Last night was my first attempt at loading my 4x5 film holders, and for the most part it was a failure. I practiced a "little" outside the "darkroom" and thoug ht it would be a snap, but I was wrong. I wasn't prepared for the sticky backsi de of the film. It completely threw me off. At least now, I have a few more sh eets of film to practice with.:-)

Basically, in my first attempt, I had a hard time "knowing" when the film was i n the right slot. I've determined that perhaps the best way to load sheet film is to go above the slotted portion of the holder and slide the film slowly down. While sliding the film down, I listen for two clicks (i.e., the film has slide down into the bottom,wider portion of the holder. I then stop and start slidin g the sheet forward. This technique should ensure the film is in the bottom slo t. Right? How much can the film be bent without harm? I ask because it gets p retty tight near the end when the film is almost completely in the holder. What 's the best technique in keeping your finger prints off the film? Should I wear one cotton glove and keep the other hand ungloved? I could then pick up the in dividual sheet with the ungloved hand because of the better "feel", and then tra nsfer it over to the gloved hand? I noticed while practicing it's easier for me to have the palm of my hand below the film. However, this causes me to flip my hand after retrieving a sheet. I then hold the sides with my thumb and middle finger while pushing the top end with my index finger. Does this sound logical? or is there a better way? I don't even want to imagine how hard it is to load 8x10.

Once I get them loaded and take a few pictures I will then need help on removing them from the holders. Just looking at the film in the holder, it appears to b e quite a purplexing dilemma. The sheet is completely against the back of the h older or at least it appears that way. How does one pry underneath the sheet an d pull it out without "finger print city"?

Thanks in advance,