Any 2x3 Sheet Film Users?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Nathan Smith, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Do any of you use 2x3 (2.25x3.25) sheet film, and why?

    I have a couple of Busch Pressman C's and bought some J&C 200 2x3 film because, well, because I have some cut film holders and J&C has it, and well, because it was there ... justification for all sorts of things. Haven't actually brought myself to use it though, 'cause it seems like more of a pain than it's worth. I've always used an Adapt-A-Roll for these cameras.

    So, to make a short story long, I guess, doesn anyone have a convincing reason to use this stuff? I thought about film flatness, but I'm not so sure that the CFH is going to hold it any flatter than the roll film holder.

    Nathan
     
  2. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I used to shoot a lot of 2x3 tri-x back in the day, but after I bought roll film holders, I kinda stopped using sheets. This image of my oldest son Christopher was shot with a Miniature Speed on 2x3 Tri-X sheets. He was 2 when it was shot, he's now almost 25! He'd probably kill me for having that posted on the web, but hey... he'll get over it! :smile:

    BTW Nathan, I think I have about a half dozen 2x3 double cut film holders laying about if you want 'em...
     
  3. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Thanks Bob, if someone convinces me that sheet film is worth the extra effort I may take you up on that! Otherwise, I'll probably be done with CFH's when this film is gone...

    Nathan
     
  4. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Hi Nathan,

    I just started recently with the 2X3 sheets because I wanted to dust off the old Busch Pressman that my dad left behind when he died. Part of my reasoning (actually a big part) was to get the slow, deliberate methods of large format photography without the extra expense of getting a new 4x5 or larger camera, enlarger and such. Except for the film and a Yankee daylight tank I already had all that I needed. So now I can pretend I'm an LF'er without any additional cash outlay. I can try to practice the Zone System (though that seems to be a dirty word this week around here) and see if it will work for me or not; I can try different developers/times/agitation techniques on single sheets of film instead of whole rolls.

    Out of curiosity, what roll film adapter are you using on yours? Everything I've seen in my research indicates that none of the commercially available ones are a direct fit, except for the one that takes 620 film - did you undertake some sort of adaptation?

    And Bob - how much do you want for the 2x3 film holders?

    Joe
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I use 6.5x9cm film, or will when I can get some. I have a cute little Voigtländer VAG in that size, with holders and all. I have a roll film holder too, but that's not quite as interesting. Possibly because I have two other 6x9 cameras?
     
  6. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I shoot sheet film in my Miniature Speed Graphic. I otherwise usually shoot 8x10, so sheet film was a natural for me. I only contact print - not very easy to do with roll film. Also, I am able to individually develop each sheet to the proper CI - something else hard to do with roll film.
    juan
     
  7. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I just want them the Hell out of my house, or at least off my friggin' desk...

    Nathan - you have first dibs, if you say "no", then they're goin' to Joe.

    Damn, that was almost poetic...
     
  8. mark

    mark Member

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    At the threat of causing problems, the only reason I can see for using sheet film, and why I use sheet film-Been a long time since I used 2x3-, is to control development of each negative. It is a control issue.
     
  9. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Almost ... :smile:
    Thanks for the offer Bob, but you can give 'em to Joe. I've got a few, and a Grafmatic as well. I may decide to use sheet film once in a while, but I probably have plenty of film holders for that.

    As for the roll film adapter, it's an Adapt-A-Roll and it is indeed for 620 film. Turns out that the Adapt-A-Roll will take a 120 spool on the input side as long as you have a 620 spool for the output side. The film is the same. Some 120 spools work better than others, some I have to take a pair of shears and trim off a little 'lip' around the edge of the spool. Doesn't affect the film, but then again I load & unload in subdued light. Since I develop my own film I just remember to save the 620 spool when I'm done.

    I've looked into modifying it for 120, and still may one of these days, but it'll take some work as you'd probably need to replace the, uh, 'pins' that fit into the ends of the spools. The hole at the end of the 620 spool is smaller than the 120. Meanwhile, it's really not much trouble to do it this way.

    Fair enough. That's a decent reason, I guess it goes along with being able to shoot a small number of a particular film type without exposing a whole roll.
    Even better if you ARE using a roll film holder to be able to take a 1 or 2 shots of a different film...

    Nathan
     
  10. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Looks like they're off to the west coast then...

    Joe, watch your mailbox!
     
  11. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Woo Hoo! Score! Just a small example of what makes this the best Photo Community on the 'net. Now isn't about time someone jumped into this thread to tell us how wrong we are for shooting this format and why didn't the 2x3 negative size go the way of the dinosaur (zone users) and the 126 cartridge, but 8-track cartridges sound so much better than CD's, and yaddah yaddah yaddah...

    Sorry, just a bit shell-shocked this week. I'll be better after a day with some camera time at the beach. Thanks Bob! And thanks Nathan! You're both no doubt scholars and gentlemen.

    Joe
     
  12. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Scholars? Gentlemen? Shit Nathan, who the Hell is he talking about?...
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    PMFJI. About the AAR 620, it will feed film perfectly well from a 120 spool but insists on taking up on a 620 spool. I respool exposed film to the 120 spool it came from before sending it to the lab. That's what changing bags are for. Adaptation or respooling film on to a 620 spool before use aren't required.
     
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  15. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Back to one of the original questions...

    IMO, sheet film will be flatter than roll film in the same format. If you compare, you'll see the film stock itself is much stiffer in sheet formats than in rolls (unless you're recutting that eBay aerial roll stock to make odd size sheets), and the holder retains it similarly (supported behind and at the edges); I don't see any way film of any reasonable size can fail to stay flatter with stiffer base (unless it doesn't fit the holder, which is not generally a problem with commercially cut film unless you're trying to stuff 13x18 cm into a 5x7 holder). Add to that the ability to develop a single frame if desired, and control development of the frames for Zone or just for individual assignment of EI or selection of soup for subject matter, and the fact that (to me, at least) it doesn't seem that big a deal to pull the dark slide, expose, and reinsert the dark slide, reverse the holder and repeat, and then replace the holder with a fresh one, compared to winding with a red window and loading the serpentine path of a roll film holder that will fit a non-Graflok back or a 2x3 camera -- not to mention how many cut film holders one can buy for the price of a decent roll film holder.

    For me, it's almost a no-brainer. Only the larger emulsion choice of roll films makes it worthy of thought.
     
  16. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    I'll sometimes use HP5 sheets in my Century Graphic. Got a bunch of like new plastic holders cheap and a couple working Grafmatics. One problem I had was in trying to use the spring back. Putting the holders under it like I do with the bigger cameras. Broke one of the back clips off due to the spring tension. Since I fixed it I've been trying to use the backs with the ground glass off sort of like the Grafmatics. I use a 4x5 Nikor film tank for processing. If you want to use a glassless carrier you may have to find a sheet film one for your enlarger. I have one for the 23C.

    Advantages are some developing control, but you can also use a few roll backs for this; maybe some film flatness inprovements if you leave your film in the roll holders a long time; and cheaper since good lever 6x9 backs are still rare and expensive. Downside is limited numbers of shots in the field compared to using roll backs. Harder to process and handle. Not much film choice. And I've found that VC papers make up some processing mistakes. Also storage is harder.

    I suppose unless you have a camera that doesn't take roll film backs 2x3 sheets make little sense. With my Century they were more of a novelty to try until I got a good 6x9 roll back. One time I saw a 4x5 to 2x3 reducing back. Spring type. Now that seems to make no sense.
     
  17. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Joe, FYI: the Grafmatic 23 won't work with the Busch Pressman C. I'd always just assumed it would fit like a cut film holder or the Adapt-A-Roll, but it's too thick. Maybe it'll work like that for some cameras, but it appears it works best with the Graflock back.
    Not a big hassle, I didn't pay a lot for it and will make my money back, but it's a bit dissappointing just the same.

    Nathan
     
  18. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I use both rollfilm back & sheet film for my Century Graphic. Carry 4 speeds of sheet film (Efke 50 & 100, J&C 200 and HP5), while only ASA 400 for rollfilm. I use the rollfilm back & rangefinder in hand-held mode; and use ground-glass focusing & sheet film when composing on a tripod. The Century Graphic is a very handy camera size, and the 2X3 sheet film gives me plenty of info for enlarging to 11X14 prints.
     
  19. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    Thanks Doug, that sounds like a good reason to keep the cut film holders around.
    Are the shots on your site taken with the Century Graphic?
    Nathan
     
  20. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    I just purchase a Busch Pressman C Icame with a flash cable but no film holders if any one has some that can be spared I will be interested also I found a link that shows how to adapt a roll back to the spring back the link is
    http://members.lycos.co.uk/jolommencam/Busch/page3.html
     
  21. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I actually have a cut film back on my RB Pro-S. Shot some HP5+ but after awhile it got boring. You really don't gain too much image size over the rollfilm back; It's just the processing that might make it worth while. I've also a Century Graphic, but have a 6x9 roll back for it, so never really did use the CFH's with it. I would probably think about using cut film with the Pro-S again, but my 6700 LPL probably wouldn't give me a full image size unless I file the carrier and contacts would be too small.
     
  22. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I have a Busch Pressman C. It is like NEW, I was surprised when I bought it that it was so clean and unabused. The lens is also like new. It's as though I went to the Camera Shop and purchased it this week. It's complete with all of the accessories and the Kalart range finder works and is dead on.

    I just like the camera because it is light, self contained, and has a negative size that is large enough to be useful. I got a dozen new film holders also. I can shoot a couple of films and develop them together or separately. I have a bunch of cameras but this one is fun to use.

    Curt
     
  23. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I love 2x3 sheet film - using a Busch Pressman, or a Rilex, I actually find cut film quicker in the field than mounting rollfilm holders on a baby graphic. The JandC emulsion is very nice, and develops beautifully with my Rodinal "stash" :smile: I am also prone to "proofing" everything on a flatbed scanner so I can stare at things whilst at work, and the thicker base of the negs is problem-free there.. I've collected an unreasonable number of film holders, and with good "accounting" you can get a lot of flexibility with different lighting situations whilst out and about...

    Marc!
     
  24. Jepaul20

    Jepaul20 Member

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    2x3 film back

    hey everybody... i'm trying to get a grflok film back for my 4x5 so that I can shoot 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 sheet film with it... any ideas?
     
  25. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One thing you could do, is to use a plate holder adapter, and a plate holder with 2 1/4 x 3 1/4" format reducing insert - and a film adapter in that again. Complicated, but it works (I've got one somewhere).
     
  26. Jepaul20

    Jepaul20 Member

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    Where does one get one of those? thanks!