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Thread: Film Holder Material--slide

  1. #1

    Film Holder Material--slide

    What suggestions would you have regarding making one's own dark slide film holder for large format-----specifically the material, where, common or not so common?????

    The dark slide (black) in 2 of my oversized film holders are well worn on the corners--they are original Rochester film holders. I would like to replace them with something perhaps modern--plastic inserts which could be cut to specific size--and thickness of course an issue

    Has anyone made their own dark slides-----your experience please

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    Not sure what size you need, but CatLabs sells pairs of 8x10 dark slides made of hard anodized aluminum.

  3. #3
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    There’s 0.050” thick sheets of black nylon and ABS available on amazon. Order a sample and put a light against it. If you can’t see the light from the other side then it is lightproof and you can trim away.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  4. #4
    Do or do not. There is no try.
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    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    And if you do follow Jason's advice, please post your testing results so others can learn from you.

  5. #5

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    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    with extensive testing on a variety of materials (check my other posts-the results are in there somewhere), I have settled on buying 1/32" carbon fiber from an online company called Elevated Materials and then cutting the raw material to size with a template made from the original dark slide and a template cutting spiral cut router bit mounted in a router table. I seal the edges with common wipe-on Minwax polyurethane. I have found these to be light tight and fully compatible with the holders I have (fidelity elite). I know this kind of workshop-based manufacturing process is not for everyone, but I have the tools and it has worked well for me. For the pulls I worked with 2-part epoxy and McMaster part 86875K92 1/32 conductive plastic trim to provide a grip. The pulls I would like to do better, but they are functional and work OK with 8x10 slides.

  6. #6

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    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    There’s 0.050” thick sheets of black nylon and ABS available on amazon. Order a sample and put a light against it. If you can’t see the light from the other side then it is lightproof and you can trim away.
    I tried this and found that not seeing light with my eyes does not equate to light tight. Turns out film is more sensitive than my eyes

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Iowa City, Iowa
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    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dugan View Post
    Not sure what size you need, but CatLabs sells pairs of 8x10 dark slides made of hard anodized aluminum.
    My nicest 11 x 14 vintage holders have metal darkslides, I'm sure they are an aluminum alloy. They look like they were "blued" treated to make them black, it doesn't appear to be paint. If Catlabs is selling them they are probably well thought out MHO
    Mike

  8. #8

    Re: Film Holder Material--slide

    I was able to solve my issue re: a dark slide, and I pass on the following information at it might be useful to others. And I thank all of you for your prior responses.

    Yes, the original dark slide was malfunctioning in my 6.5 x 8.5 Rochester holder, confirmed by testing--light leaks. I did not have a caliper to measure the original dark slide thickness, so I went with gut feeling and intuition, and I started to "hunt" for possible substitute material---being in the mountains and not in the city. What I found was a sheet of plastic, 20x24 "for rent" sign I happen to have in my garage. I cut the sheet of plastic to the original dark slide sizes, used the original wooden, brass pins of the handle, and spray painted the plastic, black. The original trial sheet was not satisfactory, so I went through the process again, refining the process and cut another sheet. I had to "sandpaper" the edges of the plastic a bit to make the "new plastic dark slide" slide into the Rochester holder easier. Although the plastic "for rent" sign was a tad thicker( by feel & sight), it did not impede its usage.

    The second dark slide I made has solved the problem----again, "gut feeling, intuition" and a "make do" attitude. Time involved in making this slide holder was a hour or so, if not less.

    I hope those who might need to make their own dark slide will find this information useful.

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