If I load my film backwards, I'm gonna be pissed.
October 15, 2005 8:17 PM   Subscribe

How do I load 4x5 film?

Ok, so I'm a 3rd year phtography major, and I should know this. Believe it or not, I've actually done it TONS of times, and I've done it a few times for friends when they were having trouble. But I haven't worked with 4x5 since last semester, and you know what? I've forgotten where the notch goes, and the notebook that I wrote it in is at my parents' house, an hour away.

SO! If I have the film holder in front of me horozontially, the top of the dark slide on my left, and the flap that pulls down where I insert the film on my right, does the notch to the top right or the bottom right?

I've googled this, and while I find articles that explain how to load 4x5 film, they don't really specify how the film carrier is oriented, so the paranoid control freak in me needs to know! I've seen "keep the notch to the top right" and "the notch should be on the bottom right!!" so thats why I'm asking here in regards to the orientation of the film carrier.
posted by AlisonM to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Ugh...does the notch GO to the top right or bottom right. I did preview, promise. I hate it when I do that.
posted by AlisonM at 8:19 PM on October 15, 2005

If you have the holder placed horizontally, so that the dark slide slides out to the left, the notch code is in the lower right corner.

And since "'cause I said so" isn't reason enough, see here.
posted by xo at 8:41 PM on October 15, 2005

xo, you rule, thanks.
posted by AlisonM at 8:50 PM on October 15, 2005

I forget this constantly too. This has already been answered but I thought I'd chime in with how I figure this out. Basically, I waste a piece of film. I go into the darkroom, remove a piece of film from the box, and go outside and look at it. You can tell which side the emulsion is on, and note where the notch is. You can probably do this inside the darkroom too, since the emulsion side doesn't feel as "slick" as the plastic side. But you'll probably ruin the film anyway doing this. You could keep a piece of ruined film around to check. Also, you can probably tell which is the emulsion side by looking at a developed negative. (In case it wasn't clear, the emulsion side goes up, towards the lens)
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:18 PM on October 15, 2005

There is also a different "feel" to the emulsion side of the film than the base. The emulsion is a not as slick as the plastic base. Try feeling a scrap piece of film with your eyes closed. With good film, wash your hands well before trying this!

To take the easy way out, buy Quickload film holders. These will also help to banish the everpresent dust from sticking to your film. They are worth their weight in gold!
posted by JJ86 at 1:45 AM on October 16, 2005

bitr0t: you can't expose B&W film to red light before it's processed. It's just the printing process (that is, B&W paper) that is not (very) senstive to red light.
posted by RustyBrooks at 6:28 AM on October 16, 2005

To take the easy way out, buy Quickload film holders.

Yeah, it's tempting, but I can't bring myself to pay that much for film, especially since I'm a student and have limited funds right now. I just did a quick search on B&H, and the film I currently use (Kodak Portra 160 VC) is $1.05 more per sheet of film. 60% more!

Plus, I really don't have a problem loading sheet film, I just tend to blank on where that notch should go :)
posted by AlisonM at 6:57 AM on October 16, 2005

« Older Help a girl who's clueless about hair.   |   Stoplight timing Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.