film holder loading : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am starting out with a Kodak 2d 8x10 camera. Some intial problems in making it all come together including out of focus images. After shooting I would pull out the film holder and take another look at the image finding it out of focus. Seems like the back was moving when the film holder was being inserted or removed. I solved this by removing the back, inserting the film holder and re-inserting the back. Now each time the ground glass remains in focus. Anyone else expereince difficulties in keeping the ground glass in focus when inserting or removing film holders??

-- Kreig McBride (, November 01, 2000


I experienced this same problem on a light weight Calumet wood 4X5 field camera. I now use a Linhof Technica III for 4X5 and a Calumet C1 for 8X10 and I have no problem. Both are metal cameras and very stable. This may be one of the things you have to put up with when using older wooden cameras.

-- Ron Lawrence (, November 01, 2000.

I got into the habit of removing the back to insert the holder because I am short and often set the camera up with the center of the g.g. at eye level. What can I say, I'm too lazy to carry a step ladder around!

This also allows you to double check that the shutter is closed and the iris stopped down from the rear, before you pull the darkslide. Thing is to make sure the darkcloth doesn't get caught between the back and frame and cause an improper fit and fog the negative.

A not uncommon problem with older Deardorffs that have seen a lot of use is that the rear focusing shoes and focus rack wear. The shoes fit into a slot under the focus rack. When the gear for the focus wears the focus rack and vice versa with repeated use and poor lubrication, the shoe sags in that portion of the track where the gears and teeth are most worn.

As a result, when the camera is focused, all is well. BUT, when you insert a loaded holder, the wieght of the holder presses down and the worn gear/rack allows the shoe to pivot or sag in the slot. So the smallest amount of pivot in the bottom translates into a larger amount of pivot at the top. Viola, out of focus image.

You can either get the rack and shoes replaced, or avoid placing the rear frame over that portion of the rack that allows sag, or make a shim to wedge things in place after the focus is locked down.

-- Sean yates (, November 01, 2000.

Sean. Have you ever considered turning the rotating back upside down, and pushing the film holder up into position? ;^)

-- Pete Andrews (, November 02, 2000.

Yeah, but it doesn't work for horizontal shots, dagnabbit!

-- Seam yates (, November 02, 2000.

Mr Yates, Your contribution self evident (and thus pointless) and rude. Please exercise more self control before making a posting.

-- Simon Rodan (, November 03, 2000.

Mr. Rodan,

I assume you are referring to my second contribution rather than my first. If that is the case, I am sorry you do not share my sense of humor. It was all in good fun. Apparently the humor was not as self evident as you seem to think the post was.

Mr. Andrews engaged in a little gentle ribbing, and so I returned in kind. He has not e-mailed me protesting my "rudness" nor has the forum moderator seen fit to delete my second post. The original poster hasn't bothered to say anything either. I hope he has deactivated the automatic forwarding, I'd hate to waste his time with your post and mine.

You don't seem to feel the need to take Mr. Andrews to task, so why me? I was not aware that humor was verbotten and would suggest the forum would suffer from it's elimination. Perhaps you should over- look what offends you and exercise the same self control you seem to feel I need? That or e-mail me off forum? Have the P.C. Police decided that cartoon swear words are now offensive?

-- Sean yates (, November 03, 2000.

At this time I am still removing the film back prior to loading the film holder. I have a had a chance to look at a Calumet 8x10 wood field camera which uses a bale to insert and remove the film holder. This is a much better design and the same as found on older 4x5 Calumet monorails. All in all the Kodak 2D works great. I can leave the lens on the camera and the set up is quick and simple. My efforts with a Deardorff were frustrating because of all the folding of the bellows nad standards. Not a quick camera. But I digress.

-- Kreig (, November 03, 2000.

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