Mysterious light leaks in a Linhof Technika, Help!

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jose A Martinez, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Yesterday I made four exposures of two objects with a Linhof Technika. I used two different film holders, and I got one plate ok and the other with a light leak, on both holders, as is shown here:

    film holder 1 a.jpg holder 1a film holder 1 b.jpg holder 1b film holder 2 a.jpg holder 2a film holder 2 b.jpg holder 2b

    Besides the probable explanation of not fit the holder properly, twice, there is any other reason you can figure out?, should I see if there is something wrong in the holders? or the camera?, where do I have to search.
     
  2. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    Check and clean the grove in the camera back that the inner rib on the film holder sits into paying close attention to the corners. Inspect the felt light seals at the darkslide opening as they leak occasionally.
     
  3. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    Hi Jose. Personally, I'd rather see the negative rather than the print. What kind of holder are you using and what type of back do you have on your Technika. It might be something really basic like dust or dirt trapped in the rail as was suggested, but there's other things to look at.

    First check to make sure the holder is sliding into the back properly AND that once inserted, it lays perfectly flat and is tight in the back. Check the springs for looseness and make sure nothing is bent or sprung improperly.

    Are you sure your film box / packet didn't leak before or while you were loading? Take some "unexposed" film, a couple of sheets from the top and bottom of the same pack and develop them. Look at the negs and see what you have. If it's streaked, there's your answer. Your film is fogged. This wouldn't be uncommon, especially if it was through an airport scanner recently and is even lower speed film like ISO 100, not just the faster films like 400 ISO.

    If that's not it, get a really bright flashlight, take the camera into a very dark room and with the back removed, check for leaks in your bellows regular or bag. They develop light leaks. If you can see light through them, there's your problem.

    Keep us in the loop and let us know how you're progressing.
     
  4. juanito

    juanito Member

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    Hi José Antonio,

    You can test your film holders loading them and exposing them directly to light.
    Then develop the film. If it turns out ok then the problem is in the camera.
     
  5. joh

    joh Subscriber

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    If the lightleak is on the top of the film, (where the notches are) I would expect that it is a problem with the darkslide.
    Have had simmilar problems with 2 old fidelity holders and sorted them out.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Uneven development.
     
  7. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    You guys crack me up. The guy wants to know why the "A" sides are OK and the "B" sides are not. You come up with every worn out idea and conspiracy theory since the Warren Commission.

    Try it again. Be careful how you pull your slides. You can easily pull the holder just a bit away from the body of the camera. Other than that, Why B and not A? Luck.

    Check the "B" side holders for light leaks.

    tim in san jose
     
  8. 250swb

    250swb Member

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    Now there is an original idea.


    Steve
     
  9. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    It's the only thing that's different. If I hadn't given some advice someone would have said I was pissin up a rope and not giving any advice at all. I suspect it's his holders but only he can determine that by testing.

    Personally I think the advice given was worth exactly what he paid for it and he should be able to figure this out himself, but what do I know?
     
  10. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    Jose,
    Dirt in the light trap grove in the camera back will prevent the film holder ridge from seating fully, common problem.
    Worn film holder ridge can slip out of the back grove easily, rare problem.
    Standard light leak detection on a large format camera:
    Put a 40 watt appliance light bulb in a portable lamp. Appliance light bulbs are clear and get very hot. A small flashlight that can be adjusted to spot at 1 to 2 inches can be used as well as CFL's and small fluorescent lamps.
    Extend the bellows fully, remove the lens board, insert an empty film holder in the back and remove the darkslide.
    In Total Darkness turn the light on and insert it into the bellows.
    Observe the bellows from the outside for any hint of light, pin holes will be white, weak spots in the bellows will be yellowish. Move the light slowly from one end of the bellows to the other.
    Observe the back and darkslide slot of the film holder.
    Install the lens board and remove the camera back or focus panel.
    In total darkness turn on the light and insert into the bellows from the rear.
    Inspect the front standard and lens mount for leaks.

    Carbon black artist paint applied to the inside of the bellows works well for pin holes and weak spots.
    Tears can be repaired by gluing new material to the inside of the bellows.
    Leaks at the lens board or camera back will require repair to the camera, lens board, or film holder.
     
  11. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Iffum you had a bellows leak, would that be a "B" side bellows leak only?
    Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  12. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    only if its the second tuesday or thursday of the week that you test on, all other days its the A side.
     
  13. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Thanks all for your interest. I was out of twon for a few days, I'm back at my studio, after checking the conditions of the camera, as suggested, I'll expose the two holders giving special atention to fit the holders properly and carefully. I must say that I posted the negatives not prints, and proces the four negs together in a Jobo procesor. Because I didn't know about the leakings, didn't take note of the order for each holder so I can't precise wich is side a and wich b on each one.

    I'll post the results.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2013
  14. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    I just finished developing the plates I made with the holders in question. I follow all the advice you gave me, and there is no leaks. Working carefully I found out that I'm the culprit, in my first take, when I turn the holder to make the second exposure, I realize that, even that it seemed that it was properly fitted, the holder wasn't fully seated on the inner rib, that needed an extra 1/16" to the end, leaving a small space that could produce the leaks.

    I've learned a lesson here, I have to work with more attention on what I'm doing, don't take anything for granted.

    Thanks folks.
     
  15. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    " I have to work with more attention on what I'm doing, don't take anything for granted."

    That's the benefit of using large format. :smile: