Quote Originally Posted by John Snyder
Background:

I have a couple of questions for any of you who use, or even manufacture, ULF sheef film holders. Is there a given/accepted dimension for the gap in the channel the film loads into, and is it reasonable to claim that such a wide gap in the channel is acceptable? In these it's easy to insert up to nine sheets of film in the inconsistently wide channels. The gap is so wide that it couldn't arrest the natural curve of the film, let alone keep it from sagging or bowing when vertical for exposure. I have to think it would affect sharpness across the whole image, especially at the edges.

To me listing and selling filmholders that are (supposedly) light tight, but can't properly hold the film, is like buying a car, said to be in good working order--with new tires--and then, on taking possession, finding out the engine doesn't run.

After years of using 4X5 and 8X10 filmholders that accomodate the width of one film, am I supposed to accept the kind of slop these holders assure? Or can I call it what it is: a defect that makes the holders unusable--and that should have been disclosed? Sorry for the length of this post, but I'd appreciate your expertise and experience in the matter.

I am one of the persons involved in the production of S&S film holders. It is hard to address some of your questions without actually seing the holders. However, a few comments.

1. There is no standard in terms of a "given/accepted dimension for the gap in the channel the film loads." Reasonably, it should be as tight as possible while still allowing the film to load. On our holders this gap is approximately 1mm. I would consider a gap of 2mm too large, but whether such a gap would affect sharpness depends on what type of photograhy you do. If close up using wide apertures, it might. At normal landscape distances using f/32 and smaller apertures it would not. Sagging will not normally be a problem unless you tilt the back backward away from vertical.

2. Since you are not satisfied with the holders, I belive you have a right to return them. As a seller I would definitely refund your money rather than risk negative feedback. This would be especially true if the original advertisement in ebay advertised the holders as" film holders" rather thann plate holders converted for use with film. Or for that matter, if it only stated holders without specifiying plate holders converted for film. Some, and I am one of them, would consider that wording "deceptive advertising."

Sandy