White lines around LF prints

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I have been using a Linhof Technica and a 150 Symar lens for a few months now in conjunction with Readyload 160VC Portra film. Now I have used this film in a Polaroid 545i filholder and one of the new single sided Readyload holders but with both holders I get some form of white line around the border of the image about 1 to 2mm in, and about 1mm in thickness. Is this normal?, is it processing?, or are the holders or the camera reflecting light on to the outer edges of the film somehow?

thanks to all.

-- adrian tyler (tyler@nova.es), January 28, 2002


Adrian, could you specify if this appears on the negatives as well in the form of dark lines around the frame? In this case: a light leak in the back of your camera.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), January 28, 2002.

Yes, dark lines appear on negs, some more pronounced than others, all the way round in some cases.

-- adrian tyler (tyler@nova.es), January 28, 2002.

If the image area is not affected and the marks are limited to the margins of the film then I can't be holder or camera back light leak. If a holder doesn't seat properly or the black cloth lightproofing around the camera's back is peeling or worn it can streak the image with light and this might extend into the margins, but this isn't happening. It sounds like light is hitting what should be behind the frame of the holder. Static discharge? Do you process yourself? Isolate and process an unexposed sheet after doing everything else the same. It's hard to say without seeing it all.

-- Rob Tucher (rtphotodoc@hotmail.com), January 28, 2002.

It's hard to tell. I have had many light leaks on my Technika, especially with Astra film holders who have a spring loaded security pin. But the light strikes from one side, the side the film holders are inserted in the camera. It does not produce thin lines, but rather spread out into the frame. Do you have the same problem with negatives loaded in regular film holders? Could be a light leak from inside the 545i.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), January 28, 2002.

I am new to LF and as such have started out with the Readyload/Polaroid holders, as this is happening on both to some extent and they are both new I can't see it being a light leak in the holders. The Linhof is a newish "Master" and all of the light protecting material is in place on the back, it looks sound...

I'd upload a scan of one of the prints but how?

-- adrian tyler (tyler@nova.es), January 29, 2002.

A S A M P L E I M A G E I S H E R E:



-- adrian tyler (tyler@nova.es), January 29, 2002.

Hard to say from a scan, but seems to me that some areas of the film are slightly fogged too, especially right bottom. There are a few check-ups that you can do: First check your bellows. You do that in a dark room by moving a small light inside and along each corner of the extended bellows and checking visually from outside if there are no pinholes. Second, check your springback. If the springs are loose and do not keep the back tight, have them replaced. Third, try put some isolation foam in the groove where the ridge of the filmholder sits. Use a very tender foam to make sure it does not prevent the ridge from sitting right into the groove, otherwise it will just get worse (sorry if my words are inaccurate, I hope you get the point). Check also that your Polaroid back is absolutely flat. I had a Kodak ReadyLoad back, years ago that got deformed and convex and was the cause of some wasted negatives before I noticed it. Be careful also when the sun strikes on the insert side of the camera (seems it was the case when you took that shot). Always put yourself in a position where you shield the camera from the sun with your body before pushing or pulling the darkslide or envelope, and hold the back together with the camera with the other hand to make sure the back is not pulled off the camera. You can also lay your darkcloth on the camera to protect the film back from the sun. Hope this helps!

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), January 29, 2002.

Thanks for your advice Paul, I did the pinhole test as you suggest and the bellows is fine, I checked the springback and OK too, next the "isolation foam", well the original is in place and it too looks OK.

So I really don't know, from what I understand from your comments is that it is likeley that even if everything is technically sound, you can still get leaks in unprotected sunlight?

I hadn't given it a thought, but I shoot here in Spain and the light can get pretty intense, would these white lines be normal in unprotected light, or should I send the camera to a technician?

Thanks for your help and experience, it is appreciated.


-- adrian tyler (tyler@nova.es), January 30, 2002.

"So I really don't know, from what I understand from your comments is that it is likeley that even if everything is technically sound, you can still get leaks in unprotected sunlight?"

Yes, it can be. If the light strikes right into the film holder opening, and the holder is not in perfect condition or something moves when you pull or insert the dark slide. But in your case, I would check if the Pola back is not the problem in bright sunlight. Maybe it's not that good with the Kodak sheets. You can revert the back to have the entry opposite to the sun. You should perhaps try use a standard film holder to see if it gets better.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), January 30, 2002.

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