Loading Cut film and Finger prints

Grandpa Ron

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Aug 9, 2018
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My first batch of 4x5 was kind of clumsy but I finally got it loaded, shot, unloaded and developed. Then I notice finger prints on the edges of the negatives. Since then I have always used white cotton gloves when handling the film, including the negatives when I am printing.

The gloves work but I use a change bag and handling the film sheets can be difficult. I wondered what others do.
I have used white cotton gloves to handle negs since the early 80's. Last time I used a dark bag I put a cardboard box inside so the bag does not lay flat.
Latex free medical exam gloves. They’ll give you grip, stop fingerprints, and protect you from any chemicals you may handle while developing.
I never wore gloves loading film holders, 4x5 or 8x10. I guess if one lives in a humid environment, sweaty hands could be a problem but usually one can grab the notched corner and keep your fingers near the frame edge without issues. The trick is to practise loading, first to watch your technique then close your eyes and do it, pretty simple once you get the 'feel' for it.

I used to own a Photoflex film changing bag called the Changing Room that employed two metal popup reflector style rings to keep the bag propped up when in use. A double zip for light sealing, two double sealed elasticized arm cuffs and silver out surface to cut down on heat.

EDIT: Apparently newer model is available here, Changing Room


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Blow a fan at you, while you work the changing bag.
That reduces your body temp a bit, and your hands don't sweat as much.
As @JBPhotog mentioned, a frame to hold the changing bag up, will create more air space inside the bag, than a flattened bag. That extra air space will absorb heat and moisture from your hand.
And use a BIG bag. Bigger bag = more air inside to absorb heat and moisture from your hand.
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I wash my hands with a strong dish soap like Dawn then I bare hand those bad boys into the film holders. Haven't ever had an issue with finger prints.

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