Loading Film Holders White or Black?

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Which side out for unexposed film?

  • White side out.

    Votes: 97 91.5%
  • Black side out.

    Votes: 8 7.5%
  • Both. Double exposures and unexposed film is normal!

    Votes: 1 0.9%

  • Total voters
    106

DrPhil

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So I was out shooting with a buddy and realized that we do things a bit differently. Of course we both think our method is better! Anyways, I was curious how people load their film holders. Do you put the white side out for unexposed film? Or the black side out?

As an aside, my method is black out for unexposed film. The thinking is that if it is white it has seen the light. Anyways that's my simple method.
 

Jim Moore

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DrPhil said:
So I was out shooting with a buddy and realized that we do things a bit differently. Of course we both think our method is better! Anyways, I was curious how people load their film holders. Do you put the white side out for unexposed film? Or the black side out?

As an aside, my method is black out for unexposed film. THe thinking is that if it is white it has seen the light. Anyways that's my simple method.

That's the way I do it too. Black unexposed and White exposed.

Jim
 

glbeas

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I had read it's white for unexposed, from so older literature. Not sure why it is though.
 

John McCallum

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glbeas said:
I had read it's white for unexposed, from so older literature. Not sure why it is though.
Me too. Only been at it for a few months, but to change now would be like trying to put my left shoe on my right foot. :smile:
 

Flotsam

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Simple, after development unexposed film is clear (white), exposed film is black.
It's the _only_ way that makes sense and I am suspicious of those subversives that do not conform.
 

Shesh

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For me white side indicates its unexposed. So, in the darkroom, If I feel the bumps on the darkslide, its unexposed film. They way I reasoned it was - exposing negatives make it dark.
 
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I do it the other way. Dark = Never seen light. White = Seen light.

And sometimes I do both.

And then I swear...

A LOT....
 

bmac

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Deniz said:
white for unexposed, black for exposed..both with the darkslides locked for security.. if not locked and black, its an empty holder..

works for me
I go a step further, rubber band around holders with film in them. After a lot of use, some of my holder locks are not as useful as I would like.
 

John McCallum

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bmac said:
I go a step further, rubber band around holders with film in them. After a lot of use, some of my holder locks are not as useful as I would like.
Aaahhh beautiful - it's the simple solutions sometimes! I 've had the same problem with my Dark Slides; occassionally coming unlocked when I take them out the bag.

BTW - get my PM?
 

Flotsam

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Deniz said:
white for unexposed, black for exposed..both with the darkslides locked for security.. if not locked and black, its an empty holder..

I pull those d*mned locks out with pliers. More trouble than they're worth. A complete PIA in the darkroom.
 

lee

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I go a step further, rubber band around holders with film in them. After a lot of use, some of my holder locks are not as useful as I would like.
__________________
I do the same thing with regards to using rubber band. I lock the rubber band on one corner and strech it to the opposite corner and for 8x10 I lock 2 rubber bands together and do the same thing. So far, no accidents.

lee\c
 

fingel

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I used to put a small sticker on one side of the dark slide that said exposed until I figured out that the top of the slides had different colors on different sides of it, now I use light (some of mine have a gray/black slide) = unexposed, and black = exposed
 

David A. Goldfarb

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White side out for fresh film, and when I have holders loaded and stored for later use, I put a piece of masking tape over the slides with the film type on it.

With my Grafmatics, of course, there's no black or white to worry about!
 

Ole

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White is ready for light, black is ready for dark(room).
 

John_Brewer

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White for unexposed was drilled into me at college and has stuck. I always thought that white for exposed would be more sensible though, more space for writing exposure details in pencil.
 

Poco

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Most of my holders are old enough to make complete removal of the dark slide a crapshoot (light leaks) so basically I use holder orientation within the plastic bag I carry them in to signify exposure. Unexposed holders are right side up to the bag opening, and once exposed, put back in the bag reversed. I usually bracket two successive shots (one holder) on a subject, so "partially used" holders are rare.

I also use holder orientation in the darkroom to know which sheets to pull for development after the lights go out. Vertical orientation means only process the top sheet, horizontal means both sheets of the holder are to be processed.
 

Timothy

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I use toyo film holders with my 4x5 and they have a textured plastic strip that forms the light grey, or "white" side. This strip is designed to be easy to write on with pencil. When I first started using them, I would write exp details on this strip and orient the dark slides "black for exposed". This would result in the white strip with all the info being hidden and unreadable when I got to the darkroom. That is why I switched to "white side out for exposed".

What I have found is a more vexing problem is keeping track of "exposure numbers" in the darkroom. By this I mean: Let's say I bracket a particular composition nominal, one plus, one minus, one with a filter. When I get to the darkroom, after the lights are back on, how do I match up each neg with my meticulous notes ??
I have heard that some people modify their film holders to mark numbers on each neg. This sounds risky. I would like to hear other comments.
 

Poco

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Tim,

I trim the very corners of the negs if I want to keep track of them. One corner, two corners, three, all four ...lets you keep track of 5 negatives, counting the one left unclipped.
 

brimc76

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I have always used silver side = unexposed film and black side = exposed film, and never thought anything of it until recently. I was talking to another photographer (who I had purchased a Crown Graphic Special from) and he remarked that I had my darkslides in backwards for exposed and unexposed film (silver side/ black side). I haven't changed my way of doing it because I'm used to it and would only find it confusing now, and I am using Grafmatics more than double sided holders as well.
 
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