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Thread: Images crooked on 4x5 film

  1. #1

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    Images crooked on 4x5 film

    Hello all,

    This is my first post here. Ive used 4x5 for the last year and a half and often refer to the discussions that take place on this forum as they are a great resource of information. Now I have a question-

    I purchased 6 used Riteway 4x5 film holders off ebay, all apparently in good shape. They are the older style that use a metal pull tab on the dark slide. The seller said they were used in a commercial studio.

    I tested the holders to ensure they were light proof by numbering the holders and shooting pieces of paper with corresponding numbers, underexposing by two stops to enhance any leaks. They were all vertically positioned when I tested them. The film was T-max 400.

    In about half the negatives I got back, the image is crooked on the film, or even runs off the edge, and it is the bottom of the scene that runs off the film. However, the misaligned images are not uniform, and exhibit varying degrees of crookedness. This indicates to me that the film is positioned too far towards the hinge of the holder. The film is always seated under the rails and not in the space for the dark slide.

    I've not had this problem with the Toyo holders I was using previously. Does anyone have a technique to ensure proper film placement in the holder? Gently rapp the holder to settle the film away from the hinge? It seems like it would settle back down once I place the holder in the vertical orientation.

    I've tried to be thorough in this explanation without being too long winded. Please let me know if there are any details I've omitted which might help solve the dilemma. Also apologies if thus topic has been discussed here in the past, I tried searching but didn't find much info. If so please point me in the direction of that thread. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    That sounds like the film was not under the rails in the holder.

  3. #3
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    Are you sure you aren't loading 9x12 film?

  4. #4

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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    Definitely a mis-load. If the exposed area extends to the outside edge of the film, the film simply wasn't under the rails. I've done this more times than I like to admit

    Now that you have a couple of negatives, you can practice in the light and find a method of ensuring that the film gets loaded correctly. FWIW, I now always test to make sure the film is under the rails by lightly lifting the corners. Still, every now and then, I have to reload a sheet.

    Best,

    Doremus

  5. #5

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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    1. your holders aren't likely at fault.
    2. next time you buy holders, buy the newer style with plastic pulls and buy them here for about $5 each.
    3. if they were used in a commercial studio (that's not a good selling point) they've been slammed into cameras over and over and likely have much more wear than those owned by one of us on the forum.

  6. #6

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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    Don't blame the holders. It is operator error.

  7. #7
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    All holders have some wiggle room, so if they were moved about after film was loaded, the film might end up in a less-than-perfect orientation.
    You said you didn't have the same problem with Toyo holders, that's because the Toyos are better made than most other holders, and allow less wiggle room for the film.
    Stick with the Toyo holders, and yes, give your holder a couple of taps just before shooting to ensure the film is properly oriented.

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    The paper might be slightly undersize.

  9. #9

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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    Jac and Jim jones, I'm actually not positive it was 4x5 and not 9x12. I had to buy it out of a friend's stock since I had none the day I tested the holders. So that could be it.

    I hope it didn't come off that I thought the holders were broken somehow, even though I'm aware theybe been put through their paces in their former life at the commercial studio. My goal is to track down what I was doing wrong so I can correct it.

    I've since loaded 46 sheets of fomapan 200 into the same holders, and it's definitely 4x5 film. I've been checking in the way that Doremus recommended, by lifting it slightly to make sure it's under the right track. Seems to be good!

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Images crooked on 4x5 film

    evanmoly: You are good here. Loading film is a basic skill that everyone in LF has to deal with. Everyone has had mis-loaded film in the past and everyone will misloa a sheet or two in the future.

    Keep shooting and have a good time.
    Drew Bedo
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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