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Thread: Film packs

  1. #1
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Film packs

    I was browsing some Mamiya RB67 accessories and found to my amazement that there was once a film pack adapter (not Polaroid back) for this. Considering that this camera first appeared in 1970, I was astonished that this item was made available, since I always think of film packs as belonging to the pre-WWII era. Despite having handled hundreds of cameras over a 50-year period, I have never taken a picture with a film pack or seen a fresh one for sale at a dealer's.

    This leads me to ask: When did film packs finally disappear? Has any APUGer ever used one? I would be curious to learn this!

    Regards,

    David

  2. #2

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    IIRC the RB67 uses the same back that the Graflex 2x3 cameras did. So anything that fit all those cameras would have fitted the RB67.

    The best I can remember Mamiya bought the back design from Singer.

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Nick, I'm not just talking about a back to accept a film pack but an actual film pack holder like this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MAMIYA-RB-FILM...QQcmdZViewItem
    Did anyone ever use one?

    Regards,

    David

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've seen some fairly late 2x3" Tri-X film packs on sale on eBay, and I think those are from the late 1970s/early 1980s.

    I've picked up a few old unused film packs here and there and tried them to learn how they worked. The film was old and really foggy, but that aside, as you shoot your pockets fill up with pull tabs, which I didn't care for. The film is on rollfilm base, so it doesn't fit normal hangers (there were special curved hangers) or work well in daylight tanks because it's so thin (I didn't try them in the Nikor tank, because I didn't have enough packs to justify readjusting the reel). I processed it in trays. The paper doesn't come off the sheets easily at the strip where it's glued, so little bits of paper come out in the developer. For medium format, I'll take rollfilm, thanks.

    I can see more of an attraction for film packs with 4x5", since you can easily carry a lot of film in a small, lightweight package, shoot it quickly, and in some cases that might be worth the other inconveniences.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington View Post
    Nick, I'm not just talking about a back to accept a film pack but an actual film pack holder like this one:
    David
    David, I think they are one and the same thing. The add you link to is for a pack holder almost identical except for size/format to the graflex film pach back/holder I have in 5x4.

    Ian

  6. #6
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    David, I think they are one and the same thing. The add you link to is for a pack holder almost identical except for size/format to the graflex film pach back/holder I have in 5x4.

    Ian
    They are indeed. David A. Goldfarb confirms that film packs were still available on sale in the late 1970s/early 1980s, which is something I didn't know, but I am still curious if anyone actually used them, since with a camera like the RB67 using rollfilm is a piece of cake and there would seem to be no attraction in buying rollfilm chopped up into individual exposures in a film pack and losing quite a lot of film flatness. I can't imagine anyone picking apart their film pack, counting off the sheets and giving individual processing to them (although in theory they could have done), so why did Mamiya offer this holder (notwithstanding as Nick says that they might have bought the tooling cheap from Singer and just re-badged the product)?

    Regards,

    David

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The top of it looks just like a Graflex 2x3" film pack adapter, but the plate looks like it's designed for the RB with more of a flange around it and might not fit a 2x3" press camera.
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  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    One film pack technique that I've read about was "robbing the pack," where you could open it before shooting the whole pack to process exposed sheets, so I suspect there were people who did give individual development times to individual sheets.

    As to why Mamiya offered this option, I suppose that if you didn't own multiple backs or have an assistant to reload, you could change film packs faster than loading a rollfilm back (as pull tabs piled up on the floor like hair in a barber shop).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    David, the normal RB67 film backs fit a 2x3 press cameras (international type fitting) so I would think this pack would too otherwise it wouldn't fit an RB67.

    Ian

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Yes, that makes sense. It must.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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