film changing tent : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I will visit my friends who live on the top floor of a chalet in teh Alps, with not a single room or even closet without a window in the roof. Time for a film changing tent. I never used one before. If you have a clear favorite, I would appreciate hearing it from you. Do you have any dust problems? (I use a 4x5).


-- Marcus Leonard (, March 19, 2002



I use a Photoflex changing tent. It works well. I don't have a dust problem. Periodically, I wipe it out with a damp sponge, and let it dry before folding it up. The tent has two arm holes on the sides with sleeves and elastic light traps. The only complaint I have is that the bottom does not lay flat. Sometimes this makes it difficult to reliably stack the film holders, especially if you have a large stack. The tent folds flat, like a photoflex reflector disk, and there it has a nylon case with handles for storage and carrying.

Calumet sells a similar changing tent. I think that the arm holes might be in a different position. Harrison makes one that seems to be well regarded, but also much more expensive than the others. Redwing also makes one priced similarly to the Photoflex and Calument, which I have not seen.

-- Dave Karp (, March 19, 2002.

I have the Harrison pop up tent. I have not use other tents... I think the tent is just fair. There must be better designed units out there. What really bothers me is how the unit holds the support sticks, the material tabs can rip quite easily...and have already... too much precision required to get it right. I think I have seen some which just spring into place when taken out of their bag, this would seem desireable to me after my experience with the Harrison. Also, I would want a tent with more room in it... you can never have enough room in these things!

-- Bill Glickman (, March 19, 2002.

Calumet makes a decent one as does Harrison.

Get the biggest one you can find... - and vacuum the tent inside before loading film...

-- Per Volquartz (, March 19, 2002.

I like the Calumet tent! It folds flat and weighs VERY little and opens like a Lastolite reflector! The arm holes are on the front panel and this makes loading/unloading quite comfortable. Double zipped and lightproof and...cheaper than the Harrison!

-- paul owen (, March 19, 2002.

I use the Photoflex unit as well. It works well for me. The only complaint I might have is that it is made of synthetic materials thus subject to internal condensation from sweating. Make sure to leave it open between film loading/unloading sessions so that the humidity gets out. Otherwise it's very convenient and easy to carry around.

-- Georges Pelpel (, March 19, 2002.


Depending on my mode of transport I either use the Photoflex (mentioned elsewhere here) or the Sinar 'Black Box'.

The Sinar 'Black Box' is a hard attache style case which sits flat and has internal pockets to hold bits and pieces out of the way of your hands. The fabric lighttight material is protected from puncture or tearing by the hard fibreglass outer shell.

For international travel I find it a little bulky and so I opt for the Photoflex which, whilst more vulnerable to damage, does fold absolutely flat for packing.

Large stacks of holders are something I don't contend with in the bags. I find that perpiration vapour from your working hands tends to rapidly increase the humidity inside these devises and starts to make the film grab on the septum of the holder as you load - I limit myself to 6 holders at a time and then open for fresh air before proceeding with the next 6.

Happy trails,

Walter Glover

-- Walter Glover (, March 19, 2002.

I have used both the Photoflex and the Redwing (which Calumet sells). They are very similar, but the position of the arm holes differs between the two. I much prefer the Photoflex. The Redwing has both of the arm holes on the front. The Photoflex has one arm hole on either side which I find more comfortable and easier to use.

That being said, I purchased a Redwing from Calumet because it was on sale and I'm kind of tight--sometimes a little overly so. If I were doing it again, I'd buy the Photoflex.


-- Dave Willis (, March 19, 2002.

I use the Harrison Pup Tent for 4x5. It is fast and easy. I have had no problems with the fabric. The poles snap into place when unfolded. There is enough room to load 10 film holders with ease. That is all I own and more would be easy to do.

To give you an idea how much I like mine, I use it for all my film loading/unloading even in the house. I pop it up on the dining room table and enjoy my work in full light. I also load my JOBO 3010 tank in it. Fast and easy. Stays flat, can't tip over, folds and rolls up in seconds and stuffs away in the provided bag. Nuf said . . .


-- Scott Jones (, March 19, 2002.

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