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  1. #1
    djgeorgie's Avatar
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    Ultrafine 120 film: I can see the numbers and guide marks on my exposures!

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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
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  2. #2
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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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.
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  3. #3

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

  4. #4
    mfohl's Avatar
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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. #5
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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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. #6
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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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 Nicholas Lindan; 01-16-2013 at 01:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  7. #7
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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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).
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  8. #8
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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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.)
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  9. #9

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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
    Nathan Tenny
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  10. #10

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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

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