Film Holder question

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by RobertP, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I bought some new 8x20 filmholders a few months back. I just got around to shooting the first sheets with the new holders about a 2 months ago and just last week got caught up on developing the film. These shots were done in the vertical position ( I have a vertical back for my 8x20). I then noticed that the film seemed to be getting exposure across the entire sheet of film in the area at the top of the vertical nearest the dark slide handle. I then started looking at the gap between the film rail and the septum. It looked to be quite large. So I took two sheets of film and they slide in with no problem. I then took three sheets of film and they too slide in with no problem at all. This seems to be causing film sag or at least poor film flatness. Someone please tell me that being able to slide three sheets of film into one side of a filmholder is not normal. I won't mention the filmholder manufacturer because we are bickering about having the holders replaced. Robert
     
  2. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Let my also add that I did the use other holders (different manufacturer) during the same shoot and developed them the same way and this problem of exposure across the entire sheet was not present. I do have an old 2MP digital camera that I could take a photo of the end of the film that I'm talking about so you can get an idea of what I mean if that would be of any help. I won't guarantee how well the d---tal shot will come out though. I have a lot of money invested in these holders. Thanks, Robert
     
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  3. steve simmons

    steve simmons Inactive

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    In the Jan/Feb 08 issue of View Camera we talk about the problems with ULF holders and that above 11x14 standards were never developed to make sure they were all the same. The article also discusses the options currently available in ULF film holders.

    steve simmons
     
  4. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Robert,

    I am not sure if my situation is close enough to yours to be useful, but here is what I can offer. We have been shooting LF the same amount of time. You know I shoot 7x17, mostly in the horizontal position. I have a dozen holders from AWB, early S&S, more recent S&S, Great Plains, early Lotus, brand new Lotus, and one of unknown parentage. With the exception of lens flare from shooting too close into the sun with an single coated lens, I have not seen exposure across the whole 7 inch side other than the notches.

    The two Lotus holders are so new I have not shot them yet. I just tried to load multiple sheets in the Lotus. The first sheet went in fine. With the first sheet in place, the second sheet began to bind a ¼ of the way in and would not go beyond half loaded. Thinking there might be some variation in film thickness I tried this with one year old T Max 400 and older unnamed Photo Warehouse ASA 125 that was thought to be Ilford. The results were the same. Is there anything else I can check that would help?

    John Powers
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Steve, Thanks for your input. But my problem is with the construction of these brand new holders and the fact that the distance between the septum and the film rails is well over .021. That allows for three sheets of film to be loaded into one side of the holder with ease. These holders were built to my camera as I sent my camera back to the manufacturer to fit the holders to the back. The fit of the rib lock is not the problem. When loading a sheet of 8x20 in the vertical position the film sags at the bottom to where it is touching the film rail so this is pushing the top of the film back against the septum. Due to the slop in the film slot this is allowing light to enter around the film rail.Thanks, Robert
     
  6. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Thanks John, I too have tried different films. T-max, Efke, Ilford. And they all allow three sheets to slide in easily. Robert
     
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I'll try posting a pic with this old d---tal camera off the light table. At first I thought it was fog across the entire area but the image area is not fogged. This seems to tell me that although the image is very faint at the top of this pic where the background sweeps up ( I'm not sure you will be able to see this from the photo) that although the image is not being registered since it is behind the rails the gap from the slop in the film rails and septum is allowing light to reach the edges of the film that is being pushed back against the septum (at the top) since the bottom of the film is sagging forward against the film rails. Keep in mind this is an 8x20 negative shot in the vertical position. I will post a pic taken with a 2MP camera. Robert
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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  9. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Hope this helps
     
  10. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    My 2 cents worth,

    When the film holders get bigger, the dark slides get thicker, hence the area at the top in which light can enter the back is bigger. You might check the springs on your camera back to make sure they pinch the top of the holder (compressing the opening) when the dark slide is pulled. You might just need to apply more tension to the camera back.
    If that doesn't work, use a couple of work arounds: 1. In bright sun light, leave the end of the dark slide in the top of the holder (put a mark on the outside of the slide where it is out far enough not to cover the film, but still fills the opening), 2. cover the top of the holder with the dark cloth and bunch it up against the darkslide, such that when the slideis pulled, the dark cloth covers the opening, reverse the process for inserting the slide.
     
  11. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    Robert, it looks to me as though your light traps need to be replaced. I do not think the slop in the film gate is causing your fog. I also do not think that the slop should be there. Personally when I make holders, they do not allow loading of two sheets of TriX at the same time.

    Good luck.
     
  12. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

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    Robert,
    Allen addresses the possible light leak problem, and I think all ULF users have had to work around the weaksprings/weaklighttrap/mismatchedholder/nonstandardriblock problems. Your problem seems to be manufacturing error. I have no less than 10 different brands of film holders for 5 formats, and none would show such obvious generosity with film thickness. This almost could qualify as a plate holder. You bought a "film holder" and it doesn't hold your film, and it exceeds standard dimensions. I would demand satisfaction.
     
  13. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Member

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    My experience...

    I have a number of very new 5x12" film holders sourced from two of the current US manufacturers. One make allows two sheets, the other three sheets of film to be loaded easily in the same holder. I appreciate these are made from wood which is not easy to control tight tolerances. However I had hoped for better.

    Barry
     
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  15. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Member

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    As we know, there are no 'standard' dimensions for most ULF film holder/camera backs. Perhaps it is time that the major ULF manufacturers came up with some agreed standards?

    Barry
     
  16. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    My new modern 5x12 holders have no slop in the film gate whatsoever, and do not allow extra film to be loaded. I've had no issues with their use, and am quite happy with them. They were definitely the more expensive option of the available choices at the time, but I am glad I went with them. When it comes time, I will order more of them to give me more holders to work with when I travel.
     
  17. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I may have to eat my words on the film being fogged across the entire sheet. After putting it on the densitometer it is obvious that there is fog across the sheet. I guess my old eyes aren't as trustworthy as they use to be. I went out and shot more film. I did notice the rib lock wasn't seating tight in the camera back and sure enough it was holding the holder away from the back just a hair. The fix is just milling a little more off the rib. But I would still like a tighter fitting film rail. But I don't think that is what is causing this problem so I guess I will live with that. Thanks guys for the input. Robert
     
  18. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Deckled Edge, I agree with you. You would think at the price I paid for these you would expect a little closer tolerances. I have cheaper film holders with better tolerances. These are probably the most expensive on the market. Robert
     
  19. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I have left numerous voice mail messages today and an email last night . I get an email today from the manufacturer saying, "since I haven't heard of this problem before and it has been months since you received the holders. If these problems haven't existed up until now then I don't see where the problems lies on my end." Now this was about the film rail to septum slop. Now there is the issue of the rib lock not fitting right also. I think I've stopped being nice about this. Obviously I didn't use them as soon as I got them. But that doesn't make up for them being so poorly built and the manufacturer not standing behind their work. The sad part about this is I even sent my camera back to them to fit the filmholders to it. Robert
     
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  20. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Member

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    This sounds very familiar to my experience with one manufacturer Robert.

    :sad:

    Barry
     
  21. Richard T Ritter

    Richard T Ritter Member

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    There is a ULF standard that the manufacturers are now using. It is the older holders and the few that decide to make up their own that cause the problems. If a camera is made right the S & S, Lotus, ABW holders will all work. This probably will be address in the article in View Camera. If you are not sure you should have the camera back and the holders checked.

    The light leak is where the dark slide goes in the holder this can be a problem on any size holder. Best to lay the dark slide or drape the dark cloth over the top when doing vertical with the light source over head.
     
  22. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    If the manufacturer doesn't make right on this I will soon be posting pictures of the workmanship, showing how easily I can slide three sheets of film into one side of a holder and how the rib lock is so far off after having sent my camera back to them to build the holders to fit. I may even post a video on You Tube showing the slop in the septum to film rail as I load three sheets of film. These are some of the most expensive film holders on the market and I expect better service than this. Robert
     
  23. Richard T Ritter

    Richard T Ritter Member

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    I see this allot in one make of cameras. If I get that make of camera in for service I always check the rid lock slot, 70% of the time I need to make adjustments. Take the ground glass frame off and check the joints I have also found glue mounds that held the holder away from the back and caused leaks.
     
  24. BarryWilkinson

    BarryWilkinson Member

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    Richard,

    I am pleased to hear that some standards are being agreed between manufacturers. Its pretty frustrating otherwise for the end user.

    In my case I have a modern camera with modern film holders. I must say though that I am not entirely happy with my film holders dimensionally, even though one holder manufacturer had a camera back to use for dimensioning. They work but they could be much better.

    Barry
     
  25. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Just so everyone knows what I'm dealing with here. Here is a pic of 4 sheets of film that will slide in but they are tight. Here you can see what I mean by three sheets sliding in easily. Now with this much slop in the film gate when shooting a narrow format like this (8x20) in the vertical position you can see the film sag at the bottom out against the film rails at the top the film leans back against the septum. So it is not like I have to force three sheets into the holder. Three sheets goes in with plenty of room for clearance. Roberthttp://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=9503&stc=1&d=1199985230
     

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  26. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I guess a lot of the manufacturers read this forum. Since I started this thread the manufacturer has just contacted me requesting I send the holders back along with my camera back so the new holders can be fitted again. Thanks everyone for all of the input. I will keep everyone posted on the outcome. Robert.....P.S. I guess a little ranting and raving on my part paid off. But it should never have to come to that.