How bad did I screw up here?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. I have dabbled in large format somewhat and have owned three 4x5 cameras including the Crown Graphic I bought yesterday. This one came with a medium format roll back, which I have never used before. I obviously thought it would be empty when I was looking at the camera but when I cracked it open to look inside there was a full roll of film. It couldn't have been open for more than a second and I know this will cause exposure but I am wondering about the film that was still protected by the roll and if it might still be viable. Also, how can I tell if I am at the beginning or end of the roll and how to unload it safely. Any thoughts or links to info?

  2. The odds are that it probably was exposed already, Everytime I try to shoot what looks to be an old unexposed roll of film, it has turned out to be already shot.
    I' d just process it and see. There probably will be some light damage, but there may still be some parts of latent images surviving.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  3. Not so long ago, I had what I thought was an exposed roll of Tri-X, 135-24.

    The tab was barely out of the cartridge, not like they come from the factory.
    (This is uncrimped and with full Leica style tongue.)

    But it turned out to be unexposed, and fairly low fog, too.

    I do have another one to try someday.
  4. Reality check - It's a roll of old film!
  5. One second is a lot longer than a typical exposure, and without benefit of the lens aperture. Any film in the film gate will be exposed in the process. However any film already wound on the spool is protected by the paper back. If you're curious, you could complete winding to the takeup spool and have it processed. It could be the Hindenburg burning. You never know until you look.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  6. Not likely that given that the lever wind backs weren't introduced until '65, but your point stands.
  7. If itโ€™s 120 roll film just a guess, but probably one, maybe two frames were exposed to light. The rest of the frames, on the roll probably are OK since 120 film has a paper backing.
  8. The backing paper is on the wrong side of the film to protect it from light in those Graflex backs when they're accidentally opened. The portion of film most affected by the opened door would be the bit immediately opposite the door latch, about 3/4" of film. The portion of film affected the second most would be the bit opposite the door hinge, depending on how far the door was opened. The portion third most affected would be the 6x7 already in the film gate, it has the dark slide on one side, and the pressure plate on the other side of the film protecting it from light but the accidental light could have affected the edges of the film.

    The number opposite the arrow on the frame counter tells how far the film was wound on. Removing the film safely is done by winding the film to it's very end, but if the frame counter displayed something less than ten exposures, you could finish the film by taking some more pics. The film that was still tightly wound on the spool would be light tight and ready to go
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  9. I have an old knob-advance roll film back; it has a frame counter next to the knob. The picture shows that this back doesn't have the red window that was found on some backs to permit the user to see the frame number printed on the backing paper, so I would assume that it has a frame counter next to the lever that would indicate how much of the film had been used.
  10. Back when I first got my RB67, I bought a couple of Graflex roll film backs since they fit the RB67 and tend to be a fraction of the price of good Mamiya 120 backs.

    I have a couple of knob advance Graflex backs that work like most other roll film backs-i.e. you line up the arrows, close the back, wind until it stops, and then go by a frame counter. I don't use them, though, because the knob wind backs have serious film flatness issues. The lever Graflex backs will hold "modern" film flat, but you also pay about as much for them as a Mamiya back-consequently I only have owned one that I've since sold.

    In any case, like I said, Graflex didn't make lever advance backs until '65.
  11. I will only use Pro SD backs. I've got over two dozen purchased over the last two decades. Got rid of all the earlier ones and have never had a problem with light leaks. I love that they take the dark slide behind the film box label holder.

Share This Page