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Elementary questions on film handling.



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 4th 05, 09:43 AM
Liopleurodon
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Default Elementary questions on film handling.

Hi all,

I'm just starting out on the B&W develope and process road, and am slowly
gathering the gear to start a basic darkroom.

Everything I've read states that unexposed film (I'll be using B&W 35mm)
needs to be handled in complete darkness, you can't even use a safelight
with it. So I have to practice loading the bulk film loader and then the
developing tank in complete darkness.

My two questions a

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face? Obviously handling on the edges would be better, but in
complete darkness with my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading the
developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least once.Would this ruin
that patch, or is it ok as long as the touch is light?

With thanks.


--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".

-----


  #2  
Old November 4th 05, 10:10 AM
David Nebenzahl
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Default Elementary questions on film handling.

Liopleurodon spake thus:

I'm just starting out on the B&W develope and process road, and am slowly
gathering the gear to start a basic darkroom.

Everything I've read states that unexposed film (I'll be using B&W 35mm)
needs to be handled in complete darkness, you can't even use a safelight
with it. So I have to practice loading the bulk film loader and then the
developing tank in complete darkness.

My two questions a

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?


Nope, at least not for the type of film you'll probably be using, which
is referred to as panchromatic (meaning sensitive to all colors). You
can use a safelight with some orthochromatic film, which isn't [as]
sensitive to certain colors, but what you heard is true: *any* light
will fog the (pan) film.

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face?


Pretty important: skin oils can interfere with development and leave an
ugly impression on the image.

Relax; it sounds like you have the same jitters everyone has before they
actually handle film. There's an easy way to avoid all the potential
problems you're imagining: practice. Use some spare film and practice
loading it until you get the hang of it.
  #3  
Old November 4th 05, 10:20 AM
Keith Tapscott
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Default Elementary questions on film handling.

You really have to load and unload film in total darkness and you will need
plenty of practice to get it right, I personally prefer to buy 135 film in
36 exposure rolls. There may be a chance of scratching the emulsion with
bulk film loaders if it is not done carefully.
It is very important not to touch the emulsion with your fingers as there
may be smears on the film which come from the natural oils in your skin,
this can show up when enlargements are made.
Using a bulk film loader would be better once you become more familiar with
loading a film spiral for film processing.
Unless you are going to be shooting and processing a great deal of films, I
would shelve the bulk loader and buy film in 36 exposure or 24 exposure
rolls, despite the slightly higher cost the convenience far out weighs the
hassle of using a film loader.

"Liopleurodon" wrote in message
...
Hi all,

I'm just starting out on the B&W develope and process road, and am slowly
gathering the gear to start a basic darkroom.

Everything I've read states that unexposed film (I'll be using B&W 35mm)
needs to be handled in complete darkness, you can't even use a safelight
with it. So I have to practice loading the bulk film loader and then the
developing tank in complete darkness.

My two questions a

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face? Obviously handling on the edges would be better, but in
complete darkness with my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading the
developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least once.Would this ruin
that patch, or is it ok as long as the touch is light?

With thanks.


--
Richard "Productively wasting time"

If replying directly, remove "aqua".

-----




  #4  
Old November 4th 05, 11:49 AM
Gilbert
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Default Elementary questions on film handling.


Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?


Yes. Look at this thread :
http://www.apug.org/forums/showthrea...night+vi sion

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face? Obviously handling on the edges would be better, but in
complete darkness with my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading the
developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least once.Would this ruin
that patch, or is it ok as long as the touch is light?


Fingerprints from loading modern film onthe spool don't show when
developed immediately afterwards. The developer is alkaine which seems
to dissolve the skinoil. But IR film does show the fingerprints.

Gilbert
Gilbert

_____________
http://www.apug.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15
Fans van films
  #5  
Old November 4th 05, 01:25 PM
Jean-David Beyer
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Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

Liopleurodon wrote:
Hi all,

I'm just starting out on the B&W develope and process road, and am slowly
gathering the gear to start a basic darkroom.

Everything I've read states that unexposed film (I'll be using B&W 35mm)
needs to be handled in complete darkness, you can't even use a safelight
with it. So I have to practice loading the bulk film loader and then the
developing tank in complete darkness.

My two questions a

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?


I once went to the Kodak Kodachrome processing plan in Fair Lawn, New
Jersey. Recall that Kodachrome had an EI of 25 and 64. After I went there, I
believe they came out with some with an EI of 200, but that may be my memory
playing tricks with me.

They had a safelight up in the corner of the room right near the ceiling. I
believe it was a #3 or a #13. Anyhow, it was a dark green one, so dim all it
was bright enough for is to see where it was. They said this was to help you
orient yourself in the room. Normally, it was turned off.

Anything else they worried would fog film. And we are talking about slow
film here.

So no safelight for normal film. I do use Kodak OrthoLith film where a #1
red safelight with this, but it is insensitive to red. I often use it like
paper in my enlarger, and the red light helps me find the easel to put it
in. It would be better if the film had notches so I could tell the emulsion
side, but it does not. So I do like with color RC paper. I swish my dry
thumb ever so gently over it and listen. The emulsion side sounds a bit
different from the reverse.

If you can get a roll of outdated 35mm film cheap (really cheap), you might
practice with putting it into the film loader with the lights on, then with
a dim safelight, then in the dark. The main thing to watch out for is that
this stuff comes on a little plastic core that will fall out if you are not
careful. It may be that it is OK if the core falls out, but I like to keep
it in. It is not a spool with sides. But once it is in the loader, you can
do everything else with the lights on. I use an 0C safelight, but I am
probably being paranoid about this.

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face? Obviously handling on the edges would be better, but
in complete darkness with my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading
the developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least once.Would this
ruin that patch, or is it ok as long as the touch is light?

You should not touch the area where the image is going to be. But when
loading the loader, or loading the film into casettes, there is no problem,
because you will be touching the leader, and you will not be exposing images
there. You should wash the chocolate syrup, or salad oil, off your hands,
etc., before doing this, but otherwise, normal care should suffice.


--
.~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
/V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
/( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
^^-^^ 07:10:00 up 26 days, 6:33, 4 users, load average: 4.29, 4.18, 4.06
  #6  
Old November 4th 05, 01:59 PM
Gregory Blank
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Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

In article ,
"Liopleurodon" wrote:

Hi all,

I'm just starting out on the B&W develope and process road, and am slowly
gathering the gear to start a basic darkroom.

Everything I've read states that unexposed film (I'll be using B&W 35mm)
needs to be handled in complete darkness, you can't even use a safelight
with it. So I have to practice loading the bulk film loader and then the
developing tank in complete darkness.

My two questions a

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?


You could certainly use night vision goggles, certain older emulsions
will tolerate the use of a dark green safe light for short durations.
The safe light is used for development inspection after the film has been
shot and is in the developer.


When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face?


Its a very good idea not to touch the film, but unless your really man
handling it the places you touch probably won't appear on the final
product.

Obviously handling on the edges would be better, but in
complete darkness with my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading the
developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least once.Would this ruin
that patch, or is it ok as long as the touch is light?

With thanks.

  #7  
Old November 4th 05, 05:05 PM
Nicholas O. Lindan
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Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

"Liopleurodon" wrote

Has anyone found a way of [handling film] not doing
this in complete darkness


Doing it in the dark is no problem after you get the knack,
there is a bumper sticker there somewhere. Get a few rolls
of expired/trashed/cheap film and practice in the daylight/
with eyes closed/in the dark until you get it. If it is
not going well, put it away and try again in a few hours/days
- sometimes the film, she justa don' wanna go.

Sweat will mark the film: keep a towel handy to keep hands
dry. If it is hot and sticky a fan can be a help.

With 35mm film there is _no_ reason to have to touch the
film face.

Most find the plastic Paterson reels to be easier to load
when starting out.

Some find that keeping the film in the cassette when loading
helps. Pull the tongue out with a 'leader retriever' or by
popping the cassette open, pulling the tongue and slipping
the spool back into the opened cassette.

If your camera winds the film 'backwards' [most manual
load 35mm cameras] and the film has been in the camera
for a while then it will take a reverse set and be hard
to load and handle. You may want to let the film rest in
the cassette for a few days or load the film from the
cassette

There are a few gadgets around to make loading film on
the reels supposedly easier. I have never tried them.

--
Nicholas O. Lindan, Cleveland, Ohio
Consulting Engineer: Electronics; Informatics; Photonics.
To reply, remove spaces: n o lindan at ix . netcom . com
Fstop timer - http://www.nolindan.com/da/fstop/index.htm
  #8  
Old November 4th 05, 05:21 PM
Rod Smith
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Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

In article ,
"Keith Tapscott" writes:

Using a bulk film loader would be better once you become more familiar with
loading a film spiral for film processing.


I concur. For somebody just getting started in darkroom work, it's
probably best to begin with pre-rolled film. It is admittedly more
expensive in the long run, but there's enough to learn about processing
film without complicating matters from the start with the bulk-loading
step. If you (the OP, that is) are concerned about cost, you can put bulk
loading high on your list of priorities, but AFTER you've mastered loading
film on a developing spool and processing it.

--
Rod Smith,
http://www.rodsbooks.com
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
  #9  
Old November 4th 05, 05:23 PM
Rob Novak
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Default Elementary questions on film handling.

On Fri, 04 Nov 2005 08:43:09 GMT, "Liopleurodon"
wrote:

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?


Yep - called a "changing bag." Oh - you mean, is there any way to
perform the process visually rather than by feel? Nope - not with
panchromatic films, which have sensitivity into the near infrared.
They must be handled in complete darkness - no safelights, no special
illumination.

That being said, learning how to load your film reels and/or bulk
loader in the dark is just a matter of practice. People have been
doing it for years, and it doesn't take long to acquire as a skill,
unless you have no coordination at all.

When handling the film, how important is it to keep your fingers off the
actual film face? Obviously handling on the edges would be better, but in


It's very important to keep your fingerprints off the emulsion side of
the film. Any oil/moisture from your hands is going to result in
uneven development at that point, and yes it will be visible on the
developed negative. Oils will inhibit development at the point of
deposit.

complete darkness with my clumsy fingers, I can imagine when loading the
developing reel I'm gonna grab the film face at least once.Would this ruin
that patch, or is it ok as long as the touch is light?


When loading film reels, honestly the place you're most likely to
contact a non-edge surface is on the shiny backing side of the film.
As for touching the emulsion side - just don't do it. Once you get
past feeding the leader onto the reel, you should only be touching the
edges, period. Practice in daylight with a sacrificial roll until you
get the hang of loading your film properly. Make sure your reels are
dry - moisture on the reels will cause the gelatin emulsion to get
sticky and prevent smooth feeding. I personally find
Paterson/JOBO-type plastic spiral reels (where you crank opposite
sides to load the film in) easier to load than stainless ones - it's
way too easy to misload the metal versions if you're not careful.
Once the plastic spirals are started, it's almost impossible to
misload them.
--
Strange, Geometrical Hinges: http://rob.rnovak.net
  #10  
Old November 4th 05, 06:34 PM
Francis A. Miniter
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Posts: n/a
Default Elementary questions on film handling.

Gilbert wrote:

Has anyone found a way of not doing this in complete darkness, eg.
night-vision, infra-red or special safelight filter?



Yes. Look at this thread :
http://www.apug.org/forums/showthrea...night+vi sion
snip

Gilbert


The only light that I have heard to be safe during development of
panchromatic is in the following situation. When developing sheet film
(don't try this with 35 mm film, it is too small to inspect properly),
after the film has been in the developer bath for about 3/4 of the
allotted time, you may hold it up briefly in front of a dim, dark green
safelight for purposes of inspection of the degree of contrast obtained.


Francis A. Miniter
 




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