Super Embarrassing Newbie Question

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by skyrick, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    First, the set-up.

    In a couple of other threads I've been asking for help re: my first processing attempts. I was able, after some futzing around, to load 4 sheets of 2.75x3.75 into two of my Graflex film holders. I shot some quick shots in my front yard, overexposing by 1 & 2 stops due to the half-century age of the film. Next, I got the chemistry ready (HC110 dilution B, Kodak Pro Indicator Stop Bath, Kodafix) and down to 68F. Went into the laundry room with my film backs and Combi-plan and tried to load it. I finally gave up and sacrificed the first sheet, turned the lights on and realized the sheet fits in horizontally, not vertically.

    Here comes the embarrassing newb part.

    Is the emulsion side of the film the shiny side or the matte side? If it's the shiny side then I didn't really expose any of the sheets except the one I exposed to the laundry room light. I thought when you held the sheet with the notches in the upper right corner, you were looking at the emulsion side!!?? If I did load the film backwards in the holders, should I be able to flip them (in the dark of course) and re-shoot? I understand that I probably scratched the emulsion if they were loaded backwards, but this is just for practice anyway.

    Viele dank,

    Rick
     
  2. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    As far as I know the dull side of film is the emulsion. If you loaded the holders with the base side of the film towards the lens, you still exposed the film as the base will not block all of the light. You likely underexposed the film be about 2 stops compared to loading the film properly. Develop a sheet (I would recommend increasing the development by about 30-50%). You can adjust for the other sheets based on the 1st sheet.

    good luck!
     
  3. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    With notches in the upper right corner the emulsion side of the film is facing you and this faces up as you load the holder. I have never worried about shiny side or not as loading etc is done in total darkness.

    If you loaded them backwards then exposed them you will not be able to use them again as they have already been exposed to the light given during the shot.
    Most films have an anti-halation backing that prevents much light getting through if you did load them backwards, but it would have got some therefore making them unusable.

    Try again with some new sheets of films. Use the ones you just used as prcatice sheets for loading the holders and the combi tank.
    Here is a link to an excellent site showing you how to load teh sheet film.

    http://www.butzi.net/articles/filmload.htm

    good luck
     
  4. lamda

    lamda Member

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    Let's clarify about the notches. Imagine you are at a table, facing directly at the table, and the film is flat on the table. To get the emulsion facing up (so that the base side touches the table) make sure that the short sides of the film are parallel to your sholders, and the notches are in the upper right. If the long sides of the film are parallel to your sholders, it will turn out wrong.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's it Upper right. The shiny side is the back the flat dull side is the emulsion.

    Ian
     
  6. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    As mwdake pointed out, the shiny side thing is a red herring. You can't turn on the lights to see it. Notches are what we all use to get it right.

    By the way, don't be embarrassed. There is not a photographer here, especially those using sheet film, who has not done what you did, or a lot worse. Sheet film invites newbie disaster. And sometimes, we all still do stupid things with sheet film. Trust me on that!
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Emulsion Side

    Depends on how you turn the film.

    Horizontal - notch(es) are bottom right.
    Vertical - Notch(es) are top right.

    - Thomas
     

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  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    And you are aware that the CombiPlan's rack is adjustable...
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    As they say, a picture (or in this case, diagram) is worth at least a 1,000 words.

    Matt

    P.S. - Darn, the pictures don't show in the copied post
     
  10. Martin Reed

    Martin Reed Advertiser Advertiser

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    There's also an inherent curl to most sheet films, and if it's gently squeezed from both sides it will tend to fold with the emulsion side to the inside.

    Also, if you're REALLY stuck you could lick your finger and touch the corner - the emulsion side will probably be a little more tacky than the back once the moisture has had a few seconds to penetrate.
     
  11. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    Sorry to disagree, Martin, but I have never felt an inherent curl to any sheet film that I have used. However, I shoot only Kodak and Ilford (although I have an old box of Forte to be opened soon. Maybe it will curl).

    As for the lick text, I have to say I think this is a very bad idea. The notches are there for a reason and I can't imagine a situation where making the film wet would be preferable to checking the notches.
     
  12. yellowcat

    yellowcat Member

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    "As for the lick text, I have to say I think this is a very bad idea. The notches are there for a reason and I can't imagine a situation where making the film wet would be preferable to checking the notches."

    I agree.
    The 'lick test' would not work - sheet film usually had gelatine layer on both sides, the layer on the back holds the anti halation dye.

    Check the notches, that is why they are there.
     
  13. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    I'm with Martin Reed on this; squeeze the edges of the film a touch and the emulsion side bends inwards – useful if you only have one hand free, which is usually the case when you are loading or unloading sheets of film

    The emulsion side does feel stickier than the anti halation backing; this is detectable if your hands are even slightly sweaty

    I do agree it’s not good to hold the Film between the fingers but I can detect the variation in stickiness even when I hold the film edge-on

    Martin
     
  14. Don Wallace

    Don Wallace Member

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    I don't get this, but if you guys insist on checking film by running your fingers over it or getting it wet, so be it. I am going to stick with notches.
     
  15. Martin Reed

    Martin Reed Advertiser Advertiser

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    Well I did say last resort, and I wasn't implying licking it, just using moisture on the finger. OK one more, very dark green safelight, look for the lighter reflectance on the emulsion side. But it would be tricky finding one of the safelight filters now.

    Notches aren't always there - some people are trimming film to smaller sizes for obsolete formats, (but on the other hand they usually leave the notched corner in place).
     
  16. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    As a darkroom tech I knew all the notches that was my first port of call, but often I'd brush my lip (not wet) against the edge of the film, you can feel the emulsion and this helps if notches are missing or hard to define.