View Full Version : 8x20 support stuff

John Jarosz
08-24-2008, 02:58 PM
I've finished my 8x20 conversion of a Kodak D2, so now I'll concentrate on making some photographs. I'll post some pix of the finished camera after I get it in the field.

I can't seem to find if these things exist for 8x20:

Negative sleeve/envelope of some kind.

Storage boxes for negs/prints. Do you all just use old film boxes? If so, does anyone have any extra? or are 8x20 boxes available somewhere?

Light Impressions used to carry some of their nice black print/portfolio boxes in panoramic aspect ratio but that doesn't seem to be true anymore. Is there a source for a "nice" print box?

Thanks, this forum is a fine source of information.


George Losse
08-24-2008, 03:16 PM

Welcome to the wonderful world of 8x20. Where nothing seems to be "off the shelf."

Hollinger makes a box for 8x20 negative storage.

Some people store the negatives in folded paper sleeves. I use a 16x20 print storage sleeve from LI, that I cut the top off of to have a see through negative enclusure.


08-24-2008, 03:20 PM
Sounds like a great project. Would love to see the camera.

In terms of appropriate sized boxes, I'm still looking for a box that matches the proportions of a print made from a 35mm camera. :(

jamie young
08-24-2008, 03:33 PM
I store all my 8x20 stuff in 16x20 boxes with a divider in the middle. I often print on 1/2 sheets of 20x24 and use a 20x24 box with a divider for that for print storage. I fold 16x20 archival paper in 1/2 and use that for negative sleeves. I think I got it at light impressions

08-24-2008, 04:00 PM

The fun is just beginning...

Since you've demonstrated that you have some mechanical skills (building/rebuilding an 8x20 qualifies you as a problem solver and meeter of challenges), you shouldn't be too hindered by the lack of ready-made stuff.

When I moved into 8x20 ten years ago, I faced the same challenges...

08-24-2008, 04:11 PM
oops, I hit the wrong keys, gotta pick up where I left off...

I now store negatives in cloned "Pendaflex" hanging files. (made from Hollinger tissue, papers, tyvek, and fiberboard).
I'll try to post a photo a bit later...

For printing papers, I made paper safes out of Masonite. (photo's later...)

For a printing easel, I made a mask that lets me contact print on 10x24" paper, centered, with 1" white borders outside of the traditional black negative edges.

For developing & printing, I made 10x24" styrene trays for the chemistry.

I can offer more details if you'd like.

Have fun.



John Jarosz
08-24-2008, 04:28 PM
Thanks, Reinhold. That's a really fine website. You should get more images up taken with your "big camera".

I thought you guys who were the early converts to 8x20 and such would have demonstrated so much demand for 8x20 that manufacturers would be competing to get this kind of product to market for you.

I did my part to create demand for historical process products back in the 1980 when I started doing carbon printing with supplies from Dr Green. Now Rich Sullivan is making his commercial carbon tissue, and it's much easier to use than the old stuff.

George, the Holliger boxes look good for neg storage. Those boxes are so much cheaper than film boxes, especially when the film boxes are filled with film. :-)

I'd really like a portfolio box in a panoramic format.

I've been looking at restaurant Stainless Steel steam table trays for chemistry. I haven't found the exact size yet, but I've been close.

I'll post some pics after next weekend, when I get out in the world. I know you don't want to see pics of my back yard.


jamie young
08-24-2008, 05:08 PM
Here's a link to a page on my web site that has a few home made darkroom items for 8x20 or similar formats. Plexi trays are really easy tom make if you get your plastics source to cut to your needed size

Jim Fitzgerald
08-25-2008, 12:29 AM
John, check out Clear Bags.com for the negative holders. Comes in packs of 100 and they are really nice. Fits my 8x20 negs Great. Film boxes for prints.


08-26-2008, 03:54 PM
As promised, here's how I file and store my 8x20 negatives.

I knew as time passed, I could get a pretty big stack of negatives, I wanted to keep them in smaller groups held vertically in such a way as to minimize stack weight and make accessability quick & easy (just like down at the office...).

I use the "Pendaflex" hanging file concept using Tyvek hangers.
There's a 1/2" wide strip of matboard glued in the hanger floor so the negatives don't bunch up at the bottom.
The rails are scavenged from hanging file drawer frames.

Each negative has an inner sleeve of archival tissue (16x20, folded in half, from Hollinger) .
The outer folder is archival bond paper (16x20, folded in half, from Hollinger).
Sleeve "down", folder "up", so the negative is enclosed in a "sandwich".
I try to keep no more than two dozen negatives in each hanger.

The box sidewalls and lid are acid free binder board (or 8-ply mat board).
The box ends and floor are Basswood, the wood of choice for long term storage containers because of it's low emission characteristics.

The box inner dimensions are: 4 x 21 x 9-1/4" deep, and can comfortably hold about 100 ~ 125 negatives.

The fun thing about 8x20 is that you get a chance to invent all sorts of unique solutions compared to those folks who store their photo's on CD's.

Life is a rich & exciting game...



Dan Dozer
08-29-2008, 09:02 PM

Try the Park Seed Co for developing trays. They have seed starter trays that are about 12 x 22 and aren't very expensive either.

John Jarosz
08-29-2008, 10:30 PM

Those trays are incredible. Thanks very much.....


richard ide
08-29-2008, 11:08 PM
Go with the plastic trays. I had tanks made from restaurant stainless a long time ago. I mixed up a batch of Dupont fixer and the next morning there was a crust of rust all around the tank just above the liquid level. Type 316 stainless AFAIK is the only grade safe for photographic chemistry. They are also very expensive.

08-30-2008, 01:10 AM
I'll second the seed starter trays, but they're pretty flimsy.
Double them up so you can move them around or they may go "crackers" on you.

Heavy duty versions of the same thing are available here:


The only squawk I have with seed trays is that they're a bit too small for my printing style
(8x20 contacts on 10x24 paper).



Dan Dozer
08-30-2008, 01:27 AM

I'm not sure which trays you are referring to from Park Seed Company. Mine are every bid as rigid as normal photographic trays and work perfectly for me with my 8 x 20 negs. The ones I got were the light green ones, not the black ones.

For contact printing onto 12 x 24 paper with Pt/Pd, I use plaster/grout mixing trays from home depot for about $6 a piece.

Jim Fitzgerald
08-30-2008, 09:34 AM
I agree! The seed trays are the best. I got 12 of them to have some extras. Can't go wrong.


John Jarosz
09-01-2008, 08:29 PM
OK, I added pictures of my 8x20 to the main camera building thread.


Jim Fitzgerald
09-01-2008, 10:21 PM
John, congrats on the 8x20! I love the format and like my 11x14 I find with 8x20 I become much more selective with my images.