This is my blog about my interests in photography and film-making, also my travels as well as other items that I feel may be of interest. I also run the Photography equipment website, Filmcam....................................... IF YOU WANT TO ENLARGE ANY IMAGE BELOW SIMPLY CLICK ON IT !

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stopping the Fog

If you use movie film on spools have you ever been unable to find a shady spot for loading ? It happened to me a couple of summers ago, with just my own shadow for shade... Result: a big chunk of edge-fogging. Luckily most of the picture area was saved, but only just... if it had been Super-16 the outcome would have been far worse. Whoever first called them 'daylight' spools had his tongue firmly in his cheek.

Then, how about trying to load a film-sandwich as I showed you last time ? Or any slightly complicated procedure for that matter that needs some time and a good light to work by.

This anti-fog box takes only minutes to make. It's simply a 100ft film container that has a small piece cut out, and then coated with black velvet. Place the spool inside and pass some film out of the slot. The box can be stored in a black plastic bag until you are ready to load. Pull out a foot or so of film and load the camera without attaching the film-spool. Pull out a bit more film and satisfy yourself that everything with the camera is otherwise OK, the take-up not slipping and so on. Now, in as much shade as possible, perhaps under a jacket, open the container and place the film-spool in position on the feed spindle. This simple act only takes a matter of seconds and so it's relatively easy to shield the film. A final burst of the motor then bring down the door. The idea is that most of the task can be carried out in broad daylight, taking one's time.

Another use that I have found for the anti-fog box is in the darkroom. After a few beers it can sometimes be rather fiddly attaching a 16mm film to a processing spiral. But not with the lights on. When the curls of film are starting to follow the grooves, turn off the light and open the box. Now place the spool on a vertical spindle, hold the film at the magic 70 degrees angle, and the film loads in no time.

Did you spot the mistake in the 'Kodak' printer I sketched last time ? Yes, the take-up should be clockwise not anti-clockwise ! Incidentally, the anti-fog box wouldn't be much use loading this Kodak because the film spool must be fitted first in the inner chamber, but that effectively protects the film from fogging anyway.