HELP! Bulk loading light leaks...
I am exeriencing light leaks on bulk loader film. And I would like to have a little help figuring out where they come from...
Bulk loader: Lloyd
Cassettes: plastic screw top.
Leica M6 if it matters....
The light leak shows always on the end of the roll about 10 frames from the tail. What puzzules me is that 1- It appeared on rolls coming from different cassetes, with two different types of film, Plus-X and Tri-X ( I switch them when needed since I have only one loader ) The logical answer would be a leak on the loader BUT, if it was the case, it would show more than one time per 36 exposures rolls... since the roll itself make more than one revolution...
My hypothesis: It is when the film is actually loaded in the cassete that it should be exposed to a light leak.... Maybe the hatch is not fully light tight?
Maybe the camera? but I think Leica bottom load are not really prone to light leaks and It never happened on regular rolled cassettes...
I really don't understand this, all differents factors are not coinciding...
Do you bulk load several rolls in one session or do you load the film as needed? If the latter, then the bulk loader, loaded with film, will presumably sit around for an extended period of time, and a very small light leak in the bulk loader could turn into a noticeable bit of fogging at a fixed point in the roll (relative to the end, of course, since the end is loaded first). If this is correct, I'd suggest you measure out how far the leak occurs, in inches or centimeters, and figure out where that is in the bulk loader. Perhaps you'll find a hairline crack or a poorly-fitting piece of the bulk loader. You might then be able to repair it. As a workaround, store the bulk loader in a light-tight box.
Thanks for the advice, it was really helpfull.
I took a look to the loader and I have found that the light leak get us to the felt trap so I inspected it:
1-The felt trap is not perfectly light tight even with a film inside it.
2-The hatch covering the flet trap is not perfectly light tight either.
So: two options: A very very very small amount of light gets in first by the hatch and then trough the trap and gets to the film.
Second option the most plausible one, when I bulk load, (I am new to this) I pull film then get it up upwards to tape the end to the spool. So, since the felt is not perfectly safe, some light migh go through it and mark the film... I usually load in subdued light but, no one knows.
So, I know just made a test roll, and after I used electric tape to tape the hatch. I will wait, and if the next roll is ok, its the hatch. However, if the mark is still there, it occurs when I tape the end to the spool.
The amount of light enterring must be really small since it affect the neg only at one place...
Anyway thanks a lot and I am really upset: I paid 55$ for this new loader (I didn't wanted a used one because of dust). So I will give a call to the shop that sold it to me and I will try to get a compensation.
Again, many thanks!
If the unit you have only has a light trap made of felt or something else, then it has possibly worn a bit, allowing light to enter.
I haven't used this type of loader for about 30 years. I purchased a Kaiser bulk film loader in Germany for a couple of reasons. Firstly there is no material light trap, instead there is a door that closes when the unit is open. When you close the lid to actually wind on (or load) film, the trap door opens when you insert the winder handle, which allows the film to pass freely.
The Kaiser also has a dial allowing you to see how much film you have left, plus it has a film counter with which you can add exactly the amount of frames to a bulk loaded cassette that you wish.
Later on I found a copy of these made under the Hansa name, which is also a German company, then later on again I found a Japanese version. In each case the units were cheaper than the one preceding it.
I think I paid about $95 Deutsch Mark just over 30 years ago for my first one, quite expensive. The second one cost about ½ of that in Yen, then the others have been purchased in AUD at/or about $50.00 new.
I have 5 of these all with different film loaded.
I think once you have one of these, most, if not all of your light leak problems, will disappear.
I have never liked the types of bulk film loaders that only had a felt light trap.
I have been bulk loading for many many years. I've used a few different brands, but my favorite is the Watson 100. It is a very simple light trap design, with no felt to deal with. I use a fairly new model (purchased 10 years ago or so) but have used very old Watson bulk loaders that were heavily used by staff photographers and they hold up very well over the years. Just my .02
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