Re-taping film holders : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have just a few film holders that need re-taping. There's an older thread on this and most of the answers were of the order "don't know if this would work, but you might try it", or "I think this would work, but it's only available in humongous-sized rolls". Any new ideas or experiences with this? As duct tape has successfully held my car together, I suppose it might work, but am wondering if there would be better options. Thanks. Roger

-- roger rouch (, March 14, 2000


I bought some material for this on ebay about a month ago, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. The stuff seems like the right tape, but there's no adhesive on it, so I'll have to use glue. The seller's email address is: You might want to contact him and se if he has more.

-- David Brown (, March 14, 2000.

Hello, I used some black photographic tape (a heavy cloth tape I bought at my local purveyor of accessories) to tape the ends of some old 4x5 and 5x7 film holders. It worked great. Hope this helps Jim Worthington

-- jim worthington (, March 14, 2000.

Try Gaffers tape. I have used it for some time with success. It comes in colors so you can mark the holders easily this way according to the film you load if you want. When it wears a bit, take it off and put on another piece. It DOES make the bending back of the bottom piece when loading film a bit stiffer, but not enough to make much difference. I have been using it for about 9 years & haven't had any light leak problems with it yet. It is also useful for bellows patching.

-- Dan Smith (, March 14, 2000.

3M used to make a tape specifically for patching enlarger bellows. I buy it when ever I come across it, provided the adhesive hasn't started to goop out. I hate mentioning the name but Porter Camera in Iowa stocks it.

In the old days, librarians used to patch hardback books with a tape that can only be described as gaffers tape on steroids. This stuff has to be cut with a heavy bladed sharp knife - but man-oh-man does it wear well. You might try asking around the local public library or high school for a source.

-- Sean yates (, March 14, 2000.

One thing you don't want to do is tape your holders with duct tape. Gaffer tape was invented because an alternative to duct tape was needed that would not leave that awful glue residue on movie equipment. Duct tape slowly degrades so that the threads separate from themselves, the adhesive leaks out, it squashes out in oozy messes when warm (and serves to congeal on heating ducts, thereby holding joints together and preventing some air leakage), and it attracts and grabs lint, hair, grime, dust, and everything that is not supposed to be mixed with photography. I bought a whole lot of some 100 holders from the estate of a veteran architectural photographer and he had taped a good portion with duct tape. What a mess. I have to untape them all, clean them, take them down to plastic with a glue solvent, and retape with Gaffer tape. The tape has to be fairly thin also, so as not to raise the holder too far off the camera back frame.

-- Rob Tucher (, March 17, 2000.

I found some really nice metallic tape at an airplane parts house used for sealing holes in firewalls. It is like foil with adhesive. Great stuff, and very thin, so it can be put over the bad fabric. The modern version of hinge tape is actually fabric book tape. It is used for book repair and sold by archival supply houses.

-- E.L. (, March 20, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ