4x5- 3 part film box lighttight?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by mark_s.|4, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. I want to bring my exposed 4x5 film to a lab for processing. Are the (kodak and fuji) 3 part film boxes lighttight itself or do i have to put the film also in the envelope ?
     
  2. Quite light tight - the only reason to use the envelope is to stop the film floating around and getting scratched or dusty.
     
  3. lwg

    lwg

    They are light tight, but I still wouldn't leave them sitting upside down in the sun. And tape them closed before transporting. You don't want someone to drop the box and dislodge the top cover. I always use the envelope to keep the film from shifting and scratching as James mentions. It probably also gives it extra protection from light in the event the top cover comes off.
     
  4. You should also label the box "raw film" before sending to the lab so it does not get opened outside the darkroom.
     
  5. After having one envelope get broken open in the mail, and the 50 sheet box of exposed film from a 100 mile away architectural shoot drop out and be lost forever, let me shout out loud that there is nothing more important than to emphasize that you tape a business card to the box or write all contact and shipping info on the box before packaging. Double tape the box in both directions over the card.
    Other than that, the three part boxes are light tight, but as LG said, it's a good idea to keep it out of direct bright light.
     
  6. I use the film boxes that the film came in. I do usually use the envelopes as well and tape the boxes; just cautious I guess.
     
  7. They are light-tight as long as they're not damaged. I do recommend keeping the film in an envelope or black plastic bag (inside of the box) to prevent it from sliding around and getting scratched.
    I shoot Kodak Portra, which comes in foil envelopes that are difficult to reuse. Freestyle Photo sells black plastic film bags, they work great and fit inside the Kodak Portra boxes I use. I reuse them a few times before they wear out.
    For a long time I did just use the 3-part boxes with no internal bag, and I never had a problem other than some very occasional minor scratches, which may or may not have been caused by the film sliding around the box. I switched labs around the same time that I started using the bags, so I can't say for certain if the lab was the problem. Still, the black plastic film bags are cheap insurance.
    The idea of labeling your film boxes is always smart. I print out laser labels that say something like "Exposed Photographic Film, open only in complete darkness". The labels also have my contact info and the kind of film listed on them.
     

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