Does Film Emulsion swell in the Rain ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Martin Aislabie, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I'm just curious but how wet does film need to be before the emulsion swells ?

    I spent a day photographing the base of waterfalls in the pouring rain.

    Continuous heavy rain, very heavy spray shooting out from the base of the waterfall and a soaking mist off the falling column of water

    Despite my best efforts, everything in the camera bag (camera, lenses, darkslides,,,,) all got very very wet as the day went on.

    I started wondering, how wet (and for how long) does film need to be before it causes the emulsion to swell and affect the sharpness of the image.

    The negatives (HP5) are fine, so swelling takes obviously longer than the 10hrs in damp/saturated conditions that I gave them

    Thanks

    Martin
     
  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    The swelling is also dependent on temperature, a factor which is very important with the bromoil process.
     
  3. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I protected the camera as best I could but everything quickly became saturated.

    One of the nice things about an LF Camera is there are almost no works to goof up

    Instead I had to slacken the tension screws a fraction as the wood swelled slightly with all that moisture

    The lenses never misted either up when I put them somewhere warm to dry out - but getting them that wet for that long isn't something to recommend

    Thanks

    Martin
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I have had issues with EFKE 25 but to be fair it was excessive rain and my backpack got soaked, I lost 1 frame of 10x8 film and a DSLR. just 1/4 of a mile away a car was swept of the same road killing the driver. It was on an APUG Cornwall gathering as well :D

    Other than that no and I do work in extremes at times.

    Ian