Roll Film Holders : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I own a Graflex 6x9 roll film holder for a 45 camera and it works well, but I understand there are roll film holders that can inserted under the ground glass like a sheet film holder. Can anyone tell me about their experience with these, the brands available and whether it would be advisble to buy a used one? Thanks Jack Leonard

-- Jack Leonard (, February 02, 2001



Sinar, Linhaf, Toyo, and Calumet all make the kind of roll film holders you are looking for. As you might expect, the ones carrying either Sinar or Linhof name are VERY expensive! Toyo 69/45 is a good buy, and is widely available new or used. On the other hand, I found my Calumet 6x9 and 6x12 roll film holders very disappointing!

-- Geoffrey Chen (DB45TEK@AOL.COM), February 02, 2001.

One of the problems with any roll film holder that goes under the ground glass is the film has to take roll backwards over an extreme angle (360 degrees totally) to come back to the same end as the supply reel. If the film stays in position long, it can take a set.

The Graflex style require much gentler bends.

-- Charlie Strack (, February 02, 2001.

Hi Jack

I have the Toyo 6/9 and he works total okay for me, but each one I have see'n, have there + and -!

Good luck!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, February 02, 2001.

Jack I use a Sinar Zoom back with a technika. I purchased it second hand - was expensive $A1500 ( about $US2500) - I had concerns about how flat it held the film in comparison with 4 x 5 sheets - after some tests I was quite happy with that aspect. I mainly use it at 6 X 9 and 6 X 12 - at the latter is slightly smaller than with a Linhof 6 X 12 back. I have had a few problems in remembering how many exposures I have left on a film - the display gives film length left ( or used) rather than number of exposures taken or left. I purchased it rather than a Linhof or another alternative because I did not fancy removing ground glass etc in the field - I work in some dry and dusty areas. A local Camera tech. mentioned to me that the as a unit it was very fragile and he had encountered a number of problems with the "dark slide blinds" - after two years of careful use I have not had a problem. Because of the cost of LF in Australia (another story) I tend to use the back at all times that the composition will allow.

-- John Quinn (, February 02, 2001.

I have a Calumet, and I'm not impressed. There are 3 problems. 1. As previously mentioned, the film starts from 1 side, has a very long travel and goes all the way back. It uses up nearly all the backing paper and so cannot safely be loaded in bright light. 2. It only JUST fits in place of a dark slide, and in my view places the camera mechanism under too much strain. 3. Obviously, you need to mark the ground glass with the image area, this is pretty much trial and error and you can end up leaving quite a lot of space for safety.

-- Garry Edwards (, February 03, 2001.

I am still using the adapter that I got with my old Speed Graphic 30 years ago. It's called "Adapt-a-Roll". It has 2 masks for 6x9, and the other masks for 6x6. It has an exposure counter that works nicely, and there is a cardboard template that fits over the groundglass for composing. The unit is easy to use and works VERY well, but there is one small inconvenience...

The holder was made for 620 film!!!

620 & 120 film are the same size... there is just a difference in the spools. I can put a 120 roll of film in the holder, but I must use an old 620 spool for the take up reel. Sounds stupid...but it has worked well for years!

-- Dave Richhart (, February 03, 2001.

Jack, in addition to the holders already mentioned above, Wista sells Horseman-style "humpback" holders with "butterfly wings" on the back which allow the holder to be slid in under the ground glass. But there's one caveat with all these slide-in rollholders - you must be sure that a) your back will open wide enough to accept the thickness of the holder and b) there are no obstructions in the design of the camera which would prevent the holder from sliding in (for example, some L-bracket monorails may not leave enough clearance). My own favorite among the holders mentioned is the non-Zoom version of the Sinar, which is available in 6x7, 6x9, and, on the used market only, 6x12 formats.

-- Oren Grad (, February 04, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ