11x14 film holders?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Robert, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. Robert

    Robert Member

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  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL...yeah, I have been shooting LF for many years, have yet to break a dark slide. If you are looking for ULF holders, talk to Sandy King I have 3 of his holders for my 12x20 and they are great.
     
  3. Robert

    Robert Member

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    Somebody awhile back mentioned a way to make a simple,cheap but limited LF camera. I basically nodded and forgot it since 4x5 cameras are relatively cheap. But last night I was watching the game on the couch and I got to thinking. It would be relatively easy to add front rise/fall and shift to this camera. It could be made to any size a person would be willing to carry. It would also handle any smaller sizes. It's a back of the car only type of camera.

    I think I might build one this winter. I doubt I'd ever buy a camera bigger then 4x5 but this might just let me experiment a little. It'll also keep me out of trouble for the winter-)) I just think I might have to keep it smaller to save on the cost of film holders.-)
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Two S&S holders arrived yesterday, and they're about 1/16" too long. The film plane depth and everything else seems right, but they just don't seat properly, and I checked the back thoroughly to make sure there was no obstruction. The previous owner of the camera used it with standard holders, so they should work. I wonder if quality control is slipping with increased demand for these, since Lisco/Fidelity stopped manufacturing 11x14" holders.

    They'll be easy enough to fix, and I'll ship them back on Monday, but at $300 a holder, one could do without the hassle.
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Bummer, but maybe you are right. AWB holders are so much more expensive that I think Sandy is getting too many orders. He will fix it, but I agree the hassle and not being able to shoot is a bummer.
     
  6. rogein

    rogein Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Feb 15 2003, 07:12 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Two S&S holders arrived yesterday, and they're about 1/16" too long.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Hi David,

    Out of curiosity what camera are the holders being used in? I have 3 of Sandy's 11x14 holders and they fit perfectly in my imperfect Wisner.

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  7. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I sold four metal/plastic and at least two wooden 11x14 on ebay. They went for astonomical sums. As simple as a film holder is I can only assume that people who make them are making a ton of cash.
     
  8. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    ..
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The camera is an old American Optical wooden folding field camera.
     
  10. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I am working on an 11x14 camera that uses a center box that has the front and rear ends on hinges that fold down to allow a pair of geared standards to be moved out of the box. The fold down ends have rails and slides to allow the standards to be advanced. Each standard connects to the box with a bag bellows which is much easier and cheaper then a big folding bellows. ($50 vs $700). the camera has rear tilt and rise and front rise, tilt and swing. Max extension is 34" and minimum is 9" but could be as short as 7" with a recessed lens board. The boards are fashioned after standard 6" boards. Dimensions closed are 14"x 16" x 10". I am not sure what the final weight will be, but I am shooting for about 15lbs. Construction is of birch, cherry, aluminum and brass.

    One nice thing about designing your own camera is you can design your own back and film holders as well. I am using the Wisner number for T-specification which is 0.310. the back has a U shaped construction that contains an aluminum channel that you slide in the film holder ahead of the ground glass. 4 springs hold everything tight.

    the film holders are cheap and strong. Each one is a 1/8th piece of black lexan for a backing and a cherry frame glued and screwed around it. the cherry is routed to hold a dark slide, the top of the holder has a pair of staggered felt pieces for light traps and the slide is 3/32" plastic. The film is held in place by strip magnets on the long dimenension of the film and metal tape on the surface of the lexan back. the holder is a double and is about 3/4" thick. Weight about 1 lbs. I figure the cost of the holder if I pay to have the plastic cut and drilled is about $30. Can I interchange them with standard holders? No, but I can build a bunch of my own for the $300 to $400 cost of new ones.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    How about we use our collective wits and design/build a grafmatic style film holder? Ever since I started using them I haven't had any dust issues. They are easier to carry, much faster than the traditional film holders especialy when bracketing and I read were they tend to ahave better (at least more consistent) film flatmness. I have this idea of machined aluminium (it could just as easly be cherry, rosewood etc..) with ten septums for 4x5 (could be scaled with 5 septums @8x10 or 11x14).
     
  12. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I agree with mrcallow. A competent machine shop could probably cut the pieces from solid stock, cut the grooves for each septum and weld it together for around $200-$250 in Omaha. costs would vary depending on where you live. You would need to do some research to design a grafmatic type holder and decide on materials. Plastic is a good choice for some components but difficult to groove or cut to tolerances required for the side components.

    Understand that what ever dimensions, specifications and measurements you give to a machine shop will be exactly what you get. The machines are extremely precise and cost is determined by materials and total number of cuts, milling, drilling etc. If the specifications you use are off by hundredths of an inch you are sol.

    All that being said, it is very doable. Maybe we need to start up an APUG equipment division. Get a volunteer to research all the costs, pros and cons involved and then people who want the item can kick in for the costs of a prototype if it is feasable. Any one wanting to buy a "product" would get it at cost of mfg plus maybe $5 that could be donated to the operation of APUG. The initial group that developed the product would have to handle any financial or paperwork issues, but if they were sold for no profit that would be minimal. Anyway just another quick brain fart.
     
  13. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jim68134 @ Feb 15 2003, 02:49 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I agree with mrcallow.&nbsp; A competent machine shop could probably cut the pieces from solid stock, cut the grooves for each septum and weld it together for around $200-$250 in Omaha.&nbsp; costs would vary depending on where you live.&nbsp; You would need to do some research to design a grafmatic type holder&nbsp; ...

    Anyway just another quick brain fart.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Smells good to me 7;-p­
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like the idea of making these things as well, and I do a fair amount of customization on my own equipment, particularly if it's wood. If it's metal, I send it out.

    There is a contemporary version of the Grafmatic--the Fuji Quickchange--which you can get from Robert White, and maybe Badger Graphic, as well as in Japan. I love Grafmatics. I have three and just bought another one. I don't own any other kind of 4x5" holders.

    I'd really like an 8x10" Grafmatic style holder, or possibly a Mido II style holder for 8x10" and 11x14". These were super thin holders that fit into a spacer in the camera so that you could fit two or three in the space of one holder. The first version was notoriously difficult to load, but the second version was supposed to have fixed the problems. They are hard to find and always sell at a good price.

    To be fair, the handmade wooden holders do have a lot of labor in them. I suspect S&S keeps the cost lower than AWB by putting a fine, smooth finish only on surfaces that are critical. I noticed on mine, for instance, that the darkslide handles had some gouging that wouldn't pass on fine furniture, but didn't impair the function of the holder, and there were some rough cuts hidden by putting the rough side down that one would notice, if you were looking carefully, but that would not impair the light-tightness or registration of the holders.
     
  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've used the fuji quickchange <plug>Purchased from the fine folks at http://www.robertwhite.co.uk </plug> it holds eight (i think) sheets, but isn't as sturdy as the grafmatics.

    I'm not familiar with the S&S holders and if they only (?) cost 300.00 a pair thats a far cry from the 1k B&H gets for the plastic/metal holders. The ones we had were Fidelity stamped with a medical indicia of some sort and simply did not seem as if they should be so expensive. The wood ones we had were old (as in 1950's or 60's) B&J's that were used with a huge B&J process camera. These were very nicely tooled, heavy and attractive.

    I would be willing to work with anyone who might want to work on building our own.. Be it the grafmatic/quickchange style or like the kind David has mentioned.
     
  16. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's $295 a piece for the S&S holders.

    The best price on the Lisco/Fidelity holders before they stopped making them was around $375 each from Calumet. $1K/pair was the price for the Lisco/Fidelity holders with the non-breakable slides from B&H. I have regular slides in my 8x10" holders and haven't broken one yet. I've encountered broken slides on very old holders, but if the holder lasts 50-odd years before having to worry about the darkslide cracking, that's not a bad service life.

    The other options are AWB and Lotus, which were both even more than that when I last checked.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The saga continues. Even though I just posted this information in another thread, I'll duplicate it here for the record.

    So it seems my American Optical camera was made between 1890 and 1899, possibly originally a wetplate camera, though the back is stamped "American Optical." It was later folded into Kodak, but ANSI standard for filmholders dates to 1918, so it is possible that the back is nonstandard, though I purchased the camera from someone who used it with holders that he says were standard.

    So now I need to figure out whether the back is nonstandard, or the holders are out of spec. I've emailed the photographer I bought the camera from to see if he would be amenable to doing some tests, if he has other holders and another 11x14" camera, which I believe he does (along with the beautiful Lotus 20x24 in his studio!).
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    So after some consideration, I decided to adapt the back. The edge that
    the holder butts up against isn't absolutely critical, so if I purchase
    some other holders at some point that turn out to be a tad on the short
    side and light is leaking in, I can always add another layer of tape to
    the end of the holders to shim them up.

    In the process of fitting the holders to the back, I did discover that the
    S&S holders really aren't absolutely consistent in manufacture. Of the
    four surfaces on the two holders, the distance from the lock rib to the
    end of the holder was just a hair longer on one, making for a slightly
    tighter fit, and requiring that I add a little more relief to the back to
    accommodate that one side.

    In the end, since the film depth and other dimensions seem to be the same, I suspect that the back is designed to the same spec as ANSI, even if the camera is pre-ANSI, because the standard had to have come from some pre-existing norm. It might just be that if the holders are a tiny bit off and the back has changed in some way with age, then some sort of adjustment is going to be necessary with a camera this old.