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Leigh
4-Nov-2016, 19:24
I see Fidelity Elite, Fidelity Deluxe, etc.

Could someone please describe these and put them in chronological order (newest to oldest or ...)?

TIA.

- Leigh

tgtaylor
5-Nov-2016, 10:42
AFAIK, the Elite is the latest and probably the best.

Thomas

Alan Gales
5-Nov-2016, 14:05
Fidelity Elites are the latest and are the same as Lisco Regal ll's. I read that one company bought out the other and now make the one film holder style with two different names.

Bob Salomon
5-Nov-2016, 14:31
Fidelity Elites are the latest and are the same as Lisco Regal ll's. I read that one company bought out the other and now make the one film holder style with two different names.

Calumet had owned Fidelity, Lisbon and Riteway and made all of them in the same factory. But then Calumet, several years ago, discontinued the manufacture of all of them, leaving at least one Chinese company, Linhof and Toyo as the last manufacturer's. Linhof has since discontinued them as well.

Alan Gales
5-Nov-2016, 16:16
Calumet had owned Fidelity, Lisbon and Riteway and made all of them in the same factory. But then Calumet, several years ago, discontinued the manufacture of all of them, leaving at least one Chinese company, Linhof and Toyo as the last manufacturer's. Linhof has since discontinued them as well.

Thanks, Bob!

sepiareverb
5-Nov-2016, 16:51
Sounds like a good project for you. A few hours on eBay, a few priority mail boxes and you could have the whole collection to describe in detail.

tgtaylor
6-Nov-2016, 10:33
Linhof and Toyo as the last manufacturer's.

Toyo manufactured Fidelity Elites?

Thomas

Graham Patterson
6-Nov-2016, 10:45
Toyo makes Toyo holders. Really nice, though 8-)

Bob Salomon
6-Nov-2016, 11:06
Toyo manufactured Fidelity Elites?

Thomas

Sorry for the ambiguity. Calumet was the last manufacturer of Fidelity, Riteway and Lincoln holders. Linhof made their own holders and Toyo made their own.

Leigh
6-Nov-2016, 13:18
Thanks, guys. I can read.

If a holder says Fidelity, I expect it was made by Fidelity or a company that owned the Fidelity brand.

I was asking for the differences between various "models", i.e. Elite vs. Deluxe for Fidelity and similar differences for other brands.

- Leigh

Keith Fleming
6-Nov-2016, 13:49
Bob,

Didn't you mean "Lisco" filmholders?

Keith

Bob Salomon
6-Nov-2016, 14:20
Bob,

Didn't you mean "Lisco" filmholders?

Keith

Absolutely! Spell checker at work again, sorry about that!

Luis-F-S
6-Nov-2016, 18:42
Sounds like a good project for you. A few hours on eBay, a few priority mail boxes and you could have the whole collection to describe in detail.

++1!

Doremus Scudder
7-Nov-2016, 04:15
I think Leigh want to know the physical characteristics of the different holders, although the manufacturing history and notes on availability are interesting. Although Leigh specifically addressed Fidelity brand holders, I think it would be interesting to have a repository of info on many different brands.

I'll start: I'm in Europe for the year, and don't have my full complement of 100+ holders, so I'll just describe the ones I have.

First, older wooden Graphic holders with an embossed, "4x5 Graphic film holder type 5" and made by Graflex Inc. in Rochester, NY. The frame is wood and there are metal plates at the top where the seating ridge is. The darkslides are the older, less flexible Bakelite-type material with metal edging swaged on. The handles are metal bails. These holders are a bit shorter than the later plastic ones, but work just fine. The darkslide locks are bent wires that just spin in their holes.

Next, older Riteway holders. These are also made by Graflex Inc. in Rochester and embossed, "4x5 Graphic film holder" in addition to the painted-on "Riteway" label. These are plastic, but with the older, stiffer darkslides, again with metal edges and wire bails for handles. I have several with a "33" marked on them, others with a "42." They are otherwise identical. Darkslide locks are also bent wires that spin in holes.

Next are more modern Fidelity Deluxe holders. They are embosses with, "4x5 Fidelity cut film holder" and made in Los Angeles by Fidelity Mfg. Co. Patent numbers are embossed as well. These are plastic with molded-in cross-hatching. Darkslides are more modern, flexible material and the edging and handles are plastic as well. The darkslide handles are taller than the metal bails on earlier holders, making the entire ensemble just a bit longer. Darkslide locks are as above.

Finally I have Fidelity Elite holders, which, for all intents and purposes, are the same as the "Deluxe" version above. They appear to be newer and the cross-hatching pattern and molding details on the top of the holder are different. Darkslides and locks are as above. The embossing says, "4x5 film holder, Fidelity Mfg. Co. Sun Valley, Ca. along with patent numbers.

I have other holders, Lisco, etc. in the U.S., but no access to them at the moment. IIRC, the Lisco holders are a bit sharper-edged, but in other respects very similar to the later Fidelity Elite holders.

I believe Fidelity also made holders with darkslide locks that were spring-loaded buttons as well as with a counter wheel that would expose a number on the film. These I simply don't like; too fiddly, so I have never kept any and have none now. I've never used the Toyo holders either.

I tend to prefer the older Riteway and Lisco holders with the metal bails. For some reason, the darkslides fit and work better and more smoothly. The older wooden holders are great too. The newer holders are perfectly serviceable, just more "plasticky" and finicky when re-inserting the darkslide.

FWIW, I have a collection of replacement darkslides that I've acquired over the years from otherwise destroyed holders. They come mostly from the Graphic, Fidelity and Riteway holders and are not interchangeable. There are several different widths and lengths.

Best,

Doremus

Randy Moe
7-Nov-2016, 07:56
Here is a problem I have with Lisco Regal II holder's. This is a 4x5.

Unlike wire top handle DDS which are easy to grasp and pull out, these Lisco Regal II are a real problem for my arthritic fingers.

#1 shows both DS inserted White side out. #2 shows what happens next. I expose one film and then turn the DS Black side in. So far so good. Next of course, flip and reinsert the DDS for shot 2.

#3 shows how close together, the not so handy, handles are. When trying to pull the second DS it's very hard for me to do it, without moving the entire holder off the light trap. Bad idea, bad design.

157082157083157084

Leigh
7-Nov-2016, 13:21
Thanks very much, Doremus.

That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

I'm particularly interested if any version is to be avoided, or if any is significantly better than the others.

If I can get enough detailed info I'll build a spreadsheet with comparisons.

I have one type of holder with a small metal disc that imprints in the rebate area of the negative.
Don't remember off-hand which it is, and I have none of those here in the office at present.

- Leigh

Bob Salomon
7-Nov-2016, 14:05
Thanks very much, Doremus.

That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

I'm particularly interested if any version is to be avoided, or if any is significantly better than the others.

If I can get enough detailed info I'll build a spreadsheet with comparisons.

I have one type of holder with a small metal disc that imprints in the rebate area of the negative.
Don't remember off-hand which it is, and I have none of those here in the office at present.

- Leigh
That one with the disk is probably the last one Riteway offered. It also had an automatic locking button for the darkslide that prevented pulling out the slide until it was fully inserted into the camera back on most any camera except a Linhof.

Back in late 1984 Calumet was trying to start a new wholesale distributorship in the USA that would be called Riteway and would takeover the distributorship of most of the companies that had been distributed by Berkey Photo Marketing who was going out of business. Unfortunate for them other companies, like ours, took over that distribution of the major companies and Riteway never came to the market.

Leigh
7-Nov-2016, 15:19
That one with the disk is probably the last one Riteway offered. It also had an automatic locking button for the darkslide that prevented pulling out the slide until it was fully inserted into the camera back on most any camera except a Linhof.
Hi Bob,

I believe you're correct (not surprising :cool:).

I was going to say that but I wasn't sure, and didn't want another brain-face.

- Leigh

Peter Gomena
7-Nov-2016, 15:21
Unless a holder is really beat-up, I've not had trouble with any of the newer holders. The Toyo holders are really nice. They seem to have tighter tolerances in the film-holding rails, a little less slop than the Fidelity and Lisco holders. A nice Riteway is nearly as good. My only problem with older, wooden holders is that much of the time they've collected a lot of dust that's hard to remove.

Luis-F-S
7-Nov-2016, 17:03
I've an assortment of the plastic 8x10 holders and as long as they are in good shape and light tight, I've not noticed any differences with them. L

Mark Sampson
7-Nov-2016, 17:27
Per Leigh's question in post #16, all the brands of film holders work well, and none need to be avoided... except the flimsy Mido and Mido II holders. (And there are people who will speak up for them, too.) Remember that none of these devices were designed as craptastic consumer "goods", rather they were professional tools built to last. Witness those wooden Graphic holders, some approaching 100 years old and still doing the job. There was an article in 'View Camera' magazine, c.1992 or 1996? that detailed a comparison test of the various holders... can't remember the results though. IIRC the Grafmatics held film the flattest, but anyone who is interested should track the article down.

John Kasaian
9-Nov-2016, 08:34
Per Leigh's question in post #16, all the brands of film holders work well, and none need to be avoided... except the flimsy Mido and Mido II holders. (And there are people who will speak up for them, too.) Remember that none of these devices were designed as craptastic consumer "goods", rather they were professional tools built to last. Witness those wooden Graphic holders, some approaching 100 years old and still doing the job. There was an article in 'View Camera' magazine, c.1992 or 1996? that detailed a comparison test of the various holders... can't remember the results though. IIRC the Grafmatics held film the flattest, but anyone who is interested should track the article down.

Add Tiltall to the list of avoidable. No locking ridge.

Bob Salomon
9-Nov-2016, 09:40
Add Tiltall to the list of avoidable. No locking ridge.

The last version of the Riteway with the automatic darkslide feature will not work in any Linhof.

Kirk Gittings
9-Nov-2016, 09:54
Here is a problem I have with Lisco Regal II holder's. This is a 4x5.

Unlike wire top handle DDS which are easy to grasp and pull out, these Lisco Regal II are a real problem for my arthritic fingers.

#1 shows both DS inserted White side out. #2 shows what happens next. I expose one film and then turn the DS Black side in. So far so good. Next of course, flip and reinsert the DDS for shot 2.

#3 shows how close together, the not so handy, handles are. When trying to pull the second DS it's very hard for me to do it, without moving the entire holder off the light trap. Bad idea, bad design.

157082157083157084

Randy I have many of those and the same/similar arthritic problem. I'm not sure I can explain this but my solution works for me. First I use two hands-one on the tabs (right) and one on the camera back (left) with my thumb gently pushing the GG in to make sure nothing moves. I grasp the two tabs with other hand with my thumb pushing on the one I want to stay put and my index and middle finger tips pulling out on the one I want removed. If they are not back to back tabs read push on the DS edge. When the one I want removed is dislodged, I then grab the tab with thumb and fingers and gently remove it. It works fine for me.

Randy Moe
9-Nov-2016, 10:21
Randy I have many of those and the same/similar arthritic problem. I'm not sure I can explain this but my solution works for me. First I use two hands-one on the tabs (right) and one on the camera back (left) with my thumb gently pushing the GG in to make sure nothing moves. I grasp the two tabs with other hand with my thumb pushing on the one I want to stay put and my index and middle finger tips pulling out on the one I want removed. If they are not back to back tabs read push on the DS edge. When the one I want removed is dislodged, I then grab the tab with thumb and fingers and gently remove it. It works fine for me.

Thanks Kurt, I do the same, it's the only way. My finger tips are bit numb also. Too many years using them as pyrometers on diesel startup. Touch each port to see if they all heat up evenly. Analog before those digital laser pyrometers. :)

I get it done, just slower than some.