Which film holder? (a begineer's question)

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Sorry if this is an obsolete question. I checked the section for film holder on Tuan's home page and also large format category in photo.net. It seems to me a Grafmatic holder is the way to go. Or Fuji quickload. I realized that Fuji quickload film packs are more than double of the price for which I can get the eqiuvalent number of sheet films, although there are advantages. I wonder how people who doesn't have a darkroom set a sheet film on the Grafmatic or sheet film holder. Considering I don't have a darkroom and I want to use different films whenever I want, could you suggest me which film holder I should choose? Thanks in advance for your input. Masayoshi

-- Masayoshi Hayashi (mhayashi@u.arizona.edu), May 05, 1998


To load sheet film, you don't really need a "darkroom"--all you need is a "dark room." As long as there is a room in your house that can be made completely dark and reasonably dust-free, you'll be fine. I use a bathroom; at night, I stuff towels around the window to block the small amount of light coming in around the shade. Before doing so, I vaccuum the room and run the shower on hot for a while to put some humdity in the air and get the dust to settle.

If this isn't possible, you can use a changing bag.

-- Rob Rothman (rrothman@riag.com), May 06, 1998.

I agree with Rob: all you need is a "dark room." When on the road, all the large format people I know, including myself, use motel bathrooms. In fact, it is one of the criteria when checking in....check out the bath room of the room they assign you to see if it is OK for film unloading/loading. I have spent many an hour sitting backwards on a toilet using the tank lid as a smaller work surface. Frank

-- Frank Armstrong (elf@ntr.net), May 10, 1998.

I like the Fuji QuickLoad system for the following reasons: 1.) speed, i don't have to stop shooting to reload holders (as long as I have film) 2. Cleanliness. I don't know how clean your darkroom is, but I bet Fuji's is cleaner, and I know it's more dust free than a motel bathroom. 3.) size/weight. I think if you have looked at QuickLoads, even Kodak's Readyload system: there is less bulk than with reloadable holders, and that includes the QL holder and the film. 4.) Singularity: easy to mark individual films specifically. lots of notation room. there are down two downsides to the QL system: price per sheet, and NO B&W and NO COLOR NEGATIVE materials currently availible in QuickLoad (in USA, I don't know about Japan)! For B&W or color neg i convert over to roll film. If I feel I must shoot 4x5, than I load holders ahead of time.

-- Ellis Vener (evphoto@insync.net), May 28, 1998.

I suggest you purchase and learn to use a good quality changing bag. then you can load and unload holders on a picnic table by the side of the road. (Not recommended, but I have done it with no ill effects.

Sooner or later in your field work you will need to free up some holders, and that's the only way I know to carry a dark room with you in your back pack.

-- Tony Brent (ajbrent@mich.com), September 08, 1998.

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