View Full Version : Lightest 8x10 Holders

Lenny Eiger
18-Feb-2009, 15:08
Have any of you folks done an analysis of the lightest weight holders for 8x10. (I'm sure someone has.) I did do a search, but not that exhaustive. I've seen wood ones for over $300 - wow... I'm not even sure how wood stays dimensionally stable with temp and humidity changes... and I don't know how long it would take me to buy a bunch of them...

What does everyone think?


Tori Nelson
18-Feb-2009, 15:17
Lightweight 8x10 film holders = oxymoron. Lightweight 8x10 anything, actually, LOL.

Sal Santamaura
18-Feb-2009, 15:30
As best I can tell, Lotus:


They'll cost more than $300 though. According to xe.com, 330 Euro converts to $413.87 today.

Dan Schmidt
18-Feb-2009, 15:32
I think it is reasonable question. I only go up to 8x10, but for many people on this forum 8x10 is small and 4x5 is like a spy camera.

I have some all plastic 8x10 holders which are at least half the weight of some that I have with metal or wood parts.

Off hand I don't know which ones those light ones are. But certainly if i'm putting 6 holders in a backpack, those are more desirable.

I would not spend 300 on a wood 8x10 holder, when new Fidelity holders can be found at calumet.

Lenny Eiger
18-Feb-2009, 15:49

This is a surprise. I thought that the wood ones were 1/2 the weight... that might justify the cost... certainly not for two ounces of savings...

18-Feb-2009, 15:52
maybe 3 holders + a tent + an empty film box can do the work.

Oren Grad
18-Feb-2009, 16:05
Probably the Mido holders, I'd imagine. Not without their issues, of course. As I recall, Tim Atherton used a set as part of his 8x10 kit.

Lenny Eiger
18-Feb-2009, 16:09
maybe 3 holders + a tent + an empty film box can do the work.

I generally take 6. I don't like to reload in the field... I do that back at the car. Sometimes I like to try a different dev or exposure for the same shot and I don't want to have to think about it.

Everyone has their own style - I'm not suggesting mine is "correct." I have gotten some nice lenses recently and they are heavier than my old ones. FilmHolders.com says his holders are 1 lb ea, or 16 oz's. ($315 ea., 2 month wait). If that's true, then if plastic ones are 20-24, then there is 4-8 oz savings per.

With 6 holders, that's almost a pound to 3 pounds less in the backpack. A pound is no big deal, 3 lbs would be welcome....


Nathan Potter
18-Feb-2009, 16:10
Carbon fiber holders would be ideal but I've never found any. Would be expensive I'm sure. Maybe someone knows of a source.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

David A. Goldfarb
18-Feb-2009, 16:29
Definitely Mido holders if you can find them, and they also take up less than half the space, so you can bring more film into the field. They are thin double sided filmholders that are used with a clamshell spacer frame. I looked for years and finally secured a stash.

The old Kodak and Folmer Graflex wooden holders are a bit lighter than modern plastic, and lots cheaper than Lotus.

Before finding the Midos I was considering making a set of carbon fiber darkslides for my wooden holders. It would have been expensive, but the weight savings started to add up with around 5 or 6 holders.

Jim Galli
18-Feb-2009, 17:21
The lightest of my 32 8X10 holders are 1940's Kodak wooden holders. Pay a little extra for minty ones if you get lucky and find some. I've never had a light leak with these. Hey if they were good enough for Ansel and Edward, you probably don't need the exotic stuff either.

Don Hutton
18-Feb-2009, 17:51
Sal's numbers agree with mine:

Lotus 18.75oz per holder (with film)
Liscos 20.75oz (empty)
Toyos 24.9 oz (empty)

I have an early Eastman which weighs just under a pound, but I've never seen one that's anything but rough. I bought a set of 6 Lotus holders a couple of years ago and I'm very happy with them - pair them with an 8 pound field camera, two small lenses and you have a very reasonable pack...

18-Feb-2009, 18:10
Chamonix 20.4 oz (with film)

Steve Hamley
18-Feb-2009, 18:14
Check AWB. I was amazed but don't have a weight. Anyone?

Cheers, Steve

Drew Wiley
18-Feb-2009, 19:03
I have one well made aluminum holder which is substantially lighter than the plastic
ones. I believe it is a Hoffman. Once in awhile these come up for sale used, but they
were relatively expensive in their day. Never could get Mido holders to work reliably - maybe there's some secret to them someone could share. So my routine holders
are Liscos, many of them converted to Sinar-style adhesive holders for greater film
flatness. Like several others chiming in here, my 8x10 kit consists of a Phillips
camera with 450C, 360A, 240A Fujinon lenses, or alternately, a 250 G-Claron, and
sometimes a 600C Fuji. I've dispensed with a tripod head entirely, and see no
inconvenience to composition. The camera just rests on the platform of the Ries,
although if I was a lightweight purist I'd probably get another carbon fiber tripod.
But when the weight issue is really the priority, like on extended mountain backpacking trips, I resort to 4X5.

Robert Fisher
18-Feb-2009, 19:11
Drew, please explain:

"many of them converted to Sinar-style adhesive holders for greater film


Lenny Eiger
18-Feb-2009, 20:24
Check AWB. I was amazed but don't have a weight. Anyone?

Cheers, Steve

I spoke to him today, he said 16 oz's.


Drew Wiley
18-Feb-2009, 22:57
Robert - Sinar holders are nothing more than ordinary Lisco-style holders with the
film retainer slot removed, then a reusable 3M Post-It adhesive sheet added to each
side. The film is simply pressed down upon this, rather than being slid into the retainer slots. The thickness of the adhesive is negligible, does not transfer a residue to the film, and can be reused hundreds of times. The result is that there is
no uneveness caused by the film bowing, something which (FACT) affects image
sharpness. I know there are a few contact printers who will want to argue with me
and state that they can't see a difference, but with any serious enlargement the difference in quality is distinct. I find these holders essential for precision enlargement to 30x40 from 8x10. In the past people have used ATG tape behind the
film for this, but if you choose this option, make sure it is the reusable type from 3M
or you might wreck the film. Converting filmholders only takes about five minutes
apiece if you have a reasonably firm hand with an ordinary utility knife. If Sinar put
a reasonable upcharge on these holders they would sell a lot more; but expecting hundreds of dollars extra per holder for such a simple conversion is simply absurd.

David A. Goldfarb
18-Feb-2009, 23:47
The only secret I've found to the Mido 8x10" holders--which are Type II, meaning they work more or less like regular filmholders but thinner, not the Type I holders that are more like reloadable Quickloads--is to bend the darkslide handle slightly away from the center when reinserting the darkslide, but other than that and the clamshell spacer, they seem to function pretty much like normal filmholders.

Lenny Eiger
19-Feb-2009, 09:29
The only secret I've found to the Mido 8x10" holders--which are Type II,

I did a quick search yesterday, found none. Any secrets to where to located these?


Gene McCluney
19-Feb-2009, 09:46
I have found that the lightest holder, not just the 8x10 size, but 5x7 as well are the older natural wood finish..wood holders. The older the lighter, it seems to me. I have been fortunate in being able to acquire some decent ones for my use. Even it they are "ratty" they can be refurbished, one can even separate the wood at the light traps and replace the velvet material if needed.

Oren Grad
19-Feb-2009, 10:04
I did a quick search yesterday, found none. Any secrets to where to located these?

I'm not sure there's anything that can be recommended beyond an eagle-eye on eBay and the relevant discussion boards plus a lot of patience. They've been out of production for several years, and were a niche within a niche within a niche to begin with.

Every few years there seems to be a fresh Mido-sighting, but so far nothing has come of it:


David A. Goldfarb
19-Feb-2009, 10:14
I did a quick search yesterday, found none. Any secrets to where to located these?


If I knew, I would have gotten some years ago. I've just kept an eye out until some came up for sale and was willing to bid a lot for them, but per holder, it was still a pretty good deal. I've usually found them selling for $60-100 per holder in groups of 10 or less, but I was able to get them for about $40 a piece by buying a larger lot.

I just put one on my kitchen scale, and the clamshell weighs 8.125 oz, and the holders are 12.625 oz, so together they're about the same as a Lisco, but you only need one clamshell.

The Mido II 8x10" holder without the clamshell is 7/32" thick at its thickest point. I find I can fit 16 Midos with one clamshell in a case that I'd previously used to hold 6 regular holders.