8X10 wooden film holders

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I have an 8x10 camera made by Rochester Optical Co. the plate says Standard. It was # 104 and the original lens had a slot to accept a vane with hole in it for apperture. It is in great shape and I've been restoring it. My question concerns film holders for it. I have seen several and they are of different thickness. Does that pose a problem with film plane and sharp focus? Where can I possibly get a couple of holders made for this camera. I have been involved in 35 mm and 2 1/4.for 40 years. This view camera was handed down to me by my family and I'd like to learn to use it. TIA Ron

-- Ronald Boudrieau (ronboud@aol.com), May 14, 2001


I have 4 8x10 holders and 3 of them are wood. Of those, they are all different thicknesses, depending on the brand. However, the distance from the front of the holder to the film plane is the same on all of them. The difference seems to be in the thickness of the middle part of the holder- between the two sides. It's pretty easy to measure the distance to the film plane if you want to make sure. Good luck with your endeavor.

-- David Munson (orthoptera@juno.com), May 14, 2001.

Hi Ronald,

Filmholders.com, Not a pun there is a company still building new holders from wood, and restoring film holders

Goodluck Bill

-- Bill Jefferson (jefferw@together.net), May 15, 2001.

Are you looking for original holders designed for the camera or any 8x10 holder that will fit? Do the holders need to be functional or simply match the camera for display/restoration purposes? New custom filmholders from Filmholders.com or Wisner or Great Basin will cost a great deal more than used wooden or plastic holders.

On the other hand, old wooden holders may be warped or may have serious light leaks. You may also have difficulty locating the original holders that came with your camera, although generic wooden holders are readily available from retailers who stock used LF equipment (see Midwest Photo, KEH, Lens and Repro, etc.)

If you plan to use the camera, I would purchase a set of new plastic holders. These should fit your camera, but I would measure the length/width of the camera back to insure that a standard filmholder fits. (Drop me an e-mail if you need the dimensions for a standard filmholder) I would then measure the distance from the groundglass to the rear face of the camera back and compare this to the distance from the filmholder face to the surface where the film sits. These should be the same. In other words, the front of the groundglass should sit where the film sits when the filmholder is inserted in the camera. If these distances are off, I would move the groundglass. My guess is that this will be easier than trying to find an old filmholder that matches the depth of the groundglass. I hope this helps.


-- Dave Willison (dwillisart@aol.com), May 15, 2001.

The older wooden holders go begging on the auctions at Ebay. I have a few that I use interchangeably with the more modern plastic ones. The Eastman Kodak ones seem best to me. With an empty lensboard in place, stick a ruler in and measure to the ground glass. Now with any of the holders you end up with take that same measurement to the film plane. It should be identical regardless of thickness of holders. You can get as fussy as you want with a dial indicater and jig to hold everything, but the principle is the same.

-- Jim Galli (jimgalli@sierra.net), May 15, 2001.

One thing to watch with older holders: the distance from the exposure window to the "blocking" ridge can be quite short compared to more modern holders. This is especially noticeable with full-plate format. A "skirt" that goes over the holder end between drawing the slide and actually making the exposure can be quite useful. Surprised they are not promoted more. Re: specific holders-many like the old Agfas.

-- David Stein (DFStein@aol.com), May 15, 2001.

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