Film Holders

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Krzys, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Krzys

    Krzys Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, QL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Can anyone please educate a newbie 4x5 shooter on film holders? I have bought a Wista Field and would like to know which of the three it is compatible with and how the brands differ.
     
  2. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

    Messages:
    287
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Upper Hunter
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Hi,
    I use the Fidelity, plastic all round, well made suits Graflok back. Any camera fitted with such a back will be fine. Some companies use a slide in back with a slot for the dark slide to seat into. Hope this helps
    Pat
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,373
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Any of the modern film holders will work fine -- no problems. There might be some old holders floating around that are not the standard size, but you probably will not come across them.

    Vaughn
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,948
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Vaughn,

    Do you have any preference for Fidelity or Toyo?

    Tom
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Paul Butzi used to have a great article about all the different types of filmholders for 4x5" on his site, www.butzi.net, but it seems to have been lost in the reformat of his site. If you go to the archive page at www.butzi.net, he says he'll reformat old articles for the new site based on interest in return for a donation to one of the charities that he lists on his site. You might take him up on it.

    All of the standard double sided filmholders work on pretty much any 4x5" camera.

    The only significant exception would be the Graflex-type filmholders that are wider than a standard holder, have grooves on the side, and instead of a lock rib on each face, they have a groove that meshes with a rib on the camera back. These fit mainly Graflex SLRs. Note that most filmholders made by the Graflex company are not Graflex-type holders, but are standard or "Graphic type" filmholders, just like Fidelity, Riteway, and Toyo, as are most old Kodak and other wooden filmholders.

    Of the standard filmholders, I like Toyo, which seem to be made to tighter tolerances than the other plastic holders.

    There are also some filmholders marketed under the Tiltall brand that don't have a lock rib and that are sold on eBay. Many people have speculated that these may have been for some special equipment, but that equipment has never been identified, and it's looking more like a manufacturing error to me.

    Personally, I like Grafmatic filmholders for 4x5", because they hold 6 sheets more compactly than three standard filmholders, and one published test (I think it was in Popular or Modern Photography back in the 1970s) suggested that they have better film flatness than traditional filmholders. Kinematic filmholders take 10 sheets but are a bit less reliable than Grafmatics and are harder to find.
     
  6. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

    Messages:
    754
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Like the others have said. Most holders will fit, and you can also use 9x12cm holders (if you get 9x12cm film).
    Just wanted to congratulate you on your choice of camera. I have a Wista Field 4x5 (and a Wista Field 8x10) and they are very nice cameras. The 4x5 comes in one version with exchangable bellows so that you can get bag bellows for it. Very nice feature.
     
  7. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you are just starting out with 4 x 5, I would pick up a few used fidelity holders on E--y or somewhere like that. They are pretty inexpensive for 4 x 5 cameras because there are a lot out there. For new holders, I would also recommend the TOYO. As David said, they seem to be made to very tight tollerances and are very easy to use.
     
  8. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    How many do you need? I must have 100+ of them. If you buy enough I'll sell them dirt cheap because I need the money.
     
  9. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,545
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm partial to the Riteways, only because they made them with these nifty little locking buttons that keep you from accidentally pulling the darkslide when it's not inserted in the camera, facing the lens. Not all Riteways had these buttons, so you'll have to double-check before you buy. Another nice holder, if you can find them, are Alkon. The Alkon holders are all aluminum, so they're a little heavier, but the upside is the film loading door hinge is a solid piece of machined aluminum, rather than a piece of plastic held on with cloth tape. They don't wear out and they don't leak light.
     
  10. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I must have 80-100 nice Riteways to sell... dirt cheap to volume buyers. I'm in a deep financial hurt right now.
     
  11. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have one of the graflex type if someone can use it (one of the wider than regular holders ( may be shorter too.)). It was in with some regular film holders I bought on Ebay. I don't know if it is light tight or not, but everything else was in good shape from this seller.

    I'd be happy to mail it to anyone that can use it.

    Mike
     
  12. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Mike... If that holder has the grooves on the sides it's probably for the old Graflex RB SLR and worth about $15-20 in good shape. Those are much harder to find than modern 4x5 holders.
     
  13. Krzys

    Krzys Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, QL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Just to confirm here is a photo of the back

    [​IMG]
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It's a completely standard back. Nonstandard backs are quite unusual, particularly on cameras made in the last 60 years or so. It's like asking "which brand of 35mm film fits my Minolta."
     
  15. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Which 135 film fits my Autocord? :D
     
  16. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Careful Mike, there may have been a conversion piece for 35mm. I think more than one model of TLR could handle 35mm. I can only guess why you'd want that feature though. :smile:

    Mike
     
  17. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I was just razzing David. :D
     
  18. Wyno

    Wyno Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Gerelong, Au
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Krzys,
    when I sold Mick Fagan my Shen Hao I also sold him my 4x5 Fidelity and Riteway film holders, including some very old ones with metal tabs. I don't think he's had any problems with them and I know I didn't. He does have some Toyo holders, and he says that they are better made than the others, but apart from that (and they cost more), I don't think there are any advantages of one over the other.
    Mike
     
  19. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,935
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    south centra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mine are mostly elites, but I do have a couple of the old ones with metal tabs. One has developed a light leak where the dark slide enters the holder. 1/4 to 1/2 inch as a slight exposure. Weird thing it is a very straight line across the frame.

    Mike
     
  20. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,038
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  21. Krzys

    Krzys Member

    Messages:
    506
    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Location:
    Brisbane, QL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    [​IMG]

    I have obtained these two holders from a friend. As you all have explained, they fit well and so does every other holder I've tried.

    The problem is that these are old wooden graphic holders. One contained a very old developed negative which, when I slide into any of the 4 slots, buckles up slightly in the center. I am wondering if it is the negative which is causing the problem or do the holders just fail at providing overall flatness?
     
  22. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,194
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ 'ɐıɹoʇɔıʌ
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have the same camera as you/same back, and I haven't had a problem with any of my newer or older film holders (Riteway, Lisco, Fidelity, Grafmatic) other than "inexpert use" :smile: If they are in good nick, you'll be fine!

    Marc
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    18,000
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It's possible for wooden filmholders to become warped over time. Make some test shots with them in the sunlight, and if they don't have light leaks, you should be okay. Wooden holders are lighter than plastic, so some people prefer them.
     
  24. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

    Messages:
    1,884
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    South Texas,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It's possible they're the metric variety. You're SURE they're 4x5? The outer dimensions are the same but the film sizes are not.