Wooden 8x10 Holders and the sheet film plane

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Mahler_one

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One often sees wooden 8x10 holders, in what appears to be excellent condition, for sale on that auction site. The price of such holders is usually less than the more "modern" holders. Using my my Deardorff 8x10, will the wooden holders present the film in the correct plane such that focus is assured? With the more modern plastic holders focus is perfect, but I wondered if the older holders are any different with reference to where the film sheets are "presented". Thanks for any information.

Ed
 

keithwms

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Be careful, some of the oldies were intended to be used as plate holders, and may be lacking inserts for film. Another thing, the sides of the wooden bolders can be a bit less than what is needed to get good registry and may need to be shimmed. Ultimately the only way to get it right is to measure and to test.... but I have many wooden holders in all sizes and they work fine for me.
 

pgomena

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Wood holders also can warp. Caution is advised. As Keith said above, test. I found my results varied from type to type. Good wooden holders work just fine, and they are lighter and a little smaller than their plastic grandchildren.

Peter Gomena
 

Ian Grant

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I have a few wooden film holders & they are no better or worse than later holders.

You do need to make sure they are modern International film holders rather than older varieties, dedicated to specific cameras.

ian
 

Vaughn

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I lucked into a set of three never-been-used relatively modern Fidelity wood 8x10 film holders. Everything nice, tight, and precise. But they can be a SOB to load. The corners of the film dig into the wood and jam-up if you don't load the film in perfectly square. Can be very frustration. One of the holders is not as bad as the other two. Even so, these three holders have been my go-to holders if the shot is very important...maybe just because they are the only "new" holders I have ever had.

And there is something that just seems right sliding a wood holder into a wood camera.

Vaughn
 

Robert Hall

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I have new and old wood and film plastic holders. They seem all over the map. I have to say my wood holders have served quite well and a not to Vaughn, if you want to trade your "new" wood holders for plastic, just drop me a note. :wink:
 

Vaughn

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Robert, I just went through my exposure notes -- looks like I have been using those "new" holders for eleven years! So that is why some of the black paint has worn off a couple of the corners! My how the time flies! Looks like I used them for the first time along the Oregon Coast back in October of 1998.

I have quite a collection of holders -- including some medical ones with the metal darkslides. A little heavier -- but it is nice to have some "indestructable" darkslides!

Vaughn
 

Robert Hall

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I hear ya Vaughn. What killed me was to find it wasnt the darkslides fogging my expensive IR film but the plastic that actually wrapped the film holder itself. Grr.
 

EASmithV

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I have one wooden Fidelity holder, and three Kodak Graflex 8x10 holders, and although the Fidelity is without a doubt my "Best" (as I built the back for it, it fits the best in terms of ergonomics), My three Kodak Holders, while beat up, remain light-tight and fully functional.
 
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Mahler_one

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Thanks for the interesting responses...the issues I suspected. I guess the only way to test if a holder is light tight is to waste a piece of sheet film, i.e., load, bring the holder outside, etc., etc. then develop. What a waste of film AND time. No other solution I can think of...
 

EASmithV

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Thanks for the interesting responses...the issues I suspected. I guess the only way to test if a holder is light tight is to waste a piece of sheet film, i.e., load, bring the holder outside, etc., etc. then develop. What a waste of film AND time. No other solution I can think of...

USE PHOTO PAPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And instead of just wasting it, shoot some paper negs for fun.

That's what I did...

BTW, Photo paper is about ISO 4 in daylight
 
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2F/2F

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I seem to have lucked out with my wooden holders. I have had no focusing issues even shooting wide open or one stop down from wide open. I have never used plastic ones, so I cannot compare, but I cannot complain about my wooden ones. You could ask sellers to check them for warping against a know-flat surface, and I would only buy from someone who knows what on Earth they really are and speaks photography language. I got mine on E-Bay, but they were local, so I went down and picked out the ones I wanted. I won the auction for 12 holders, but cut a deal when I got down there to get 10 holders and a snakeskin case instead for my $200 bucks cash. It was an old food photography studio that no longer used their view cameras. I have made minor repairs to a few of them using plain-old AR glue.
 

EASmithV

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BTW, I almost always shoot wide open (f5.6) and have had no problems.

I love the lack of DOF in 8x10 when shooting that wide.
 

John Kasaian

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Most of my 8x10 film holders are wood. I like the black ones marked "Graflex made for Eastman Kodak." and use them in my 'dorff most of the time. I haven't had any problems with film registration of warping. Another good brand are the Agfa /Anscos. Either one should serve you well if they aren't leakers (I've had more modern plastic holders leak as well. Just test them out with photo paper before you use any film holder) For plastic 8x1o holders I look for Liscos. IMHO it dosen't really matter if a holder is wood or plastic as long as it dosen't leak.
When you get a stack of old holders, vacum them out really well, make any repairs that might be needed and put a bit of wax on the edges of the dark slides (Pledge sprayed on a cloth diaper or paper towel works fine) to keep them, well, sliding :smile:

When I bought most of my 8x10 holders they were 2/$25 for the plastics or 3/$30 for the woods. Being on a tight budget I bought the wood holders and haven't regretted it.

As far as film registration goes you can check that yourself. Remove the lensboard (or just the lens) Put a holder in place, pull the dark slide and measure the distance between the front standard and the film plane.

Enjoy your 8x10 :smile:
 
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Mahler_one

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By the way....great idea about "proofing" the holders by using relatively inexpensive 8x10 paper....very much appreciated Mr. Smith!.....

Ed
 

Robert Hall

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Robert,

What brand caused the fogging?

Cheers, Steve

Any IR film and any plastic film holder held in the sun for more than a few minutes.

I had some luck with plastic when I kept my dark cloth over it but have in fact loaded and unloaded in the darkroom and simply taken both a fidelity and a lisco holder into the sun with a sheet if $8 IR film to see if they fogged.

Both fogged the film.

I have fogged film with Maco ir and HIE in plastic holders as well as both 4x5 and 8x10.

The wood holders for my 12x20 are perfect.
 

Steve Hamley

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I've used Maco IR in Riteways - the older ones with metal pulls - with no problems at all. Even stored over a year.

Cheers, Steve
 
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Mahler_one

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Plate Holders advertised as Film Holders.

Be careful, some of the oldies were intended to be used as plate holders, and may be lacking inserts for film. Another thing, the sides of the wooden bolders can be a bit less than what is needed to get good registry and may need to be shimmed. Ultimately the only way to get it right is to measure and to test.... but I have many wooden holders in all sizes and they work fine for me.

Hi Keith: Well, I believe I was misled! On that site, there were Kodak wood film holders advertised, and had Sterling Plate Holder written on the frame. To my chagrin, the items do not appear to be film holders, but plate holders. There is a sort of clip on the middle of each holder, and the bottom of the frame doesn't flip open as film holders do. I hope the seller will be honest and take them back. They were mis-advertised as film holders! Thanks for the alert!
 
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