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  1. #1
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Could use some help with a diagnosis

    I still very much consider myself new to LF, I'm trying to learn to use a 4x5 (Cambo). I recently shot a number of sheets while on vacation and just got around to starting the developing. It's TMax 100, D76 using a CombiPlan and Fidelity Elite holders.

    Most of the sheets seem fine, but more than a few have a very broad, unexposed band which ends up making the processed format almost square (see attached image).
    When I load film, the flap end is away from me with the film notches in the right-hand corner. I withdraw the dark slide enough to reveal the end of the film slot/track. Then I insert the sheet and make sure it is snug against the stops at the flap end before closing the flap and seating the dark slide.

    It almost looks as though the sheet is riding up in the holder towards the open end. Could pulling the slide when shooting allow the sheet to ride up and thus a small strip never gets exposed? It seems unlikely. I've just tried a couple of the holders, one of which I'm sure was an offender, and there does not seem to be any way a sheet could ride up over the stops at the slide opening end. Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FormatProblem.jpg  
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  2. #2
    winger's Avatar
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    When you shoot, are you pulling the darkslide completely out of the holder or do you sometimes not pull it all the way out?

  3. #3

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    The blank sections look to me like the sheath hasn't been removed fully, thus leaving part of the film unexposed.

    If the film had moved in the film holder before exposure, then the image would be all over the notch-end of the film?

    Mike

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    It almost looks as though the sheet is riding up in the holder towards the open end. Could pulling the slide when shooting allow the sheet to ride up and thus a small strip never gets exposed? It seems unlikely. I've just tried a couple of the holders, one of which I'm sure was an offender, and there does not seem to be any way a sheet could ride up over the stops at the slide opening end. Any thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    The film "Riding up" would have been my first guess. But if you are satisfied that you can rule out that possibility, perhaps you are not fully removing the slide when shooting.

    I have a few sheets of 4x5 film from my beginner days when I did just that. For some reason, that was completely logical at the time, I thought it clever to leave the dark slide just barely in the film holder. I was bracketing and not concerned with composition or focusing at that point; just the time needed to wrap up the shot.

    Needless to say, I never repeated that mistake.

  5. #5

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    Two things come to mind. Firstly, I personally never withdraw the darkside completely from the filmholder, and occasionally have left the darkside in too far during an exposure. My darksides are now marked appropriately. But, I don't think that is your trouble here.

    There is the possibility that the holder was not completly in the camera when you made the exposure.
    "Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí

  6. #6

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    Looks to me like the film was pushed down too far so that the end was riding under the flap.

  7. #7
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I have been withdrawing the dark slide completely since I started learning. Mostly because I'm fairly certain I would not do it correctly otherwise, ha, ha. I don't think I'm inadvertently sliding the sheet too far down towards the flap end when loading because I tried that a bit ago to make sure, with some scrap sheets I keep around. If you do, you can't close the flap, nor fully insert the slide and lock it without it being obvious. Now, on occasion, I have 'forgotten' to remove the dark slide, rather embarrassing. I re-cock the shutter and hope any uninitiated nearby think it was a deliberate practice shot.

    Right now, I seem to be focused (no pun) on Dann's thought about not inserting the holder all the way. I thought I was, but perhaps not. I will load a couple of holders, even one that I know this happened in, and see what happens. Thanks all for making me think.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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  8. #8
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    Push the film holder in farther. I think the film holder catching on the little lip and not going in all the way.

  9. #9
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    OT: How is the combiplan? A friend of mine just started 4x5 and wants to start a home darkroom. I suggested the combiplan but have never used it myself.

  10. #10
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    Do a "blank" test: use an empty holder and put it in position. Remove the lens board and remove the dark slide. Look through the front standard and you will see what's shading your negatives.

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