Ultrafine 120 film: I can see the numbers and guide marks on my exposures!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by djgeorgie, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. djgeorgie

    djgeorgie Member

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    You know those numbers and markers on the paper backing of 120 film. Well i can see them in my exposures after I develop my film.

    I'm using Ultrafine 120 film, yes I know it's cheap. The paper backing is back and the numbers and markers is white. But how does the image of the markers and numbers appear on my negative?

    It's more noticeable with long exposures (anything over 4 seconds is obvious).

    Is it the light burning through the red window on the back?

    It's just so odd that somehow the numbers can be seen through the black paper backing onto the film negative
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I think you probably have the answer. Try putting a small piece of black tape over the window except while you are actually advancing film.
     
  3. arpinum

    arpinum Member

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    Do you see the numbers for all format sizes, or just 1 row?
     
  4. mfohl

    mfohl Subscriber

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    If you put tape over the red window, you will have some difficulty advancing the film. Try another roll of film with the tape off. Shoot the roll, advance the film, and count the clicks between frames. There may be more clicks on the first few exposures than on the last few. A pain in the butt, but if it works, you're good.

    Tnx,

    -- Mark
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Use another film , if the backing transmits the light, It talks about the emulsion quality also. I had been opened the same subject thread and some says classic cameras red windows and classic films backing do not transmit the light to the film even in a desert.
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The problem is usually that the ink on the backing paper interferes with the emulsion on the turn of film above it. On very old (and very cheap) film the ink can even glue itself to the film. Old Ansco film with black paper and white ink was very prone to the problem.

    If the 'o o o 1' print-through sequence is centered on the first negative frame then it is printing through the back. If the first frame picks up 'o o o 2' then it is picking up ink from the frame 'below'. If frame two shows 'o o o 1' then it is picking up ink after it was wound on.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2013
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I've had this happen with all sorts of films, but it's less pronounced with Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji films, because they use a high quality backing paper that lets almost no light through the backing paper to imprint the frame number onto the film itself. That IS what's happening with the film you use. The red window works reasonably well with orthochromatic film, which was probably most common when your camera was manufactured. With 'modern' panchromatic film, of course red light will also make an exposure, as witnessed by using a red filter on the lens when shooting.

    So, you need to cover the red window up to avoid this from happening. With black gaffers tape and a little piece of opaque photo paper black plastic bag, (the kind that the paper is stored in inside its carton, or substitute other opaque material), cut to size to cover the hole, and attached to the gaffers tape to cover the red window, I also shade the window every time I advance film, and immediately cover it back up again before the camera is let into the sun again.

    It's a pain in the neck, but it's just down to taking proper precaution.

    (Edit: What Nicholas mentions has happened to me with very old Agfa APX 25 film, and ruined an entire photo trip for me. That was in a Rolleiflex camera that was fine with all other films, but the difference is that these patterns are fairly uniform across the entire film area, whereas the red window problem is only local to where the red window is. Since you use the window to see what frame number you're at, it's natural that the frame number is imprinted on the film, since that is what is always in the red window, except for when you're actually advancing the film to the next frame).
     
  8. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I vote for covering the window.

    Several of my older cameras have covers built in. I figure if people thought to include covers, back then, they must have had this problem, too. If it was a problem for them, it can still be a problem for us, too. Right?

    I'd use a piece of gaff tape (or similar) and a small piece of cardboard to make a semi-permanent flap with a pull tab on it that you can open and close when you need it. Maybe not the most elegant looking thing but effective and it won't permanently alter or damage the camera. Remove the tape and clean off any left over stickum.

    (The reason I often suggest gaffer's tape is because it has less tendency to leave stickum behind if one is careful.)
     
  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I think arpinium's question above is pretty critical: Are the numbers visible only for one format (the one for which the red window is aligned), or for all of them? It seems like the answer would indicate for sure whether the red window is at fault.

    -NT
     
  10. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

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    I use many old (red window) cameras and the ones that don't have their own shades I just use black vinyl electrical tape and it works perfect. The nice thing is that it adheres just fine, allows you to peel back to advance and re-adheres just fine. And no a gooey mess. Try it you'll like it. Oh, and if you don't have many wires to tape a roll will last many years for just camera use. JohnW
     
  11. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Also, check your camera for a light leak or bad light seals. The foam degrades over time and needs to be replaced. I had the number print through problem on a roll of my own handmade film run through my Yashica MAT-124. That camera has no window at all AND the film isn't even orthochromatic, let alone panchromatic. My backing paper does pass a little light in a single layer but with no window it should not matter. A double layer passes no light. Turns out the foam seal at the bottom of the camera where the supply roll is was shot and had enough of a light leak to fog the film. After I looked at some Kodak Tri-X I had run through the Yashica, I found fogging to a lesser extent along the outer sides of the negatives.

    I have a Kodak tourist WITH a red window that I have converted to use 120 film. I've run Acros through that with no number print through issues at all.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have never had a problem with light coming in through a red window. I suspect it's the ink transfer rather than light.


    Steve.
     
  13. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I used Hasselblad 1600 copy Kiev 88 with old sort of films and may be another 1 million used them , their film backs havent got even an red window and you can touch the backing paper and yes , for your all single advance , you must open the small window and calibrate the advance. There is no light leak , may be an roll waited in high humidify refrigirator or high heat or not fresh film including these cheap films make the backing paper numbers ink dissolve and impregnate in to the paper and make a semi transparent material like polymer reinforced glass.
     
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  15. djgeorgie

    djgeorgie Member

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    almost all of them
     
  16. djgeorgie

    djgeorgie Member

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    I think you may be right. Since the markings and numbers are evenly the same 'exposure' on the negative, I'm thinking the ink rubbed off onto the emulsion. Also the numbers aren't reversed if that makes a difference
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    That's settled it then. It's ink transference rather than light through the window.


    Steve.
     
  18. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    If DE is Delaware and if I am an Geography Bee , You are living at Atlantic Coast and some places have very high humidity.
    If the markings have same exposure , I think paper printed its ink on to your film. What is your camera by the way ?
    I wish you the best luck ,changing your film and supplier would change everthing.
     
  19. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    If it happens to all your films in equal measure the definite test would be to develop an unexposed film, but as Steve Smith says there's sufficient evidence to blame the ink rather than the paper.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Just because it never happened to you doesn't mean it can't happen to someone else. I've had it happen with Foma and Efke film with both a Zeiss Ikon Nettar and a Kodak Tourist.
     
  21. John Wiegerink

    John Wiegerink Subscriber

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    Yup Tom, me too! I knew better, but took a chance with an old folding Zeiss camera a short while back. Efke film in that camera and several frames had some faint numbers on them. So, yes it does happen. Might not be the case with the Lucky brand film, but I can't believe they would continue to use the same paper/ink if it were a bleeding problem. JohnW
     
  22. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Member

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    I have only had this probelm with Efke.

    I took the backing paper and reattched the negatives to it, and iscovered that the images of the numbers appered where the numbers actually touched the emulsion, in other words they were offset to where light comming through the back of the camera could cause them to appear.

    Avoiding this sort of trabsfer is the reason that has been given for the Light coloured print on Ilford roll film.
     
  23. djgeorgie

    djgeorgie Member

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    Quite possibly humidity. They were stored in the fridge until we moved and haven't been put back in. I'm thinking moisture caused the ink to transfer onto the emulsion.
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It's easy to tell if it's caused by light through the window or by ink transference. If the number appears in the same place on the negative as the window is relative to the film gate (i.e. the centre of the frame for 6x6) then it's light through the window causing it. If it is offset by about an inch, it's ink transference (or reaction) to the emulsion.


    Steve.
     
  25. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Its wrapper offset.

    Everyone has made valid comments :

    The wrapper itself can cause offset but its very,very rare 99.99% of the time its about having a level of light that exposes the film through the wrapper and that usually only happens on red window camera's. When red window camera's were made film tended to be 'less sensitive'. Temperature and humidity, static and storage as other people have said can also contribute.

    So, its really about 'good practice' : If you have a red window camera and it has a cover, and many have, USE IT, if it does not, make one using black electricians tape, ensure the camera is 'in the open' for as little time as possible. When you have finished using it ensure it goes back in its cover and then back in a light proof camera bag. Try not to have exposed or unexposed film in a red window camera for too long, when loading 120 film ( in any camera ) load in subdued light, never in bright sunlight.

    As CmacD mentioned, our wrapper is printed with a fairly light print this helps avoid offset, some people say its difficult to see....we consider that worthwhile to help avoid wrapper offset which is pretty catastrophic and unrecoverable..

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  26. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I was scratching my head trying to figure this out...

    "Wrapper offset" as in "offset printing": ink going on to one surface and then transferring to another surface? "Wrapper" as in "backing paper": the paper that is behind the film as it goes through the camera.

    The terms don't cross the pond very well. Two cultures separated by a common language and all that.