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4x5 sheet film-newbie: how to load?

harry zet , May 24, 2004; 07:55 a.m.

dear all: i am about to load my first speed graphic film-holders with 4x5 sheet film - and as i live in the middle of nowhere with no help from anybody, i have to ask: how do i do this? the films have cutouts to show the orientations - where do they go? top left, right, bottom? any help appreciated


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AN CS , May 24, 2004; 08:07 a.m.

Top-right or bottom left.

Bill Mitchell , May 24, 2004; 08:18 a.m.

If the cutouts are on the topright or bottomleft, then the emulsion side of the film is toward you. This is the side that should face out "toward the camera lens" in the holder.

Art Haykin , May 24, 2004; 08:24 a.m.

Be sure you insert the film UNDER the slots on both sides of the holder.

Tim Curry , May 24, 2004; 08:34 a.m.

I hold the film in my right hand, index finger in the notch to be sure it is the correct side facing the lens. My thumb and smaller finger grip the edge of the sheet towards the bottom and then the index finger pushes the sheet into the rails.

I have the film holder on a flat surface, with the flap end facing to the right. My left hand rests on the film holder with the thumb and index finger resting gently on the rails, to make sure the film slips under them as it is inserted with the right hand.

Practice this several times with the lights on and a developed sheet of film, then turn out the lights and do the good film. Try to keep everything in the same place each time so there is no looking around for things. It should be where you always have it so there is no chance of mistakes.

Paul Kent , May 24, 2004; 09:30 a.m.

Paul Butzi's article on loading 4x5 film holders http://www.butzi.net/articles/filmload.htm

harry zet , May 24, 2004; 10:07 a.m.

dear all: thanks! ill go in the darkroom now

Steve Levine , May 24, 2004; 11:53 a.m.

What Art said!! The biggest problem begginers have is not seating the film correctly in the holder.It is advisable to waste a sheet,and use it in "white light" to practice loading,1st with eyes open,then closed.Ask your lab for an empty film or paper box with its black envelope or wrapper,and use this to store shot sheets.(say that 10x's real fast).

dimbulb setting , May 24, 2004; 09:46 p.m.

Darkroom? I hope you mean a room with no lights at all...only lith film can be loaded in a darkroom with safety lights on. You might want to invest in a changing bag or tent to load film.

Ron Tincher , May 26, 2004; 11:06 p.m.

When you begin to load place your box of film where the film notch is to your right (if you are right handed) and the notch should be then next to you body. always load the holder where the notch is the last part to enter the holder. Why? If you failed to log the holder with the type of film your are using then you will not have to drag it out to identify it. it will be at bottom left of the holder as you face it. Don't get in a hurry, practice with blank until you get the feel of it. If you don't have a darkroom, buy you a 27x30 changing bag, not the small one or you will eventially end up getting larger one. Adorama sells a nice one of their brand for $21.95 worth every penny. The order number # BLCBL.

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