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  1. #1

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    Light leaks from red windows in 1930s cameras

    Hi, I'm new to APUG, so I'm not sure whether this is the correct forum for my query, but here goes: I've just bought a 1930s Zeiss Ikon Ikonta A for 120 roll film, and I'm concerned that the red number windows, which have no shutters on this model, may cause problems with panchromatic film. Are there any makes of 120 panchromatic roll film with sufficiently opaque backing paper to avoid this problem? I don't want to modify the camera. Thank you!

  2. #2

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    Black electricians tape makes a very good temporary shutter for the red window.

  3. #3
    wiltw's Avatar
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    But then how would you know that you have advanced the film far enough, to the next frame?!

  4. #4
    guitstik's Avatar
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    peel it back and re-stick it, simple.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  5. #5
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Painters tape will probably do the job as well, and is easily peeled and replaced.

    But I would first try the camera with an ISO 400 film to see if you need to worry. Use it on a sunny day, and make a point of letting some sun hit the window for a moderate period of time.

    The backing paper on the Kodak films I use is quite opaque.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #6
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    I've had a window leak on an old Yashica A TLR but I had my back to the sun a good bit and wasn't aware of the issue back then.

    Matt's suggestion about testing with some 400 speed sounds like a good one. I'm sure the ruby-lith can fade so it's probably a good idea.

  7. #7

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it---when I've accidentally left the red window open on my folders, I've never had a problem. I think backing paper is plenty opaque enough unless you're subjecting the window to very bright light.

    But if in doubt, it certainly can't hurt to tape a "shutter" over the window. I'd use a piece of cardboard under the electrical tape, just to avoid getting sticky goo on the window itself.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  8. #8

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    If you have a steel back on the camera, a fridge magnet might work as well.

  9. #9

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    I use a lot of folders, from 1938 to the 50's, and often leave the ruby window un shuttered with 400 film and have yet to have a light leak,Richard

  10. #10
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have taped a layer of rubylith inside a 1914 era box camera where the red window plastic's red dye had faded.
    my real name, imagine that.

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