Grooves in film holders : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've also bought another camera: a Sanderson 5x4 hand camera. I don't know how old it is, but there is lots of teak, leather and brass. The back has two sprung-steel leaves. The supplied wooden film-holders have grooves or slots down each side along their lengths. Sliding a film-holder in, the steel leaves on the camera fit into the grooves, thus pressing the holder against the camera.

My problem is that my Fidelity holders don't have these grooves, so they can't sit in the correct position. I could remove the leaves, but then the ground-glass back couldn't be held in place. Only three wooden holders came with the camera.

Does anyone know if all 5x4 wooden holders have these grooves? Is this a standard feature on old cameras? If so, I can just find a bunch of old holders. Or can Fidelity (or other) holders be machined to fit?

-- Alan Gibson (, March 19, 1999


I have 10 old wooden film holders which came with my Speed Graphic, and none of these have grooves, so certainly not all wooden holders have them.

-- Ron Shaw (, March 19, 1999.

Do your holders also have grooves that run across the narrow dimension, about 1" in from the darkslide slot? They may well be Graflex holders of the type used on the graflex single lens reflex cameras. If true, they will also be a bit wider than the standard Fidelity holders. You might check at the Graflex site www, to see if anyone there might have some suggestions.

-- Tony Brent (, March 19, 1999.

You're looking for Graflex film holders, used on the old reflex Graflexes with focal plane shutters. They're around. But you could modify ungrooved wooden holders if you had access to a good table saw.

-- skip roessel (, August 02, 1999.


Skip is right, you can make new grooves on other holders to match your camera-back using a table saw. But make sure the other holders have the same "T" distance registration as you camera-back does. Otherwise, you can go to, for they might have more of the same holders you need for your camera.


-- Alan Brubaker (, November 08, 2000.

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