What's the red material used to show 120 numbers?

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eharriett

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I am attempting my first camera repair/upgrade/modification. I need to replace the red window that shows frame numbers on backing paper for 120 paper. I figure I'm going to be using a red gel of some type I am cutting to size. Is there a special red gel I should use? Is there any particular properties the gel should have?

Thanks
 

shutterfinger

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I have some strobe/studio light filters by Bogen that I bought years ago. One of the filters is red close to a #25 Wratten and I've cut some pieces for old cameras I'm repairing/repaired using a 5/8 arch punch from a corner of it.
I vaguely remember a thread about the ruby windows and replacement materials a while back. Try a search either here or Medium Format section.
 

MattKing

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I expect that the original windows were red because they were used with film with either no or reduced red sensitivity.
Then the backing paper and numbers were optimized for the red windows.
Now, both of those things have changed a lot.
So it may very well be that the colour no longer matters.
 
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eharriett

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I have some strobe/studio light filters by Bogen that I bought years ago. One of the filters is red close to a #25 Wratten and I've cut some pieces for old cameras I'm repairing/repaired using a 5/8 arch punch from a corner of it.
I vaguely remember a thread about the ruby windows and replacement materials a while back. Try a search either here or Medium Format section.

You gave me the key word. I never thought to add the word “ruby,” to my searching. That did it.

What I need is ruby red lithographer’s tape or “Rubylith.”

I have learned something new. Thank you, shutterfinger!
 

awty

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I always make a cardboard flap stuck down over the red window and just flip it up when in a low light area just incase.
Some cameras have a built in cover.
Also if you use a leather case you can slide a business card in and out over the red window .
The big problem with the window is when exposed to strong light.
You only need to have a window light leak happen once to not take any chances.
 

R.Gould

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I have 3 or 4 folders where the red from the window is missing, they do not cause a problem even in strong sunshine, I have never had a light leak affecting the film, on either 645/66/68 film's the pressure plate is so tight that it would, also, I never these days close the slider on the back, I always swore that the red was essential, but then it came to me that man of the cameras that I have were made in the fifties, some late fifties, and most of the film around then was pan film, several have labels in the camera saying for best results use this or that film, and they are pretty much all pan film, and I am pretty certain that the makers would not put a window if there was any chance of the films being ruined by light causing fogging, so I have concluded that the red window on the back must be light trapped in some way by the pressure plate, I also have a recent purchase of a Meopta 120 folder for 66/645 with clear plastic in the windows at the back, no problems, I have had more problems unloading the cameras in bright light than with red/white or removed red windows,so in conclusion the red window, I have found in 15 or more years using mostly Red window cameras is it makes not a jot of difference whether you have a red clear or no red window, at least in German and English made cameras
 

awty

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I have 3 or 4 folders where the red from the window is missing, they do not cause a problem even in strong sunshine, I have never had a light leak affecting the film, on either 645/66/68 film's the pressure plate is so tight that it would, also, I never these days close the slider on the back, I always swore that the red was essential, but then it came to me that man of the cameras that I have were made in the fifties, some late fifties, and most of the film around then was pan film, several have labels in the camera saying for best results use this or that film, and they are pretty much all pan film, and I am pretty certain that the makers would not put a window if there was any chance of the films being ruined by light causing fogging, so I have concluded that the red window on the back must be light trapped in some way by the pressure plate, I also have a recent purchase of a Meopta 120 folder for 66/645 with clear plastic in the windows at the back, no problems, I have had more problems unloading the cameras in bright light than with red/white or removed red windows,so in conclusion the red window, I have found in 15 or more years using mostly Red window cameras is it makes not a jot of difference whether you have a red clear or no red window, at least in German and English made cameras

I think you will be relying on the backing paper stopping the light. Some films are more susceptible than others, best keep the window covered in strong light. Happened to me using tri-x 400, a nice light leak line across the negative where I changed frames in day light.
 

R.Gould

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Never happened to me in 15 or more years of using mainly folders, with or without the red window in place,only time I have had a problem is when changing films carelessly, I have looed closely at this. even going so far as to taking a non working folder apart and on the German and English one I own, and I have 50 or 60 working folders,as far as I can see the pressure plate pushes down so hard that it forms a light trap, I rarely close the shutter, work in full very strong sun in the summer, and never a light leak from any of my cameras, Yes the backing paper helps, but with 645 and 68 the windows are at the edges of the the backing paper, and if a light leak was going to happen it would happen with them, and one of my no red is my Ensign autorange1620, and the Meopta is 66/645 with clear plastic in the windows, and remember when a lot of these cameras were made, mid to late fifties pan film was king and ortho film was specialist, if the makers were worried about light leaks the ruby window cameras then they wuld have been forced to find another way, they did not, that must tell you something
 
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eharriett

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This is interesting. I haven't had the red window fog my film before. Most of mine have a seal to cover the red window. However, I've got a Yashica with no window covering that's never had a problem. In the case of this project, I am attempting to make an old Polaroid Roll camera accept 120 film (sounds like a waste of time, I know, but I am doing it because I want to see if I can). The camera has an inner back and an outer back. I've been trying to decide if I want to drill the hole in both backs or just the inner. I was planning on drilling in both because there's more of a chance of a light leak (aside from the ones I'll have to clean up anyway by -- you know -- drilling into it). But now you have me wondering if I should just open the camera on every film advance.
 

tedr1

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We have a variety of different experiences reported here some that contradict. This probably indicates that some cameras are susceptible to light leak from the window while others are not, the difference arising from details of the internal construction of the pressure plate and light baffles in the camera back. Whether your particular camera is leaky or tight is unknown at present. I recommend you make a simple test in full sunlight with an unexposed frame. Hold the camera with the red window facing the sun, turn it in all directions, rotate it, so that sunlight enters the red window from all directions. Wind on. Leaks will be obvious on the developed neg as fogging.
 

R.Gould

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I have a variety of red window cameras, Voigtlander,Zeiss Ikon,Franka,Balda, Ensign to name just a few, also Welta TLR with red window, plus a few Agfa's some with the red window intact and some with the red window minus the ruby film, and I get no light leaks from any of them,and I use them in full sun, rarely close the slide, remembering that pretty much all red window cameras from at least the early 50's to the early 60's were desinged built to be used with panchromatic film I believe the camera designers/builders new what they were doing and would sell a camera that had light leaks from red windows, not if they wanted to go on selling cameras, I use pretty much nothing else for my photography for at least 15 years or more without problem, indeed.my first camera, when I was 9 years old, was a Brownie Starmite, for 127 film, cokmplete with red window, I used Tri x with it also colour film both Ektachrome and colour print without problems ( I still have the camera and for nostalgia's sake use it for fun once or twice a year, using 400 film, without any sign of light leaks,) so my personal conclusion is the light leak idea has been blown out of propertion, yes, I suppose very occasionly a problem might happen on a frame, but in general terms it simply is not a problem, at least in my experiance of using a variety of makers ove a lot of years
 

removed account4

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good luck!
had to stop using my box cameras ... the ink is so faint it is nearly impossible to read..
thanfully things like ... rolleicords, mamiya folders &c have a auto crank
sort of thing and the 1 is just to start the operation ..
 
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