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question about 2x3 film

 
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am one of those unfortunate souls who have begun butchering cameras for fun. I work mostly with polaroids so I am pretty much at a loss when it comes to 'real' cameras. I usually convert them to 120 film via the graflex rollfilm holders.

I just purchased a Graflex 2x3 spring back. I have been doing some reading and find that I don't know very much about the cut film holders. Will any 2x3 graflex holder work or do I need to specify for spring back. But the biggest question I have is this. Can I take a roll of 120 film and cut it into sheets for the film holders. Thanks and forgive my ignorance please.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just like black and white photographs, of the answers to Graflex question are in grey tones.

I'd say 75% of the 2x3 sheet film holders you'll find will work in a spring back (aka Graphic back). But there are film holders out there for Graflex backs which are slightly different. You'll notice them because instead of a ridge for a light trap there will be a groove. There will also be a groove down the long edge of the film holder.

The film holders you want will say "Graphic Film Holder"
The ones you don't want will say "Graflex film holder". on them. The fact that a company, a camera type and a camera back are all named Graflex makes this confusing.

While hard to find, there is also a "Spring Kit" that was offered to allow the use of a Graphic roll film holder to fit onto a Spring Back.

As to roll film for sheet use. Yes it will work, infact that is what Film Packs were made from. Because the film base is thinner than regular sheet film, you may find you'll need to add a piece of paper (black) to the back of the holder to keep the film dead flat.
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do appreciate the information. I was so confused.
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Arnaud



Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who prefers a sheet film holder rather than a 120 roll film back?

I have a 2x3 developing tank which I rarely use because I can't find 2x3 sheet film anywhere....
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just plan to cut the 120 roll into sheets, inside a changing bag, then load them into the holders. I haven't gotten the holders yet, so Im not sure how easy this will be.

As to developing I have a tank with a curtain to hold the 120 so I thought I would just roll the sheets up in the curtain as If it were a roll film. I don't see why it won't work.

But then again I haven't done anything with roll film in over thirty years so I cant be sure.
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paxety



Joined: 10 Sep 2003
Posts: 69
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JandC Photography has plenty of 2x3 film in B&W
http://www.jandcphotography.com/

I wouldn't go to the trouble of cutting up 120 unless I wanted color negative or something like that.
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly I'm retired with more time than money on my hands. I figure I can cut up a roll and get eight sheets for a buck and a half. I doubt that I can buy it that cheap, even if I could find it.


I really just want to play around with it. I made my graflex roll backs interchangable midroll without a graflex back. (Seems they made polaroid backs for graflex but not graflex for polaroid) Now, I really want to just play with the film holders. I haven't used one in thirty years. I thought it might be fun to build a back and shoot some sheet film again. 2x3 wont require any special equipment other than the holders so what the heck.

I usually take one of the butchered polaroids to the park. I go early in the morning when there aren't many people. I am looking forward to shooting the sheet film. I usually get some attention with the monster looking old things. The film holders should bring back some memories for the old farts like me. We tend to walk there early in the morning.

The one I have just finished is a polaroid 250 frame with the zeiss rangefinder. I removed the back and built a simple back then felted it so the graflex would make a light seal. The lens is a kodak ballbearing shutter with a lens that has to be about 135mm.. I bought the antique camera that I stripped if off of because the lens had f64 as the smallest appurture. I remember reading that the old timers used that fstop and even smaller ones to compensate for the not so great glass.

Since I can view through the lens with the roll film holder off, I can do some close up things and hope to see how good it is. I shot it at the park this morning and it is okay certainly not a high quality piece of glass but fun anyway. I'm not in the class of the true graphic photographers, this is my first venture into making a press type cameras. The polaroid is light weight and seems to work pretty well though. I have a wallensak lens from a polaroid 110 I might try using on the 250 body. Anyway thanks for listening and all your help.
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bob walsh



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 105
Location: central california

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I have had good luck cutting 4X5 sheet film down to 2X3 and 3X4. I use an arm type paper cutter and set it up for one cut at a time. It's a bit of work but if you do a whole box at a time it's not that bad. I have an inside bathroom I can make totally dark at night so it works well. When cutting the 4X5 down to two sheets of 2X3 you have to remember to put a notch on the "other" sheet so you can face it the right way. I have used a pocket knife for this, I am going to try a paper punch next time around.
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

since the original post I have done it many times and except for the width problem I haven't had any problems. Cutting the length is a piece of cake. It pesky little eight of inch tends to get raggy sometimes.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're using an arm-type cutter (such as a Premier paper cutter), and are having trouble cutting off those real narrow strips, try exerting pressure on the arm in the direction of the bed (i.e., to the left) as you bring the arm down slowly and deliberately. Also make sure there is no slippage of the sheet film away from the blade. I've found this technique works pretty well with paper, but it might also help with film.
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes that works well. It's when I get clumsy or use a film jig that it gets messy. The film cutter jig works fine at the long cut with long blade scissors but is a pain on the thin 1/8 inch cut. Since I make my own film carriers I just expanded the bed so that I dont have to cut that long thin cut. Then I went to splitting 4x5 to two sheets of 2 1/2 x 4 which works really well and is almost as cheap as roll film. Especially figuring in my waste. ie forgetting to reroll the unused part of the roll before opening the bag. That is the real expense of it all, but the full width 120 film is the most economical. Since I scan the negs I can usually clone out the numbers if I need to go the full frame.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1443
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was an almost instant convert to 120 rollfilm after the briefest of exposure (ha!) to 2x3 sheet film. Far the best for my purposes, for lots of reasons. Like you, I too have one foot in the digital world (scan-edit-print) but can't see abandoning film just yet---quality and affordability issues. I'm happy driving a hybrid car and using hybrid photographic resources!
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a vintage ansco platefilm camera in really bad shape, body all to pieces and the lens stuck badly.

I couldn't work the lens free and was about to give up. I had no idea if it was any good or not, so I decided what the heck. First I removed both elements. Not very hard since they were made to just screw in one front and one read. Then I put a cup of water into the microwave to heat almost to the boil. I put the lens into a plastic bag and dropped it into the water... Making sure not to get it wet.

I let it sit about five minutes then took it out. I worked the lens free. No stick. when it got cool it started to stick but less. I did it again. Still less. I had decided that it wasn't going to get any better so I blew some grafite onto the shutter blades and worked the shutter while rotating the lens to give it a chance to spread.

Low and behold the shutter works fine now. i have to remove the front element and blow it out now and then but it works.

So I went to test it. Then i had this huge paper negative problem. (I shoot paper negs a lot with pin hole and vintage stuff to test it) I found that inside the studio (not outside) that once the exposure goes past a minute the paper becomes very very eratic. I have given it as much as five stops more exposure and still cant get a good negative. It is really strange. Anything less than a minute seems to work just like outside. Even outside shots over a minute work fine its just the inside stuff.

By the way I shot a hit of film through the camera and that ansco biomat lens is every bit as sharp as my wallensak 127 it has the same glass I think. Dynomite old lens for peanuts.

I have another one from a kodak vintage camera one of the f4 antistimatic lenses, It had problems I did the same thing to it that I did to the biomat and it responded the same except that it had a weak spring in the return. I put a rubber band on to help it and hope the spring with rejuvenate as it gets used. Even if it doesn't the rubber band works perfectly.
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audiomystery



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 17
Location: retired photo studio owner

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a couple of converted 120s with the graflex back, but I went almost totally cut film now. I just love the stuff for some reason. The 120 always makes me feel that I have to finish the roll, then when I shoot half a dozen pieces of crap, I feel like a novice. I much prefer to set up and shoot two or three shots that I work for, and then have nothing but (mostly) nice negatives.

I went out to shoot two shots but since I was going out of town (short trip) I took the 120 roll film version... What a waste that was most of what came out was crap because I was in the 'so what' frame of mind that too much film puts me in.
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