Fidelity Elite 4x5 holders, good, or bad. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

First, I am new to large format, and as I am doing dry runs learning to load film, with some junk out-of-date film, I have noticed that sometimes it looks bowed in the center. It is in the correct slot from top to bottom, and I noticed as I slide the dark slide out to check to see if I got it in right, the film is closer to the dark slide in the center. You can easily see it is almost touching the slide.

(1) Could this be a bad holder? (2) Am I doing something wrong? (3) Could this be caused by the very out of date film that I am using to practice with?

Any suggestions, or solutions would be appreciated. I want to get this right before I load usable film.

Thanks Jonathan

-- Jonathan Bundick (, December 22, 2001


Johnathan, If you examine the holder carefully with the dark slide withdrawn, you should see a couple of retaining rails that don't quite run the entire length of the holder's long dimension. The ends of these may be easier to see if you flip back the end of the holder as you would when loading film. You are doing that, right? One clue is to look for either an angled end or a slightly up-bent end to this pair of rails. You slide the film UNDER those rails. When you do this properly, you should be able to close that end flap fully without having to force it closed and then slide the dark slide back in (which will insert itself into the end flap and keep it closed and light tight. I've never seen any combination of old film or old holder that would give the result you described, so I'm inlclined to believe that you didn't get the film under one or both of these retaining rails. Good luck!

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, December 23, 2001.


I tried to scan the holder to better show what I was trying to describe, but it doesn't show it in a way that would help. The film is in the correct slot, not the slot for the dark slide, and the flap at the bottom closes easily. When the "Junk" film is out of the holder, and just lying on the table, it is bowed along the long edges with the emulsion side up. It is about 5 years out of date, and has been stored in a storage building. (100deg.+ temps) If it is not a bad holder, it must be the bow in the film. You can easily take your finger, and push it down in the center when it is mounted in the holder. I will load some good film tonight, and take some photos next weekend.

Thanks again Jonathan

-- Jonathan Bundick (, December 23, 2001.

It does sound as though the old film you are using is beyond redemption, even for practicing loading. One thing you didn't mention and forgive me if this is obvious, but you must make certain that the emulsion faces the dark slide. In a darkroom, this may sometimes be a tricky thing for those new at this game. The notches that identify the film should be at the upper right corner when viewing the holder vertically with the flap end up. Good luck on your maiden voyage! Let us know how you made out.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, December 23, 2001.

Update: I loaded four holders with Ilford Delta 100 last night with no problems. It was easy to recognize the notch and get the correct side up. It slid into the slot for the film with no problems, and feels as though it lays flat, even though I did not touch the film to check. If I have a chance on Wednesday, I will shoot a frame or two, and let you know how they turn out.

-- Jonathan Bundick (, December 25, 2001.

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