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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    120 film width tolerances

    Hello,

    a somewhat weird observation, but perhaps somebody else noticed...

    I've noticed lately that most films in the 120 format seem to have light leaks along the end walls of the spools, causing black edges on the film when developed. I have seen this with Ilford, Efke, Fomapan, Fortepan and on and on - but strangely enough, never with Kodak or Agfa.

    Does anybody know if these two companies have tighter tolerances when manufacturing the film so that it fits into the spool tighter, or that the paper and the film will wrap 'harder' around eachother, letting less light in.

    This has been with four different MF cameras, so I know it's not a camera issue.

    I guess this should teach me to change films using a changing bag, or use Kodak/Agfa film...

    - Thomas
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #2

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    Never experienced this with Ilford, but I have reason to believe that Kodak spools have a slightly larger diameter

  3. #3
    papagene's Avatar
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    Thomas,
    I have had this with both Ilford & Kodak. It is more a function of how you handle the film after you take it out of the camera. Make sure it is wound very tightly when you seal it up and if possible, unload the camera in subdued light.
    I usually try to quickly put the exposed roll in a small black bag that 4x5 film ot 5x7 paper came in. I have few problems since starting these practices.
    gene
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  4. #4
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thanks Gene,

    that's helpful. When I think back I treated all these films the same way, only the Kodak and Agfa were shot indoors in an old 19th century flour mill, and deposited into their 'dark storage' without seeing direct sunlight.
    The other rolls I had no way of changing in subdued light.
    Also, for some reason, as I look through my neg binder of 120 film, it seems as if I tend to use Agfa and Kodak indoors, while 'experimenting' with other films outdoors. For what reason, I don't know.
    The exception to this is that I've used a lot of Kodak outdoors as well, and never had the problem occur. Strange...

    I guess the moral is to handle 120 film more carefully, and always bring a changing bag into the field for maximum protection.

    Thanks for the input,

    - Thomas
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  5. #5
    Aggie's Avatar
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    Do you apply pressure to the film as you load it onto the take up reel? I know there have been times when a roll will just not wid back up tightly, and other times it stays nice and tight. Once I started using pressure as resistance when loading it, I had minimal problems with looser wound reels.
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  6. #6
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Aggie,

    that is a great idea, which I have employed for as long as I can remember. That is good advice, though.
    However, one has to consider that perhaps it was loosley wound by the manufacturer as well. I went through a few different brands of film that keeps sitting around in my stash, and it seems that some manufacturers do this better than others.
    I can't help but think that Kodak must do a great job in the manufacturing process, as far as film light security goes anyway. A couple of rolls of Fortepan400 are almost unwinding themselves, the Fuji Acros seems very tightly wound. Efke R25 is sort of loose, as is Bergger and Fomapan.

    I'm going to stop worrying about it, and just load film with the aid of a changing bag instead. Better safe than sorry.

    Thanks everybody for your input,

    - Thomas
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    dr bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    Do you apply pressure to the film as you load it onto the take up reel? I know there have been times when a roll will just not wid back up tightly, and other times it stays nice and tight. Once I started using pressure as resistance when loading it, I had minimal problems with looser wound reels.
    Right! Also, when unloading, before releasing the
    reel, give the paper a slight tug to take up any slack. THEN without touching the reel/roll, do the release mechanism and allow the reel to "fall" gently into your ready hand. I had a similar problem (not really a problem, but aggravating) until I began to do the above.
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.



 

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