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  1. #1

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    Grafmatic or regular holders for an upcoming trip?

    We are going to Hawaii next week and I've been thinking of taking my Meridian 45B point-n-shooter on this trip. Up to now, I've been always using regular 2-sheet holders with this camera. However last week I bought three grafmatic holders and I've been contemplating to take these instead of the regular holders to save the weight/volume. I have not used this type of holders before and I don't know how well these particular holders work. I'm a little worried about using new to me equipment for what might be valuable photos. So I'm looking for advice: should I or should I not take these instead of the regular holders? What are the gotchas with this kind of holders? Anything I should check and or do with them before the trip?

  2. #2

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    If the Graphmatic is new to you and untested, I woudn't consider using it for anything real... yet.

  3. #3
    Patrick Robert James's Avatar
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    I agree with Brian. If you haven't tested them go with what you know and with which you are comfortable.

  4. #4
    Barry S's Avatar
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    I'm with Brian--stick to the regular holders for a big trip. I wouldn't shoot anything important until you've tested the holders and using them becomes second nature. On my first outing with a Grafmatic, I left the dark slide pulled out when I exposed the film. It seems obvious to leave the dark slide out when you expose, right? Well, not such a good idea with Grafmatics, since you'll fog the sheets behind the one being exposed because of the septum notches.

  5. #5

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    I agree with both above posters. If you don't know how to use one it's a nightmare, and you might wind up damaging it.

    Stay with what you are familiar with and works for you.

  6. #6

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    Sounds like consensus . Is there anything to watch out with Grafmatics? Do the break/jam easily? Scratch film? Light leaks, etc...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by anikin View Post
    Sounds like consensus . Is there anything to watch out with Grafmatics? Do the break/jam easily? Scratch film? Light leaks, etc...
    If in good condition, they work perfectly; they're tough, reliable, don't leak light or damage film. Watch out for bent septa. They were made for news and sports photographers. It helps to read the directions.

  8. #8
    Nokton48's Avatar
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    The corners of the septums can bend easily, being light metal.

    That's another reason not to mess with them until you can test and get confident with them.

    Read the instructions, and practice loading them with the lights on.

  9. #9

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    I ran 6 sheets of Arista EDU this week-end. The exposures looked fine and the holder seemed to be reasonably easy to use. I did notice a few faint scratches on the back of one of sheets. I guess some cleaning of the septums is in order. Is PEC pads and some isopropyl alcohol OK?

    Also, some septums have a little bend at the end where it gets inserted into the holder. Is it wise to try to straighten them out, or is it better to leave them as is?

    I always shoot two sheets of film - one color and one B/W. I think for the trip, I'll use grafmatic for b/w and regular for color (or wise-verse). This way, if I screw up, I won't lose much...

  10. #10

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    I love my Grafmatics to death because, unless you are REALLY stupid and cycle through all six slides, you really can't screw up with unintended double exposures. And being able to prepare 6 sheets in one package instead of 2 is awesome. I always take 3-4 of them on my trips.

    The bends can be straightened relatively easily; what I do is take a pair of pliers and slowly & gently straighten out the tips; then, if the pliers have pushed down on the slits so that you now have a tight entrance for your film, just take a screwdriver or an exacto knife and spread it out a little. I think it's better to keep them as straight as possible, since having the bends may cause more problems (getting stuck, bending more septum's, etc.).

    As for cleaning, they're just metal; I'd wash them with dish soap in hot water :LOL:

    One thing to remember: unlike normal holders, once you "set" the film for exposure (take the slide out and put it back in), you can't "unset" it… you have to take the shot, or move onto the next frame. This can be a HUGE problem when you're working (like me) with a barrel lens on a Speed Graphic, because once you set the film for exposing, you can't (easily) change the shutter speed any more, because that involves letting light into the camera, and there's no way to shield that from the film as you could with a normal holder.

    The only way to work around this without wasting a frame is to cycle through all the film and come back to the frame number you were at. So beware; "set" the film for exposure when you are absolutely sure you're going to fire that shutter :-)

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