Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Help needed

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    1

    Help needed

    Today I plan to buy my first large-format camera, A 4 X 5 Crown Graphic Graphlex. It seems like a deal for $200 with three lenses, three film backs and a book and accessories. I shoot 35mm and medium-format, so I'm acquainted with film. What confuses me is the loading/unloading process for large-format negatives. The seller tells me it needs to be loaded in a film bag or dark room, and that he had the shop unload the film. Is there a better way to do this, and do I send the negatives to a lab? If so, which lab do you use and what is the approximate cost? Thank you very much. Edwin.

  2. #2

    Re: Help needed

    Edwin, there are many youtube videos on the subject that can give you a visual idea of how the process is accomplished. https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...5+film+loading . When I first got into large format I used an old sheet of 4x5 to practice (and get the feel of it) in the daylight so when I had to load in the dark, it wouldn't be a mystery. As for loading in a film bag or darkroom, that really is the only method. Variations on 'film bags' include film changing tents but the concept is the same. There is no other way to load a film holder than to remove a sheet from the box and place it into the film holder. Obviously if this is done in daylight, you will have an exposed negative.

    As for processing, a minimal 4x5 developing kit is relatively cheap and can even be done in daylight (after loading the developing tank in the dark). My kit includes the SP-445 now-a-days but I have used tray development and even some print drums in the past. Chemistry for developing black and white is easily obtainable and will save you money in the long run. As for color, I do know some friends that develop C-41 at home but I haven't tried that yet. I send my color film (E-6 and C-41) to a couple of different labs for about 4$ a sheet.

    I personally think the crown graphic is a good starter camera and with 3 lenses and film backs it may be a great deal. Make sure the lenses are clear of fungus and haze if possible and that the moltoprene on the film backs are still in good shape or you can change them out (fairly simple process). The belows are the thing to look at carefully on 4x5 and larger, as they develop pinholes in the corners where they fold. This can leave all sorts of paterns on your film, or simply fog it. Again, for that price it still may be worth it even with a ragged bellows.

    I hope this helps, and welcome to large format!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    1,554

    Re: Help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by duingui View Post
    Today I plan to buy my first large-format camera, A 4 X 5 Crown Graphic Graphlex. It seems like a deal for $200 with three lenses, three film backs and a book and accessories. I shoot 35mm and medium-format, so I'm acquainted with film. What confuses me is the loading/unloading process for large-format negatives. The seller tells me it needs to be loaded in a film bag or dark room, and that he had the shop unload the film. Is there a better way to do this, and do I send the negatives to a lab? If so, which lab do you use and what is the approximate cost? Thank you very much. Edwin.


    Also read that: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/loading.html

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

  4. #4
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,106

    Re: Help needed

    Hi duingui, and Welcome Aboard.

    The answer to what lab to use depends critically on your location.
    You might add that information to your profile, so it appears on every post.

    There are two general options for film development:
    1) Unload the film holders yourself in a film changing bag or a good darkroom, then send the film to the lab in a light-tight box, preferably an empty film box. I can send you a couple if you need them.

    2) Send the holders with the exposed film still in place, and let the lab unload them.
    They will return the holders along with the developed film.

    The choice really depends on how many film holders you have.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  5. #5
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winona, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,314

    Re: Help needed

    What Leigh wrote!

    Before I got a place to install a darkroom, to load and unload holders I used a coat closet, and to light-proof I put a rolled-up towel at the bottom of the door and trapped a thin blanket over the door from the inside. It worked perfectly well.

    Leigh's offer of empty film boxes is super. Many of are often short of them. Go for it.

    And welcome.

  6. #6
    Les
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    762

    Re: Help needed

    If you feel that loading/unloading film could be an issue for you, you can dedicate one sheet of film and practice with it until you get the desired competency. You could practice this in the daylight with your eyes closed...and correct any snags you may run across it. There are many videos out there how to load film holders. Once you get into the dark (or dark bag) you should be able to feel your way around. All you need is some practice. Good luck.

    Les

  7. #7
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,046

    Re: Help needed

    I load & unload film at night in an interior bathroom (no windows), with the door closed and lights off in the next room. It needs to be really dark--can't see your hand in front of your face.



    Kent in SD
    Jauchzet frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo.
    Posts
    2,755

    Re: Help needed

    Besides darkrooms and changing bags there are also changing tents. I think Harrison tents are the best but they are also the most expensive. I use a Harrison Jumbo tent for my 8x10 film holders and even have room to load a Jobo Expert drum for film development. Some people have had good luck with some of the less expensive brands.

    Here is a link for a 4x5 Harrison tent.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...nt.html?sts=pi

Similar Threads

  1. IR help needed
    By Jeff Dexheimer in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 3-Jan-2012, 03:56
  2. Needed!
    By Dave Wooten in forum Gear
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 6-Jun-2009, 12:57
  3. help needed!
    By h2oman in forum Darkroom: Equipment
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-Feb-2009, 14:41
  4. Just what we needed...
    By Larry Mendenhall in forum Gear
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2008, 20:59
  5. Help needed with t-max rs
    By John Brady in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 4-Apr-2007, 12:40

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •