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Thread: DDS Service?

  1. #1

    DDS Service?

    Some of my Fidelity 'Elite' Double Dark Slides are getting tired, they have been hard at it for about twenty five-years. I suspect that some are not as light tight as they once were. On close examination, and comparing with some new ones I discovered that there are tiny pinholes in the fabric hinge. Before I rush out and buy new DDS stock - Does anyone know if there is a service center for DDS in the UK ? OR, has any DIY fanatic solved the problem, if so how, and materials used ? Thanks in anticiipation. Stan. L-B

  2. #2
    5x5 with 4x5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Idaho, USA

    DDS Service?

    You can replace the tape cloth simply and easily with gaffers tape, or a similar product obtainable from Calumet.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    DDS Service?


    I don't see how pinholes in the fabric hinge could be much of a problem since the wood(or plastic) flap underneath should act as the light trap. Replacing the tape is simple enough(IMHO, the hardest part is getting the old goop off!) but I think the real issue is finding where the light leaks are really coming from---and if they are in fact from your film holders and not somewhere else. Sometimes it may be as simple as something keeping your film holders from seating correctly OTOH, If the leak is from the end where the dark slide is inserted---the velvet light trap---unless your holders are designed to be taken apart(like the old Graflex made for Eastman Kodak ones, 5x7 and larger) they'll most likely destined for retirement. If you have a hole or crack in the plastic(or wood) on the other hand, you can patch it yourself(on plastic holders, I use an epoxy product PC-7 which has given me good service) I'd suggest loading your holders with photo paper and exposing them to bright sunlight from a variety of angles. Develop the paper and see if you can pinpoint exactly where the leak is comiing from, then fix accordingly. If you've got a film holder thats a leaker, don't be shy about trying to fix it yourself, if you're unsuccessful you'll have learned something esoteric about your equipment and if you plug the leak, you'll have saved some money too. If you have to replace it, salvage what working parts you can(I keep mine in a 'cannibal' box)---they'll come in handy further down the road. Good Luck!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    DDS Service?

    If you find that the light leaks can't be repaired by replacing the hinge tape, then you may want to buy new holders - especially after so many years. If you do, I would recommend spending the extra money on the Toyo holders. In past years I have used Fidelity, the Riteway, Lisco (kind of like the Fidelity I think), and Toyo. I have found the Toyo holders to be made sturdier and seemingly more precise. And, the film doesn't slop around in the channel as much as the Fidelity (I have had no crooked shots with the Toyo - haven't needed to tap the holder to seat the film before inserting the holder into the camera). Also, I only have Toyo holders now, but someone told me that they are also a little thinner and lighter than the Fidelity (but I don't know for sure whether that's true).

    I just bought some more new Toyo holders after having a bad experience with sharpness with Fuji Quickloads for very critical work, which I was doing. The Quickload yielded photos that were very inferior in sharpness to the Toyo holder shots (sharpness diff not important for small enlargements, however).

  5. #5

    DDS Service?

    Thanks all - for your valuable input. I have solved the problem. The light was getting in very slowly through the fabric hinge. I treated the entire length of the hinge with solution of rubber, as used for repairing diving gear. I gave each slide two coats which dried in a matter of minutes. It soaked into the fabric so there is no problem of seating in the holder. The solution is not cheap but I am confident it has done the trick. A word of caution; it contains Dichlormoethane, so if you want to remove it you will need to treat the area with a strong paint solvent. Even so it takes ages to get it off the skin!

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