Light leaks on B&W but not color film

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ziyanglai, May 31, 2014.

  1. ziyanglai

    ziyanglai Guest

    I'm encountering a really really weird situation right now. I have an old Franka Rolfix 6x9 folding camera. It's in great cosmetic and mechanical condition. Few weeks ago, I shot a roll of HP5 400 pulled to 200 and after I developed it, there were light leaks along the edges of the film. I have posted about this. Details here: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum147/130302-franka-rolfix-6x9-folding-camera-light-leaks.html

    I went on a trip to The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs few days ago and shot 2 rolls of RVP50 and 1 roll of Ilford FP4 125. **BOTH ROLLS WERE LOADED AND SHOT IN SIMILAR LIGHTING CONDITION (Bright outdoor, loading the camera with my back facing the sun, so film was loaded in my shadow). And here's the weird part, the color film (RVP50) came out perfect with no light leaks at all. But the FP4 125 came out like last time, with light leaks along the top and bottom edge of the film. Color film was processed professionally at my local lab. B&W film processed myself (both times, HP5 400 and FP4 125). I can assure you that this is not a procedural issue. I have developed hundreds of rolls of film and never screwed up one (yes, not even the first time.. well.. except a few times where I didn't think I got any good photos and just threw away the film).

    So can anyone explain this to me? Light leaks on B&W film but not on the color one?

    P.S. both film were purchased from the same place (B&H) at the same time. New film. Unopened.
     
  2. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    So, then, what did you do different when you shot b&w and when you shot color? Hummm. Well, I presume you used a different setting of shutter speed and aperture. The b&w is faster. That is as far as I get.
     
  3. ziyanglai

    ziyanglai Guest

    Nothing. They were both shot in pretty much same condition. The B&W is indeed faster, but that shouldn't mean that only the faster film has light leaks. If there are light leaks, the RVP50 should have it as well, just less significant.
     
  4. ziyanglai

    ziyanglai Guest

    Here's a photo.[​IMG]


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  5. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    you dont show us the leaked film -- is the light leak inside the picture frame area, or outside it? is the light leaking around the film spool flange, or through the bellows?

    WOOPS -- ok, you do show us.
    that is light leaking around the film flange after you take the film out of the camera. Keep the film in a dim place, make sure it is wound tightly on the spool -- some types of film are stiffer than others and don't wind as tightly.

    leak is not the camera. it is the film flange. As long as the fogged area doesn't reach the image area, no big deal.
     
  6. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    yep, that's it.
     
  7. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    the colour was developed at a lab, the b/w at home. So something in the home developing would be by far the most likely answer. Not a procedural issue but a leak somewhere. Crack in the developing tank or tank top? A leak in your film changing tent?
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The main difference appears to be in the processing, not in the loading or use in the camera. So I agree with nwilkins.
     
  9. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    I asume the color film you are talking about is color slide film. Are any of the letters or the film frame numbers obscured, absent or not right? I shot color slides for years and years but cannot remember a roll that had camera light leaks. But the frame edges are dark not light and I wonder how a light leak would affect that part.
     
  10. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    I found a website that talked about errors caused by processing color slides or other problems. The site shows a color slide frame fogged by a camera light leak. The photo is fogged by the black area around the film is perfectly fine. I assume the black area around the frames and the words and numbers are built into the film and set before shooting and processing the film, and they won't show any change from a camera light leak.
    The site is for the Microscopy Research Center.
     
  11. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member

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    +1
     
  12. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    ^^^
     
  13. ziyanglai

    ziyanglai Guest

    I still so not think that there's something wrong with the developing tank/procedural issue.. I developed the HP5 and FP4 in 2 different tanks and at 2 different places. One at my home and the other at a local college lab. Both tanks have been used very often and no one reported any light leaks issues.. But anyway, I think I will shoot another roll and send it in the lab and see what happens :smile:


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  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I think it is a problem with how you are handling the film once it is exposed. As backing paper, spools and sealing tapes differ between types of film, it may be that your technique with the colour films doesn't result in problems, whereas with black and white films and that camera they do.
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Typical results from loading 120 rollfilm in daylight, or letting the rolls sit around in the light. Light leaks between the paper and the spool.

    It is your own experiment in the desert. Not quite "subdued light" :smile:
     
  17. ziyanglai

    ziyanglai Guest

    But that doesn't happen with the color film? Both were loaded in broad daylight..


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  18. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    [​IMG]

    OK you load film in both cases, using same changing bag or darkrrom. The film goes into the same magazines. You load the magazines into the same camera backs and expose in the same LF cameras. You unload the film using same changing bag or darkroom. The ONLY place there is a difference (that we can discern from your lack of description) is at the end of the workflow...A) the film goes into your tank and is immersed in your chemistry, or B) the film goes to the commercial color lab. The film comes out imperfect when it goes into your darkroom and comes out of the wash. If the sequence is identical for the first three steps, just where, OTHER THAN SOMEWHERE IN YOUR PROCESSING, do you THINK things are going awry?!

    OK so you process B+W in two places, using two different tanks. If film streaked in both locations, that leaves out the tanks as issues.

    Do you bring your own chemistry to both places?
    Are your cameras really not the same?
    Are your film holders really different types for color than for black-and-white film?
    Is your B&W film higher ISO than your color film?

    We are playing the game "What is different between these two pictures" but only you have all of the 'picture'. Based solely upon what you revealed to us, it is somewhere at the end of the flowchart...your processing.
     
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  19. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    How tight does the camera back close with film loaded?
    A. No play.
    B. Just detectable, .001 inch or less.
    C. Loosely, .001 inch to .003 inch play.

    I do not think film type has anything to do with it. The reason you are seeing it on the B&W and not the color is the film speed.
    ISO 125 is 1 1/3 stops more sensitive to light than ISO 50.
    ISO 400 is 1 2/3 stops more sensitive to light than ISO 125 and 3 stops more sensitive to light than ISO 50.

    What was the light level in EV?

    Which film is your posted strip?

    As others have asked How tightly is the exposed film wound as you take it out of the camera? If you put the ends of the spool between your thumb and index finger holding it tight enough to prevent the spool from turning and pull on the loose end of the backing paper how far will it pull out before becoming too tight to move and further?

    I routinely use ISO 400 B&W film to test cameras for light leaks. The EI I expose it at has no relevance to any light leak that may be present and many that are very noticeable on ISO 400 film are barely detectable on ISO 100 film.
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    As others indicated it is a film/spool flange issue.
     
  21. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I most certainly appears to be spool flange light leak. There is a reason that film companies warn to handle in subdued light. Care must be taken when loading and unloading older folding cameras that the film stays tightly wound on the spool, and maintains that after unloading until placed on developing reels.
     
  22. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    yes those posts were made as I was typing my reply but I do agree with them that the most likely cause is the film not being rolled super tightly onto the take up spool in the camera (and then being handled in bright-ish light). Turning your back in bright sunlight is still going to expose the film to more light than is recommended.
     
  23. Urmonas

    Urmonas Member

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    This certainly looks like light leaks around the spool flange. The older folders were not always good at keeping tension on the take-up spool. After unloading the spool you should try tensioning the paper before taping the spool. I also keep the films in a dark container after unloading.

    The films can be differently affected as they can wind with different tensions (e.g. due to different backing paper thickness or drag) and also while the spool and paper width should be standardised, I have had issues when changing brands of film with some combinations having gaps between paper and spool, and others where the paper is wider than the spool flange spacing.
     
  24. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Yes, it has been reported here before thát there are suboptimum film/spool combos, when not usung the original combo.
     
  25. ziyanglai

    ziyanglai Guest

    Ok so I have shot another roll loaded indoors and had it professionally developed. Still light leaks on the top and bottom edges. So it seems like it's a film spool issue. Is there anything that I can do about this? Sometimes it does cuts into the frame a little bit, but the light leaks are just annoying to me.


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  26. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Spools tend to be SLIGHTLY different distance apart from manufacture to manufacturer, if you shoot some kodak, and follow it with ilford, the take up spool will have a different width than the original, couple this with not shielding the roll from the sun, and you'll get some light leak at the edges.

    I think the problem is how carefully you are shielding the film once it is shot. Which seems not very well, considering how much leak there is. There's a reason the spools say they should only be loaded and unloaded in subdued light.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2014