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macandal
10-Jul-2010, 16:03
What are the boxes one uses to keep exposed 4x5 film (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/how-to-manage-film.html) called? I mean the ones to hold the sheets to make the holders available for more exposures. What are they called, where can I get them, and how much should I expect to pay for them? Thank you.

Oren Grad
10-Jul-2010, 16:14
Most of us just save the boxes in which the film comes originally, and use those. When you're getting started and don't yet have any empty boxes, you can ask around for spares.

JRFrench
10-Jul-2010, 16:15
Film boxes, Im sure if you put a wanted in the For Sale forum here you will get some, probably free or very cheap.

Mike Anderson
10-Jul-2010, 16:18
What are the boxes one uses to keep exposed 4x5 film (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/how-to-manage-film.html) called? I mean the ones to hold the sheets to make the holders available for more exposures. What are they called, where can I get them, and how much should I expect to pay for them? Thank you.

You can use the boxes the film came in. If you can't empty a new box of film by loading it into holders (because you don't have enough holders), maybe you can get an empty box from a camera store or the lab that develops your film. Empty film boxes do appear on ebay, and sometimes in the for sale forum here.

...Mike

macandal
10-Jul-2010, 16:26
Most of us just save the boxes in which the film comes originally, and use those.

Thanks, guys. Wow! Really? You guys just use those? Wouldn't you want something more sturdy? Also, is it okay if the sheets touch one another? Do you need to separate them with something?

Again, thank you.

Oren Grad
10-Jul-2010, 16:53
Really? You guys just use those?

Yup.


Wouldn't you want something more sturdy?

Have you bought any sheet film yet? You'll see, the boxes really are quite sturdy, much more so than the flimsy little things in which 35mm and 120 roll film are sold. And the box-and-a-half construction typically used for sheet film, with the film packet sitting inside half a box, which in turn sits inside a complete box, not only helps with light-sealing but makes for a pretty robust package too.


Also, is it okay if the sheets touch one another? Do you need to separate them with something?

You need to take care not to scratch corners against the film surface, especially the emulsion side, and you don't want to be deliberately rubbing the sheets against each other. But a bit of care in packing and unpacking should be all you need. Most sheet films these days come from the factory without any interleaving.


Again, thank you.

You're welcome. :)

lenser
10-Jul-2010, 19:24
Mascandal,

Yes the boxes are quite sturdy. About the only way I've found to get yourself in trouble is to use the empty box for exposed film, and then forget to label it as being exposed film. Just be sure to reassemble the boxes the same way they came with the open sides facing into the next layer and so on. Otherwise you could possibly get a light leak.

Not labeling is a potential huge problem if you have multiple boxes that look just alike and you've got an opened (as in unsealed, not actually lying open) one of fresh film plus the unsealed box with exposed film. Now, as soon as I off load exposed film, that box is labeled "exposed E-6" or "exposed Tmax" or whatever, and I attach a complete name and address label with phone number and email addreess if that is E-6 film that is to be sent to the lab.

I once had a three day shoot worth of film lost in the mail when the shipping container was broken open with no identifying info inside. My stupidity!!!! Now, the labels on all boxes (taped tightly shut) will hopefully get the film back to me if that ever happens again. [I also now insure the shipped film at the value of the re-shoot.]

Oh for the days when there was a lab just ten miles away.

My only concern about film sheets touching each other is if it is excessively humid. I do mostly architecture and on road trips in humid areas, I will leave the exposed film holders out in the open in my motel room, wait until the room is thoroughly cooled (and dehumidified) by the air conditioner and the holders have reached that ambient temperature (cold to the touch), and only then break out the changing tent to unload the holders into the "exposed" box. When that is done and the box is re-closed inside the tent, I immediately take the box and seal it tightly in a zip lock bag (to seal out later humidity) in which it stays until it arrives at the lab or (B&W only) process at home. Of course, you can repeat this with the same box (in the darkroom or changing tent) until that box is full of film. Just don't open it until it is totally in the dark or you will expose film that you have already unloaded and ruin those sheets. So far, this overkill(?) has kept any sheets of film from sticking to each other.

If the trip is long and the temps are quite high, all boxed and bagged film, including both fresh (even unopened boxes) and exposed, is kept in a cooler with several of the ice gel packs that go into the room fridge's freezer each night. This is to avoid daytime heat damage to the emulsion dyes in color films, not quite as important with B&W, but I do it anyway. The film is brought to air conditioned room temp (a couple of hours) before it gets unzipped for either loading fresh or unloading exposed film into an "exposed" box that came from the cooler in order to to prevent condensation.

Sorry for the long post, but these are tricks I was taught many years ago and they have served me extremely well for thousands of exposures.

Good luck. Large format is the greatest.