roll film holders & sheet film in backpack : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

our of curiosity, are many of you carrying both roll film and sheet film when trekking with your pack. being somewhat of a "animal", i carry both, but i wonder if it is necessary at times( 2 6x7's and one 6x9, 7 bw sheet film holders and i'm adding another 6 sheet holders for color) i have 4 lenses ranging from 65 to 210 and all the other stuff---your comments????

-- raymond a. bleesz (, September 23, 1999


No, don't do it! Everything you can capture on 6x7 or 6x9 you can capture on 4x5 and more. The only reason to use rollfilm on a 4x5 format camera is the cost of the film and the cost of losing valuable lens coverage power that you dearly paid for. As for trekking, do your best to minimalise. I know it is hard for addicts of fine paraphanalia like us but, recently I got stuck in S.France with so much photo gear, I was so enthousiastic about seeing landscape again after so long in the city, that I took two cameras, a rollfilm and a 4x5 that I wanted to play with. I ended up on my knees whimpering about 5 meters from the car. I was there for a week and only shot eight 4x5's, six and a half of which I screwed up and no rollfilm. Nothing to write home about but I thought I'd put it down here. So my advice is to travel as light as intellectualy possible and if film economy is an issue, one rollfilm holder is enough or go medium format.

-- Julian Bell (, September 23, 1999.

Another important thing to consider is the film plane to ground glass plane relationship with roll film holders. If your ground glass isn't in exactly the right position and your roll film holder depth isn't within spec, you may encounter focus problems with your roll film. The greater the enlargement you intend to make, the more critical this will become. Not all roll film holders are as precise as one would desire. I recently ran some tests on mine prior to visiting Glacier and after examining the results, elected to leave it at home. Economy or not, out of focus images are useless to me.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, September 23, 1999.

Raymond, When I go on day trips, i.e., when I don't have to carry shelter and food for several days, I carry lots of stuff: 6-8 sheet film holders, readyload holder and a couple of boxes of readyloads, 4-5 lenses, camera, meter(s) filters, accessories, monster tripod, etc., etc., but it's still a pretty light kit when compared with what some people carry aroung routinely. However, when in the wilderness for an extended period, and carrying 35+ pounds of other gear, I try to trim down as much as possible. The monster tripod gets replaced by a Bogen 3001 with a lightweight ball head (I can't afford a Gitzo Mountaineer just yet), the two heaviest lenses stay at home (I take the wider ones since I can always crop later if I have to), and I bring only the lightest meter and accessories I have. My lenses have been chosen for fieldwork and are extremely small and lightweight. I still carry 5 or 6 filmholders (I can't give up my Tri-X!) and I bring the readyload holder and lots of lightweight readyloads in plastic zip-lock bags. I'd leave the filmholders home too if I could get the Tri-X in readyload! Surprisingly, I don't feel limited by this at all, and when I go day-tripping fro base camp, my kit is rewardingly light and I have both hands free for scrambling over rocks, etc. My philosophy and recommendation: travel as light as you can! Regards, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, September 24, 1999.

Sorry, after the above long-winded reply I noticed I had forgotten to address the main issue at hand, that of the roll-film holders! You could leave your longer lenses home and just shoot roll film if it makes your kit lighter, but that wouldn't be my choice. If you are going to take the 4x5 stuff with you anyway, then leave the roll-film stuff at home and take a readyload (or equivalent) holder and pack film instead. This gives you the versatilty of 4x5 and is lighter than the roll-film back and film! Regards, ;^D)

-- Doremus Scudder (, September 24, 1999.

I've never seen Quickloads or Readyloads (I live in a large-format vacuum) so don't exactly know how they work other than that they come in paper sleeves and are somehow kept light-proof and removed in a holder. Since another poster stated that he'd use Tri-X in Readyloads, if available, my question is, can you reuse the readyload sleeves and put your own film in them? Are they destroyed when you open them for processing?

Maybe there is a market for selling boxes of paper sleeves.

-- John H. Henderson (, September 24, 1999.

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