View Full Version : 14x17 Film Holders

Jim Fitzgerald
4-Aug-2010, 18:52
I need to ask the question of all of the 14x17 film shooters out there. What type of holders do you use/like? I decided to build my last camera ( I know I said that after the 11x14) a 14x17. I love the size and would love to see carbon prints in this size. Holders are the expensive part along with the bellows. I'd need to decide and purchase the holder before I make my back. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, if any of you have pros or con's about your 14x17's I'd love to hear about them. I'm in the design stage right now but I know I still have Walnut left so I at least know the wood I will use.

BTW, how many holders do you normally have/use?



Oren Grad
4-Aug-2010, 19:38
I'm afraid my cameras top out at 11x14. But one thing that occurs to me is that the 14x17 Fidelity holders are *very* heavy. For that reason alone, you might want to pick one of the modern wooden holders. See this thread on APUG:


Dave Wooten
4-Aug-2010, 19:54
Go with the S and S holders. Call Sandy and get one to build your camera around, my 2 cents.

Jim Fitzgerald
4-Aug-2010, 20:12
Go with the S and S holders. Call Sandy and get one to build your camera around, my 2 cents.

Dave, thanks. I hope to join the ranks of 14x17 shooters soon. Once I get into it I won't stop until I have it done. I know Sandy's holders and I guess I need to speak to Hugo also. Gotta be walnut holders though.


Brian Bullen
4-Aug-2010, 20:13
Jim, I'd second the S&S recommendation. I've used the 7x17 version and they are smooth operating and light tight. Very nice all around.

Jim Fitzgerald
4-Aug-2010, 21:09
Thanks, guys. I'll have to give fellow carbon printer and mentor Sandy a ring.


Scott Davis
5-Aug-2010, 10:25
I've got Lotus holders for my 14x17. They're about the nicest film holders I've ever seen- blow the doors of my AWB's for my 5x12, better than my vintage holders for any of my smaller cameras, far prettier than the Shen Hao 5x7 holders I have also. You pay for it (latest I saw they're around $550-600 each, new), but I'd gladly do it when I want more. I currently have three holders. I'll be very happy with two more in another year or so when I can afford more, but that's all I would ever want.

Michael Jones
5-Aug-2010, 11:24
I have used three brands: Fidelity, Hoffman, & de Golden Busch. The Fidelities & Hoffmans perform just like smaller film holders (the Hoffmans are basically wooden Fidelities). The de Golden Busch holders, while exemplifying craftsmanship, were a bit fussy and heavy.

As with any ULF setup, make sure your holders fit your camera. Interestingly though, I understand there is an ANSI standard for 14x17 primarily due to the medical industry (which is what most of the Fidelities will be marked: medical cassette).

I have had Sam & Sandy’s holders in 11x14 size and they were great. I also used Alan Brubaker’s holders in 7x17 and 8x20: absolutely the Rolls Royce of film holders, IMHO. I have never seen a Lotus holder.

I have had as many as nine holders loaded and out in the field, but never used more than three in a session. If you think you slow down moving to 11x14, wait until you step up to 14x17: you will always remember you have to develop and print what you expose…

Protecting them while transporting is very important. Get a good, padded carrying case.

Enjoy and good luck.


Jim Fitzgerald
5-Aug-2010, 17:33
Thanks for everyone's advice and input. I shoot two ULF sizes right now 11x14 and 8x20 and I've had them both out at the same time. I have 7 holders for the 11x14 and generally I'll shoot 4. Same with the 8x20. I only have 3 holders for the 8x20 and I'll shoot all three. I have a 4th that I need to make a darkslide for. So I guess I'd start with two for the 14x17 and as I can afford more I'll add some. Still have time to save the $$$$.


Tracy Storer
6-Aug-2010, 07:59
I've got 5 S+S holders, Cherry wood. They are quite good. I've had and sold a couple Lotus ones.
Had some Fidelitys as well, there was some speculation that being medical cassettes, the lighttraps may not be up to bright outdoor use.

Jim Fitzgerald
6-Aug-2010, 08:55
Tracy, thanks. I am in contact with Sandy. Looking at some walnut holders.


Jim Fitzgerald
25-Aug-2010, 19:11
Go with the S and S holders. Call Sandy and get one to build your camera around, my 2 cents.

Dave, I got two holders from Sandy in walnut and they are beautiful. Now I've almost got the rest of the camera designed.


26-Aug-2010, 11:07
Do 14x17 holders hold Xray film as well, or just 14x17 traditional photo film?

I'd think it would be an awesome size for contact printed portraits.

Jim Fitzgerald
26-Aug-2010, 13:39
X-ray film is no problem!! At $70.00 a box of 100 it is not hard to imagine doing more than one exposure at a set up. You know ULF bracketing! I do need to save for more holders though. I agree that contacts at this size will be nice. I put the 11x14 holder on top of the 14x17 and the 14x17 has just a bit more presence.


Robert Fisher
26-Aug-2010, 13:56
Tracy, the light traps on Fidelity 11x14 "film holders" and "medical cassettes" are identical - the only difference is the name imprinted on the holders - I have both and they are perfect twins