Film holders fwhen using handheld 4X5 : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Using a tripod for 4X5 photography provides the best stability for maximum sharpness of course. However, there is an almost entirely different way of shooting 4X5 which is handheld as many of us have discovered. Using my Busch Pressman (with a modern Sironar-N 135) while handheld is a exhilarating experience for me.

I currently use the standard double sided filmholders in my Busch Pressman even when using it hand held. The Grafmatics are too thick to be used with this camera. Holding the camera in one hand and forcing the holder in place in the camera with the other is not an elegant way of changing holders but maybe has been done for years by the old time photographers.

My question is: How difficult is it to use the single sheet holders from Kodak or Fuji while working off tripod?

-- Bob Eskridge (, January 01, 2002


Bob, have you actually tried using a Grafmatic? I just made a trip through the Midwest and took only my Busch model D and three Grafmatics, and everything worked perfectly. Also, FYI I used only a convertible lens, Staeble Polyplast which gives 105, 135, 165, 195, and 220mm focal lengths depending on the front element used -- only one shutter which stays on the camera that way. A very compact setup, everything (including a BTZS darkcloth) fit in a small Domke bag.

-- (, January 01, 2002.

bob, having just turned 75 and a slr graflex my first camera...a note. in the old days we rarely used film holders hand held. instead film packs that haven't been around for years. all you did was pull the tab, kinda like polaroid pack film. why don't you try a polaroid back with 665 p/n film. neg is smaller but i find very nice. of course it may not fit your camera. anyway, glad to hear somebody is using the oldies hand held frank

-- frank ferreira (, January 01, 2002.

You have to think like weegee. I have used gramatic holders in a crown grafic for two decades adn it is handholdable. I also set a metz 45 on the side so I can get enough light. I use the range finder and I really like it.

-- ED (, January 01, 2002.

Unfortunately, the Polaroid backs for both sizes of pack film are slightly too thick to be used in a Busch model D spring back. The ones for single sheets do work fine, of course.

-- (, January 01, 2002.

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