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Fragomeni
13-Jul-2011, 22:17
I've just received a 20x24 camera back made by Richard Ritter for my antique 20x24 camera that was in need of a back. Along with the back I had a holder made by S&S for use with the camera. Upon its arrival I was very upset to find that both dark slides in the holder are completely stuck. There is no give at all in any direction. I have read about S&S dark slides getting stuck for one reason or another but I never would have expected to receive a holder that is completely fused straight out of the box.

Naturally, I've emailed Richard about this to see what the solution will be if the slides remain stuck. In the meantime I'm hoping that someone with experience with these holders can offer some insight. Perhaps Sandy? I've waited 6 months for this holder and back to arrive and I am very distraught with the situation. If I have to send the holder back I am dreading having to wait another 6 months to use the camera. Any help would be so greatly appreciated!

Michael Roberts
13-Jul-2011, 22:37
Francesco, see Sandy's comments in this link:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=12985&highlight=dark+slide+stuck

Given that your slides are already in, you might unscrew the baffle cover and see if that loosens them up enough to pull. Then you can check to see if they are in the correct grooves or not.
Best,
Michael

Fragomeni
13-Jul-2011, 22:49
Thats the first thread I saw when I checked Google to see if this was a common issue.

I've just gone ahead and followed what Sandy says in that thread. I removed the four screws on one side and when the fourth screw released, the holder popped and split about a quarter of the way down. No force, no pulling, just split and the slide on that side is still completely stuck. I am so beyond upset right now. I truly hope that they will take the holder back and repair it. It would be a shame is they refused and left me with a now seriously broken holder. I have to email Richard again to update him... I've never heard of a film holder rupturing under pressure...

Michael Roberts
14-Jul-2011, 05:57
Oh, what a shame. I'm sure S&S will work it out with you. A new 20x24 holder is quite an investment.

sanking
14-Jul-2011, 06:17
Thats the first thread I saw when I checked Google to see if this was a common issue.

I've just gone ahead and followed what Sandy says in that thread. I removed the four screws on one side and when the fourth screw released, the holder popped and split about a quarter of the way down. No force, no pulling, just split and the slide on that side is still completely stuck. I am so beyond upset right now. I truly hope that they will take the holder back and repair it. It would be a shame is they refused and left me with a now seriously broken holder. I have to email Richard again to update him... I've never heard of a film holder rupturing under pressure...


Exploding film holders has not been one of our major problems. In fact, first time I have ever heard of such a thing happening. It is not uncommon for the dark slides of very large holders to temporarily stick when they subject to a large change in relative humidity, as might happen when moving from an arid climate to a humid one, or vice versa because of the different co-efficient of expansion of wood and the phenolic resin of the dark slide. I usually recommend that the customer leave the holder for a few days and allow the wood and phenolic pressure to reach equilibrium. Then the slides will come out easily.

No idea why your holder exploded, but send it back to Richard and I will check with him as to the condition and if it can be repaired. We will certainly refund your money if it is not possible to repair the holder.

Sandy King

Fragomeni
14-Jul-2011, 08:43
Richard got back to me this morning and instructed me to send it back as well. I must say, I've never heard of an exploding holder either! Just to clarify, the holder didn't actually explode and as far as I can tell I'm not suffering from any holder shrapnel wounds. The popping sound was quite disarming though and I've never experienced anything like that. Looking at where and how it split, it looks as though the slide warped and was under pressure that released when I removed the fourth screw causing the slide to buckle.There is an obvious buckle in both the slide and the piece of horizontal wood that is removed when the screws are removed. My guess is that the slide buckling against the wood and the wood not withstanding pressure from the inside is probably what caused the popping sound. The split doesn't look overly severe and definitely looks fixable (but I am not a wood worker so what do I know). Richard will take a look at it and whether it is repaired or replaced, I've asked that whatever holder is sent be shipped with the slides removed. The information about differences in climate make sense and Richard mentioned that as well. If they swell with an increase in humidity I wouldn't think that would be a problem here in Phoenix where this time of year the humidity rarely gets above 12% (one of the lowest levels in the US). Anyway, I will keep you all updated. Thank you for the replies.

jack_hui
18-Jul-2011, 03:59
I had a similar problem before. I found that by reducing the contact surface between the end of the dark slide and the holder can solve the problem, by simply cut off a little bit of the material at the end.

Fragomeni
20-Jul-2011, 10:34
I'll update when I hear back from Richard. The holder is on its way back to him. Thanks for the help everyone. Its nice to get input in a distressing situation like this.

RichardRitter
28-Jul-2011, 04:40
Got the holder back.
Tried pulling the slide and it was stuck. So I put the holder into a plastic bag for two days and the slide came out.

The break is along a grain line in sapwood this is the outer inch of a tree and the wood is weaker in this area.

So itís hard to say if it was the swelling and imbalance of the slide, going from being really humid to really dry, weak questionable grain and wood in that area and/or operator error.

This past week the humidly in the shop has gone from 80% to 40% in a less then 12 hours. Go to bed and its 88 degrees and 90% humidity outside wake to thunder storms and hail. It clears and its 70 and the humidity dropped to 40%. I keep Ulf holders that I am working with wrapped in plastic and never force a stuck holder. Thatís when you end up breaking then.

Fragomeni
28-Jul-2011, 08:37
Thanks for the update Richard. I knew there was a difference in humidity where you are compared to where I am but I had no idea it was that drastic! I have no doubt that a change from 90% to 40% humidity would have an effect on the holder, going from anywhere around that to the 12% humidity here in Phoenix must have an even more profound effect! Please sand down/ trim the dark slides so that they operate at the lowest humidity level you have there, then ship the holder and slides back with the slides removed. That way I can allow the holder and slides to acclimate to the even lower humidity levels here and I can sand the slides down further if need be to find the perfect working fit after a period of acclimation.

Fragomeni
11-Aug-2011, 18:17
The holder arrived back today and things look MUCH better then they did the first time around. I spoke to Richard a couple of times since I returned it to him for repair/replacement and he was very helpful in walking me through how to acclimate the holder once I received it back. Upon delivery, I opened the box and removed the dark slides which slide out easily this time. The slides and holder will be allowed to acclimate to the drastically different climate and low humidity level over the next couple weeks (probably longer then necessary but I want to be safe). The holder was repaired excellently, so much so that I couldn't tell at first if it was the same holder or a replacement. HUGE thanks to Richard for being so prompt in resolving this matter! My 20x24 restoration is now just about complete and I am very excited to finally use the camera!! Beautiful images are waiting to be made!

Jay DeFehr
11-Aug-2011, 19:32
Wow! Quite the ordeal. I'm glad everything worked out in the end, and I envy you your big, beautiful camera and holders. Use them in good health, and share your results.

taulen
11-Aug-2011, 19:38
Good to hear. =) And good luck, and have fun with the camera, I would love to use a 20x24 sometine in the future ;)