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Thread: How to use half-frame dark slide?

  1. #1

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    How to use half-frame dark slide?

    Hi Folks,

    I'm tempted by the idea of the occasional panoramic using 5x4 sheet film. I just don't understand how the half-frame dark slide works - I think I'm being really thick here!! I would want to get two images per sheet.

    Here's an example: http://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/ac...es/halfframeds

    Does this fit inside the normal "sleeve" of the dark slide? It must do otherwise your film would always be exposed, right?

    I've read that Chamonix's only fit inside their own double dark slide. Anyone want to verify? $100 for DDS and 1/2 frame seems a lot for the occasional panoramic!

    Cheers

    Graham

  2. #2

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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    You still use your 2 full size dark slides for your film holder, only use the half-frame dark slide to protect the half of the film you don't want to expose after you pull out the full size dark slide. It is dependent on which part of film you want to focus on, top or bottom, you may need insert your film holder from your left or right. You will get it after you practice it without a film in the holder. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    It helps to make a paper template for composing. I used black construction paper for mine.
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  4. #4

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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    Thanks to both of you for the quick replies!

    Ok makes more sense now.

    Cheers

    Graham

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    I have made my own for 8x10 and 11x14.

    Metal darkslides are nice to work with -- less likely to break in one's pack or out in the field.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails modified darkslide.jpg  
    Last edited by Vaughn; 3-Feb-2020 at 20:14. Reason: 8x10
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  6. #6
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    How to use half-frame dark slide?

    That’s a good illustration, Vaughn. It shows clearly that the “half slide” isn’t really half because you want to mask off a bit extra so there a touch of space between frames.

    To the OP: I wouldn’t get a chamonix holder and dark slide, personally. I’d find a few older holders on eBay where one of them is ugly or beat up and you can cannibalize a dark slide from it. You can easily make a half-slide with a fine saw or even a box knife and metal ruler. Little sand and the jobs a good ‘un.


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  7. #7
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    Be aware that the half-darkslide trick can be a real bear for wide / ultrawide shooting.

    Remember, the half being exposed essentially has about 1 inch of front rise or fall applied to it, since it's off-center. If you want to correct that and "center" the image, you'll have to use corresponding movements. Depending on your lens/camera, that could be hard or impossible, starting at around 90mm.

    Since I am especially fond of wide and ultrawides, half-darkslide panoramics don't really work for me, especially on 4x5 with the shorter focal lengths. Furthermore, since 6x12 backs are readily available, I don't find it to be a compelling option for that format - but it gets way more understandable with 8x10 or larger due to the longer lenses and lack of roll film options.

    I am also lucky to have a prototype Chamonix 4x10 holder that is sized like a normal 8x10 DDS for that format. If I got into 11x14 I would definitely use a half-darkslide solution.
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  8. #8
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    Lacking that prototype 4x10->8x10 holder, there’s no reason you couldn’t get some styrene sheet of the right thickness and make rails to load 4x10 into a regular 8x10 holder. You could convert any holder that way and it would cost all of maybe $5 in styrene sheet for model making.


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  9. #9
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    Well, besides the fact that 8x10 holders are very expensive (I paid about the same amount for the 4x10 holder as I would a modern 8x10 holder in good condition), I would be worried about any kind of snafu that would cause the 4x10 sheet to fall out or otherwise be ruined. Much too much trouble and expense shooting 4x10 for that kind of DIY IMO.
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  10. #10
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
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    Re: How to use half-frame dark slide?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Well, besides the fact that 8x10 holders are very expensive (I paid about the same amount for the 4x10 holder as I would a modern 8x10 holder in good condition), I would be worried about any kind of snafu that would cause the 4x10 sheet to fall out or otherwise be ruined. Much too much trouble and expense shooting 4x10 for that kind of DIY IMO.
    You worry too much. You would just be recreating the same system that holds film in any holder. It would be no less secure than a 4x10 sheet of film in a 4x10 holder or an 8x10 sheet in an 8x10 holder. I just bought 6 8x10 holders for an average of $30 each. They just need cleaning so call it $35 each including labor. You just sound like you’re looking for reasons to spend more money.


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