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  1. #1
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Film Holder question

    I bought some new 8x20 filmholders a few months back. I just got around to shooting the first sheets with the new holders about a 2 months ago and just last week got caught up on developing the film. These shots were done in the vertical position ( I have a vertical back for my 8x20). I then noticed that the film seemed to be getting exposure across the entire sheet of film in the area at the top of the vertical nearest the dark slide handle. I then started looking at the gap between the film rail and the septum. It looked to be quite large. So I took two sheets of film and they slide in with no problem. I then took three sheets of film and they too slide in with no problem at all. This seems to be causing film sag or at least poor film flatness. Someone please tell me that being able to slide three sheets of film into one side of a filmholder is not normal. I won't mention the filmholder manufacturer because we are bickering about having the holders replaced. Robert

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    RobertP's Avatar
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    Let my also add that I did the use other holders (different manufacturer) during the same shoot and developed them the same way and this problem of exposure across the entire sheet was not present. I do have an old 2MP digital camera that I could take a photo of the end of the film that I'm talking about so you can get an idea of what I mean if that would be of any help. I won't guarantee how well the d---tal shot will come out though. I have a lot of money invested in these holders. Thanks, Robert
    Last edited by RobertP; 01-09-2008 at 08:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    In the Jan/Feb 08 issue of View Camera we talk about the problems with ULF holders and that above 11x14 standards were never developed to make sure they were all the same. The article also discusses the options currently available in ULF film holders.

    steve simmons

  4. #4
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Robert,

    I am not sure if my situation is close enough to yours to be useful, but here is what I can offer. We have been shooting LF the same amount of time. You know I shoot 7x17, mostly in the horizontal position. I have a dozen holders from AWB, early S&S, more recent S&S, Great Plains, early Lotus, brand new Lotus, and one of unknown parentage. With the exception of lens flare from shooting too close into the sun with an single coated lens, I have not seen exposure across the whole 7 inch side other than the notches.

    The two Lotus holders are so new I have not shot them yet. I just tried to load multiple sheets in the Lotus. The first sheet went in fine. With the first sheet in place, the second sheet began to bind a ¼ of the way in and would not go beyond half loaded. Thinking there might be some variation in film thickness I tried this with one year old T Max 400 and older unnamed Photo Warehouse ASA 125 that was thought to be Ilford. The results were the same. Is there anything else I can check that would help?

    John Powers

  5. #5
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Steve, Thanks for your input. But my problem is with the construction of these brand new holders and the fact that the distance between the septum and the film rails is well over .021. That allows for three sheets of film to be loaded into one side of the holder with ease. These holders were built to my camera as I sent my camera back to the manufacturer to fit the holders to the back. The fit of the rib lock is not the problem. When loading a sheet of 8x20 in the vertical position the film sags at the bottom to where it is touching the film rail so this is pushing the top of the film back against the septum. Due to the slop in the film slot this is allowing light to enter around the film rail.Thanks, Robert

  6. #6
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Thanks John, I too have tried different films. T-max, Efke, Ilford. And they all allow three sheets to slide in easily. Robert

  7. #7
    RobertP's Avatar
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    I'll try posting a pic with this old d---tal camera off the light table. At first I thought it was fog across the entire area but the image area is not fogged. This seems to tell me that although the image is very faint at the top of this pic where the background sweeps up ( I'm not sure you will be able to see this from the photo) that although the image is not being registered since it is behind the rails the gap from the slop in the film rails and septum is allowing light to reach the edges of the film that is being pushed back against the septum (at the top) since the bottom of the film is sagging forward against the film rails. Keep in mind this is an 8x20 negative shot in the vertical position. I will post a pic taken with a 2MP camera. Robert

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    RobertP's Avatar
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  9. #9
    RobertP's Avatar
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    Hope this helps

  10. #10

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    My 2 cents worth,

    When the film holders get bigger, the dark slides get thicker, hence the area at the top in which light can enter the back is bigger. You might check the springs on your camera back to make sure they pinch the top of the holder (compressing the opening) when the dark slide is pulled. You might just need to apply more tension to the camera back.
    If that doesn't work, use a couple of work arounds: 1. In bright sun light, leave the end of the dark slide in the top of the holder (put a mark on the outside of the slide where it is out far enough not to cover the film, but still fills the opening), 2. cover the top of the holder with the dark cloth and bunch it up against the darkslide, such that when the slideis pulled, the dark cloth covers the opening, reverse the process for inserting the slide.

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