S&S Film Holder Recommendation

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by John Z., Aug 27, 2007.

  1. John Z.

    John Z. Member

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    I just watched a used 11x14 film holder go for 355.00 dollars on Ebay-Yikes!
    I just had to post that the S&S film holders list for the same amount new, and I can vouch that they are of excellent quality- I have a number of them. No need to risk buying used, when you can get it new!
     
  2. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I second John's recommendation.

    It is ridiculous to pay the asking or bid prices for used holders when the S&S are so good at or near the same price. I have two 7x17's and they are great.
     
  3. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    I'll second Jim's second of John's recommendation.

    I have a lot of them and am very satisfied.

    Cheers,
    Clarence
     
  4. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I'm mostly satisfied but with a couple of caveats. Will Whitaker and I traded a 12X20 14X17. I ended up with 5 of Sandy's holders in Tonopah and Will ended up with 3 new S&S holders in North Carolina. Both directions things got so distressed from the 8% humidity here and 55% there that neither of us could get a darkslide to seat, and the bulkhead was all warped. After 6-8 months in either place they had settled down again. But what happens if I go to NC to shoot or Will comes out here? Maybe it's just the bigger holders that get so nervous.
     
  5. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I've been using Alan Brubakers ULF holders and they aren't to shabby either. As a matter of fact I'll put them up against any holder on the market.
     
  6. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Ah yes holders! I too was watching that one! Construction has begun on the 11x14 walnut camera and I need a holder or two. I think I will take the recommendation and buy new. I did get some 8x20 holders off EBaythat match the one I had. It looks like I'll need to replace a dark slide but other than that they are in great shape.

    Jim
     
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    Jim, Were these cherry or walnut holders? I've had a holder manufacture tell me that the cherry has the least amount structural change over time due to the elements as opposed to walnut. But that could also just be his opinion.
     
  8. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I'll admit I don't really know. The 1417's were the very light colored wood and the 1220's were the latest darker color.
     
  9. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    I have 10, 14 x 17 Cherry S&S holders....have used them in Nevada, Arizona and Colorado, previously they were in Texas with Luis DeSanto...no problems, they will be going to the Florida Keys in the upcoming months.
     
  10. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Both the wood and the plastic dark slides expand and contract slightly with changes in humidity, but not always equally and at the same rate. Normally this does not cause a problem, but when the change in humidity is great the slides may bow, which makes them very difficult to remove. The solution is to remove the slides and re-insert them with the other side facing out. This should cause the bow to reverse. The wood and slide should reach equilibrium overnight, or in a couple of days at most.

    The problem is very difficult to predict because the slides are cut from large sheets of phenolic plastic which release pressure in different ways, depending on ambient humidity. Some people never experience a problem, but a few do so we are aware of the issue. I have been looking for an alternative material for the dark slides that is more stable but so far have not found a material that is viable for us economically. If the fixes we suggest don't work we just replace the dark slides.


    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2007
  11. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    I guess an anodized aluminum dark slide wouldn't be cost friendly. Of course you could offer them as an upgrade. I look at a filmholder as a long term investment. So I wouldn't mind paying a little more for my tools. I mean if I'm going to pay 5000.00 -7000.00 for an ULF camera then 500- 600 for a film holder wouldn't be out of the question. It would be worth it if you are on a shoot and you have to fuss with a warped darkslide and miss the shot, or if it is not seated properly end up with fogged film. Some people don't realize that the film holder is actually more difficult to make than the camera. At least they have to be closer tolerence work that is.
     
  12. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Sandy,
    probably not cost effective, but I have found .032 5052 aluminum to work wonderfully where stiffness is required (5052 is harder and stiffer than most of the other aluminum alloys, while being relative inexpensive). as a bonus, you could rivet matching walnut or cherry handles to them, or for a high tech look, rout or waterjet the handle shapes, suitable offset of course. Only downside to aluminum is a significant coeff. of expansion.

    erie
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a few 8x10" holders with metal darkslides (Fidelity I think), and they do operate more smoothly, but they are heavier than the plastic darkslides, which could get to be a problem with larger filmholders.
     
  14. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Aluminum is in fact very heavy compared to phenolic plastic for the same strength and stiffness. That is the major reason I have decided not to use it. The use of aluminum would also slow down production because the anodizing would have to be done out of the woodworking shop, and by someone else.

    Sandy King
     
  15. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

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    How about something along the line of composite graphite. They seem to be using it for everything else why not a darkslide? You can't get much lighter and stronger than that. But I don't know of the specific qualities of graphite and so I can't say for sure if it would work. I'm just throwing some ideas out there is all.
     
  16. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Yes, that is the kind of thing we are looking at. Just have not been able to find a good source. I am going to research this more when I get back from China.

    Sandy
     
  17. freygr

    freygr Member

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    It's the same thing as fiberglass, but instead of glass they use graphite fibers.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    One question is--how thick would it have to be to keep the dark in?
     
  19. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Do you know of a source for this material in thickness of about 60 mil?

    Sandy King
     
  20. Michael Mutmansky

    Michael Mutmansky Member

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    Don't bother with the graphite route unless you intend your holders to be the most expensive available.

    My suggestion is to contact a manufacturer of phenolic resin and see about a custom fabrication run. PM me if you want more information on this...


    ---Michael