View Full Version : Kinematic Filmholders

David A. Goldfarb
1-Aug-2004, 15:37
I just tried posting this in the "Comments" section on the main page under the articles on Filmholders, but got an SQL error, so since there is nothing on Kinematic filmholders on the site as far as I can tell, I thought I'd post it here in the forum. I'd be interested in hearing anyone else's experience with the Kinematic holder:

Another holder that isn't mentioned here is the Kinematic filmholder, which functions like a Grafmatic but holds 10 sheets. I just acquired one of these, and it's interesting--not as well made as a Grafmatic, but seems functional, and it does hold 10 sheets and is only slightly thicker than a 6-sheet Grafmatic. It has a frame counter, but not a wheel to imprint the frame number on the film. It loads much like a Grafmatic.

To use it, there are two handles, a metal one in front (the lens side) connected to the darkslide and a plastic one in back that pulls the box and the frame counter. To expose a sheet with the back attached to the camera, pull the darkslide (metal handle) and re-insert, and you'll see a red line on the back of the darkslide. Expose the film and then with the thumb pull the plastic handle to pull out the box with the darkslide, and allow the exposed sheet to fall to the back of the stack, then release the plastic handle allowing a triangular metal tab to pop up on the top, and push the two tabs in together. If the metal tab does not pop up, the frame counter will not advance (you can then advance it manually by turning the wheel).

Be careful when pulling out the box containing the stack not to pull too hard. The build quality of a Kinematic seems a little lighter than a Grafmatic, and there is some danger that if the stops inside are worn or if the holder is a little bent out of shape, that the box will be pulled too far, and the sheet just exposed will not go back into the stack properly (i.e., it could get caught between the wall of the holder and the box--which has happened to me, or it could jam, or at the very worst you could pull the whole box out and watch all ten septums go flying--which has not happened to me, but I could see how it might). That said, the Kinematic seems a little more positive in operation when loaded into the camera than when experimenting with it off the camera, because the camera back reinforces the structure of the holder.

It will slip under a spring back if there is enough clearance for a Grafmatic, or it can be held by the slides on a Graflok type back.

If something does go wrong, they are not difficult to disassemble and figure out what is out of whack.

David R Munson
1-Aug-2004, 17:13
Where did you find it? It sounds like an interesting holder. How do they compare to Grafmatics, price-wise?

David A. Goldfarb
1-Aug-2004, 21:40
I bought it off eBay for about $100, which is on the high side, but it looked to be in pretty good shape. I'd seen them before, relatively rarely, so I think the price probably fluctuates a good deal.

I think Grafmatics are probably more reliable (mine seem to be), but I like the idea of having one or two ten-frame holders, just for casual walks with the 4x5" camera, where I don't want to carry a lot of extra stuff, and I think that the Kinematic holder will work more smoothly as I get the feel for it.

Jim Galli
2-Aug-2004, 07:40
Here's a piece of copy from my 1959 Burke & James catalog.

David A. Goldfarb
2-Aug-2004, 08:35
Neat! Thanks, Jim. I need to get bigger pockets on my suits.

Larry Gebhardt
3-Aug-2004, 10:50
I wonder how many products from today will sell used for 4 times the original price. When was that ad from?

David A. Goldfarb
3-Aug-2004, 12:26
1959, when $24.95 was worth about $150 in 2003 dollars.

Bob Eskridge
3-May-2006, 12:08
David, how do you open these holders to remove film? I have just purchased a Kinematic. It is not obvious to me how to open them. My Grafmatic was easy.

David A. Goldfarb
3-May-2006, 12:24
I don't have one in front of me at the moment, but if muscle memory serves me, you have to pull out the plastic handle so that you can pull the box out as if you were advancing to the next sheet, and while the box is partway out, you can pull the darkslide out all the way, as with a Grafmatic, and then pull it the rest of the way to remove the septa, as shown in Jim's illustration above. I'll double check that when I get home late tonight, but I think that's right.

Bob Eskridge
3-May-2006, 13:04
Thanks, David! I see now. Mine is at home also so will verify this later.

David A. Goldfarb
3-May-2006, 22:11
I checked, and that's how to do it. Pull out the box by the plastic handle partway, then pull the slide and pull the box out all the way, and the septa will pop out.

9-Jan-2011, 06:50
Here's a piece of copy from my 1959 Burke & James catalog.


I can not see the attachment. Do you still have the copy? I recently acquired one with much higher price.