Linhof Rapid Rolex rollfilm back : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am interested in a roll film back that can slip under groundglass. I have used Calumets in the past with poor results (fogging, questionable film plane alignment). The Sinar is a bit too large, both physically and financially. HP Marketing has no literature on the Linhof Rapid Rolex backs, so I am wondering if anyone has seen or used one? Comments about construction, film path, and handling would be wonderful. Thanks

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, September 20, 2000


I have not used one but the fellow I bought my Linhof from swore by them. He claimed that the film flatness was superior to the standard rapid rolex backs, (although HP marketing thought otherwise), they are lighter. They are pricey but are apparently a good product.

-- Al James (, September 21, 2000.

The super rollex {graflock type} are the super flat roll film backs. Probably the best out there,though I haven,t tried them all. As for the rapid rollex {film holder like} ask Bob Soloman at HP Marketing he usually replies to Linhof questions on this board but is probably at Photokina at the moment. As for the Calumet roll film holder, they are made by Cambo. Never,never,never,X 100 buy one,never. Just because somebody has one that works does not mean that your's will. If Linhof's design is similar to Cambo's make sure that it is returnable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! John

-- john (, September 22, 2000.

I spoke to Bob Solomon about the Rapid Rollex backs quite a few years ago. To paraphrase his comments from memory: "The film path necessitated by a back that slips under your ground glass means there is no way it can hold the film as flat as you'd like. Super Rollex backs are much better in this regard.

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 22, 2000.

Glenn, what is wrong with the Toyo backs? I use them and find they work quite well, film flatness is excellent. I think they are availble in 6x7 and 6x9 and will fit in a Toyo AII. You just need to be a tad careful since they are a bit fat, so put them a bit carefully..

-- Bill Glickman (, September 23, 2000.

Just as an update...Sal was nice enough to correspond with me off line...and from what he has explained to me, I too have become convinced that using roll film backs that do not have straight travel paths is risky business. (none exist) Leaving film around the roller for even short periods of time, even at small angles can leave slight buckles in the film when it enters the exposure area. Sal has a good way to overcome this, and that is too shoot every other frame, and waste the others. I would find this not cost effective and may stay away from using RFH unless I am convinced I can get around this problem. The Toyo roller has almost a straight path, but the roller that gets the film straight will make the film vulnerable to this buckling. I am surprised this has not been addresed by any of the larger RFH makers like Horseman. Roll film sure is convienent to use...

-- Bill Glickman (, September 30, 2000.

To expand a bit on what I told Bill, film flatness becomes a problem when using short focal length lenses, large apertures and significant enlargement. One's personal criterion for an acceptable circle of confusion, as well as the type of shooting being done (e.g. movements may permit placing the plane of focus in a position where not much depth of focus is required), combine to determine how much roll film can deviate from flat before a lack of print sharpness becomes evident. Everyone should perform their own tests before concluding this issue is or is not important to them.

-- Sal Santamaura (, September 30, 2000.

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