The Online Darkroom Store

Friday, January 16

Banish sweaty hands from your film loading

Apologies for my extended holiday which went on a little longer than I'd planned. I thought a week or a fortnight at most would be enough to recharge by blogging batteries but that's not the way it turned out. I just needed a little more time away from blogging and photography.

However, in the words of an iron-pumping, cigar-chomping, alleged Nazi sympathiser and former governor of California, for good or ill, "I'm back" - and it feels good! I'll be posting three times a week on average as before, banging the gong as ever for everything to do with film photography and the darkroom.

Speaking of which, if you still have some spending money left over from Christmas and you suffer from sweaty hand syndrome when using your normal changing bag, then AG Photographic might have the answer to your problem.

The pop up changing bag is a great idea and might be familiar to some of you already since AG have just announced its "return". I know it will be of interest to at least two readers - Phil Rogers and David M. - since they exchanged emails of anorak proportions on just this subject a few months back.

It is amazing, though, how hot and humid the inside of a changing bag can get when you're fumbling with a film for a few minutes. I remember a photographer pal asking me years ago in all sincerity why I didn't use some talcum powder to counter damp digit syndrome. Mind you, he did say that he actually enjoyed spotting prints…

The AG product is £50 all bar 10p but it could save you a lot of grief, particularly if you get through copious amounts of film. It's a good size, too, measuring 21"x16"x16" but folds flat. It would also be ideal for loading up large format film holders which can feel quite bulky and unwieldy in a normal changing bag.

It would even be a good idea to keep one in the car for those, hopefully, very rare occasions when a camera or film jams and has to be opened in the dark to resolve the problem. I could have done with one myself when something similar happened to me last month.


John Carter said...

Welcome back, I say Hi to Arnold for you.

Bruce Robbins said...

First name terms, eh? :)

Dave said...

Those pop-up tents are great for loading 5x4" holders. I have one very similar/identical sold under the Calumet brand. Best £40 I ever spent, and much cheaper than a Harrison Pup tent.

The main downside is folding flat makes it hard to travel with in some bags, but it does sit flat very nicely for suitcases etc.

Nasir said...

I can vouch for how useful these are as I've been using one for over a year. Mine came from Calumet who recently had a 30% off sale where these could have been bought for a song. I've used mine for loading 10x8 which is doable but a little cozy.

Richard Sintchak said...

This sweaty hands issue is the reason I tracked down an older cotton changing bag. Rare and hard to find. Any newer ones are all non-breathable nylon. That said I've gotten so fast now in changing or spooling films that it's not an issue for me anymore. But in the day when I'd have a troublesome roll that just would not spool the heat and sweat would come!