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Thread: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

  1. #1
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Question Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    I have Riteway and Fidelity Elite, and need to buy some more.

    I know there are other styles of Fidelity, and other brands like Lisco.

    Anybody know which are best as regards durability, film flatness, etc?

    Thanks.

    - Leigh

  2. #2

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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    I'm a big fan of the old Rochester made graflex and toyo holders in 4x5. I have regal II in 8x10

    All appear to have a properly positioned film planes.

    Bob

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    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Thanks, Bob.

    (Did you get your mail?)

    - Leigh

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    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Search, Leigh. There are several threads on this...
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

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    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan 617 View Post
    Search, Leigh. There are several threads on this...
    I did. I didn't find any that addressed this question specifically.

    There were only a couple out of the 124 hits that even discussed the subject in general.

    Thanks.

    - Leigh

  6. #6
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Try this.

    Read between the lines for your answers!
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    The man who bought Calumet back in 1972 (I can't remember Fred's last name anymore) bought Lisco/Fidelity identical guts, slightly different look, also later bought Riteway from what was left of Graflex. So all have the same ownership and the same factory. Back when Graflex was still around, I tested all three of these plus a couple of Japanese and European film holders. Lisco/Fidelity has the best film plane location, Riteway were out of location, slightly, the others while very expensive, were neither parelell nor in distance. I confess that since I'n not in the view camera business anymore I haven't done the tests for a long time. These three probably represent about 98% of the business.

    Lynn

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    I believe you but never noticed that about Riteway holders.

  9. #9
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    When I started with 4x6 in 1997 there were Fidelity and Riteway on the market new, and new didn't cost like they do now. I tried both and really liked the Riteway button release. This is the feature mentioned above, where there's a button that locks the darkslide in place. When the holder is placed in the back, the spring pressure presses the button automatically and the darkslide comes right out when pulled. Otherwise, with the holder out of the camera, you have to hold in the button to remove the darkslide. I never actually lost a sheet of film to the Fidelity style holders (of course, I only shot a small bit with some I borrowed too,) but I found it so easy to accidentally move the little hook that I was always concerned about it.

    I recall in discussions at the time on rec.photo.largeformat that some folks didn't like the Riteways because they won't fit in a quart ziplock, which indeed they won't. I carry mine all together in one gallon ziplock, which seems to work fine. I only have five, ten sheets of film being pretty much enough for me to carry back then, but I may be looking for more once I get going this time.

    I never did any film plane testing or the like. I guess I just assumed that, since they seemed identical to the Fidelity style except for the dark slide and how it engaged the holder, they would be equal in film flatness. I never saw any focus problems that seemed to be caused by a mislocated film plane.

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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Back in the day, Bruno at Altman's and later Helix used to take customers who complained that their lens wasn't sharp aside and loan them a Linhof Double Cut Sheet Film Holder. They would then do a test, keep their lens and buy a set of the Linhof holders. However both the Linhof Double Cut Sheet Film Holders and the Linhof Glass Plate/Sheet Film Holders are long out of production. But if you can find some of the sheet film holders do your own comparison.

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