View Full Version : Film holders for aerial films...

Jeffrey Goggin
20-Sep-2003, 15:47
Are there any commercial sources for film holders that allow one to use 10"x10" aerial sheet film or aerial roll film that's been cut down to 9.5"x9.5" sheets? Reconfiguring my Toyo 810G to work with holders for either of these formats would be fairly easy and straightforward, but making a film holder that is both easy to load and holds the film flat would be a considerable project given the resources available to me.

Also, does anyone have any idea -- a guess, even -- how long the aerial imaging industry is likely to rely upon film before it, too, evolves to digital? I ask because if I can't reasonably insure myself I have at least, say, five years to shoot with aerial film, I'm not sure it'll be worthwhile to invest the time and money necessary to pursue this approach.

(And Yes, I realize this might read like a troll given my previous post asking about how to shoot 8x10 color cheaply. While it's true that I'd like to keep the cost of my photography as low as possible, it's also true that I waste 20% of my film-and-processing costs because I shoot square and end up cropping 8x10 sheets of film back to 8x8 when printing. If I can shoot 10x10 or 9.5x9.5 for not too much more money, the additional expense will, IMO, be more than offset by the increase in film area and the resulting lower enlargement ratio I'll have to work with...)

Jim Galli
20-Sep-2003, 19:45
Sandy King of S&S holders can build you new ones. There was never any commercial product like you're describing. I also use aerial film and have cut quite a bit up to 8X10. Since the emulsion is wound "in" the natural curl of the film holds it against the back of the holders and it isn't a problem. The 5" stuff is super easy to use in 5X7 holders. Just chop and load. Another consideration is that since the stuff isn't stiff there's really no way to develop it except laying flat one at a time in trays. I've not tried BTZS tubes or jobo schemes. That might also work. After a short pre-soak it behaves fine in the liquid.

How long will it be available?? Everyone in the industry is trying to look into that crystal ball. Kodak swears that they are committed to producing this product 200 years into the millenium. Then they cancel it without telling anyone a week later. They've already cancelled the 9 1/2" R3 paper that the labs used to print the color aerial pics on. Who knows what will be next. Positive side. It truly has a loooong shelf life in the deep freeze. You could buy from the last batch and still be using it 15 years later un-affected if you take care of it. The Panatomic-X is so fine grained that you can't use a grain enlarging scope to focus it.