How about we use our collective wits and design/build a grafmatic style film holder? Ever since I started using them I haven't had any dust issues. They are easier to carry, much faster than the traditional film holders especialy when bracketing and I read were they tend to ahave better (at least more consistent) film flatmness. I have this idea of machined aluminium (it could just as easly be cherry, rosewood etc..) with ten septums for 4x5 (could be scaled with 5 septums @8x10 or 11x14).
I agree with mrcallow. A competent machine shop could probably cut the pieces from solid stock, cut the grooves for each septum and weld it together for around $200-$250 in Omaha. costs would vary depending on where you live. You would need to do some research to design a grafmatic type holder and decide on materials. Plastic is a good choice for some components but difficult to groove or cut to tolerances required for the side components.
Understand that what ever dimensions, specifications and measurements you give to a machine shop will be exactly what you get. The machines are extremely precise and cost is determined by materials and total number of cuts, milling, drilling etc. If the specifications you use are off by hundredths of an inch you are sol.
All that being said, it is very doable. Maybe we need to start up an APUG equipment division. Get a volunteer to research all the costs, pros and cons involved and then people who want the item can kick in for the costs of a prototype if it is feasable. Any one wanting to buy a "product" would get it at cost of mfg plus maybe $5 that could be donated to the operation of APUG. The initial group that developed the product would have to handle any financial or paperwork issues, but if they were sold for no profit that would be minimal. Anyway just another quick brain fart.
</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Jim68134 @ Feb 15 2003, 02:49 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I agree with mrcallow. A competent machine shop could probably cut the pieces from solid stock, cut the grooves for each septum and weld it together for around $200-$250 in Omaha. costs would vary depending on where you live. You would need to do some research to design a grafmatic type holder ...
Anyway just another quick brain fart.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
Smells good to me 7;-p
I like the idea of making these things as well, and I do a fair amount of customization on my own equipment, particularly if it's wood. If it's metal, I send it out.
There is a contemporary version of the Grafmatic--the Fuji Quickchange--which you can get from Robert White, and maybe Badger Graphic, as well as in Japan. I love Grafmatics. I have three and just bought another one. I don't own any other kind of 4x5" holders.
I'd really like an 8x10" Grafmatic style holder, or possibly a Mido II style holder for 8x10" and 11x14". These were super thin holders that fit into a spacer in the camera so that you could fit two or three in the space of one holder. The first version was notoriously difficult to load, but the second version was supposed to have fixed the problems. They are hard to find and always sell at a good price.
To be fair, the handmade wooden holders do have a lot of labor in them. I suspect S&S keeps the cost lower than AWB by putting a fine, smooth finish only on surfaces that are critical. I noticed on mine, for instance, that the darkslide handles had some gouging that wouldn't pass on fine furniture, but didn't impair the function of the holder, and there were some rough cuts hidden by putting the rough side down that one would notice, if you were looking carefully, but that would not impair the light-tightness or registration of the holders.
I've used the fuji quickchange <plug>Purchased from the fine folks at http://www.robertwhite.co.uk </plug> it holds eight (i think) sheets, but isn't as sturdy as the grafmatics.
I'm not familiar with the S&S holders and if they only (?) cost 300.00 a pair thats a far cry from the 1k B&H gets for the plastic/metal holders. The ones we had were Fidelity stamped with a medical indicia of some sort and simply did not seem as if they should be so expensive. The wood ones we had were old (as in 1950's or 60's) B&J's that were used with a huge B&J process camera. These were very nicely tooled, heavy and attractive.
I would be willing to work with anyone who might want to work on building our own.. Be it the grafmatic/quickchange style or like the kind David has mentioned.
That's $295 a piece for the S&S holders.
The best price on the Lisco/Fidelity holders before they stopped making them was around $375 each from Calumet. $1K/pair was the price for the Lisco/Fidelity holders with the non-breakable slides from B&H. I have regular slides in my 8x10" holders and haven't broken one yet. I've encountered broken slides on very old holders, but if the holder lasts 50-odd years before having to worry about the darkslide cracking, that's not a bad service life.
The other options are AWB and Lotus, which were both even more than that when I last checked.
The saga continues. Even though I just posted this information in another thread, I'll duplicate it here for the record.
So it seems my American Optical camera was made between 1890 and 1899, possibly originally a wetplate camera, though the back is stamped "American Optical." It was later folded into Kodak, but ANSI standard for filmholders dates to 1918, so it is possible that the back is nonstandard, though I purchased the camera from someone who used it with holders that he says were standard.
So now I need to figure out whether the back is nonstandard, or the holders are out of spec. I've emailed the photographer I bought the camera from to see if he would be amenable to doing some tests, if he has other holders and another 11x14" camera, which I believe he does (along with the beautiful Lotus 20x24 in his studio!).
So after some consideration, I decided to adapt the back. The edge that
the holder butts up against isn't absolutely critical, so if I purchase
some other holders at some point that turn out to be a tad on the short
side and light is leaking in, I can always add another layer of tape to
the end of the holders to shim them up.
In the process of fitting the holders to the back, I did discover that the
S&S holders really aren't absolutely consistent in manufacture. Of the
four surfaces on the two holders, the distance from the lock rib to the
end of the holder was just a hair longer on one, making for a slightly
tighter fit, and requiring that I add a little more relief to the back to
accommodate that one side.
In the end, since the film depth and other dimensions seem to be the same, I suspect that the back is designed to the same spec as ANSI, even if the camera is pre-ANSI, because the standard had to have come from some pre-existing norm. It might just be that if the holders are a tiny bit off and the back has changed in some way with age, then some sort of adjustment is going to be necessary with a camera this old.