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Thread: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

  1. #11
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    in my beginning i sometimes got the film completely outside the DDS and hiding in bellows

  2. #12

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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Stopped using a changing bag decades ago. Too many things can go so very wrong in so many ways. Solution to this was to load up as many film holders as needed. This could be any where from one to thirty or more film holders (smaller sheet film sizes have a distinct advantage here).

    On the dark room film loading table. Have ALL the film holders prepped by a good cleaning, dust removal by vacuum and make sure the dark slide slot is clean / dust/dirt free and the dark slide moves in and out of the film holder easy no scarping. Check the film holder flap tape for cracks and wear. If needed, replace the film holder flap tape with black book binder tape.

    Loading film:

    ~Set up the film box, film holder stack and pre determine locations for where the loaded film holders rest when loaded with film on the film loading table.

    ~Check dark slide orientation, typically white side facing out on the dark slide.

    ~In the dark, open the box of film, remove the film stack from the foil pouch, locate the film notches under the interfacing/separating paper. Orient the film notches as they would sit inside the film holder.

    ~Make sure the interfacing/separating paper is removed from the film before trying to load each sheet of film as the other common problem is loading a sheet of film with the paper stuck to it. Paper stuck to film can still fit into the film holder side slots, but will be much tighter than with no paper on top of the film. Set up a stack of film with the notches oriented emulsion side up (notch at lower right hand corner). Typically on top of the open film box.

    ~Dark slide pulled back 2/3 ways or more on the film holder, fully open the film holder flap using thumb / index or middle finger to hold the flap open. Finger and thumb also serve as guides to assure the sheet of film goes into the film holder edges that support the film. Slide the sheet of film into the film holder. Check for proper seating of the film sheet by lifting the sheet of film away from the film holder back at the film holder back recess cut out or at the film holder flap opening end. If the film is properly seated/loaded, the sheet of film sit absolute flat on the back of the film holder and inside the two film holder rails.

    ~Close the film holder flap, push the dark slide back into the closed position, flip the film holder over and repeat. Repeat as needed until the number of film holders needed is done.

    ~Shake/listen to the film holder can verify film is loaded into the film holder.

    ~Put the unused sheet film back into its foil pouch, fold the end over to help seal the film in, back in the film box, close up the film box with the interlocking inner box cover, then outer box cover.

    ~Check all light sensitive stuff involved before lights on or door open.


    Bernice

  3. #13
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    The OP is not checking to make sure the film is under both rails. After sliding the film in, use ones fingers to check for the end of the rails. If you can't feel the end of the rails, the film is above them instead of below them.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #14

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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Steven,

    The problem you're having means that you are loading some sheets without getting them under the hold-down rails inside the film holder on at least one side. There's no other reasonable explanation. Toyo holders are good, the film you're using is likely from a major manufacturer and, therefore, also fine (i.e., not too small).

    We've all had this problem every now and then, so don't feel alone.

    So, the answer is simple: refine your holder-loading technique.

    Here's what I do: I pull the darkslide at least halfway, then I take a sheet by the edges in one hand (my right, since I'm right-handed) and I put thumb and index finger of my left hand on the ends of the hold-down rails. This latter prevents the film from going past my fingers without getting under the rails.

    I like to position the code notch at the bottom left of my holders (flap end = bottom), so after sliding the film all the way in, I feel for the code notch to make sure it's where it's supposed to be, and then I pull up on both bottom corners, one-at-a-time, and rather robustly, to make sure the film is really under the rails.

    Vaughn's method of feeling for the ends of the rails would work too (and in addition to the above).

    Since I started doing these things, I haven't had a misload (knock on wood...).

    Best,

    Doremus

  5. #15

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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    I frequently load the 8X10 camera, a Toyo810M, from below when the sun is high overhead so that I don't fog a film when inserting or pulling out a slide. I will do this in 4X5 too. Even when loading upside down, I have never had this happen. Fildelity, Lisco, Graphic, etc. plastic holders.

  6. #16
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    I notice that if there's any hestiancy to the dark slide sliding back without resistance at the end, then I screwed up and have to reseat the film.

  7. #17
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    The OP is not checking to make sure the film is under both rails. After sliding the film in, use ones fingers to check for the end of the rails. If you can't feel the end of the rails, the film is above them instead of below them.
    This. I've never had it happen in 40 years of LF.

  8. #18

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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Insert the film at an angle and you eliminate the problem. If you insert the film flat it can ride up on the rails due to interference from the flap.

  9. #19

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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Quote Originally Posted by PRJ View Post
    Insert the film at an angle and you eliminate the problem. If you insert the film flat it can ride up on the rails due to interference from the flap.
    I assume that everybody does this. If not, it definitely helps ensure that the film feeds under the rails.

  10. #20

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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Stopped using a changing bag decades ago. Too many things can go so very wrong in so many ways.
    I wish I read this three years ago, it would have save me so much pain. I have only recently stopped using a changing bag for loading / unloading films (the bag seemed so convenient), and it's been a real revelation. Even in temperatures of around 20C, my hands just sweat too much, this creates too much humidity inside the small air volume, and then the film becomes difficult to slide in due to condensation on the holders, and, in the worst cases, impossible to get out again later. At most I could ever manage to load 4 sheets at a time, then the bag would have to aired to dry out.

    One thing about loading film in a darkroom, be weary of forgotten red lights. I have a temperature sensor and a smoke alarm in there, and these have little red lights that occasionally flash. They are not a problem for working with B&W paper, though I cover the LEDs with a bit of black tape anyway. Turns out because the plastic housings are white this is not enough to achieve complete darkness, as I only discovered the first time loading 4x5 film.

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