Tinfoil Tip

It isn't just turkeys that can benefit from being wrapped up in tinfoil: 120 film might need it too! Our favourite fun cameras, such as the Holga, are not engineered to the highest standards and often leave an exposed film looking more like a baggy jumper than a soldier on parade. Unless the protective paper covering is tightly wound, stray light will immediately reach the film and start to fog it and this could ruin your pictures.

* Fog or fogging refers to unintentionally exposed film: the extra light spilling onto the film ( or paper ) completely swamps any carefully controlled photographic exposure .

Loose wound film solution

  • Wrap the film in tinfoil (aluminium foil) a couple of turns round the film is enough to make it light-tight.
  • Tell us what's inside: we need to know which process type it needs so the film name is ideal
  • Remember our technician has to unwrap it in the dark: a sellotape "straight-jacket" is a real problem!

loosely wound film

film wrapped in foil
dilated pupil digram

A loose roll like this will allow light to fog your film

A small sheet of foil is all that's needed

We unwrap the film in the dark - the foil will make it light-tight


remove the film from the camera

secure the film
identifying notes

Remove the film carefully from the camera - don't let it unravel!

Kodak uses a band that needs to be licked to make it sticky (Yum)

Fuji even print the instructions on the film!

use the label to secure

unpeel the label
finished film

Release the paper band , keeping the film rolled up tight

Now just wind the band around

Once the band is secured the protective paper will keep your film light tight

Remember that a camera exposes film in a fraction of a second, so even a couple of seconds of accidental exposure can allow light into a loose film, even in subdued light. Don't despair though if you think light has leaked in because the centre of the roll may be unaffected but you can only really be sure after the film is developed.

This is true of 35mm cameras too: if you accidentally open the camera back, revealing a length of film inside, then that piece will be fogged. However where the film is rolled up tightly only a small about of fogging occurs at the edges of the film and if there is film still inside the cassette then obviously this will be fine.

The Darkroom UK Ltd
01242 239031