View Full Version : 4x5 Riteway filmholders binding...

Dean Taylor
11-Feb-2013, 17:24

Having just received a set of Riteway film holders, it became apparent that the dark slide (term?) does not move in to the holder.

Q: if you ave encountered this with your own Riteways did you attempt to apply any kind of lubricant to the groove?

I can barely get the slides fully forward in the light--in a dark bag it would be a virtual impossibility...

Any remedies are gratefully received.


11-Feb-2013, 17:30
I've had this happen on some 8x10 dark slides. My very tenuous solution was to get some extremely fine gauge steel wool and with the lightest of touches do a once over across each side of the slide over the entire surface. That was followed by a wipe down using isopropyl alcohol to remove any dust or leavings from the steel wool. That did the trick in my case.

I did it a little more heavily on the edges of the slide.

Lubricant would be out of the question in my opinion due to possible effects of out gassing on the film and the possibility of direct slop contamination on the emulsion just in moving the slide in and out.

C. D. Keth
11-Feb-2013, 17:40
I use riteways and yeah, sometimes the slides will bind if you get them going in crooked. I've found that pushing them in by both corners rather than the little handle helps. Any kind of lubrication would probably attract and hold dust and dirt.

John Kasaian
11-Feb-2013, 17:57
A sparing wipe of wax (I used lemon Pledge 'cause it smells nice) on the edges of the dark slides, then patiently work them in and out for a few cycles usually does the trick for me.
BTW, are you certain these are the correct (Riteway) dark slides for those holders? I've bought stacks of used holders, many with non-matching dark slides---apparently some photgraphers get careless about this sort of stuff.

Dean Taylor
11-Feb-2013, 18:46
much obliged, folks!

Another concern involves what seems a likelihood of touching the emulsion--even a bit--as the film is loaded into the Riteway holders (in the dark, of course). Even the slightest contact (thumb/forefinger) at the very corner seems like it might...'mar' the emulsion side of the film.

Q: having noted this concern, just how delicate/sensitive to the touch is the 4x5 emulsion side of the film--considered both before and after exposure? Also, sliding the film into the quite-narrow holder seems risky, i.e., the possibility of...'scraping' (for lack of a better term) the emulsion side on some part of the holder as the film is slid in.

thanks again!

Dean Taylor

11-Feb-2013, 18:51
Dean, have you had a chance to read this resource right here on LF site?


C. D. Keth
11-Feb-2013, 20:27
It will scratch pretty easily but you can load without touching any image area. I'm right handed so I load a holder with it in front of me so the darkslide pulls back (I don't remove it completely in the dark, I pull it back about halfway) with my left hand. I then flip back the loading flap. Next I take a sheet of film so it's lightly pinched on the close long side between thumb and middle finger with my index finger on the notch code. I do this on the very edge so if I do mar the emulsion, it's in the rebate area anyway. I do it with clean hands and a light touch and have never seen evidence that it scratches or leaves marks.

Doremus Scudder
13-Feb-2013, 03:23
People have been loading filmholders for decades without damaging the emulsion. It must not be that hard :rolleyes: I think you are overly-concerned.

Just handle the film as much by the edges as possible, wash your hands well before loading and quit worrying. Most emulsions are pretty tough these days anyway.

FWIW, I've never had an instance of damage from finger contact loading or unloading filmholders. I use bare hands to load and unload with nitrile gloves on, since that is what I wear to develop in. Never a problem. Make sure you pull the darkslide out enough so that you don't scrape the film on it as you slide it into the retaining grooves. Other than that, there should be nothing that might contact the emulsion side of the film when loading.

As for your sticky darkslides: It sounds like you have some dirty holders. Take some time and, using a toothbrush, clean the grooves that the darkslide goes into as much as possible (you can't reach the area in the light trap). The slides can get crossed-up easily and jam, but cleaning and a bit of wax and judicious sanding of the edges of the dark slides with steel wool or very fine grit sandpaper should fix your problem as long as you have the right size darkslides in the first place.

Filmholders aren't delicate; don't be afraid to clean them if they need it. You can clean them with soap and water in the sink and direct running water through the light traps to remove crud. Just make sure to let them dry thoroughly before use (the light-trap material is velvet-like and takes some time to dry; a blow-dryer helps).