Best Brand 8x10 Film Holder

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MikeK

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I have been adding to my small collection of 8x10 film holders. As a gift I received two brand spanking new Fidelity holders and have added a few more of differing brands via EBay. But I really need to add another 5 or 6 and I was wondering what are the best makes of film holder to look out for.

I saw 4 Regal holders climb all the way up to $250 and wondered if they were any better than the Fidelity holders? Or is this another example a bidding frenzy?

- Mike
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Lisco and Fidelity are pretty much the same, and recent ones are actually made by the same company. Sometimes you can find them with metal darkslides, and these are a bit better than the regular ones, but other than that and condition, they're all about the same.

Toyo holders are a bit nicer.

Old wooden ones are hit or miss, because they can be warped, worn, or need new light traps, but at around $15 a piece, if they look good, they are a good deal even if you toss a few.
 

galyons

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8x10 Film holders

Mike,
Don't let eBay selling or listing prices sway you. P.T. Barnum was the originator of the "Mission Statement" for eBay buyer's frenzy. It is always amazing to see photographic items close at prices higher than new from reputable retailers, (Jobo Expert drums and 8x10 film holders are great examples!)

As David stated, Fidelity and Lisco have been made by the same company, (Burbank, CA), for quite a few years. I have both new, virtually no difference.

There are a variety of wood holders out there. Generally, common wisdom is to look for Kodak/Graphlex with metal septums. Most others have not held up as well or are difficult to repair/swap parts. An example would be Agfa's, since they are rivetted, it is hard to take them apart without adding further destruction to the mix. Avoid the Kodaks with the fiber board septum. The fiber board septums are rarely flat. I have some of each.

Want to take a look, PM me!

Happy New Year!
Geary
Pleasant Hill
 

Deckled Edge

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8x10 Format
I have acquired more than 2 dozen 8x10 film holders over the years, but I only use the best Graflex holders of the bunch. Look for the black ones. I agree with Geary that the metal septum variety will be your favorites. The wood is lighter and the ease of manipulation in the darkroom and in the camera are better for the Graflex than for the heavier and clunkier Lisco and Fidelity holders.
In the end you will just have to buy a bunch and weed out the "bad" ones. Repair is usually not cost effective at under $25 a piece. All the later black wood/metal Graflex holders are interchangeable, so you can swap light traps, dark slides, L screws and end caps and keep your fleet running.
 

John Kasaian

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I'll 'second' the wooden Graflex made for Eastman Kodak holders. My 8x10 collection is currently about 50/50 Kodak and plastic Liscos. The Kodaks are lighter, rebuildable (if not warped) and if they are warped you can scavenge parts to keep the others working or even assemble a "frankenfilmholder." If "best" means getting the most bang for the buck, Kodak 8x10 woodies are it.

FWIW I sometimes have more than one speed film with me, so I'll load say, 125 ISO in the Kodaks and 320 ISO in the Plastic Liscos for less confusion in the field.
 

fhovie

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I have had great luck with old wooden holders - they are stiff and very servicable - The newer plastic one is warped - it still works though. For 4x5 the plastic is fine but I think I trust the wood more for 8x10
 
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MikeK

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I have now added seven holders from my collection. Two plastic Lisco in great condition and five Eastman woodies again in great condition and no warping. But I got burned on one :sad: It was advertised as a film holder but it is really a medical X-Ray holder. Great condition but does not fit any 8x10 camera I own. Working with the "well known and respected international Photgraphic Retailer to have it returned or replaced Grrh.

Thanks for all the advice

Mike
 
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8x10 Format
I like the Toyo's the best. You can tighten the L screws to lock the dark slide a whole lot better that then Fidelity or Liscos. I have a few Fidelitys with the aluminum dark slides. They are nice, but I don't like how loose the L screws are.

-Ken
 
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