View Full Version : Changing bag size?

scott russell
8-Mar-2008, 10:18
Hey, I need to buy a changing bag to load/unload 4x5 film that I will also use to roll/develop 120 film. I was wondering, how big is big enough? And what are good brands to use? I'm probably gonna pick one up with my next B and H order but Id rather not drop 60 bucks on one if a small or medium sized one will do.

Tom Perkins
8-Mar-2008, 10:37
The use of a changing bag for 4x5 can cause a lot of problems with dust. Look for a Harrison tent or its equivalent--you can pick up a used one here from time to time--and save yourself a lot of hassles. They fold up nice and small and you can travel with them. Sets up on a card table, bed or motel desk. I have even read on this forum that people will set them up on the hood of their car in broad daylight when they need to.

8-Mar-2008, 13:36
I'd second the Harrison tent... and a further suggestion if you should decide to get one... go for the "standard" size and not the pup version, even tho' the pup size is listed as being for 4x5. The extra space of the standard is well worth the extra expense.

Ron Marshall
8-Mar-2008, 13:40
The tent style is easier to use. I have the Photoflex, and while I'm sure it's not built as well as the Harrison, it is good enough and the price is very reasonable.

8-Mar-2008, 13:49
If you don't go for a tent, go for the largest changing bag. Yes dust is a problem but be careful and you'll be fine.

I find the bags a nightmare but a necessary evil... good luck!

By the by, small and medium bags are too small. The static makes the extra space too difficult to manage.

Don Hutton
8-Mar-2008, 14:17

The reason you are fighting with static etc. is exactly why you want a tent - with a tent you don't have to be charging up your holders, film and darkslides with static every time ensuring that they attract every particle of dust within a 100 yards. You can probably pick up a Photoflex (Calumet brand them too) Changing Room for about $50 second hand. I actually prefer it to the Harrison tent for 4x5. It probably won't last as long, but they pop up instantly and a comfortable to work in - most importantly, the fabric doesn't get to touch everything inside.

scott russell
8-Mar-2008, 20:06
So there is a lot of static electricity in a normal changing bag, but the harrison is exempt from this?

Ron Marshall
8-Mar-2008, 22:13
So there is a lot of static electricity in a normal changing bag, but the harrison is exempt from this?

With any of the tent style the holder is not brushing the walls accumulating static charge.

scott russell
9-Mar-2008, 11:02
Couldn't you just make a small box frame out of plastic or something, and insert it into a $20 patterson bag and save 50$?

eric black
9-Mar-2008, 12:42
I have a redundant Photoflex pop up changing bag that I would part for for $50 + $5 shipping to CONUS. It is my second bag, its new and my bay id is eman37. PM me if interested

Louie Powell
9-Mar-2008, 13:08
Yes, changing bags are an invention of the devil. But - - -

they work. And with reasonable care, the dust problem can be managed.

First, don't get the smallest bag available. I don't know the dimensions, but while my first bag might have been fine for dealing with 35mm film, it just wasn't large enough to handle 4x5 holders and film boxes.

Second, keep the bag wrapped in a plastic bag, taking it out ONLY when you are actually using it.

Third, try to avoid the "working in your lap" scenario. Find a desk or table - or put it on a chair and sit on the floor. Don't try to hold up the bag at the same time you are working in it.

Fourth, work in steps. Unload the holders, transferring the exposed film to boxes for storage. Then, take the empty holders out of the bag, and use a small brush to knock off as much of the dust and lint as you can. Finally, put them back in the changing bag, and reload with fresh film. Then, after you are done, open the bag, shake it out, and then quickly fold it up and put it back in its plastic storage bag.