Does Tape Glow?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cdullaghan, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. cdullaghan

    cdullaghan Member

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    Okay, I file this in the uneasy category of Things That Don't Make Sense But Were Nonetheless Empirically Observed: When separating 120 film from its paper backing in my home darkroom, I would swear I see a faint glow as I pull off the tape.

    Now, there's no explanation I can come up with, unless there's some kind of micro-chemical reaction of the adhesive hitting the air and giving off a tiny puff of luminescence, but I figured I'd ask you guys if I was crazy.

    I think it happens with all film, but the most recent experience and the one I'm surest about was Fuji Neopan Acros. Not so much when I pulled off the paper backing, but when I removed the UPC-code strip of tape at the very end/beginning of the roll, I'm sure I saw something. Total darkness, in my bathroom, with my pupils presumably fully dilated from hanging out in total darkness for the five or so minutes it took to get the film spooled onto the reel up to that point. And no, I have no superhuman powers that I'm aware of.

    Has this happened to you?
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Yes, you saw something. There was a discussion on this recently here if you want to search for it. It is caused by the physical action of tearing off the tape...the breaking of the bonds, or something like that. I had thought it was a static discharge, but it is more of a physical/chemical reaction.

    It is bright enough to expose the film, but the affect has always been very local -- limited to the area under the tape.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Triboluminescence
     
  4. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    My question has always been - is tape onomatopoeia?
     
  5. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    If you remove the tape slowly, the effect is decimated or eliminated.
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Yes there is a faint glow. I think it's static. But it won't ruin your film if the last frame is far enough from the taped portion when you pull the tape of your film.
     
  7. cdullaghan

    cdullaghan Member

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    Nice! Thanks for the reassurance. I did indeed wonder if it could affect the film, if it was real. Static makes more sense than chemistry... and sorry for not spotting the earlier conversation on this.

    Count me astonished that this has actually come up before -- and credit that to the formidable exhaustiveness of this forum.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    From Wikipeadia:

    Triboluminescence
    Ordinary Pressure-sensitive tape ("Scotch tape") displays a glowing line where the end of the tape is being pulled away from the roll. In 1953, Soviet scientists first observed that unpeeling a roll of tape in a vacuum produced X-rays.
     
  9. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Another glowing oddity... I put rubber bands around my reels so the film doesn't come off in my process. New rubber bands straight out of the bag will give off a glow for a short while the first time they are stretched.
     
  10. sage

    sage Member

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    So do the X rays do anything or are they minimal enough that it doesn't matter?
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    They are powerful. I have a tape of Gloria Estevan and the Miami Sound Machine that has a crackle on it and I was told that this was caused by Fidel Castro facing Florida pulling Scotch Tape to lower the quality of any Cuban exiles' musical recording :D

    pentaxuser
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

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    As already indicated there must be a vacuum to establish an environment where charges are large enough to evoke X-rays.

    Loading a camera in vacuum would not be a typical use...
     
  13. kevs

    kevs Member

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    :-D

    Maybe it was the ghosts of the BBC masts at Daventry. I well remember receiving Radio Moscow on my poorly-shielded stereo system. Ah the happy days of the Cold War... :smile:

    I have noticed the 'tape glow' phenomenon too but I always thought it was static electricity, which shows how much I know, dunnit. :smile:

    Cheers,
    kevs
     
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  15. gliderbee

    gliderbee Member

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    There's a very simple solution to this: don't pull the tape from the film but pull the paper backing from the tape and fold back the tape over the film: that also gives you a much stiffer end to start spooling the film on the reel (I always start from "the other side"). Works great with Jobo reels, but I never tried with Paterson or others.

    Stefan

    Verstuurd van mijn GT-P7510 met Tapatalk
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    when i don't have an enlarger handy to do contact prints,
    i usually pull the tape off a 120 roll really fast and chomp on a wintergreen lifesaver ..
    it works pretty well

    ymmv
     
  17. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    :tongue:
    If you can do that in a vacuum, you could make your own dental x-rays....

    I always fold over the tape on 120 as it goes into the end of the reel too. Someone is going to tell us why that's a bad habit, but so far so good.
     
  18. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    I suppose if any paper fibers stick to the tape, they might come off during processing and stick to the film.
     
  19. TBN

    TBN Member

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    Yes, the tape glows. Same with opening an envelope - that one also glows.
     
  20. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    When I was taking the black tape off a bulk spool canister, I was amazed at how bright the green glow was, and glad the tape was on the outside with the film inside!
     
  21. hgernhardt

    hgernhardt Member

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    Hm… I wonder…

    On my first roll of Delta 3200, I struggled mightily with the tape. It resulted in me worrying the film end quite a bit. I've been wondering if the fogging on the tape end of the film, covering about a frame and a half (6x6cm frames; the length was about the length of film still to be loaded onto the plastic “walking” reel), was an artifact of the tape struggle, the film torsion, or something else.
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    It will have zero to minimal effect. Exposure is Illumination X Time and the illumination is very minimal and the time is very short.
     
  23. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I like seeing the glow -- it tells me that all is okay and the earth is still spinning even though I am in a dark little room.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Triboluminescence
     
  25. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I've always called it 'Scotch' or 'Bourbon', probably the same thing. After a while I have trouble focusing the enlarger. :whistling:
     
  26. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Do you know what decimated means? It means reduced by 10%


    Steve.