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Thread: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

  1. #11
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    I really like the Toyo 4x5 holders. I haven't tested them - in fact, I'm not sure how I would. I never noticed a problem though.

  2. #12
    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
    Read between the lines for your answers!
    Why?

    I'm not interested in reading between any lines.

    Is there some reason I can't pose a question and receive direct answers to it?

    Several of the other responses have been quite helpful. Thanks, guys.

    Lachlan, thank you for your interest.

    - Leigh

  3. #13

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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Riteways if you can find them in good condition, Toyo if you can't. Freestyle has the best price on them.

    Cheers, Steve

  4. #14
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Thanks, Steve.

    I'll give Freestyle a try.

    - Leigh

  5. #15
    mandoman7's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    I had a chance to use a couple of Toyo 8x10 holders recently and they were clearly a step above my Fidelity's, Lisco's, etc.. The slides moved elegantly, and the whole feel of operation was superior. They came as part of a purchase as luck would have it, so I didn't pay the $180 price that's charged at Badger. Each, that's not the price for two!
    I didn't keep them as I have about 20 Fidelity's that I'm happy with, and it didn't make sense unless I had a full set. Plus, they pulled in a good return on ebay making it like I got the camera for free.
    John Youngblood
    www.jyoungblood.com

  6. #16

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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Lisco Regal 2's are by far the best IMHO. Toyo's are nice too, but a bit scarce. Not so keen on Fidelity or Riteway.

    GF.

  7. #17
    God loves a tryer Scotty230358's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    I have always found Toyo film holders eminently usable and durable.

  8. #18
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    ..a bit of a side step here...bus assuming that an holder is slightly off (ie the film plane is not at the same plane as the ground glass you focus in.), when will that be noticeable ?

    I guess only at the really wide apertures, from say f 16 and beyond you won't see a differences (still assuming slightly off)..?

    Best,

    Cor

  9. #19
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Cor, this will vary according to camera brand. Several years ago when I replaced the GG in my Super Graphic, I made measurements of my film holders. The maximum difference between one brand of holder and another is 0.005-inches. This is enough to throw off critical focus. The GG was closest to the Graflex holders.

    Try this test: Test Procedure for Obtaining Resolution Results
    What you do is print out the USAF resolution chart using a really good inkjet printer. Follow the directions on the site, using one lens and one film holder. Determine your lens' optimum apeture, and then repeat the test for the other film holders, using your lens' best apeture. Once that is done, then you'll know what to do for maximum sharpness.

  10. #20

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    Re: Which brand of 4x5 filmholder is best?

    Also keep in mind Bob Salomon's comment in a related thread that film sag is taken into account when holder platen spacing is designed. Sag would be greater for larger formats as people who point an 11x14 and larger camera down know, and why vacuum and "sticky tape" holders have been made.

    In my own tests, there was less space between the holder rails and the platen with Riteways, which means the film will be held closer to the platen. Whether this is any better than other holders is not immediately evident because we don't know all the engineering assumptions (like film sag) the designers used in designing the holders.

    Ideally, you'd want to measure the position of the film surface from the face of the holder in the position the camera would be used in, and this should be the same dimension as the GG from the frame.

    Cor, the depth of focus (the depth of acceptable focus at the film plane) is less for wide angles than for longer lenses, so the film position becomes more critical with wide angles.

    One final comment, I think it is an unfounded assumption to assume that a well-made holder with a smooth dark slide pull is better than another with respect to film position and resulting sharpness, with the exception that in general more expensive and well made products are generally better. But not in any given instance. The thread on the Maxwell fresnel I believe is a good example. My experience, and that of a friend who has been a commercial and fine art photographer for 40 years, is that fresnels make composing easier and focusing more difficult. He said he did not know of any other commercial photographers who had fresnels in their cameras, although he had fresnels in about half of his.

    Cheers, Steve

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