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Thread: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenance

  1. #1

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    May 2011
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    Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenance

    Hi,

    Please do let me know if I should move this post to the gear section.

    I thought on asking here, under the 'darkroom' threads because
    it would be unfortunate to find a damaged negative, because of
    a leak, once you go into the darkroom and develop your film.

    That's why I wanted to ask what brand of sheet holders has served
    you better over the years.

    Is it Lisco, Riteway, Fidelity Elite, Fidelity Deluxe, Linhof, Toyo, etc. ??

    How do you keep them in good shape?

    Thank you in advance, kind regards,

    Ig.

  2. #2

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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    I have no real preference, though the slightly textured slides of the Fidelity Elites I have slip a bit more easily in and out than the Riteways and Liscos. However, an occasionally bit of Brillianize is something of an equalizer and, in any case, the difference is not terribly significant. I use only 4x5; my holders date from 1978 through the mid-1980s. I have never been a heavy shooter, never done a lot of outdoor work with the 4x5, and take care of all my equipment to make it last. My holders reside in a heavily extra-padded soft lunch box I got for $5 at a dollar store. If I can find the link, I'll add it.
    Philip Ulanowsky

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  3. #3

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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    Taken care of, any of the holders seem to hold up nicely.

    I got four NIB Kodak wood 8x10 holders -- my favorite of all of my holders -- except loading can be tricky as the sharp corners of the film catch on the wood.

    My 11x14 holders are a strange mix of old and new -- there I prefer the Fidelity holders over the wood ones. I use a modified darkslide to make two 5.5x14 images on a sheet of 11x14 film. Darkslide sizes are not standardized with the the old 11x14 holders, so my Fidelity modified darkslide will not fit into some other brands of 11x14 holders.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    Yes, wood holders for wood cameras

  6. #6
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    My favorite 4x5 holders are the Toyo ones. I keep them in a bag or case in the field. The best care is to keep them from getting dirty. Before loading them, i "dust" them with a reusable silicone sticky roller, as that doesn't just blow dust around.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
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  7. #7

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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Before loading them, i "dust" them with a reusable silicone sticky roller, as that doesn't just blow dust around.
    Clever idea. No effect on the sheet of film? Any brand in particular?

  8. #8
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    I like old Graflex holders - mostly wood, metal casting at the throat, painted black. Very smooth action.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
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  9. #9

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    Re: Over the years - sheet film holders question - your most preferred and maintenanc

    IMO best "standard" film holders are Toyo. Think Toyo made them in 4x5 & 8x10 only. Sinar made "adhesive" film holders that aids in keeping the sheet film flat in the holder. This can be "equaled" by double stick tape between the sheet film and holder's bed (Drew has done this). Linhof once made a vacuum pump aided film holder to deal with the film flatness issue. Larger the sheet film, film flatness becomes a "larger" problem and it is more significant than most appreciate. And no, stopping the lens down does not properly solve this problem.

    That said, used Lisco, FIdelity, Riteway and other plain 5x7 film holders problem free for decades. Long as the bottom flat tape (black book binder's tape) is good, dark slide seals are good and film holder is clean in good overall condition, they should be good to use.

    Do test the film holder for light leaks if the holder appears questionable in any way. Light leaking film holder can ruin far more than just that day making images.


    As for dust removal, preferred brute force approach, soft bristle brush with a vacuum cleaner. Brush or blow alone often pushed dust-dirt into hidden areas of the film holder for that stuff to re-appear when least expected.


    Bernice

  10. #10

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    Sheet film holders 4x5 - Some advice needed

    Hi,

    Over the years, you have had experience with sheet film holders.

    Is there a brand that you find more reliable or that it stands out
    more than any of the other brands you may have known?

    I see many brands like: Lisco, Linhof, Riteway, Fidelity, etc.
    Some makes, even have different models. Which was your
    favorite?

    Thank you, kind regards!

    Ig Nacio

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