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How to Cheaply Upgrade Light Seals in Any Film Camera

Light leaks in your camera can spoil the pictures you make. For just a few dollars and a little bit of time, you can easily replace the seals yourself at home.

If your film camera has been around for a while, then chances are, some of its parts may have seen better days. This can be all too true for the light seals that help to stop light from leaking in and spoiling the undeveloped film. This week, Jonathan Paragas of KingJvpes has made an insightful video showing the process of replacing these seals.

The video shows Paragas picking up some self-adhesive foam from the craft aisle of his local Walmart. The great thing about a material such as this is that not only is it cheap, but it's also readily available. Once home, we see that with the help of a knife and a ruler, it is easy enough to cut small pieces of foam to go into your camera body. One very useful point that is mentioned during the upgrade is not to be alarmed if initially, the door to your camera becomes a little stiff. Paragas reassures us that the foam will settle down if we keep the door closed for a few days, as it will help to compress the foam. The fact the door is a little snug indicates that the foam is probably doing a great job of keeping light from leaking in. I know would rather have a slightly stiff door and no light creeping in.

If you shoot film and haven't thought too much about light seals, now might be a good time to check if any of your cameras would benefit from this affordable upgrade.

Ever replaced a light seal? Do you have any other quick and easy DIY camera hack suggestions? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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