Light leaks with 13/18 holders! : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I got that problem and it obviously isn't the bellows: the leaking turns with the holder for vertical or horizontal takes. It always occours in the upper right corner when holding the holder so you can read its name (here: fidelity elite). Looking through the flatheld opened holder directly into a halogen lamp I found out that there is really a hole in most of them at that place of the material that should close them securely against sunlight. Is that the reason? I have some jpegs at hand for showing the actual effect. What can be doner against it? How can Fidelity sell that stuff? The holders are as new (I actually bought them new). Best of all: Fidelity DELUXE holders don't show that leak. Don't hesitate to help me please! Ralph

-- Ralph Hinterkeuser (, June 07, 2001


I'm new to large format, and noticed fogging on the RHS on some of my initial shots. I looked at my notes for those shots, and the sunlight was on the side of the holder where the darkslide fits. I'm now shading the darkslide slot during exposure and the problem is gone. I don't know if that's you're problem, but I think generally Fidelity has a good product.

-- Michael Mahoney (, June 07, 2001.

Make a film holder skirt (same material and reasoning as ground glass drak cloth) to cover the open end after you remove the dark slide but before you make your exposure. In the olden days, it was even tougher, as the distance between the end of the image area and the film holder ridge was way less than modern 5x7 and 8x10 holders. No holder is really light tight once the dark slide has been pulled.

Good lu

-- David F. Stein (, June 07, 2001.

It is always a good idea to cover the back of the camera with your darkshade after the holder is in and the slide pulled. Prevents this sort of thing!

-- Alec (, June 07, 2001.

Ralph: The previous comments are good suggestions. I've never had a light leak. But I never assume that a film holder with the slide in place (or on the camera back with the slide pulled) is "light proof." I don't leave the camera bag sitting in the sun with the darkslides pointed up -- or down. I keep them under wraps. I don't pull the dark slide and wait very long for the right moment. Many light leaks don't come from where you think/assume they do and most can be fixed easily. Take the camera in the darkroom, put a lens on it with a closed shutter, put a film holder in it and stick a bright flashlight inside and check and see where the leaks are. You may be surprised. The really effective way to do this for me has been a cheap "survival" repeating strobe you can get at a marine store. It flashes over and over inside, you can place it nearest any part of the camera you are concerned about, it is cool and doesn't damage anything, and you will see leaks. Some leaks are very hard to find since they are long thin lines, so move all around the camera in the dark to find them. Even if you find no leaks or deal with them all, protect the filmholders to the extent you can, and when you know you've just composed a "wall-hanger" shoot a duplicate negative.

-- Kevin Crisp (, June 07, 2001.

Hi Ralph

Yes, I had also thad problems in the beginning some years ago! But I starded then also to use the darkcloth or my arm or hand to shaddow the darkslides slot and an other weak point is the back itself if it is an older camera with no hard push against the camera anymore and you pull the darkslide out, then you should also push the back against the camera a little bit during the pull and push of the darkslide!

Good shaddow on the back!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, June 08, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ