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Film holders

 
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forsaken



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

New to graflex/4x5 cameras, and trying to figure out this whole film/film back thing.

I have a graflex crown graphic camera with the graflok back. Im confused about what I need to buy as far as "film backs" because it would seem that there are many different kinds it can take. Which confuses me even more as I thought that well, this sounds dumb of me but "4x5 film" is "4x5 film" (size wise anyway)

Can someone point me in the right direction to figure this out, or if you feel especially giving type something up, or if there is already a post that is in the archives that I didn't see, point me to that?

Thanks a lot for any assistance.

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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The crown should take the standard Lisco regal film holders that are still currently being sold new.. There has been many brands of holders over the years, Toyo, Linhof, Graflex, etc. You just want to make sure you purchase standard 4x5 holders or accs. There was a graflex back for many years that does not work with the standard 4x5 size camera, these were larger in size. You can Google 4x5 film holder and come up with a ton of information.

Dave

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[ This Message was edited by: Rangemaster on 2006-11-21 07:22 ]
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Graflok" back is designed to accommodate different kinds of film adapter.

Perhaps the most basic is the sheetfilm holder, a flat rigid box equipped to hold two sheets of film, one on each side, with pull-out darkslides to protect the film against light when the holder is not in the camera.

The kind you want is "Graphic" (not "Graflex"). The holder is slid under the spring-loaded focusing panel, from the right (as you stand behind the camera).

You also can use sheetfilm in a "Grafmatic" magazine, a metal box of ingenious design that holds six sheets of film, each in a flat metal tray (a "septum").

The "Grafmatic" magazine replaces the spring-loaded focusing panel of the "Graflok" back, which may be removed by pressing down on the two heavy chromed arms that emerge above and below the focusing panel. They have knurling to show you where to press. When both are pressed in firmly, you can lift the panel out by sliding it a bit to the right (as you stand behind the camera), then pulling it away from the body.

That done, you drop the "Grafmatic" magazine in place, with the operating handle extending to the right, and lock it in place with the two flat chromed slides at top and bottom.

You also could use a filmpack adapter, which attached in the same way. Unfortunately, filmpack is no longer available.

Rollfilm backs for 120 film also were supplied. By the end, these were available to make 8 2-1/4x3-1/4, 10 2-1/4x2-3/4, or 12 2-1/4x2-1/4 exposures. There was at least one 220 adapter, too, and a 70mm. one. Third parties made 620 adapters.

The Graflex-made ones all consisted of a flat plate with darkslide, which dropped into the "Graflok" back in the same way as the adapters mentioned above, and a rollfilm holder centered on the plate.

And there are several Polaroid backs that you can use. The "500" and "545" (the latter in several variants) take single sheets of Polaroid film in paper sleeves. The "450" takes the smaller filmpacks that are (or used to be) more widely available for pre-"SX70" Polaroid cameras, and for the "Reporter" and such.

4x5 film is pretty much 4x5 ins. in size, but the image you get is smaller, because the film is held in place by little rails (rabbets) inside the holder, or by flanges on the "Grafmatic" septums. The useful image therefore measures somewhere around 3-3/4x4-7/8 ins.

The Polaroid films for the "545" and its predecessor are smaller, because of the added complexity of the sheaths, and those for the "450" are smaller yet, nominally 3-1/4x4-1/4 with an image area even smaller, because of the plastic pack holder.
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Rangemaster



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 412
Location: Montana, Glacier National Park

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The polaroid back I use on mine is actually a 405 model, I don't know that I have seen a 450 model..

Dave

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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may well be right; mine is home, so I can't look at it.

We did not mention the Polaroid rollfilm adapter either -- which is OK, since film for it will never be seen again. Had the Russians solved their quality control problems with the "Moment" system, we might have had a chance!
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forsaken



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for all the advice!

I found a pretty cheap #500 polaroid back, would that work on mine?
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a 4x5 "Graflok" back, the "500" Polaroid adapter certainly will fit. You will want to search the stored posts on this board, though. The "500" had an evil reputation, perhaps undeserved. Polaroid replaced it with the "545" about three decades ago.

The individual film packet for these holders consists of a piece of film with a sturdy metal flange or lip clamped to one end and the processing gel pod affixed to the other. The film and the pod are in contact with a piece of print stock to receive the image, in the usual Polaroid "peel-apart" manner.

The ensemble is enclosed in an opaque paper envelope or sleeve, with a raised batten glued to one face.

In use, you insert the film with the metal lip facing in (to the left, as you stand behind the camera). You push it in all the way, and you hear a definite click as the metal lip passes under a spring-loaded latch, which closes behind it to grip it.

With the "545" adapter, you now gently pull the paper sheath out, to the right, until the little batten encounters another latch at the right side of the holder and resists further pulling. You now have the paper sheath sticking out to the right, and the film is ready for exposure.

After it's exposed, you push the paper sheath back in, firmly, and move the big lever on the adapter to its Process position. This opens both latches and clamps the processing rollers down, over the right side of the sheath. You pull the sandwich vigorously out, to the right, and it should come out closed, the way it went in.

You've pulled it through the clamped processing rollers, which have broken the pod and distributed the processing gel between the film and the paper image receiver. You now time the process, and peel the sheath away when it has concluded.

There is something funny about the way the "500" traps the paper sheath -- it seems not to work well (or at all) with the battens on the modern packets. There are workarounds, and you will find discussion and explanations on this board.
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BobF



Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 41
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice thing about the 545 holders is that they also accommodate Kodak Readyload and Fuji Quickload film very well. More expensive than cut sheet film but a lot easier to use than messing around in the dark loading film holders, although you do get the hang of that after a while. Ready/Quickload film is a lot more compact than carrying around a bunch of film holders too.

My Crown 4x5 has the Graphic back. It will take the standard Lisco/Riteway type film holders, the Polaroid holder and will also accept roll film holders like the Calumet C2N and C2.





[ This Message was edited by: BobF on 2006-11-22 20:05 ]
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forsaken



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm. ok.

I just aquired a "Graflex graphic 4x5 film pack adapter Catalog # 1234"

The site here has a warning that you can no longer buy the packs of film, but does that mean that I cannot load it with other 4x5 film?

Sorry, this can be so confusing to a first-timer sometimes
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troublemaker



Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 715
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a couple people around with old film packs for the #1234, but ya aren't gonna find it in the stores. Anyway, it is considered an obsolete item.
What most folks start off with are the standard double sided sheet film holders. Riteway made one of the best, and Gralfex listed a part number for these as #1284 for the 4x5 format. but there are plenty of other brands around like Fidelity etc... The standard double sided holders slide right under the Graflok like any other spring back. A lot of folks also like to use the Grafmatic #1268, which can shuffle through six exposures pretty fast. But these take a little practice to load and use, but once accustomed to them, and if you do not damage the septums before you figure it out, they are really nice to use for any type of shooting, and are generally pretty light tight.
Polaroid shooting or using quick loads in the 545, or 545i is not a bad way to go either, but as mentioned above, gets the dollars flowing.
You can also use roll film backs for 120 roll film. The graflex holders used on the Graflok back for 4x5 are #1248 for making 2-1/4x3-1/4" format, or the #1251 which makes 2-1/4" squaresof 12 exposures. There are also later model RH-10's and RH-8's with the later and faster smoother lever wind.
For most of the rollfilm, polaroid holders, and Grafmatics, use the slide-lock bars to lock them in even if sliding the holders under the spring focussing panel. The reason being this is a more positive lock down when sliding dark slides, and a polaroid holder is heavy enough to fall out on its own if moving the camera etc...
Anyway, there's some more info for ya.
Personally I like to use the 120 roll film holders for shooting around town as it is easy and efficient for testing lenses and camera set ups etc... I ussually don't breakout the 4x5 film holders and changing bag until I take a landscape roadtrip.

[ This Message was edited by: troublemaker on 2006-11-21 17:36 ]
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's really no way to use a filmpack adapter for anything other than filmpack. The adapter itself is just a shell. The filmpack itself was a thin metal box with an internal pressure-plate; it came from the factory preloaded with a stack of long paper strips, each with a film taped to it. The last ones, from Kodak, held 16 films.

The pack could be opened in the dark, and you could remove the exposed films -- for individual processing, if you chose -- and reclose the pack for further use. The films had thin bases, like rollfilm, and some people found them difficult to process in the simpler tanks available for sheetfilm developing.

Filmpack has some claim to being the first drop-in loading system; a few cameras were made specifically to accept filmpacks, just as a Kodak "Instamatic" camera accepted 126 cartridges. Filmpack can be regarded as a twin of rollfilm; it used the same thin, flexible film support and the same backing paper. It was expensive, because of the complexity of packing and assembly, but it was prized by people who took large-format cameras into the field for reportage, because it allowed you to work very fast, and it provided a lot of exposures in a very small package.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1885
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2006-11-24 11:30, t.r.sanford wrote:
There's really no way to use a filmpack adapter for anything other than filmpack.


T.R., of course you're right but I've found two uses for filmpacks. One is the basis of the coupler that sites between the two cameras that make up my tandem Graphic. There are other solutions to that problem, but all involve more machining. And a partially dismantled FPA with a groundglass glued in can serve as a focusing panel for a camera with a Graflok back that has no focusing panel.

Cheers,

Dan
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t.r.sanford



Joined: 10 Nov 2003
Posts: 812
Location: East Coast (Long Island)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right; it's an ill wind that blows no good, and the demise of filmpack has left a vast number of filmpack adapters out there, at attractive prices. Anyone looking to devise a special-purpose adapter with a darkslide can take the first half-dozen steps by just buying one and taking it apart!
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