automatic sheet film loader : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

To whom it may concern

I'm interested in 4x5 photography; however, I dont like the idea of loading individual sheets of film into holders in the dark. This sounds very tedious, time consuming, and dusty. I have an idea for a device that could load sheet film automatically into a custom film holder. The device could hold up to, say, 100 sheets, and it would only need to be loaded once in the dark. The problem is that I do not have the money or the technical knowhow to construct a protype. If you have either, then perhaps you could contact me and we could work together to build a prototype.

Thank you

-- jon miller (, November 11, 1999


jon - check out the kodak readyload system. i believe fuji offers a similar system.

-- jnorman (, November 11, 1999.

Somebody tried this about ten years ago but it didn't work. Bob Saloman has the details as his company was looking into distributing it. Check the existing threads for info on a 4x5 motor drive.

Fuji does make a system similar to the Kodak Readyload system. Fuji calls theirs Quickload, and my experience is that is much faster and much more reliable than the Kodak system. Some people have better luck than I've had with the Kodak in terms of reliability but the Fuji is still faster to use. The biggest drawback of the Fuji Quickload system is the limited number of film types availible: no black & white (if you are in the US) and possibly no color negative as well.

-- Ellis Vener (, November 11, 1999.

Tedious, time consuming and dusty. Loading holders doesn't take much time and keeps you on top of the condition of yours each time you clean & handle them. As for time consuming, it doesn't take much time, even with holders to 16x20. It keeps you in touch with the condition of holders, the tape on the flaps & the 'feel' of individual holders as you load & unload film. If your darkroom is dusty, clean it out. You ought to do this regularly anyway. To pay for a machine to do what is a normal, NO COST routine seems to be a time waster. Now a film back similar to the graphic speed backs that will take 50 sheets of film & allow quick cycling to the next sheet on location would be welcome, as long as it holds up, isn't heavy & works flawlessly.

-- Dan Smith (, November 11, 1999.

Actually, Fuji has a product very similar to the old Grafmatics and it holds eight sheets of film. It's called the Quickchange pack film holder. Unfortunately, they don't import it to the US, so the film packs are not available here.

I think eight shots to a pack is about as many as I would want anyway. Any larger number and I would want to process some of the shots, but the pack would still have unexposed film in it.


-- Michael Mutmansky (, November 11, 1999.

Someone once told me that Fuji once made some Grafmatics holders. Anyways, although I can buy either the quickloads or quickchange here, I prefer the quickloads, as it simplifies submitting individual sheets for custom processing. With quickchange, you still have to buy a dedicated quickchange holder for 20,000 yen or so and then the quickchange cartridges. You can reload them yourself (a little tricky). There's a frame that fits around 3 sides of each sheet of film. The sheets merely lay on top of each other in the cartridge.

-- James Chow (, November 11, 1999.

I am relatively new to 4 x 5- only abount six months and the people in this forum were excellent in guiding me to 4 x 5 instead of medium format. One of the things that I thought would annoy me was loading "these sheets". I was greatly mistaken- Fuji ready loads are extremely quick and easy. After very little practice a traditional film holder is extremely quick- I usually load my film holders in front of the TV with my changing bag and can easily do 10 holders in 20- "mindless" m

-- Jeff Stange (, November 12, 1999.

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