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Thread: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

  1. #1
    Clement Apffel's Avatar
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    Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    Hello everyone,

    This year, I'm making the step to 8x10 equipment and I'm very excited.

    Yesterday I received my first used 8x10 film holder and I was pretty shocked of how loose it looks.
    Are fidelity film holders supposed to do this ?

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    I did some testing with a strong flashlight, removing both protective plates (what's the word for this already?) and directing the beam of light directly in the slots.
    Some light seems to enter the light trap but is only noticeable at a 30-45 angle but not at a 0 angle when looking "from the film point of vue", aligned with where the film would lay.
    That being said, the holder would be hold tight by the camera back when shooting so theoretically, this critical lighting test conditions would never occur in real film shooting situation.

    I'm not equipped yet to process 8x10 films and can't do a real film test.
    (Yes, that was a bit silly to purchase a used holder prior to being able to test it, I'll admit that )

    What would you do in my shoes ?
    Does this holder seems normal to you ? or is the loose bent top a total no go ?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

  2. #2

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    I wonder too, and will check my holders. A solution is to never let go

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  3. #3
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    IIn the late 1980s and early 1990s I worked in a hospital setting as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist ( Stress testing with isotope) and used many standard 8x10 film holders that had been used HARD and long. Some were so worn that the whole flap aswembly at the bottom would come off when changing films. Didn't seem to matter. Wen loaded and everything put back together they seemed tight enough to keep the film, unexposed for hours/days before use.

    Admittedly, this was for indoor use in indoor lighting. On the other hand, the film we used, "Ektascan" was pretty sensitive. The chemistry and auto developing gear were compatible with Tri-X. I would load up a few film holders on Friday, shoot them over the weekend and develop them at work on Monday morning, rating the film at 200 to 250. These worn film holders seemed to work OK .

    Sure, do some testing in strong sunlight, but I don't think you will have much of a problem. Note that many LF shooters working outside drape the camera and film holder with their dark cloth when exposing in strong sunlight as a matter of courtse . . . just to be sure.
    Drew Bedo
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  4. #4

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    With the cost of 8x10 film holders being so dear, I'd return it for a refund or exchange
    But, if you're curious---
    Do a test with photo paper in daylight and see if it's a leaker.
    What are those "protective plates" you speak of? The tape hinge flaps on the loading end? IIRC the light traps on plastics can't be uncrewed like on some old wooden holders
    To my eyes, it looks warped. Maybe under the compression of the camera back the plastic will "flatten out" but maybe not.
    How do the dark slides behave---do they bind on closing or opening?
    I'd also suspect the flatness of the septum may have been compromised
    When you do your photo paper test, does the paper slide under the rails and stay there until you remove it? Or will it pop out of the rails when you work the dark slide?

    Photo paper test---
    Under a safe light, load your film holder with B&W 8x10 photo paper, emulsion side out, and close the dark slides,
    In a lighted room, leave the holders out for a few hours, turn them over to subject all the sides and edges of the holder(s) to the light before returning to the safe light and develop the film in trays. Any light leaks will be evidenced in the "photos"
    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.
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  5. #5

    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    I have a couple that do this too, and although I was concerned about their ability to stay light tight, it turned out to be needless worry: they perform just fine. As you stated, in application, this isn't likely to be a light leak issue.
    However, if you paid a lot of money for that film holder (more than $80 USD) then you may want to ask for a partial refund or return it. (Based on how you FEEL about its condition, rather than its ability to function properly)

  6. #6

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    I've had and used 8x10 Fidelity holders for nearly 40 years and not one of mine has this issue. Personally, I'd return it for a refund. With the cost of 8x10 film and the effort involved, if you're shooting in the field, why be concerned whether your holder(s) leaks or not?

  7. #7

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    You can do a further test by inserting the film holders in question into the film back(s) of your camera(s), to see if the spring tension of the ground glass frame is sufficient to flatten things out.

    I also happen to have several holders which feature this "curvature," but my cameras all mitigate this issue with film back spring tension.

  8. #8

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    I think it spent too much time in a hot car trunk and got warped. I'd return it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    I refuse to use ANY PLASTIC 8x10 holders. All I have ever seen eventually warped to the point of possibly allowing light into the slot. Until I found enough good old wooden holders with metal dark slide slots I Was extremely careful to insure my the entire camera,as well as the holders coming out of their case, were covered by my 5x8 ft darkcloth. I learned from Cole Weston to keep my film box between the tripod legs so the holders would not be exposed to direct sun as they moved from box to camera and back.

  10. #10

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    Re: Fidelity elite 8x10 film holder question

    I would agree with Mr. Crisp. Heat damage.

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