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Thread: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

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    Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    Since I have a Vintage wood camera coming I was wondering about what the Pro's and Con's might be when comparing wood and plastic film sheet holders?

    I was considering purchasing a couple of film holders but I do not want to run into issues. I realize that issues like light leaks and film flatness can happen with either type of holder.

    Thanks,
    Jason

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    Re: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    My simple .02...

    Wood holders look very cool and are user-repairable when damaged. New ones from Lotus or Chamonix are also lovely to use and works of art in themselves. Wood is less prone to static that attracts dust, and in most cases wood is lighter in weight than comparable plastic. But especially with "older" wooden holders, they can warp,develop cracks and light leaks, AND most importantly, have differing film-plane offsets. This latter issue can result in focus differences between holders, so is somewhat critical.

    Because of that, I would only use newer wooden holders, or very good condition used wooden holders that I also had measured/matched the film-plane offset. And the newer wooden holders are a LOT more expensive than plastic Liscos or Fidelitys... Finally, with Lisco/Fidelity, you could also get aluminum or plastic darkslides, aluminum being more expensive. The older plastic darkslides had a propensity to break corners off or star-crack, leaving them useless. The newer plastic darkslides are stronger, but still carry a few spares just in case. The metal slides are heavier, but at the end of the day, that's what I used as my normal holders: Lisco/Fidelity plastic holders with metal slides...

    I know, way more info than you wanted LOL!

    Sorry,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    Jack is was not way more than I wanted to know. I appreciate all the information you share with me. Keep it coming.

    Jason

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    Re: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    Jack I was able to pick up a couple of Wooden Film holders that seem to be in pretty good condition. Of course until I use them I will not know if there are any issues. These are both with stained wood and made by Graflex for Eastman Kodak. I did notice there are wooden holders that are painted black. I was told those are less expensive holders because the wood has possible imperfections that is the reason they are painted instead of stained. Of course I have no idea if that is true or not.

    By the way it seems the current E-Bay value for the 8 x 10 plastic film holders is about $45-$50 so they are still pretty expensive. I would hate to know what they sold for new.

    Jason

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    Re: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    Quote Originally Posted by ComicDom1 View Post
    By the way it seems the current E-Bay value for the 8 x 10 plastic film holders is about $45-$50 so they are still pretty expensive. I would hate to know what they sold for new.
    IIRC, the last new 8x10 holders I purchased from B&H -- and this was maybe 5 years ago -- came in a 2-pack and cost $89...
    Jack
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    Re: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    Current price at Calumet for a new 8x10 Fidelity is $77. B&H is no longer a good source for new film holders - their prices are *much* higher and they're often out of stock.

    New wooden holders cost several times that. Compared to used, vintage wooden holders, new Fidelities are good right out of the box, while old holders often need fussing. The true cost of an old holder depends on how lucky you are with your purchase, how much time and money you have to invest in testing/cleaning/repairing, and how much you think your time is worth.

    Jason, I don't recall if you said you have a darkroom. If you do, or if you have easy access to one, a simple and relatively inexpensive way to test your holders for light leaks is to load them with an inexpensive RC printing paper. Leave the loaded holders out in the light for a while, remove and insert the darkslides, etc., then develop the paper.

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    Re: Wood Film Holders Vs Plastic for 8x10 Pro's and Con's

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Current price at Calumet for a new 8x10 Fidelity is $77. B&H is no longer a good source for new film holders - their prices are *much* higher and they're often out of stock.

    New wooden holders cost several times that. Compared to used, vintage wooden holders, new Fidelities are good right out of the box, while old holders often need fussing. The true cost of an old holder depends on how lucky you are with your purchase, how much time and money you have to invest in testing/cleaning/repairing, and how much you think your time is worth.

    Jason, I don't recall if you said you have a darkroom. If you do, or if you have easy access to one, a simple and relatively inexpensive way to test your holders for light leaks is to load them with an inexpensive RC printing paper. Leave the loaded holders out in the light for a while, remove and insert the darkslides, etc., then develop the paper.
    Thanks for the advice. I am not going to end up with many film holders because I know I will be limiting the number of 8x10 negatives I will be shooting. I certainly want to be careful and end up with good holders so I may opt for what you have suggested.

    Jason

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