Roll film holders : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I have a shen-hao camera (graflok back) and want a 6x7 roll holder. Will the graflex rh-10 fit my camera? I can either buy that holder, or the wista 6x7 holder, however the wista is twice the price. Is the quality difference between the two enough to justify the extra expense of the wista?

-- Paul Frank (, March 28, 2002


I'd hold off on the graflex for something better. The graflex will fit, but they're old, touch to get parts for, and not as well made as some current holders. What's most important is the degree to which the holder keeps the film flat. In my experience, Horseman holders are pretty good at film flatness, space the frames evenly, and are mechanically more reliable than the Wista. Whatever you get, make sure it's a model for a 4X5 camera, and not a 6X9/6X7 camera.

-- Peter Latner (, March 28, 2002.

I agree with Peter.If you do buy a Horseman back, try to get the newer black ones instead of the silver. 1) they are lighter and more importantly, 2) key parts are no longer available for repair jobs. George

-- George Nedleman (, March 28, 2002.

There are some important detail differences on various Graflex RF backs. The camera plate part should be fitted with two thin roller guides. If those aren't there, then the film won't be held flat. The details are on the website. Here's a link to the relevent section, since it's a bit difficult to find. reckon that if the back is one that's fitted with these needle rollers, then film flatness is better than a lot of other RF backs.
The one gripe I have against Graflex backs is that they don't allow you to get the full number of frames from a roll. The 6x7 and 6x8 Graphic backs give you a stingy 8 pictures per roll, when 9 frames are easily possible.

-- Pete Andrews (, March 28, 2002.

pete - 8 exposures? then why is it called the rh-10?

-- Paul Frank (, March 28, 2002.

I don't believe that the Graflex rh-10 will fit on the standard Graflok back. Although I don't own a 6x7. I do own five Graflok backs that do fit for my 4x5 Crown Graphic camera. Two are Graflex "22" Graphic backs and three are "23" Graphic backs and I'm quite happy with them. Be careful, check with

-- Harry Martin (, March 28, 2002.

Harry is perhaps referring to some other problem I don't know about, but I own an RH10 and an RH20, and both fit perfectly on the graflok of my 6x9 Crown Graphic. I believe that the models actually bearing the "RH10" designation are all of the roller variety mentioned in Pete Andrews's post. These usually say "Singer-Graflex" in the elongated rectangle on the back, and they use a lever wind instead of a knob.

What stands out from your posting, however, is that the RH10 I'm familiar with will NOT fit a 4x5 camera, which I thought the Shen-Hao was. It's definitely designed for the smaller 6x9 graflock fitting. Take a look at the picture on the site that Pete linked to his post, and note the large flat surround on the holder pictured by the section title. That one is built for the 4x5 graflok, while the holders pictured in the table below it are not.

My own experience has been that nothing works as well on my camera as a properly working RH10, but the properly working units are getting rare. Most of the units I've handled have had inconsistent film advance mechanisms, which will cause an overlap of frames. They were very high-quality when they were made, but time and use do take a toll.

-- Lyle Aldridge (, March 30, 2002.

There is nothing to prevent you from putting an RH-8 mechanism into an RH-10 shell. This mismatch occurs often on the used market which, of course, is the only market for these. This would result in eight exposures on a back that had RH-10 on the nameplate. The outer shell for each format can be found in both the 4x5 size and the small camera format and the internal mechanism is interchangable from one to the other. Sometimes it is possible to find the outer shell without the internal parts so you could have both for one internal film carriage. Just make sure that the formats match by matching the number on the exposure counter with the number on the outer shell.

-- Wayne Firth (, March 30, 2002.

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