1. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I was browsing some Mamiya RB67 accessories and found to my amazement that there was once a film pack adapter (not Polaroid back) for this. Considering that this camera first appeared in 1970, I was astonished that this item was made available, since I always think of film packs as belonging to the pre-WWII era. Despite having handled hundreds of cameras over a 50-year period, I have never taken a picture with a film pack or seen a fresh one for sale at a dealer's.

    This leads me to ask: When did film packs finally disappear? Has any APUGer ever used one? I would be curious to learn this!

    Regards,

    David
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    IIRC the RB67 uses the same back that the Graflex 2x3 cameras did. So anything that fit all those cameras would have fitted the RB67.

    The best I can remember Mamiya bought the back design from Singer.
     
  3. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've seen some fairly late 2x3" Tri-X film packs on sale on eBay, and I think those are from the late 1970s/early 1980s.

    I've picked up a few old unused film packs here and there and tried them to learn how they worked. The film was old and really foggy, but that aside, as you shoot your pockets fill up with pull tabs, which I didn't care for. The film is on rollfilm base, so it doesn't fit normal hangers (there were special curved hangers) or work well in daylight tanks because it's so thin (I didn't try them in the Nikor tank, because I didn't have enough packs to justify readjusting the reel). I processed it in trays. The paper doesn't come off the sheets easily at the strip where it's glued, so little bits of paper come out in the developer. For medium format, I'll take rollfilm, thanks.

    I can see more of an attraction for film packs with 4x5", since you can easily carry a lot of film in a small, lightweight package, shoot it quickly, and in some cases that might be worth the other inconveniences.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    David, I think they are one and the same thing. The add you link to is for a pack holder almost identical except for size/format to the graflex film pach back/holder I have in 5x4.

    Ian
     
  6. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    They are indeed. David A. Goldfarb confirms that film packs were still available on sale in the late 1970s/early 1980s, which is something I didn't know, but I am still curious if anyone actually used them, since with a camera like the RB67 using rollfilm is a piece of cake and there would seem to be no attraction in buying rollfilm chopped up into individual exposures in a film pack and losing quite a lot of film flatness. I can't imagine anyone picking apart their film pack, counting off the sheets and giving individual processing to them (although in theory they could have done), so why did Mamiya offer this holder (notwithstanding as Nick says that they might have bought the tooling cheap from Singer and just re-badged the product)?

    Regards,

    David
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The top of it looks just like a Graflex 2x3" film pack adapter, but the plate looks like it's designed for the RB with more of a flange around it and might not fit a 2x3" press camera.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One film pack technique that I've read about was "robbing the pack," where you could open it before shooting the whole pack to process exposed sheets, so I suspect there were people who did give individual development times to individual sheets.

    As to why Mamiya offered this option, I suppose that if you didn't own multiple backs or have an assistant to reload, you could change film packs faster than loading a rollfilm back (as pull tabs piled up on the floor like hair in a barber shop).
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    David, the normal RB67 film backs fit a 2x3 press cameras (international type fitting) so I would think this pack would too otherwise it wouldn't fit an RB67.

    Ian
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, that makes sense. It must.
     
  11. Samuel Hotton

    Samuel Hotton Member

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    I've used film packs

    Good morning gentlemen,
    I was stationed with the Air Force at Shaw AFB, South Carolina from 1971 until 1975. Virtually ALL B&W work was shot with 4x5 inch Tri-x FILM PACK, exposed through a Super Speed Graphic. Yes, we would "rob" the pack to save film. We developed them in trays, in I think "Armed forces developer #3". Studio portraits were shot on regular 4x5 cut film, Plus-x I recall, using a C-1 Deardorff with a reducing back and developed in 4 sheet racks in 3.5 gallon tanks. Yes, you pulled the tab, either left it in place OR tore it off. I usually left it in place and wrote captions on it. With the wind up front shutter I could make one exposure every 6 seconds. They were fast and large capacity. It was thin base film and very sharp. We printed them in Omega enlargers with a glass carrier for flatness. In 1975 I was stationed at RAF Lakenheath UK. I continued to use Film packs occasionally until about 1980. I've used 2 1/4x3 1/4 several times and perhaps 3 1/4x 4 1/4 once. I truly wish they were still available today. O, I forgot to say, don't EVER pull one of the tabs out of numerical order. I just remembered, I've even seen them in 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 postcard format!
    All the best,
    Sam H.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
  12. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Thanks, Samuel. Very interesting information.

    Regards,

    David
     
  13. genecrumpler

    genecrumpler Member

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    Yes, us old timers used these. I used them on both a 2x3 bush presssman and 4x5 Crown graphic. Lot's of paper.
     
  14. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I used hundreds of them when they were in production. They were loaded with film on a roll film base. The tab was handy for notes and the 16 sheets in the space of one double film holder saved a lot of space and weight. It was a simple matter to use part of a pack, remove the exposed sheets in the darkroom and keep the rest for another session.

    I am down to my last 10 packs of Tri-X and guard them carefully. I use them when I expect to carry the 4x5 long distances.
     
  15. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    Not familar w/ the mamiya film packs but with the 4x5 graflex film pack adapter and kodak tri-x and plus-x packs. I love the system. My packs expired in 1980, film is relatively unfogged. It is very thin and I agree that it is very, very sharp.

    I wish it were still made, i'd give everything else up for this.
     
  16. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    I still have some TriX film packs in the freezer - 2x3, 3x4 and 4x5. It is a simple process to "rob" the pack to process a couple of sheets either in by tray processing or in a Nikor 4x5 tank. They take up a lot less space then conventional holders and are lighter to haul around.

    Regards
    Gord