View Full Version : Life expectancy of Film Holders

Martin Aislabie
2-Dec-2011, 05:48
What would be a reasonable life expectancy of Film Holders - ???? sheets of film and/or XX years ?

How do they fail - compressed Felt in light trap, light leaks around the frame,,,,,, ?



2-Dec-2011, 06:09
The only one's I've had that failed it was the light traps and it was the only 3 I had of a particular make - I don't remember what brand but I've not seen any similar for many years.

Aside from that sometimes the edgeyou pull breaks on the actual darkslide and if not stored properly and they bang together in transport you can get small cracks in the slides taht can cause light leaks. The other area to check is the fabric loadong hinge.

Looked after film holders should last years, I've some from the late 1930's/early 40's, 1950's and much newer, all are still reliable except the 3 I threw awy in the 1980's.


Frank Petronio
2-Dec-2011, 08:13
Whatever it is, you can measure it in decades. I've bought (and later sold) dozens and dozens of holders and I've never gotten more than a few, very obviously broken ones. If it looks like it's in good condition - tape flap is ok, darkslide isn't cracked, light traps not caked with dirt, warped plastic or wood - then you most likely have a good holder.

The secret with film holders is to always keep them clean so they stay clean. Start with nice clean ones to begin with and use plastic bags to keep them that way.

E. von Hoegh
2-Dec-2011, 08:15
Barring accidents, about as long as you take care of them. I'm using a pre -WWII set for 8x10.

Edit- What Frank said about cleanliness.

2-Dec-2011, 09:13
Ziploc them like a crime scene. My holders are going on year 12. :D

Peter Gomena
2-Dec-2011, 09:41
4x5 holders I bought in 1980 are still going strong. Never a problem.

Peter Gomena

2-Dec-2011, 10:11
I'm using 1890 Rochester Optical Co. dryplate holders in one of my cameras.

Brian Ellis
2-Dec-2011, 11:53
I used to buy old wood holders, clean them up, sometimes re-tape the hinges, sometimes stain or polish the wood, generally make them look like nice old wood often looks. Not because of the cost savings - though they were considerable - but just because I liked to do it. I'm sure some of them must have been at least 50 years old and they were fine.

E. von Hoegh
2-Dec-2011, 11:55
Barring accidents, about as long as you take care of them. I'm using a pre -WWII set for 8x10.

Edit- What Frank said about cleanliness.

I should also have said, that I've been using them for over 20 years.

Martin Aislabie
3-Dec-2011, 18:02
Thanks guys


4-Dec-2011, 13:31
If you keep them clean & take care of them they will be around alot longer then sheet film willbe!!! All of mine are probly older then I am & I am just over 50 now!!
abuse is what gets to them!!