Film shifting in holder when travelling?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Akki14, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Do I have crummy holders, or am I just bad at loading my 4x5 film?

    Sometimes my film "slips" and i get a 3-4times too big margin on one short end of the film and the image coming off the other edge of the film. I get the film underneath both rails but this seems to be some slippage that happens after it's loaded and maybe jostled around in my backpack.

    Do you guys tap your holders a certain way to try to shift the film back into place? I guess you'd need to tap the pulling out the slide end to get it to slide that way.
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,140
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have only seen that from mis-loading, but will just say it might be possible for it to happen while traveling. I tend to store my holders (4x5 to 8x10 -- and all ages and condition) upright, with the pulls upwards -- yet do not have more than one or two times in the last 20 years that have the problem you describe...including 2000 miles on a bicycle, a lot of that on gravel roads.

    I see it all the time with our students. So I have always assumed it to be a loading problem.

    I do tap my 8x10 holders before use, rather vigously to seat them well (on the palm of one hand), as I have had them shift slightly during exposures (most of mine are long).
     
  3. erikg

    erikg Member

    Messages:
    1,461
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    pawtucket rh
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I tap the holders, there is some play. Much worse is having the film sag during a long exposure, this is really more of an 8x10 issue, esp. if the camera is pointed downward. Some people will put a piece of double stick tape in the center of the holder to deal with that.
     
  4. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Messages:
    1,363
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, Or
    I've recently had a similar problem with my old wooden whole-plate format film holders. I'm not sure if there's a bit of warping at the bottom of the holder that allows the film to slide down after the darkslide is pulled on vertical shots, or what. This last time I loaded the holders, I was very sure to check that the film was properly seated. We'll see what happens. I may end up using some double-stick tape at the bottom of the offending holder/s if the problem persists. If you try this, use a finger on the double-stick a few times to make it tacky but not too sticky or you may have trouble removing your film later.

    Peter Gomena
     
  5. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

    Messages:
    2,058
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Film will slip in practically every holder. I always tap the holder flap end down prior to insertion in the camera. Also don't forget about film pop. This can happen sometimes even with very short exposures. The film is almost hermetically sealed in the holder when loaded. If it is is a humid condition, such as in a darkroom, and the slide is ultimately removed in a drier area, the film may pop in as little as a second or so.
     
  6. Ian David

    Ian David Member

    Messages:
    1,079
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    Brisbane, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That sounds like a lot of slip in a 4x5 holder, Heather. May be crummy holders? What sort are you using?
     
  7. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,140
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I tried that -- ended up be more hassle than it was worth (difficulty loading/unloading and tape residue on back of film interferred with washing off of the anti-halation layer. I was using a 3M tape -- medium tack on one side, low tack on the other (towards film).
     
  8. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    It happens in a wide variety of holders, I have Fidelity Elite, Fidelity Deluxe, Toyo... Or at least that's all the ones I have and I've not specifically tracked it down to any particular holder. It happened twice out of 13 shots when I was travelling around and I wonder if it's because I carry the holders with the pull-end(tab) upwards (which would mean it could slip backwards).

    And maybe it's not 3-4 times bigger margin but the image is off the one edge. If I measure it, it's a 7-8mm margin vs 3mm margin.

    I guess I'll have to either get into the habit of storing them tab-down or tap them to make sure. I don't have this problem with the holders in normal use at home in the studio, but then again i store those horizontally usually. I think storing them on edge is more robust when in a backpack so that's why they're not horizontal (and I have broken a darkslide by having them horizontal in my suitcase and something hard and pointy broke it :sad: )
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It has happened to me too. If you make sure the film is underneath the end rail when you are loading the holders, and then always keep the holders slides down or on their sides (i.e. anything but slides upward), it will end the problem.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2010
  10. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,054
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yep, happens to me on a semi regular basis. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it has to do with being bumped around, as in when I take off my backpack camera bag and not quite drop it on the ground, but place it down not too gently.

    Other times when the holders have been transported on a motorcycle in a tank bag, I think vibration may have shifted the film somewhat.

    In my instance it isn't a problem as I enlarge all of my negatives, with you doing contact, this is important.

    I have the same array of holders as you, about 17-18 of them and across all makes it occurs.

    Mick.
     
  11. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is the film brand you are using a little smaller that normal? The film just slides in, there isn't enough room to really cause these symptoms unless it is outside the rail. Have you tried loading a developed negative with the border problems in the holders, and check on how much wiggle room there is? Without putting the dark slide in, jiggle the holder and observe the film movement.

    Should not be much. If the image is coming off the edge, then it cannot be under the guide.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Fotch, the film can slide under the end flaps while still being within the rails on the sides, IME.
     
  13. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    2F/2F, I am not near one of my holders so may be wrong, I thought than when you snap the end flap closed, it sealed it off so there would be little room to move, no? Maybe not. Probably just luck and not moving the stuff around enough to cause this.
     
  14. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I don't think it seals off or at least not well enough. I'm using fomapan 100 4x5 film but i don't find it's vastly different to HP5+ for example which is the only other film I use.

    I do think it is just unfortunate jiggles causing it. New, weird looking habit to get used to :wink:
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,495
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am going to start doing that RIGHT NOW.

    Steve
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Are you saying don't keep the holders upright so the removable slides are on top?
     
  17. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,200
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Got a couple of sloppy holders but also noticed that some film is cut smaller or larger.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,495
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is how I understand it.

    Steve
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That it what they are supposed to do, but some holders wear out so that the end flaps don't seat as tightly as they used to. I have had the problem mostly with older wooden holders. I can't bring myself to throw them out just yet, as they are still light tight, and the problem is easily avoided.
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The one problem is when you take a vertically-oriented picture. :D

    I make sure I press the end flap into the body of the film holder until the back is putting pressure there when using suspect holders. You can tell the suspect holders because they are the ones with which there is some play in the end flaps.
     
  21. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    OK, worn out makes sense. I use newer style holders. Also, the original vulcanize Graflex camera cases transport the holders with the slide side up. Even the older Graflex SLR cases did this, as does my Calumet case. I wonder if there is a way to eliminate the gap, perhaps a piece of tape under the hinge part?
     
  22. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    19,495
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Twice recently I had removed a dark slide, taken the photograph, and then when I reinserted the dark slide it would not go in all the way. The camera goes into the changing bag. I remove the film holder, press the flap down and the dark slide goes in. This got old the first time. This time I noted which film holder was the offender. If it does it again, out it goes!

    Steve
     
  23. fotch

    fotch Member

    Messages:
    4,820
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    SE WI- USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just a thought. Could it be the newer films are thinner. The older films, a bit thicker, did not slip under? I have not used my 4x5 for a while and the only film I have is some Kodak Tri-X and some Agfa Pan.

    In any case, good to know about this.