film holder felt light stops : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello Everyone,

I have one of those "should know better" questions. I was out shooting over the weekend in wonderful windy Nevada and while waiting for a calm moment kept the dark slide out of the holder a tad too long. The long and short of it is that I discovered that I have a couple holders that have minor leaks in the felt stopping. Is there any way to fluff the felt up a bit, or should I not leave the darkslide out of the slot, or should I pitch 'em as undependable. Oh, they're Graphics of an undertermined age if that matters.

Thank you for your thoughts,


-- kevin kemner (, January 10, 2000


I have had fears of light leaks from this source as well, especially when the sun is from that direction. I resorted to leaving my dark cloth draped over the rear of my camera. This may present a problem in windy conditions, but I havent noticed any problems with leaks since.

-- Ron Shaw (, January 10, 2000.

Kevin: Ron has the right idea. Drape your dark cloth over the camera when the sun is bright. I was taught to always do this many years ago when all we shot professionally was large format. Cover the whole camera with the dark also takes care of pinholes in the bellows and other minor light leaks in the camera. The felt in even new holders can leak light with the sun directly on the end of the holder. If wind is a problem with the dark cloth, a couple of metal clips or clothes pins will hold it in place. Wrap the cloth over the camera and pin to the bottom. You might fluff up the felt a little by running a nail file into the slot and working it side to side, but the dark cloth is a better idea. Doug

-- Doug Paramore (, January 10, 2000.


If light is coming in on your film, you should have the holders checked. Do not fluff the felt light trap, particles may fall onto your film. Sometimes the springs inside weaken in certain areas, or the felts are worn and need to be replaced.

Hope this helps.


-- Alan Brubaker (, November 08, 2000.

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