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  1. #81

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    My impression has always been that even on the darkest night outdoors and far from the kind of "light pollution" we now experience in most urban areas there is always more light than in a 100% blacked-out darkroom and yet if there is, then it might not be enough to fog film. On the BBC programme "The Genius of Photography" there was an interview with an American army photographer who during World War II has used a 35mm camera instead of the standard issue Speed Graphic. During the fighting in the Ardennes he had obtained chemicals from a shell-damaged chemist's shop and had developed, fixed and washed a roll of 35mm film outside in the dark using three soldiers' helmets for dev, fix and wash, hung the roll on a bush and had a perfect set of negs the next day.

    Assuming his story to be true and I see no reason why its shouldn't have been, especially the part about having to wait until dark and develop it outside, then is there a very low level of light which allows film to be developed.?

    It may be that a very dark night is in effect the equivalent of absolute blackness but I would have thought that even on the darkest of nights there must be more light than in a 100% blacked-out darkroom but presumably not enough to fog film but maybe still just enough for our eyes to discern a difference between 100% darkness and a very dark night.

    Presumably some human eyes are better than others in the dark. Certainly an owl's eyes are. It can fly in conditions in which most or all humans would say that it was impossible to see.

    Just a few thoughts and I hope you liked the story about the photographer. For our U.S. members, he had an Italian name which I cannot remeber but I think he was called Tony something and he continued to earn his living at photography after the war. Maybe someone here will know of him.

    pentaxuser


    pentaxuser

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Don't waste too much time the OP decided APUG's answer's weren't good enough and is now looking elsewhere
    Ian - that's just not the APUG way, we MUST debate every subject to the most abstract point... Original question be damned!
    Kirk

    For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!

  3. #83
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    My impression has always been that even on the darkest night outdoors and far from the kind of "light pollution" we now experience in most urban areas there is always more light than in a 100% blacked-out darkroom and yet if there is, then it might not be enough to fog film...
    Not correct. If the war story is true, he must have been using very slow film. Please read post #19.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  4. #84
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    Why is this still rambling on? People should simply test.

    Since I did a lot of experimentation with preflashing, I was naturally very interested in base fog and how much flash gave how much change in tone. Through that I learned that my darkroom most certainly is dark enough.

    There is no shortcut... you cannot advance to GO and collect $200... you have to test your own darkroom Anecdotes are nice, but in the end they are just anecdotes.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Why is this still rambling on? People should simply test.

    Since I did a lot of experimentation with preflashing, I was naturally very interested in base fog and how much flash gave how much change in tone. Through that I learned that my darkroom most certainly is dark enough.

    There is no shortcut... you cannot advance to GO and collect $200... you have to test your own darkroom Anecdotes are nice, but in the end they are just anecdotes.
    But Keith

    By arguing on APUG for days you can easily save yourself a 30-minute test in your own darkroom.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
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  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Not correct. If the war story is true, he must have been using very slow film. Please read post #19.
    Ralph I presume it was very slow film- by modern standards, most if not all films were slow back then. I have never experienced what a really dark night can be like either. It may be as dark as a 100% blacked-out darkroom but I had always assumed that the inherent light level on the darkest night was brighter than a good darkroom.

    Can anyone here say who he was? Once I get his name then it will be intrguing to try and discover the full story such as what was the film and was it truly done outside with no cover such as a big army blanket over his head!

    My post is only a diversion but an interesting one, I think. It would seem as if the OP has long since ceased to be interested so I felt it was OK to introduce this story. Personally I am paranoic about getting my darkroom 100% dark for film and wouldn't want to risk anything less. However I did once load a film into a tank with my back to the door only to discover that there were tiny faint pinpricks of light around the door. No fog on the film but probably my back shielded the film sufficiently.


    pentaxuser

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    Ralph I presume it was very slow film- by modern standards, most if not all films were slow back then. I have never experienced what a really dark night can be like either. It may be as dark as a 100% blacked-out darkroom but I had always assumed that the inherent light level on the darkest night was brighter than a good darkroom.

    Can anyone here say who he was? Once I get his name then it will be intrguing to try and discover the full story such as what was the film and was it truly done outside with no cover such as a big army blanket over his head!

    My post is only a diversion but an interesting one, I think. It would seem as if the OP has long since ceased to be interested so I felt it was OK to introduce this story. Personally I am paranoic about getting my darkroom 100% dark for film and wouldn't want to risk anything less. However I did once load a film into a tank with my back to the door only to discover that there were tiny faint pinpricks of light around the door. No fog on the film but probably my back shielded the film sufficiently.


    pentaxuser
    Without moon and urban light pollution, you might be able to do it.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #88

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    Thanks to Ralph and others I went back into my darkroom and made careful observations as to any light leaks. If the door is pulled very tightly closed there is essentially no light entering the darkroom. So, I guess I was working in the dark....in more ways then one.....I agree with Keith....test your own space....if you see no problems that might be attributable to light leaks than proceed with abandon. If there are problems, then fix such...good luck.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser View Post
    Ralph I presume it was very slow film- by modern standards, most if not all films were slow back then. I have never experienced what a really dark night can be like either. It may be as dark as a 100% blacked-out darkroom but I had always assumed that the inherent light level on the darkest night was brighter than a good darkroom.
    I've done night drives through empty areas (most of Nevada is great for that) and been amazed at the depth of the black of the sky. If you had that kind of "middle of nowhere" light (which in the 1940s was most places not urban centers), a new moon and maybe some cloud cover, maybe some forest cover . . . it could be impressively dark.

    An ISO 12 orthochromatic film certainly makes that easier, in practical terms.

  10. #90

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    I admit haven't read the whole discussion yet but you all would cring at my darkroom from the sounds of it. I have no door to my darkroom. no double bends curtain, nothing. it's an old coal room and so no windows though the little "window/door" like that that allows you to move the coal into the house isn't sealed that great from light eithr. right outside the door though and off to the side there is one of those small basement windows. they are actually scattered about downstairs.

    all I really do though is make sure the lights ustairs are turned off right next to the stairs and in the living room, put my back to the door and have the enlarger sitting on the floor with all my chems as well. so far haven't had problems even when leaving some paper out and about in the open with it fogging up or whatnot.

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