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Thread: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    Hello,

    What is the recomended diameter size for holes in 4x5 vacuum film holders (does anyone have a Linhof vacuum film holder to check?).

    In Ladislav Kamarád's website he says that he use 0.6mm holes for 220 film and "Micro Diaphragm Gas Sampling Pump KNF NMP 09L".

    Also, does anyone knows online stores to order small vacum pumps?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    The pattern is just as important as the hole size. You don't need a lot of holes - something like an X-pattern outward from
    the center, a perimeter ring of holes for the edges of the film, and maybe a few more. Depends on the size of the film. You
    also need some kind of internal ribbing behind the drilled portion to make sure it doesn't deflect under vac draw. And you want a vac pump with either a bleeder valve or variable power. Too much vac is not a good thing. Rotary pump action (not
    a peristaltic diaphragm which will cause bounce). Hole size per se isn't real fussy, but should indeed be small. Maybe 1/2mm
    or 1/32" for ordinary sheet films, slightly bigger with large sheets of printing paper or huge copy film. Vac pumps are easy to
    acquire. Even a decent cordless handheld household vac will do if it is properly filtered to avoid scattering dust. I personally
    now use an expensive Festool true HEPA vac, simply because it has variable power and doubles for general darkroom cleanup.
    But that's probably beyond most folk's budget. Beware of cheapo vacs that label themselves as HEPA - they aren't and will
    create a mess with fine dust.

  3. #3

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    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    Drew, thanks for the advice about geometry.

    Have you seen Ladislav´s website? (http://www.horolezec.cz/blog-engl/in...=item&itemid=5)

    Has a picture showing the vibration reducer mechanism. Really smart.

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    OK. I checked out the website. The vac requirements for flimsy roll film vac and sheet film in a holder are a little different.
    I made my vac holder out of a very nice all-aluminum holder no longer available, but you could use an ordinary Lisco etc
    holder. The backside slide can be removed to glue in support struts to keep the inner (middle) septum from deflecting. You
    can use strips brass, acrylic, or even wood for this. A model train shop or website would be a good place to look for appropriate minature metal or wood mouldings. Then you drill your holes thru the main septum. A larger access hole is needed on the rear or side for your vac line fitting. Then you replace your rear darkslide and seal it from air leaks with some
    perimeter silicone caulk or glue. If this is intended for enlarger easel use rather than in-camera, I'd mount the holder to
    something longer you can clamp to the baseboard with. Then you check the actual film plane with a high-end grain magnifier
    to see if there's any shimming you need to do to precisely correct things. But if it's for in-camera use you obviously need to
    be very careful where the placement of any port fitting goes.

  5. #5

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    Oakland, California
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    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    Drew, Any pics of your vacuum holders? I'm debating vacuum or repositionable adhesive to remedy a disastrous shoot I had which resulted in many double exposures from slight film shift.

  6. #6
    umop apsidn
    Join Date
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    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    Not to steal the thread from Drew but I've made a few of these for my 4x5. I use them for wide-field 4x5 astrophotography. Sheet film can and does move during fifteen minute exposures, so something to keep the film locked in place is manditory.

    Standard film holder. Holes are 1/16". One side of the holder has a little piece of plastic sheet with a milled out cavity underneath. The sheet is glued in place to link all the holes together for the vacuum. Suction is provided by a converted aquarium air pump that I modified for a slight vacuum instead of pressure. You can see the suction pattern on the surface of the film in the photos. Battery powered and portable. Been using it for years. It works wonderfully!

    I would caution that you carefully check to find a film holder that has perfect registration with the camera's ground glass beforehand. I had several film holders that didn't precisely match up the film with the image on the glass.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vac-1.jpg   Vac-2.jpg  

  7. #7

    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    And you want a vac pump with either a bleeder valve or variable power. Too much vac is not a good thing.
    I've seen very expensive freeze driers that used the needle valve from a gas powered model aircraft to create a "controlled leak" when too much vacuum was a problem.

    Amazon has some hand operated vacuum pumps at reasonable cost that probably won't over power your film holder.
    Vincent

    AnonymousPictures.tumblr.com

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    I don't use vac holders in the field anymore, just in the lab. Adhesive holders are a lot more practical, and I've described
    making them numerous times on past threads.

  9. #9
    3D-Stereo-Aeropanoramas
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    149

    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    I am the one who bought the only mamiya press 67/220(version 3 back) vaccum-back on ebay end of 2012. But its a wrong design. couldnt test-shoot it but a) the holes are too big -1mm b) its a 4 +1 design. totally wrong. the pattern is 16x30mm 4 holes in it corners plus center hole(all 1mm). the vaccum is not pulling but pushing the film at the center hole. looks like a peak. Could be an interesting image-effect. I cannot test, have no camera and 4x5-m-adapter is too expensive. Anthony Sansone means no vaccum is needed...btw: i have a mamiya rb67/70mm back, if you need data.

  10. #10
    3D-Stereo-Aeropanoramas
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    149

    Re: Vacuum Film Holders : Hole Diameter / Vacuum Pumps

    Quote Originally Posted by konakoa View Post
    Not to steal the thread from Drew but I've made a few of these for my 4x5. I use them for wide-field 4x5 astrophotography. Sheet film can and does move during fifteen minute exposures, so something to keep the film locked in place is manditory.

    Standard film holder. Holes are 1/16". One side of the holder has a little piece of plastic sheet with a milled out cavity underneath. The sheet is glued in place to link all the holes together for the vacuum. Suction is provided by a converted aquarium air pump that I modified for a slight vacuum instead of pressure. You can see the suction pattern on the surface of the film in the photos. Battery powered and portable. Been using it for years. It works wonderfully!

    I would caution that you carefully check to find a film holder that has perfect registration with the camera's ground glass beforehand. I had several film holders that didn't precisely match up the film with the image on the glass.
    want to remind you of the hutech vaccum-back. one is for pentax 67 and the other a 4x5-system for astrowork. there must have been also a horseman-solution. can anybody find out its availability?
    http://www.sciencecenter.net/hutech/pentax/vacback.htm

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