Darkslide convention

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Aug 31, 2009.

For UNEXPOSED film, do you orient the darkslide:

  1. With the white side out

    84 vote(s)
    87.5%
  2. With the dark side out

    12 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    For unexposed film in film holders, do you put the black side of the darkslide out or the white side?

    I don't suppose it matters which way you go, but if there is a consensus or a most-popular convention I might as well follow it.

    Also, is it ok to pull the darkslide all the way out, or should you leave it sticking in the film holder?
     
  2. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    The norm is to put the white side out for exposed. But it only matters because it's good form to follow the standard. It's less confusing. I leave the DS in the end just in case the seal isn't perfect. Just don't leave it in too far or you'll block some of the exposure.
     
  3. david_mizen

    david_mizen Member

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    i was taught white/silver side out for unexposed, black for exposed, some of my slides have braile marks helpful for fideling around in the dark braile marks correspond to white/silver
     
  4. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    I pull the darkslide all the way out (the back of the camera I keep covered by the dark cloth) and often I'll use the slide as a makeshift sun shade.

    When loading holders, I'll back the dark slide out 1/3 or so and flip the flap and drive 'er home, locking the ell before flipping over and repeating the loding sequence on the other side. If by chance I get the film in the wrong groove (the one for the darkslide) it becomes evident when the film balks at loading because the darkslide is in the way. This is bette than being ready to shoot and pulling the dark slide only to have a sheet of film launch into the wild blue yonder.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The white side unexposed convention is actually critical in some cases. In the days when photographers used assistants, sometimes free lancing between a few photographers, it was very important that this regime was adhered too.

    Sometimes even today I might have someone helping, and it's better that they hand me a darkslide (UK term for film holder) that hasn't been already exposed, and the simplicity of white/silver unexposed and Black exposed is easy even for a non photographer to grasp immediately.

    Ian
     
  6. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Funny you mentioned this because I figured if there was a convention, surely it must be the other way round...I mean, black is dark, so when the film is still unexposed the dark side should be out. After the film has received light, the light side should face out. That's the way I saw it anyway.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Do you get tanned in the sun or get lighter skinned :D Think - Film & Paper start creamy off white and light & developer produces a dark (well range of tones) image. POP darkens naturally. Logic

    Ian
     
  8. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Dang... I did this wrong for years. Now I'll have to learn to reverse my procedure. Sorry for the misinformation!!
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Also the white side of some darkslides/sheaths is designed so you can write the film type on it with a china-graph pencil (or similar). This is important while out shooting, but once exposed when you unload the notch code can be used to determine what the film is.

    Ian
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    the convention is and always has been white/silver side facing out when film is UNEXPOSED. This side also has the bumps so you can get it right way round when loading the film holder in the dark!
     
  11. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    ...am I the only one who saw this in the google feed and was goofy enough to wonder where and when they were going to hold the convention?

    Celac
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    White = ready for light. Dark = ready for darkroom.


    Steve.
     
  13. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    May I suggest a third option?

    As you can see from this thread, the white/black tag difference sucks as a way to distinguish exposed from unexposed...

    I guess I am not the only one to have mixed up my holders exposed / unexposed status every once in a while and ruined a film sheet by double exposure... :surprised: The white or black tag just isn't obvious enough as a warning to reveal the exposed status.

    All my holders darkslides currently have a very clear fluorescent red / yellow striped warning tag on the site that I consider "exposed", much like the stripes on police or ambulance cars...

    It sure helped me in avoiding ruining sheets of film :wink:

    Marco
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2009
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  15. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    All ways used black as exposed white as unexposed. like lefty looseey, righty tighty.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    White for unexposed is the norm. I also mark the film type on the memo area of the holder in pencil and erase it when the holder is empty, so that I always know which holders are loaded and with what.

    Normal filmholders are designed to be light tight when the darkslide is removed completely. The exceptions would be Grafmatic and Kinematic holders that hold 6 and 10 sheets in a stack respectively, where you should pull the darkslide and push it back in behind the septum on top of the stack (it does this automatically) before making the exposure to avoid fogging the other sheets in the stack. After the exposure you pull out the entire film drawer, the top septum drops to the bottom of the stack, and push the drawer back in so the darkslide will again be in the safe position on top of the stack, and you can remove the filmholder from the camera.
     
  17. ajmiller

    ajmiller Subscriber

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    As someone who is also just starting out in LF (and spent 30 minutes over the weekend been giggled at by my wife and mother as I struggled with my hands and arms in one of those Calumet changing tent things loading 7 darkslides!) this info is priceless to a newbie like me. Thanks.
    White on the outside when film unexposed for me.
     
  18. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    White side out, and when exposed, black side out with the addition of a little sticky label recording shutter/aperture...

    White side out - Loaded & ready to use.
    Black side + label - Exposed.
    Black side out - Empty.
    White side + label - Someone screwed up.
     
  19. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I have one more variation - because I sometimes I load and unload on the road in motel room bathrooms, etc.

    I have notched the flip out part of the film holder in a code ala is outlined in Way Beyond Monochrome, and other sources. I permanently with a Sharpie marker have the film holder numbered on the corner of the white write on tab as well, with the number corresponding to the decade square notch, five;s half circle and v notch ones. Then I can unload mid trip, and sort the film into empty film boxes that I have labelled as n-1, n+1 and n. If it is in need of deevlopment other than these options it stays in its holder until I get back to my darkroom. In this manner I can tie my exposure n ites back to the film after it has been separated from the film holder

    I do not always reload right away. I keep all my holders in individual ziplock freezer bags, which can be bought in a size that the holder fits into just right.
    Yes, they are slippery, but they do a good job of keeping the dust down to a minimum.

    When a film holder is empty I put it with black side of slide out, but upside down in the zip lock bag.
     
  20. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

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    Once, in a fit of "rationality" I decided that I would buck convention and use white as exposed and black as unexposed. Let's just say it wasn't my best idea.
     
  21. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've always thought about it like this: if the dark side is out, it either needs to be unloaded or loaded in the darkroom.

    - Randy
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    what HE said ...
     
  23. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Same as John -- though when loading, the reason I draw the darkslide only a third of the way out is to reduce the chance of beard hairs from falling onto the film in the holder!:surprised:

    My darkslide orientation is remembered by -- "The film gets darker when exposed." -- thus black = exposed.

    Vaughn
     
  24. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Using your advice, I tried opening the filmloader that had the white side out, out of the darkroom. still ruined the film.:rolleyes:
    Just joking, we all know that they have to be unloaded or loaded in the darkroom white or dark side out.
    But my mind thinks that white means light has been at it and when I tried to be conventional I screwed up over and over. When I accepted I was different, I stopped screwing up. No one else touches my darkslide.
    Regards
    Bill
     
  25. wclavey

    wclavey Member

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    I simplified my life greatly... not only do I adhere to the white-side-out-for-fresh-film convention, I went through every holder and wrote, in permanent marker, on the righthand corner of the white or silver strip, the word "FRESH" - - so I know that it has been freshly loaded and is ready for exposure. If I don't see the word "fresh" then I don't shoot it. Don't like the word "FRESH" then pick another - - but why remember something you can look at and read directly?
     
  26. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    White side out with the little locks NOT LOCKED = empty holder.
    White side out with the little locks LOCKED = loaded holder film not exposed.
    Black side out with the little locks LOCKED = loaded holder film exposed.

    That is what I use.