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  1. #1
    Akki14's Avatar
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    Film shifting in holder when travelling?

    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.
    ~Heather
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    http://www.stargazy.org/

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    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).
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #3
    erikg's Avatar
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    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. #4

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    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. #5
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    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.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  6. #6
    Ian David's Avatar
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    That sounds like a lot of slip in a 4x5 holder, Heather. May be crummy holders? What sort are you using?

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    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).
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #8
    Akki14's Avatar
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    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 )
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  9. #9
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    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 2F/2F; 08-22-2010 at 10:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  10. #10
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    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.

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