I'm coming to the conclusion that new film holders are a waste of time, money and film. Of the seven holders I've bought new, two have been taken out of service (one 4x5, one 5x7), and another one is suspect.
What I now figure is: If I buy five used holders for the same price as four new ones (and that's expensive, but I'll stick to Linhof holders), and two of them fail, I'll still get more holders for my money. Instead of "dark slides" which aren't...
Since some holders are going to fail anyway, I'll let someone else do the testing and sorting.
I know how discouraging it is to expose a sheet of film and have it ruined due to a light leak. I have had experience with both new and used holders. The new were Fidelity 4X5's I bought about 18 years ago. All still in service, no problems. I have bought additional 20 used 4X5 holders---no problems.
I have bought old Kodak 8X10 wooden holders...all with no problems other then a corner that became unglued and I repaired. I just bought another 12 8X10 Fidelity holders and they are fine. I have thought at times that I had holders that were problematic but later determined that the problems were either in bellows or camera related. The latest was due to pin holes in the corners of an older Deardorff bellows( would show up only intermittantly depending on how the sunlight was striking the camera.
Even my 12X20's are working fine---with no fogging. If it were me I would check the camera with each of the holders installed and darkslides pulled with a light inserted in the camera from the lens board opening---in a dark room. If you have a leak in a holder it will show...it will also show bellows and camera problems. Good luck.
I have only had leaks in new 4x5" holders, not old ones. I have not had any problem with any 9x12cm holder (all used)?
The 5x7" holder problem is not a leak - it's a bulge in the middle of the image area which pushes the film against the slide so that it gets scratched.
I think the solar eclipse - image should be about the toughest bellows test of all: 20 minutes with the dark slide out, lens pointing into the sun. I used a 9x12 holder for that...
Ole, are you sure you got *new* linholf holders? They are out of production for years. Maybe you got some non-sellers that have been lying around somewhere.
Since the Linholf holders can be disassembled easily, I would keep them for spare parts.
Tilo, I mean OLD Lihof holders. The new ones were Fidelity...
So now I buy old holderrs only, but prefer Linhof - precisely because they can be disassembled.
I had a couple of wooden 4x5 holders that leaked. Found cracks on the side that let in the light. My only other problem was with some older film holders that did not match up correctly with the back of the camera, and fogged the film as soon as the dark slide was removed.
I now have tested all my holders, took the lensboard off then in the dark shone a light from the front. Found quite a few wooden Graphic holders that were slightly warped. But all my Fidelity, Lisco and Riteway holders were fine.