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Thread: How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

  1. #1

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    How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

    I have a Graflex Super D SLR and it came with a Graflex Film Pack Adapter. I was given an out of date "16 pack" of Tri X. I would like to see if it works, but I have no idea how to use the Film pack or the adapter.

    Any help out there?

    Thanks

    J

  2. #2

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    Re: How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

    The pack goes in the holder obvious face towards the dark slide, and the back lid is closed with all of the tabs hanging out the slot next to the slide. There is one cover tab, when you pull that, the first piece of film comes to the front, behind the slide.

    Tabs do NOT come out all the way--pull until it stops, about six inches of movement, or so.

    Put the holder in the camera, pull the slide, take a photo. Pulling the lowest number tab exposes the next sheet of film. As you pull the tabs and take the photos, carefully tear off the used tab, by pulling it backwards, away from the lens, starting tearing one edge, like tearing paper under a ruler. Be careful that the slide is in or the back is locked to the camera when you tear, so that you don't pull the holder back from the camera and expose the film.

    When you're done, pull the last tab and you can expose the pack to light again, (remove the pack from the holder, put in a new one) but not before then because one sheet is always ready at the front of the pack, otherwise.

    When developing, you'll find that each tab is glued to the end of one sheet of film. Slide the lid off the end, and the two sides of the pack, front and back, open like a book, exposing the film for removal (do all of this in the dark, obviously!) If I remember correctly, you need to take a paper cutter and cut off just the overlap of film and paper to fit it in a hanger. You have to figure off exactly how much to cut, or it will be too long for a standard hanger. In the other dimension, it's oversize but will fit. But don't take my 50 year ago memory for that---someone else???? I worked for a wedding photographer who shot packs, and developed quite a few in those days. I never liked doing it: pack film is thin and flexible, over-eager agitation will pop it out of hangers, and cutting off the tabs was a bother. It's also slightly oversized, and enlargers had special carriers for the negs, and they liked to pop in the enlarger with heat. On the other hand, he could shoot a whole wedding with three or four packs rather than a car-load of holders!

    In the unused pack, films are stacked 1 to 16 facing forward. When you pull the tab, you pull the top tab on the pile, which wraps around the left end of the holder to the film. Pulling that tab drags the exposed film around the left side corners to the back of the holder, facing backwards. Each film is pulled in succession around to the back, making the next in the pile in front available for exposure. There's a spring between the front and back to always press the fresh film forward into the focal plane.

    One more thing--you don't have to expose the whole pack before you develop. You can open the holder in the dark, slide off the end cap, and pull the exposed films from the back side, then close it all up again for continued use. Since the film is undoubtedly outdated, that would give you a chance to get a feel for what you have without blowing the whole pack, first.

  3. #3
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

    I also have a couple packs and after reading the instructions, i will just save them for the next generation.

    Good luck OP!

  4. #4

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    Re: How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

    I bought a pack holder a couple of months ago only because it had most of an unexposed pack in it, so I couldn't resist. I don't know if I will get to using it, though. My memories of them are not particularly fond ones. :-)

  5. #5

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    Re: How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    The pack goes in the holder obvious face towards the dark slide, and the back lid is closed with all of the tabs hanging out the slot next to the slide. There is one cover tab, when you pull that, the first piece of film comes to the front, behind the slide.

    Tabs do NOT come out all the way--pull until it stops, about six inches of movement, or so.

    Put the holder in the camera, pull the slide, take a photo. Pulling the lowest number tab exposes the next sheet of film. As you pull the tabs and take the photos, carefully tear off the used tab, by pulling it backwards, away from the lens, starting tearing one edge, like tearing paper under a ruler. Be careful that the slide is in or the back is locked to the camera when you tear, so that you don't pull the holder back from the camera and expose the film.

    When you're done, pull the last tab and you can expose the pack to light again, (remove the pack from the holder, put in a new one) but not before then because one sheet is always ready at the front of the pack, otherwise.

    When developing, you'll find that each tab is glued to the end of one sheet of film. Slide the lid off the end, and the two sides of the pack, front and back, open like a book, exposing the film for removal (do all of this in the dark, obviously!) If I remember correctly, you need to take a paper cutter and cut off just the overlap of film and paper to fit it in a hanger. You have to figure off exactly how much to cut, or it will be too long for a standard hanger. In the other dimension, it's oversize but will fit. But don't take my 50 year ago memory for that---someone else???? I worked for a wedding photographer who shot packs, and developed quite a few in those days. I never liked doing it: pack film is thin and flexible, over-eager agitation will pop it out of hangers, and cutting off the tabs was a bother. It's also slightly oversized, and enlargers had special carriers for the negs, and they liked to pop in the enlarger with heat. On the other hand, he could shoot a whole wedding with three or four packs rather than a car-load of holders!

    In the unused pack, films are stacked 1 to 16 facing forward. When you pull the tab, you pull the top tab on the pile, which wraps around the left end of the holder to the film. Pulling that tab drags the exposed film around the left side corners to the back of the holder, facing backwards. Each film is pulled in succession around to the back, making the next in the pile in front available for exposure. There's a spring between the front and back to always press the fresh film forward into the focal plane.

    One more thing--you don't have to expose the whole pack before you develop. You can open the holder in the dark, slide off the end cap, and pull the exposed films from the back side, then close it all up again for continued use. Since the film is undoubtedly outdated, that would give you a chance to get a feel for what you have without blowing the whole pack, first.
    Thanks for the lesson. I think I can give it a shot now. You have been a big help! Thanks again.
    John

  6. #6

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    Re: How to use a Graflex Film Pack Adapter?

    Kodak stopped making 4x5 film pack (TXP 320) in 1991. I wish they hadn't- it was very useful in the field. But I think finding any film to use will be a more difficult task than figuring out how to expose/develop any that's left. I have one 3x4 Tri-X filmpack that expired in 1963 but I'm keeping as a museum piece- no point in messing with anything 52 years out of date.

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