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#1 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:46 AM

There are loads of them that make me wonder, here's two:

1) Glow-in-the-dark hands on a watch can flash/fog the film in a dark-room.

2) Film magazines must never be carried on their sides.
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#2 Tom Jensen

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:27 AM

There are loads of them that make me wonder, here's two:

1) Glow-in-the-dark hands on a watch can flash/fog the film in a dark-room.

2) Film magazines must never be carried on their sides.



I've never heard of a watch fogging film. That could be a lab question. A mag is loaded on its' side so it's not a problem if you have it on that side. Particularly if it's a Panavision mag or any other displacement mag. The problem happens when you flip it over. It might move or cone a little. Not much but just enough to cause the mag to be noisy or to scrape a little if it's an Arri 3 mag. Same thing with a coaxial mag. Now you have two sides. So if you pull a half shot roll it could cone either way. The best thing to remember is that if you listen to your first and do what he tells you, there won't be a problem.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 07:12 AM

I could see the watch hands causing some problems on 500T, particularly if it's and Indiglo face. here's a test, go into a dark room and spot meter it @ 500t, and see what that tells you...
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:55 AM

Guys this is common sense: A watch will fog any film unless it isn't sensitive to the green of the face.

Those glowing watches are bright.

If it is just an LCD screen no, but if it is one that has a constantly-illuminated face that will definitely provide enough light to fog.

Even the glow-in-the-dark green tape used in darkrooms and labs will fog film if it is placed close enough and the tape has just been "charged" by exposure to bring light.

Another thing to watch out for is with fluorescent lightbulbs; they will glow for several minutes after being turned off, not necessarily enough to fog film, but it is something to be aware of until your eyes adjust if you are in a darkroom.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:01 AM

I may have misread the original post. If you are talking about glow-in-the-dark hands on an analog darkroom timer, no, they won't be trouble.

The only exceptions to this "rule" would be if you were dicking around with the film laying out for hours (which you shouldn't be) or if you have the flim closer than one or two feet (30-60cm) to the tape.

The light emisions of the tape are very week though. As a kid, I used to make 5x7"" prints on 8x10" paper by putting tape in the middle, unexposed inch.

The green tape would produce faint magenta stains on the paper (placed on the back of the paper), but wouldn't even have enough power to spread past an actual "contact print" sized area.

So this stuff has enough emissions to form its own weak outline if you stick it on the film, but that is about it.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:03 AM

I may have misread the original post. If you are talking about glow-in-the-dark hands on an analog darkroom timer, no, they won't be trouble.

The only exceptions to this "rule" would be if you were dicking around with the film laying out for hours (which you shouldn't be) or if you have the flim closer than one or two feet (30-60cm) to the tape.

The light emisions of the tape are very weak though. As a kid, I used to make 5x7"" prints on 8x10" paper by putting tape in the middle, unexposed inch.

The green tape would produce faint magenta stains on the paper (placed on the back of the paper), but wouldn't even have enough power to spread past an actual "contact print" sized area.

So this stuff has enough emissions to form its own weak outline if you stick it on the film, but that is about it.


As far as putting mags on their sides, they'd have to be dropped on their sides in most cases with at least a 600' load probably, to have "issues" as a result.

Just carrying them on their sides should have a minimal effect.

So don't throw mags or drop mags and you should be fine.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 29 June 2009 - 11:04 AM.

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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 11:07 AM

here's a test, go into a dark room and spot meter it @ 500t, and see what that tells you...


Good idea, Adrian. I'd set it at 90-seconds for good measure, and hold it at a distance to which the film would be.

Another thing you can try is the "penny test", a Kodak recommendation.

You take a penny, place it on a piece of 500 film that won't get fogged out in actually loading the mag, face the emulsion towards the light source at the nearest distance it will be to the film, and count of 90 seconds or whatever, then see if the outline of the penny shows up after processing.
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#8 Tom Jensen

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 01:52 PM

In reality, you are talking minimal light coming off a watch exposing a roll of film that emulsion is facing in. The first 5-10 feet is going to be leader and that doesn't get used for anything but being leader. On top of that light has to travel through the area outside the perf and then into the emulsion. Chances are it won't be affected. If you aren't sure, take it off and put it in your pocket.
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#9 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 03:40 PM

1. True. I replaced a loader once for that very reason. I think his watch was brighter than average, but still.

2. I don't see a reason for this. You set magazines flat on a table, don't you? Besides, there are parts that keep the film from coning too badly. If it does, cone, by the way, the standard fix is to give it a swift smack. Put a hand on the non-smacked side of the mag so you're not stressing the mechanism that holds the magazine on.
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#10 David Rakoczy

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:04 PM

May I add:

If you are going inside a bag, you shouldn't be wearing a watch to begin with. Whenever I load/ download, I take mine off even tho it has no led or glowing hands...

Mags are better pulled, then smacked... (this is more important on some cameras than on others).
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#11 Tom Jensen

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:49 PM

1. True. I replaced a loader once for that very reason. I think his watch was brighter than average, but still.

2. I don't see a reason for this. You set magazines flat on a table, don't you? Besides, there are parts that keep the film from coning too badly. If it does, cone, by the way, the standard fix is to give it a swift smack. Put a hand on the non-smacked side of the mag so you're not stressing the mechanism that holds the magazine on.


C'mon Chris, you just wanted to get rid of the guy and it was the first thing that came to mind. There was probably a laundry list of reasons this guy had to go. I don't even know the guy and I would have fired him. As far as the mag goes, smacking it should do the trick but after the 5th smack, everyone is looking at you wondering "what the hell is that guy doing?"
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#12 Tom Jensen

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:51 PM

May I add:

If you are going inside a bag, you shouldn't be wearing a watch to begin with. Whenever I load/ download, I take mine off even tho it has no led or glowing hands...

Mags are better pulled, then smacked... (this is more important on some cameras than on others).


You shouldn't be wearing a watch on a film set anyway. You might start looking at it and it only goes downhill from there.
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#13 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:25 PM

Transporting loaded magazines on their (loading) flat side is a problem. The film will cone out as it is being transported and scrape the side of the mag as it turns when the camera is running, making a faint but audible noise. It is annoying enough even if one is not shooting sound. There is a reason why all the magazine cases I have seen are designed to accommodate them sitting upright.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 29 June 2009 - 06:25 PM.

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#14 David Rakoczy

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 07:48 PM

You shouldn't be wearing a watch on a film set anyway. You might start looking at it and it only goes downhill from there.



:lol: ain't that the truth!
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 07:44 AM

Tom, thanks for thew fun replies. I literally LoL'd
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:13 AM

1. True. I replaced a loader once for that very reason. I think his watch was brighter than average, but still.


Chris, if that is the only reason you let the guy go, I think that is overreatcting a bit. If somoene makes an honest mistake (not a stupid, errant, or intentional mistake) and you turn around and fire him, that can give you the reputation of being a jerk, or worse.

I guess it depends on how much footage was ruined or damaged too, but IDK, you are almost giving the poor loader a bad spot.

Did he fog the footage of a one-camera shot of a million-dollar house burning down sequence?


I heard a story once of, not a loader, but I think a fashion or still photographer's assistant who didn't know that 8x10" sheet film ($20 a sheet at that time according to the story-teller) was light-sensitive. When the photographer goes back to confront him about expensive commercial shots not turning out, he goes in the darkroom, with the LIGHTS ON to open up the box of sheet film to show the photographer it is fine, ruining more of a $500 box of film.

Then I heard another story about some lab assistant who used to smoke in the darkroom and then was totally confused as to the source of cyan (opposite of orange-red) fog all over the film :blink:
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#17 David Rakoczy

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 10:37 AM

Then I heard another story about some lab assistant who used to smoke in the darkroom and then was totally confused as to the source of cyan (opposite of orange-red) fog all over the film :blink:


sheeesh... what was he smoking? :lol: .... must have been ashes in the soup as well :o
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#18 Chris Keth

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 02:14 PM

Chris, if that is the only reason you let the guy go, I think that is overreatcting a bit. If somoene makes an honest mistake (not a stupid, errant, or intentional mistake) and you turn around and fire him, that can give you the reputation of being a jerk, or worse.


I never said I fired him. Given the choice I would have given him a stern warning about thinking before acting, etc. and the problem would have been fixed. I did have to replace him, though.
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#19 K Borowski

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 07:20 PM

Unfortuntnately, "replace" has become PC synonmyous with "fired".. Glad to know someone else still uses the word correctly!

So what did this person get moved to after he was replaced as loader?
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#20 Jose Figueroa Baez

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 08:50 AM

I always have a watch on set but I always take it off when loading or unloading, to me is common sense; especially if you are in a loading tent where it can get tangled coming in or out and tear the fabric. Its an unnecessary risk to have it on while dealing with the film.

About the mags, I know for a fact that the Arri mags for the LT and ST actually have to be carried on their side, what you have to pay attention to is which side is up. You just gotta make sure you don't flip it in transit or you'll get coning. As a rule, we just keep it the way we took it out of the tent, lid facing up. We had an AC that didn't do it and we would have the film scratching against the lid generating a really bad noise.
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