How/What to buy 8x10 cut film holders : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Where can I shop for used (or reasonably priced new) 8x10 cut film holders? I'm tired of ebay and always losing at the last minute to another bidder. And what's a decent price for used CFH's anyway?

Any consensus on brands, or what to stay away from? (note to self: prepare for more than one response...)

Thanks as always - Bill

-- bill youmans (, March 20, 2000



I will take grief for this but here goes. I have bought all 12 of my 8 X 10 holders used and payed as little as $25.00 and as much $35.00. Eight of them are wooden. I got them at used camera stores in New Jersey, Chicago, and a retired photographer who had sold most of his 8 X 10 gear.

I have only purchased them when I could inspect them myself, first hand. I don't know where you live, but if you can get them locally and inspect them, that's really the best way to go. Failing that, the only thing to do is go with reputable established retailers like Midwest Photo, The F Stops Here, Quality Camera, Phot-Graphic Systems etc. etc. Just make sure there is a favorable return policy.

I personally prefer older Kodak holders with the metal light trap top pieces. They have a third "lip" on the light trap end of the holders helping to assure a tight fit. They also have a distinctive "bullseye" pattern in the platen. The holder is designed so that you can't close the loading flap unless the film is securely seated against the third lip. When I got my first pair, the original owner instructed me to load them by "puckering" the film, bowing it up, away from the platen, and then tucking three of the edges under the lips and letting go, creating a tight, almost vacuum. I haven't loaded them this way as the traditional "slid-it-in" approach seems to work much easier for me.

The thing is to always check thoroughly for warped holders, leaking darkslides (they can be patched with electrical tape if they aren't too bad) disintegrating tape on the flap and *yeck*ptoeey**!! built up in the light trap.

I have not had any light leaks that could be traced to the holders except one which was a darkslide.

-- Sean yates (, March 20, 2000.


I think you're gonna have to just be ready to plunk down 35$ a pop on ebay. Wait for some that look clean. The thing with 8x10 holders is they're so huge they're easy to work on and clean and also you don't need very many of them, thankfully. Once you have three or four you can be patient about getting more. I have eight, which is as many as I can stand to carry even in the car. For longer trips, take a changing tent.


-- Erik Ryberg (, March 20, 2000.

Prices on 8x10 cut film holders change depending on who's looking. A couple of years ago you could see lots of the wooden ones at swap meets for $10-15 each. They still show up at those prices if you wait. The newer plastic holders are twice to three times that price. Get a couple of wooden ones to start and then take your time they turn up. Last year I picked up six more at $5 each. They were a little sandy. But they cleaned up nice and work fine.

I like the older wooden ones, they are easier to fix if anything is wrong. I've had the plastic one break on the sides.

I don't like the older wooden Agfa holders. I've had them and sold them off, just didn't feel good to me.

-- George Losse (, March 21, 2000.

IF you don't mind spending a bit, RW in UK sells the Toyo for $65 each.. they are very well made and have a reputation for being the flatest made. I agree with you, if you add up the hours you spend playing the ebay game, and pay yourself min. wage for that time, you could of wound up buying new high quality product with warranty and longer life span. I am not knocking anyone trying to save a buck on ebay... I too was suckered into the temptation... but have found that final bid prices are only a bit lower than buying grey or overseas with credit cards through reputable dealers...

-- Bill Glickman (, March 21, 2000.

I picked up five very nice Lisco Regals on eBay, but realized later that for a few dollars more, I could have bought them new at Midwest Photo Exchange (, which has them for $99 a pair, and saved myself the initial dusting.

-- David Goldfarb (, March 23, 2000.

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