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  1. #1
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    I think I'm having problems with light leaks in my 5x7 gear, but I'm not positive where they are coming from. On two negatives I have what looks like overexposed spots...covering the small area like fog. At first I thought perhaps it was the film holder, but the exposure pattern is exactly the same on both negatives, which would mean both sides of the holder would have to be flawed in exactly the same way on both sides...not likely. So then I'm thinking that its the way this holder was sitting, or sits, in the camera since the leak is at the very edge and goes inward about a cm or less. Does this sound about right? Anything I can do to correct it, or will I just have to toss the holder? thanks!

  2. #2

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    If the same spot is being overexposed on both negatives then you are likely to have a problem apart from the holder. If the orientation is opposite each other (from side to side) then the holder may be involved. Does it occur on the "notch" end of the film? Or is it at the light trap area? I thought that I had problems with holders as well a while back. I found that I had pin holes in the bellows instead. I found this by loading a holder into the back, removing the lens board and holding a lit flashlight in the camera in a darkened room. Good luck.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

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  3. #3
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    It runs along the edge of the film lengthwise. But it does so on both negatives which is why i didn't think the flaw was in the holder. I didn't suspect bellows leak since it is new, but perhaps it isn't attached correctly at the end, so I'll check that out. I'll try what you did, and see how it goes. Thanks!
    RL Foley

  4. #4

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    Double check to see that the spring back is keeping the holder in contact with the back. Also check where the bellows is connected to the rear standard. I don't recall what camera you have but if the bellows is held on the standard with a retaining plate and screws, they may be worked loose, or you may have some sort of seperation of material at the back of the bellows on the side of the over exposure.

    Another possibility is the holder frame could have some build up of gunk in the corners or foreign matter imbedded, especially if it is wooden. So check rear frame for dirt.

    Just to make sure on the holders, use a straight edge and check for warpage. A slightly bowed holder could allow a light leak where it seats to the frame.

    I suggest these only because I have run across all of them at one time or another on various cameras of mine or those of friends.

  5. #5
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I'll try all of them when I get home today. The camera is a 5x7 Agfa Ansco, with a new bellows. The bellows is attached with screws or adhesive I think. Its an all wood camera, and the film holders(kodak) are wood as well.
    RL Foley

  6. #6
    glbeas's Avatar
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    I've had fog like that from the film being fogged in the box somehow, just one edge of the film was lightstruck. Never found out how that happened, maybe some curious person peeked into the box while I was away.

  7. #7
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    Well I think I found out the problem with one of the holders (only tested one so far). I did the flashlight thing in the dark with one of the holders in and it seems that if the holder isn't sitting perfctly along the top then light can creep in at the corner...for this holder. The exposed part of the negative for this holder was at the corner as well so I think thats the only leak...for that holder. I have the other holder which had the leaks along the top edge of the film, which means the leak should be coming from the bottom edge of the camera, so I'll test that one this evening and see if I can't correct it. Thanks for all the tips...hopefully I can correct the leaks and not have to toss the holders since 5x7 holders aren't easy to come by.
    RL Foley

  8. #8
    DKT
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    You could try to take the suspect holder and use gaffer tape to hold it in place? This might help diagnose a leak at that point? We had an Omega 45D that would cause these streaks of light (density) on the neg that for a long time we thought was an agitation mark. Turned out that it was this teeny-weeny pinhole and sometimes it would be there & sometimes not depending on how the bellows was flexed. We had to get a new bellows for that Omega, but in the interim, we still used it by wrapping a darkcloth around the mid-section (bellows) and clamping it tight. It was a PIA to work with everyday, but it kept the film from being fogged. Could be you could do some tests like this, and try to rule out the bellows. The other test might be to take black gaffer's tape and tape the hell out of that holder--get it in place, pull the slide--darken the room--and pop a strobe into it at different angles a couple of times. Then run the film...

    Could also be a developing error.... These things are really hard to track down and will almost drive you nuts....

    KT

  9. #9
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    Ok i'm pretty convinced that the leaks are from the way the holder sits in the camera. I just developed another negative from a different holder and it has the same patter if light leaks at the top of the image. While it could be the bellows, i doubt it b/c they are brand new, and they seem to be correctly attached to the back end of the camera. Next time I use them I'm just going to keep the darkcloth covered over the back end when I take out the darkslide. Hopefully this will solve my problems.
    RL Foley

  10. #10
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Have you check to see if the camera itself is not warped in some strange way so the holder does not seat right? Or that the 5x7 is made for a standard filmholder? I've heard of some off brands not fitting right.
    Gary Beasley

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