Watches... in the darkroom?
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  1. #1
    Member VolkswagenFox21's Avatar
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    Watches... in the darkroom?

    This is a, somewhat odd, question to all you film photography enthusiasts. I took a darkroom class last semester and the instructor told us that things like watch lume won't fog the film or photographic paper. The darkroom timer's lume wasn't exactly the brightest and I noticed most people's watches (if they even had one on) was pretty feint and my Seiko's lume is as dead as a doornail anyway. Since then I've gotten interested in watches and my Laco's lume is pretty bright in a fully dark room. Will this cause any problems? What about tritium watches?

  2. #2
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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    It's been a long time since I've been in a darkroom but I can't imagine any lume being bright enough to actually fog film. Maybe if you pressed it against film or paper it might transfer but it would probably take an intentional act to make it happen.
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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    I wouldn't worry about paper, as long as you don't hold your watch up to it for an extended period of time, but film is another story. While the watch might not fog film at a distance, it would only take a moment of close-proximity exposure to do some significant damage. I've always taken off watches with any kind of lume while loading film, and I always keep the timer well out of the way when processing sheet film. I think it's just better to be safe, and it's a lot more trouble to go and reshoot images than it is to reprint them.

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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    I'm a radiographer, and whilst we don't use film and darkrooms anymore (generally), I did hear in the past that watches could fog x-ray film (which is sensitive to light obviously) and as such i should be careful. I never had a problem with fogging film..with my watch anyway.. and it wouldn't cause any fogging unless you held the watch up close to the film. The amount of light coming from your watch would be relatively tiny, and concentrated. So just dont go holding it up against the film and you should be ok.

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    Member Sodiac's Avatar
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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    Darkrooms and "film" -- I heard they found some of that when they were excavating a prehistoric archeology site in Egypt. They found a "slide rule" too.
    mat_ likes this.

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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    I wouldn't worry about the paper fogging, but I'd be careful around film. I wouldn't wear a brightly glowing watch when loading film into a development tank for example...

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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by HilltopMichael View Post
    I wouldn't worry about the paper fogging, but I'd be careful around film. I wouldn't wear a brightly glowing watch when loading film into a development tank for example...
    I agree.
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    Member Metlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sodiac
    Darkrooms and "film" -- I heard they found some of that when they were excavating a prehistoric archeology site in Egypt. They found a "slide rule" too.
    Along with hand-wound and automatic watches?

  10. #9
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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    Thanks for the responses guys. I'll take my watch off in the darkroom just to be safe.

  11. #10
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    Re: Watches... in the darkroom?

    You can always test how easy it is to fog paper/film with a sample you don't care about. I personally tested my watch with paper, and found it took quite a long exposure to do anything. Next time you have some scrap of film which isn't exposed just test it, and then you'll know.

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