The Mystery of the Kodak moment and the Holga camera

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by john_n._wall, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. When I use my Holga and look at the results, once in a while I see the
    word "Kodak" appear on the negative. I am shooting Tri-X. The word
    "Kodak" does not appear on every roll. When it appears, it shows up on
    one frame, or maybe two or three frames in a row, but never in all the
    frames on the roll. It always appears in the upper right hand quadrant
    of the frame.

    Obviously, the word "Kodak" was nowhere to be seen in the original
    subject I was photographing. It is getting onto the film from
    somewhere, but I have asked several people knowledgeable about film
    and film processing and no one can tell me how I am getting the word
    "Kodak" to appear in my images, ie how it "prints" onto the negative.

    Can anyone help me understand where is this word coming from? How is
    this happening? My best guess is that the word is on the paper backing
    of the film and somehow it is getting "printed" onto the film itself,
    but I can't figure out how that could happen.
  2. Can you post an example?
  3. << but I can't figure out how that could happen. >>

    Do you put gaffers tape over the frame count window?
  4. What Rob said.
  5. Could be light coming in from the back of the camera and through the backing paper... Which would expose the work Kodak on the film...
  6. Michael, a plausible idea. But if that's what's happening, why is the exposure through the film back selective, ie why expose the word "Kodak" and not just fog the film? I do not have a medium format film scanner, but I will try to scan the image from my contact sheet on a flatbed scanner and post it.
  7. Probably because the word Kodak isn't repeated constantly It's spaced out enought to only appear on frames here and there; in other words the backing of the 120 film has 'KODAK' on it so you can see it thought the red window. When you are finished taking a photo and/or before you take a photo, the light seeps thought the windows and the black 'KODAK' word is exposed onto your image. Only when the word is there and only when left in the sun in that frame for a sufficient time.

    Or it's a ghost.
  8. Samething happened to me once in a Kiev 88 camera. I cannot find an explanation yet.
  9. John,

    Kirk has the correct answer. This is actually pretty well documented in the world of the Holga. You can search for it on google.

    If you make a little cover for the rear-window out of gaffers tape (or just apply the 34-click rule for film advancement) the problem should go away.
  10. << (or just apply the 34-click rule for film advancement) the problem should go away. >>

    I should clarify this. I mean, just cover the window completely (instead of making a flap for it) and use the 34-click rule.
  11. Thanks for the clarification of this mystery, one of many with the Holga. Rob, I love the 34-click rule. How does one gain access to the "world of Holga" to learn about this and other wonders of my new medium-format camera?
  12. John, :)

    That led me to posts here, forums, and dozens of other websites, forums, blogs, etc etc.
  13. Oh, ok, the obvious. I thought maybe the world of Holga was in an alternative universe to which one gained access through a secret portal.
  14. Oh /that/ world of Holga. Well, if you step into this wardrobe....
  15. Sorry a little late here... The word Kodak is coming from the backing paper on the film from light leaking in from the red window. I use a piece of black electrical tape to cover it when I'm not winding. If you keep it covered with the tape and when winding make sure that you are not doing it in direct sunlight, you should be able to get rid of this problem... although, it is one of those weird quirks that people look for from real toy cameras.

    If you want to be immersed in the world of Holgas start reading the forums at
  16. is a great toy camrea place.
    Make sure you tape your Holga with black duct tape.
    If you look on EBAY, you'll find special Holga Duct Tape.
    All it is "regular duct tape".
    Holga Rocks!

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