View Full Version : Newbie film holder question

20-Jul-2010, 10:37
I'm waiting for my Gowlandflex to arrive, and have been reading up (even more) on operating these cameras. I think I grasp the concept of film holders from what I've rad and seen on youtube, but have a question.

I understand I need a film holder, which seems to already be attached to the camera (see pic). Is this removable, and if so, is it a standard part so I can buy extras to carry more than one sheet without needing a tent or Quickloads? There's very little info available on Gowlandflexes online.

Also, can these be rotated to horizontal/portrait orientation?

20-Jul-2010, 11:36
All I see is a "Graflok Back" It includes the ground glass focusing panel and slide locks top and bottom. The focusing panel can be removed to attach certain roll film holders or other special film holders which are secured by the sliding locks.

The link below shows a standard 4x5 two sided sheet film holder, (called by many a "double dark slide", but I have never been able to figure out why.) I have no experience with the vendor; they just came up early in a google image search.


Good Luck - Alan

20-Jul-2010, 12:04
Ok, thanks, that makes sense. I've heard of Graflok backs, but wasn't sure if this is one.

So if I buy a few of these (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/61077-REG/Toyo_View_180_903_4x5_Sheet_Film_Holders.html) or similar I'm good to go? Looks similar to the one on Samy's link.

BTW, it's a TLR so the ground glass is at the top.

20-Jul-2010, 12:19
Those will fit a graflok back. You may want to buy more than 2. Try for a better price here -


Oren Grad
20-Jul-2010, 12:50
BTW, it's a TLR so the ground glass is at the top.

Actually, your Gowlandflex has two ground glasses - one inside the "chimney" at the top, and the other as part of the Graflok assembly. You can use either to focus, depending on what kinds of pictures you're trying to make. The chimney finder will be best for making portraits, for example, because you can continue to view the subject with the film in place, through the moment of exposure. OTOH, if you want to make close-up pictures of inanimate objects, you'll be better off focusing on the ground glass at the film plane to avoid parallax error.

One of the first things you should do when you get the camera is check that the two ground glasses agree - that is, that when the subject is in focus on one of them, it's also in focus on the other. If not, some adjustment will be required.

21-Jul-2010, 09:19
Ah, didn't know that. The first test will be to check that the lenses are aligned, so that should help with it.

Gowlandflex has parallax-correction built-in (!), but am not sure what the limits are.

Oren Grad
21-Jul-2010, 09:55
Gowlandflex has parallax-correction built-in (!), but am not sure what the limits are.

At the risk of stating the obvious, this is something else you can test for yourself - compare what you get on the ground glass in the chimney with what you get on the Graflok GG when you focus on subjects up close.