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Thread: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

  1. #1

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    Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Jerold Harter has been kind enough to lend me his Gnass 4x5 film holder case and also got a look at the 8x10 version thanks to Mark Stahlke. I have now had a chance to use them and would like to throw out my thoughts and gather some input from you folks.

    Regarding the 4x5:

    1. Needs to secure the film holders in place - too easy for them to fall out. I have a prototype with zippered closures that is my favorite so far.
    2. I would be inclined to have only 5 film holders per case. I don't need to haul out 10 film holders every time I set up to shoot. This would also allow the case to fit in the side pockets on the P1 and P2 packs I sell.
    3. Store film holders out of direct sunlight.
    4. There is an awful lot of material in the Gnass version. If the film holders are in secure zippered compartments, the large overall wrap can be reduced in size or possibly eliminated. At worst, it can be less heavy material than the 1200 denier Poly.
    5. With the zippered compartment, I would be inclined to have a piece of pencil-compatible plastic so the user can indicate what is inside and perhaps a unexposed/exposed indicator as well.
    6, Color - I suspect I will run into some minimum run issues for color. The Kodak yellow (PMS 123) would look nice but the 1000 yd minimum run is an issue.....
    7. Dust proof - Any design I go with will have ample space for the use of plastic bags. I am exploring a custom run of bags to be a better fit for the 4x5 and 8x10 holders without the excess. These would be a simple fold-over style.

    Regarding the 8x10:

    1. Same design changes as above keeping the 3 holder size per the sample I looked at.


    Your thoughts would be very helpful.
    Bruce

  2. #2
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Bruce, I've got the ten holder Gnass and I appreciate your thoughts about the modifications, especially down to five pockets. I like the blue color that mine has, but I can't help but think back to the white fabric Zone VI bag that I've got. Seems to me the same reasoning would apply in that the highly reflective white keeps a bit of radiant heat off of the holders. With color films, that might mean a difference in some situations.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

  3. #3
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Photobackpacker View Post
    7. Dust proof - Any design I go with will have ample space for the use of plastic bags. I am exploring a custom run of bags to be a better fit for the 4x5 and 8x10 holders without the excess. These would be a simple fold-over style.
    My holders live in ziplock bags. Fold-over style bags are not good enough for what I want. If they aren't in the zip-locks, they are either in my hand, in my camera, or in my darkroom (loading or unloading). Else, zip-locks. Any organizer will have to be able to handle my holders in zip-locks or I'm not going to buy it.

    I've used dumb old zip-lock freezer bags in the past with excellent success. I'm now using made-to-fit bags made of anti-static plastic. This is less successful as the anti-static plastic isn't nearly as strong or tear resistant. And they are too expensive to go through them like I did with the freezer bags (I would use them once, then give them to my wife to use for actual food). So when I run out, it's back to the freezer bags I guess. Unless you come up with a better solution.

    But you're absolutely right about the flap on the Gnass organizer. It's a royal PITA, especially in wind. The flap needs to go.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Bruce, I like the direction you're headed in. Five 4x5 holders sounds like a good number. I like the zippered closures and pencil-compatible plastic.

    I'm not sure about the plastic bags. A lot of plastics are dust magnets due to static and I don't know how well they would hold up in the field.

    I'm not particular about the color. It would be nice if it reflects 18% of the light the hits it. That way I'll always have a gray card at hand.

    Thanks for taking on this project.
    Never is always wrong; always is never right.

    www.LostManPhoto.com
    www.MarkStahlkePhotography.com

  5. #5

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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    My likes and dislikes on the Gnass bags that I have-
    I like the loop which fits very nicely over my ARCA ball head allowing the bag to hang from my tripod when I am shooting in a situation like in water where I dont have any place to put things down. I also like that I can see the slides for my holders therefore I can make a quick assessment of how much film I have left and not confuse ready with spent film.

    I dont like the width of the 10 holder bag- too wide- I would rather have a 4x5 holder similar to the quickload holder where there are 3-4 pockets total that can each hold two film holders if need be. The velcro flap should be able to seal up any number of holders greater than say 2. BTW I have put as many as 20 holders into the pockets of the 10-holder that I have- they are spaciaous enough to fit two each.

    As for other features being discussed- Im not too sure what I think of zippered pockets- seems like it would be another unneeded step to getting at things when the light is changing fast. I could care less about color other than seconding the 18% comment from above for use as a grey card sub. Im also horribly organized and never have the time or inclination to write anything down when I shoot.

    What would really excite me is a system that can be used with other relatively smaller formats- say 4x10 for example...
    my 2 cents
    E

  6. #6
    Photographer, Machinist, etc. Jeffrey Sipress's Avatar
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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Are you hoping to find a used one? I think they are no longer manufactured. They were hardly manufactured when Gnass was offering them!

  7. #7

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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Hi Jeffery:

    I am sorry, I didn't make that clear - I always assume everyone knows me. How's that for overblown ego.

    I am preparing to manufacture these to add to the Photobackpacker product line. I have heard many good reports about these and now see the appeal. If I am going to do this, I want to add value where it makes sense. This forum is a fantastic source for brainstorming.

    Bruce
    Bruce

  8. #8

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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Hi Bruce,

    I have following suggestions:

    1. I agree with getting rid of the flap if there are zippers that completely close the film holders - protecting them from drizzle, dirt and dust.

    2. Instead of having 5 pockets, have 6 pockets to hold 6 film holders (12 sheets). For those people who carry only 6 film holders in the backpack, can use the film holder case itself for storing them in the backpack (instead of having another case).

    3. I hang the Gnass film holder from the tripod. Besides using the pockets for the film envelopes (QuickLoad) or film holders (cut film holders), I also use the small pocket (available on the Gnass QuickLoad holder) for filter(s), pen, measuring tape, etc. I put these small items in the pocket as I pull them out from the backpack whenever needed. They are not stored in the Gnass holder pocket in the backpack. For your film holder case if all film holder pockets are one side of the fabric, add some open pockets on the back or outside of the zippered pockets that could hold small items I mentioned above.

    4. Once you have the prototype ready, I would love to see the pictures - may be in a thread like this one. A picture is worth a thousand words. You might get more feedback/suggestions once members of this site see the pictures.

    I'm looking forward to using your film holder case.


    // Atul

  9. #9

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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    If you're not hell-bent on a soft case why not use a well sized Lock&Lock plastic case? Put a little foam on the bottom and you have a very lightweight, airtight, watertight, dust proof, strong and not expensive film holder case.

  10. #10
    lenser's Avatar
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    Re: Gnass Filmholder Case - Some Design Thoughts

    Bruce,

    I'm not sure I agree on losing the flap as some have suggested. I like it for preventing any direct sun on the tops of the holders which is one place where leaks can occur with age and use and the bowing around the dark slide that I've seen happen with far too many plastic holders. I'd suggest keeping the flap, but adding a Velcro closure at the bottom to keep it from sailing around with the wind.
    "One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude." Carl Sandburg

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