Changing Bag and Sweaty Hands

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by daleeman, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Just had one of the more frustrating changing bag events. I load my film into reels inside a changing bag and then process the Nikor tanks in my makeshift setup and tear down bathroom/darkroom. Not light tight in there so I have submitted to the changing bag hell. My loving wife does not want me to make real or lasting changes to the "Guest's Bathroom" so I have to wonder if I am confined to the bag.

    Has anyone experienced troubles with sweat stains on film before? I just wondered if I would run into some issues since I had, for no good reason a hell of a session getting 35mm film into quality maintained reels.

    My loading 120 onto reels has no issues and goes much faster but today as my hands got sweatier the 35mm film seem to take on a life of its own.

    Any experience or suggestions here and no replacing the wife to make changes to the bathroom is not an option.

    Lee
     
  2. nhemann

    nhemann Member

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    is putting a small hand towel into the bag out of the question?

    I don't know if you use SS reels or not but after having a hell of a time with 35mm rolls, I started leaving a bit of the leader still hanging out (I fold or cut a corner so I know whats actually been shot) and then I preload the leaders onto the reels before it all goes dark inside the bag. Then its just the ratcheting on of the film I do in the dark - easy peasy.
     
  3. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    I had similar problems at one time when I too used a changing bag. Once I changed to using a 'tent' the problem stopped. I made the change really for more maneuvering room. The fact that the sweaty problem disappeared was an added bonus. The only thing I can think of is that the changing bag collapses around you leaving very little breathing room, whereas the tent allows for more air circulation. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it. :smile:
     
  4. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Mate I used to get very sweaty hands doing it in the summer and a number of times have leaked sweat onto both sheet film and 120 film.
    It's no problem now in the winter here, but I used to wait until night time and do it without a shirt on outside.
    Sorry, not much help!
     
  5. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I push a cardboard carton, the biggest one that will fit, into the changing bag and work inside that. Arm holes cut into the ends of the carton make things easy. Beer cartons work well!
     
  6. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Wow that's agreat idea Maris.
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    One trick is to wear surgical gloves, hands may sweat but it won't affect anything else.

    I second Maris' idea

    Also if you are willing to spend some cash, a changing tent is really nice.
     
  8. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Look into the Fuji Dark Box. There's one on ebay, now, but it's overpriced (IMO). I got one a few years ago for about $30 + shipping.
     
  9. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    I advise my students to use a shoebox turned on end. It works quite well.
     
  10. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    These are great ideas. I love the box idea. I believe the real issue comes from the fabric laying up against my skin. These reels (SS) have been in my care for years and never give me problems so I think I am my own worst sleazy and greasy enemy, sweat + frustration = hurried mistakes with SS reels.. The surgical gloves may be a good idea too.

    Tonight I got delayed after loading the reels so I get to process tomorrow. I appreciate these tips and welcome more.

    Lee
     
  11. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Maris for the win. I use a long rectangle of what a lot of people used to call shirt cardboard inside the bag. Because it's longer than the bag it forms an arch in order to fit inside and lifts the fabric off my hands. It's narrower than the bag so I can slip the film and reels, etc past the edge into the bag.
     
  12. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Still pondering how duct tape could fix this too.
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I just covered the edges of the door to prevent light from getting into the room and blocking out windows would be easy enough if there are any. Just takes a little time. But more than effective.
     
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  15. edp

    edp Member

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    Changing bags are awful, almost completely unusable. Putting a cardboard box and a small towel inside helps, but reduces the already tiny space inside.

    The changing tent is an entirely different experience. Mine is a Chinese one off eBay, and I thoroughly recommend it. Still not as good as a darkened room, but a lot more portable.
     
  16. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    I tried the cardboard box idea and it helped a lot actually. I thought I would take it a bit further. So today I picked up 4 outside 90 PVC joints in 1/2" and some 1/2 tubing. The outside 90 degree joints have 2 slip connections and one threaded, the only ones I could find, so I had to get a threaded adapter to slip connector to make all three joints slip together.

    What I made was an inside tent frame for my changing bag. It holds open the bag to just about as tight as it will go and still zip closed with ease. One has to slip the legs on once the square frame is inside the bag.

    Parts List
    (4) 14" cuts of 1/2 PVC [easy to cut off a 10' length]
    (4) 4.5" cuts of 1/2 PVC for legs
    (4) Outside 90 degree connectors
    (4) Threaded to slip connectors [since one end of the outside 90s are threaded]

    I will pick up (4) 1/2" caps next time I swing by Lowes because it will help extend the life of the inner changing bag liner from the edges of the PVC legs.

    Made some quick happy snaps of the bag with the frame inside the bag, and of the frame and of the broken down pipe parts. I will load film holders in it soon and see how it works out. $ 8.00 in parts certainly beats a $100 or $200 changing tent if it works well.

    Note, funny how the digital happy snaps blows out the highlights... guess that is just another reason we still use film ya know.

    Still working on that Duct Tape Idea (there has to be a solution there, duct tape and coat hangers ya know that kind of thing) :munch:

    Lee
     

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  17. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    Lee: rather than changing wives, I suggest inviting a fellow photographer to stay at your house every weekend. Your wife would then be obliged as a good "host" to have a "guest" bathroom/darkroom for their use. Problem solved.

    Dan
     
  18. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Love the ideas of boxes inside the bags - going to try that myself!

    I have found issues with condensation affecting Paterson spirals making spooling difficult however found that putting the reels, tank and bag into a warm airing cupboard for a few minutes before loading brings the temperature of the components similar to arms/hands and reduces the occurence of condensation - whether this is applicable to "sweat" I don't know. Just my thoughts!

    Sim2.
     
  19. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Dan,
    I think you are onto something there. Think Sue will fall for that? I get sweaty palms just thinking about how the honey-do jar would start to overflow in kind from all the weekend guests.
     
  20. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    If you are going the surgical gloves route get nitrile unpowdered gloves. Many surgical gloves come powdered and that could possibly present a problem. The nitrile also come latex free for those who are allergic.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com
     
  21. Usagi

    Usagi Member

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    Like many other already said, the changing back is a nightmare. It's is almost usable under 'normal conditions' for a quick operation. When it's hot and humid, it's a disaster for films.
     
  22. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I've used the powdered ones successfully, just "wash your hands" after you put them on. The gloves dry quickly.
     
  23. Edward_S

    Edward_S Subscriber

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    I usually get an itch somewhere as soon as my hands are in the bag and the film is out of the canister...
     
  24. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Yea I start doing the ichy-goomy dance almost every time. Since I am not a Navy Seal, I am not capable of mentally dismissing an itch. Ever pick up a pen with your teeth and try to scratch an itch while the hands are in the bag?
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  26. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I spent ~1.5 hours half naked in the pitch black bathroom with a tiny fan at 12AM, rolling 34 36exp cassettes of Kodak Double X from a 1000ft reel last week. Not fun since the AC does not circulate in.

    Tonight seems much more humid, broke a sweat in bathroom rolling just 3 rolls of Kodalith 12exp to test from a 100ft roll.

    My darkroom is also quite warm, the air circulation is horrible. Might need to drag in a portable AC, the fan is not cutting it.