changing bags : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

i do my film development in my way too small bathroom (anyone know the rents here in london???). not only is it inconvinient, my girlfriend starts to complain a bit.

now i am considering a changing bag. is there anyone who uses them or knows to recommend a special model? they come in different sizes. can it be too big?

-- stefan randlkofer (, April 28, 2002


Something about your post I don't understand. The only time you need complete darkness for film processing is when loading the film onto the reel; once the reel is in the tank, you go from there with the lights on. So I wouldn't imagine you would tie up the bathroom for very long. That said, I have a changing bag which I always carry in my luggage, in case I need to manually extract film from a jammed camera. Years ago I also used it for loading 4x5 film holders and the occasional 35mm or medium-format film into a developing tank. They came in at least 2 sizes at that time, not sure anymore, I would suggest getting one no larger than necessary because otherwise the excess fabric will simply weigh on your hands. I don't know if you're using a single-reel tank like I did, or loading the large multi-reel type. That would make a difference in the size bag you'd need.

-- Jay (, April 28, 2002.

Good for you Stefan! I do my developing at the kitchen sink. I use two one roll stainless steel tanks with ss lightproof lids, and of course, the best reels in the world, Hewes! Load film with change bag, and develop to ambient room temperature. Size really depends on size of tank. I use the smallest and cheapest I can find which will usually last a life time. I don't know whether you're doing a dunk method or not now, but with the tanks, I usually do a 30 second pre- soak.

-- Glenn Travis (, April 28, 2002.

I didn't think much about changing bags (used the cheapest) until I used someone else's money to buy one for a specific job, and got one that Helix sells that has a dome-tent type structure inside to hold it inflated--I gotta say, it's a great improvement on the basic concept. But can't you find a dark closet somewhere you can change film in, in the middle of the night? That's easiest of all.

-- Michael Darnton (, April 28, 2002.

to clarify: to get my bathroom absolutely dark, i have to close all the doors in my flat, then lock myself in the bathroom, hang masses of towels around the door and still can make out a few glimpses of light. this is quite a procedure, and the whole flat is bocked for a time. i don't even have enough space to sit down or get anyhow comfortable. but i musn't complain. i only pay about three times as much for this flat than i paid for a double the size one in Berlin.

-- stefan randlkofer (, April 28, 2002.

I use a Harrison 4x5 Film Pup Tent, model HT 0200 at Calumet, for loading 4x5 film. Built like a camping tent, the poles keep the bag off what you are doing inside, which would be very helpful when trying to load film onto a reel. The Harrison tent isn't inexpensive, but extreme hassles with the older bag style convinced me of its worth.

-- Ralph Barker (, April 28, 2002.

I use a cheap 25Ē x 27Ē generic-brand bag. Itís ok for 35mm. Iíve loaded as many as 4 reels at a time with it, thereís enough room for that. A bag is way way easier than trying to make a room light-tight.

Canít say whether a bag can be too big. If you can lose a cassette in there it is probably too big?

Once in the tank, move your processing to the kitchen. If your girlfriend complains about that then donít hesitate to accommodate her.


-- Jeff Stuart (, April 28, 2002.

I wait until it's dark out, turn off the lights, and pull dark sheet and blanket over my lap. If I have to load reels during the day, I'll use the same scheme in a dark closet. Nothing fogged yet.

-- Mike Dixon (, April 28, 2002.

I've used the same changing bag (nylon w/double zippers at one end and two elastic sleeves at the other) for thirty years. I use it for loading film from cassettes onto developing tank reels while in a fully lit room and for removing film from cameras when jamming or breakage occurs. I've never had a light leak problem with my bag. I highly recommend changing bags both for tank loading and for emergency film removal situations.

-- Peter B. Goldstein (, May 01, 2002.

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