is perfectly clear as I would expect.

    Now back to tracking down and fixing that damn light leak on the 8x10 back! It's costing me money.


    Kent in SD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails K2D57m.jpg  
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  9. #9

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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    Be persistent, Kent; light leaks can be difficult to track down. You'll get there, though.
    Remember that Edward Weston suffered from similar troubles with his cameras... and overcame them to make many memorable photographs. (And complained bitterly about light leaks, numerous times, in his Daybooks.)

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Kodak 2D Light Leaks

    Setting up on snow, you'll also have a considerable amount of light coming up from the snow below the camera..
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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