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

  1. #21

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

    I gave up loading film in a changing bag after the first time i tried it. Since then besides my darkroom, I've loaded film in lots of hotel & motel bathrooms, just blocking the bottom of the door with a towel.

  2. #22

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

    By pulling the dark slide all the way out before loading the film, chances seem good that you will notice an improperly loaded sheet when you reinsert the dark slide. Removing the dark slide also allows me to test proper loading by inserting a fingernail under the rail at the top and bottom ends... if I can't, I know the film is riding over the rail.

    Doremus, when you mention that you "like to position the code notch at the bottom left of my holders (flap end = bottom)" ... is there another option?

  3. #23
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Just a matter of right technique, getting the film fully under the grooves and seated all the way back. Makes no difference if a film tent is involved except that the space might be a little cramped is the tent is too small, so need a little more practice. Undersized film is not a worry if you stick with reputable brands. Anyway, I over 40 years of view camera use, I've never had the problem under question.

  4. #24

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

    Quote Originally Posted by tomwilliams View Post
    ... Doremus, when you mention that you "like to position the code notch at the bottom left of my holders (flap end = bottom)" ... is there another option?
    Tom,

    Well, yes. You can also position the code notch at the top right of the holder, i.e., at the light-trap end, just as well. My problem with that orientation is that the film slides down in some of the holders I have and the code notches end up impinging on the image area a bit. Usually, this is not a problem, but sometimes I want every last mm of image.

    So, I position the code notch at the flap end, where it won't impinge on the image and where I can check easily for proper orientation (i.e., if the emulsion side is truly up).

    Best,

    Doremus

  5. #25

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Tom,

    Well, yes. You can also position the code notch at the top right of the holder, i.e., at the light-trap end, just as well. My problem with that orientation is that the film slides down in some of the holders I have and the code notches end up impinging on the image area a bit. Usually, this is not a problem, but sometimes I want every last mm of image.

    So, I position the code notch at the flap end, where it won't impinge on the image and where I can check easily for proper orientation (i.e., if the emulsion side is truly up).

    Best,

    Doremus
    Doremus - roger, obvious now that you point it out.
    cheers, Tom

  6. #26
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    When I am in the field with 30 lbs of camera equipment and then food, etc. I not only do not have space for more than 5 or 6 holders, the weight of holders is nuts! No way I am backpacking with more than five! I will carry several boxes of film and a collapsable changing bag.

    If I am shooting from jeep different story.

  7. #27

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

    I have had this kind of issue 2-3 times when I just started with LF . Each time the film was inserted onto wrong rails (dark slide rail at least on one side of the holder instead of the film one).
    Since then I developed a habit of checking that each sheet is indeed held under the rails by sticking a nail over the film under each rail (each side of the holder). Only after that the dark slide gets closed. Not a single issue ever since.
    I never remove dark slides from the holders while loading. Just open them enough for the film to properly get in.

  8. #28
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep film ending up wrong side of dark slide after exposing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    When I am in the field with 30 lbs of camera equipment and then food, etc. I not only do not have space for more than 5 or 6 holders, the weight of holders is nuts! No way I am backpacking with more than five! ...
    My last backpack trip (solo) I took the 5x7 and 9 holders. Twenty-seven and a half pounds of camera gear. Six pounds of food (two nights). But a relatively easy hike (but mostly up a creek without a trail). Came back with some unexposed film...rained for a half-day, some wind other times. A couple nice negs, some other possibilities.

    Being a little more picky about images and no doubling up, I could probably get away with taking 6 holders. Spending a few bucks and going carbon fiber (and going headless) and taking off the sliding block on the camera could take off a few pounds off the support system (old Gitzo Studex legs and a Ball 1326 head). I'd be lucky to get it down to twenty pounds. Might be much cheaper and easier to take a friend (or son) with a strong back.

    But on topic...by feeling for the end of the rails, I do not mis-load my 4x5, 5x7, 8x10, or 11x14 holders.

    Edit to add: I saw Doremus' mention of gloves below. Before unloading/loading film, I'll get things set up, then do the dishes...that gets my hands nice and clean (and warm on winter days). Then I am careful not to touch soiled surfaces and I commence handling holders and film. Fingers do not produce oil, but one must still be as careful as if one was wearing gloves and not touch one's nose, etc.

    I might start wearing one of my masks to keep beard hairs from falling into a holder!
    Last edited by Vaughn; 12-Oct-2021 at 12:25.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #29

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

    A feature that should be present on every film holder, but unfortunately is not...is that little recess in the septum, at the midpoint on the loading flap end - making it easier to grasp the exposed film without scratching the emulsion with a fingernail. Very Frustrating! I do find that if I keep my fingernails on my right hand a bit longer this helps, as then it becomes easier to insert a fingernail underneath the film to facilitate unloading.

  10. #30

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

    Quote Originally Posted by John Layton View Post
    A feature that should be present on every film holder, but unfortunately is not...is that little recess in the septum, at the midpoint on the loading flap end - making it easier to grasp the exposed film without scratching the emulsion with a fingernail. Very Frustrating! I do find that if I keep my fingernails on my right hand a bit longer this helps, as then it becomes easier to insert a fingernail underneath the film to facilitate unloading.
    If you have trouble getting the the film out of the holder, just breathe on it once or twice (like you would for your glasses before cleaning them). Wait a few seconds and the film will "pop" so you'll be able to easily grab it.

    Blowing a puff of air under the edge of the film often frees it up too.

    I do both of these things a lot, since I unload with gloves on and getting a fingernail under the edge isn't an option.

    Best

    Doremus

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