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Large Format Film RF Forum for Large Format Rangefinders (generally 4x5 or larger format) iIncluding Linhof 4x5, Graflex 4x5, and other Large Format Rangefinders.

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Old 01-16-2015   #1
graywolf
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Large Format Rangefinder Cameras

It kind of bugs me. I asked in the Film Pack thread if anyone would be interested in film packs if they were again available. I get answers like, what is a film pack? And a lot of view camera users saying they have no use for film packs.

Probably my fault, I probably should have called them "Press Camera Film Packs", to make it clear I was not talking about Polaroid Film Packs nor Ready Load Sheet Film.

Still, since this is the only forum on the web supposedly dedicated to LF RF's that I know of, and that there are maybe 20 LF View Camera forums, I did think it was an appropriate place to ask about something pertaining to LF RF's. Now I do own and shot a view camera, a Toyo 45G, but I do not post about that in this forum because I consider that off topic and a disservice to others in the forum.

An off topic thread is bad enough, hijacking threads with off topic posts is unconscionable. And probably the reason why these forums seem to be dying.
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Old 01-16-2015   #2
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As to press packs, they haven't been around for more than a generation and even then they were being produced for the generation that came before. At this point, the things are obscure relics like saying "Sock it to me!" or "Who loves ya, baby?"

At almost 50 years old, I only know about them because my late father cut his teeth on a Speed Graphic. It's small wonder to me that folks confuse them with polaroid packs because that's the only pack there has been since before the turn of the century.

Would I use them if they were around? Possibly. If they offered something really different from the usual 4x5 film available. For instance, ISO 800 color print film would be fun. Electronic flash doesn't pump-out the light like flash bulbs so another stop wouldn't hurt with DoF when hand-holding 4x5.

Meanwhile, I put Tri-X 320 in my Grafmatics and develop it Diafine when I need people to smile and mug for my camera. They just don't do that for my smaller format cameras, perhaps because I can't hide how ugly I am nearly as well behind little cameras.
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Old 01-16-2015   #3
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As a LF users (at about Jason's age it seems), I have never used them, and am only vaguely familiar with Grafmatics, so let me ask this (and please forgive my ignorance, if needed ):

Would these Film Packs be (1) preloaded, containers of film to be used (and tossed after use), or (2) more like (what I think) a Grafmatic is?

If (1), I would be very interested since lugging around a bunch of film holders is not fun, so a box with, say, 10 sheets would be awesome! Load them with TMax 100, and I'll buy a subscription

If (2), I might be interested, but some of the original issues with Grafmatics (dust and scratched film) would need to be solved.
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Old 01-16-2015   #4
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I have used Tri-X in 16-exposure film packs, 3-1/4 x 4-1/4 size... back about 1965. In a Polaroid 180 camera! To get the Tri-X pack located correctly, one puts it inside a used/empty Polaroid film pack. The paper tab hangs out rather like with Polaroid film, and pulling it moves the exposed sheet around to the back of the pack uncovering the next fresh sheet.
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Old 01-16-2015   #5
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I would love to see film packs for lf rangefinders come back. Unfortunately I think you are looking at a very, very small market. Not only does your customer need to shoot 4x5 large format film, they need to want to shoot it like a press photographer from the 30s, 40s and 50s would have. There are only a very few of us who are foolish enough to waste that kind of money shooting large format film like a 6x4.5 medium format.

I have shot old, expired TriX in 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch press packs but I have never been fortunate enough to find it in 4x5.
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Old 01-16-2015   #6
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[quote=graywolf;2437761]It kind of bugs me. I asked in the Film Pack thread if anyone would be interested in film packs if they were again available. I get answers like, what is a film pack? And a lot of view camera users saying they have no use for film packs.

So.....it looks like you got your answer, just not the one you were hoping for.

There are a lot of things photographic I'd like to see come back too. But probably just ain't going to happen.
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Old 01-16-2015   #7
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Very strange, my diatribe gets more appropriate answers than my actual thread.

For those who do not know what they are here is a link to my blog:

http://graywolfphoto.com/journal/201...ing-to-tinker/

That article, and the two prior to it are about film packs. I am also trying to edit a video I shot showing how they are used, no idea if I will ever get that done at the rate I am going --probably I would be better off reshooting it.

There were two reasons film packs disappeared: 1-- Press photographers went to smaller formats. 2-- There was a lot of hand work involved in the assembling of them. That second reason was why I was thinking that it might be a possible business for a couple of people who were more interested in earning a wage from it than getting rich. Getting the pieces would not be a major problem if one could sell enough to move the minimum quantities of the film sheets before it went out dated. It would be nothing like the costs involved in reproducing Polaroid film.

At this point, I am thinking I would get more out of shooting off that unopened film pack, than I would opening it up to see exactly what would be needed to reproduce it.
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Old 01-16-2015   #8
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Ken Ruth of Bald Mountain, CA made several compact LF RF cameras. I wonder if they could take film packs?
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Old 01-16-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
It kind of bugs me. I asked in the Film Pack thread if anyone would be interested in film packs if they were again available. I get answers like, what is a film pack? And a lot of view camera users saying they have no use for film packs.

Probably my fault, I probably should have called them "Press Camera Film Packs", to make it clear I was not talking about Polaroid Film Packs nor Ready Load Sheet Film.

Still, since this is the only forum on the web supposedly dedicated to LF RF's that I know of, and that there are maybe 20 LF View Camera forums, I did think it was an appropriate place to ask about something pertaining to LF RF's. Now I do own and shot a view camera, a Toyo 45G, but I do not post about that in this forum because I consider that off topic and a disservice to others in the forum.

An off topic thread is bad enough, hijacking threads with off topic posts is unconscionable. And probably the reason why these forums seem to be dying.
When I read your thread, I seem to remember some people voiced bad experience with thinner film that is required due to the film packs mechanism.

How does your solution address this concern? Can we use ordinary 4x5 film readily available today?
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Old 01-16-2015   #10
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I use a Technika as my LF rangefinder and this is the first time I've heard of these film packs, so thanks for the education! I have about 50 Fuji FP-3000B film packs in the freezer due to Fuji discontinuing it, to my horror: that's my only experience with pack film.
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Old 01-16-2015   #11
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I 've purchased some LF cameras that came with empty film-packs attached, mostly Graflex SLR, if I remember correctly.

If I remember correctly from your other thread on the matter here on RFF, I believe Rich Beckrich, an old-school newspaper photog from Maryland, voiced some comments about pack film and its foibles ( thinner base, flimsy, hard to handle in the darkroon, possible issue with flatness in the camera...)

Again, his comments might not have been the sort of answer you were looking for, but I think shed some light on why pack film went away, aside from the simple economics of declining market for sheet film in general.

When I shoot LF, it's usually with my Pacemaker 4x5, using the RF and VF. (The only time I compose / focus on ground-glass is when I'm shooting view-camera or one of my brass-bound dinosaurs, and generally I'm also using the various camera movements to correct image aberrations, so I'm not in a hurry in these instances. )

The double-sheet Riteway / Fidelity holders are bulky and clumsy, but in the end probably give a better result than pack film would have.

I think the appeal of pack-film for working photogs "back in the day" was convenience in loading / speed of shooting, which would have been important to press / sports photographers, whose images were most likely going to be converted into dot-matrix wire-photos for publication, so perfect flatness probably wasn't a prime need over "getting the shot".

I think your biggest technical challenge is going to be finding a film-stock with a thin-enough base. If a film manufacturer currently produces film on a thin-enough base, perhaps you could convince them to cut it in 4" widths ?

2-1/4" width for the 2x3 Graphic / Graflex might be easier to obtain in bulk , since 120 films are 2-1/4" wide... don't know how thick the base stock is...

Once you have a supply of film, then it's just a matter of getting someone to make the pack body, and assemble it.

Personally, I don't shoot enough LF to see myself needing pack-film... if I'm in a hurry, I'm either going to use the 2x3 Century with a roll-film back, or Grafmatic on the Pacemaker...

I hope I haven't strayed too far form the topic ?

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Old 01-16-2015   #12
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Let's talk about film for a bit. The film in the film packs, by all unbiased reports, was the same stuff as in 120 roll film. Yes it is thinner than regular sheet film. The 16 exposure packs had super thin stock in them, but I doubt that would be available today.

As to all those faults the stuff supposedly had, they only sold it for 80 years or so. First sold in 1906 an last made in the late 1980's with a use by date of 92~93. Hardly seems like something that defective would have sold for that long.
I will be developing a 12 exposure pack of Tri X Pan (not Professional) soon, and will undoubtedly post a report about that experience on my blog. The last time I used film packs was back in the 1960's (about the same vintage as the stuff I have to play with at the moment), but I do not remember all those problems with it.
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Old 01-16-2015   #13
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Special sizes: Back in the day someone inquired about special sizes of film from Kodak. The answer they got was the Kodak was willing to cut it to that size but they would have to buy a whole production roll of film. I seem to recall that was 40" x 500'. I think most of the current film producers are using smaller machines than that, something like 24". I have a vaguish recollection that the sheets were actually something like 105mm x 135mm a bit larger than 4x5 sheet film, but 105mm was once a standard roll film width.

Now that 24" x 500' is still a lot of film. But would only be about 500-600 film packs. If there was a market for that much worldwide, it would be a viable product. If not, it would not be.
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Old 01-16-2015   #14
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Like I said earlier, I have shot TriX in 16 count Kodak film packs relatively recently. Although old it developed fine. It was in 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch film so not a lot different than regular 120 roll film. I am sure you could probably build these types of film packs with current film stock. However, a 120 roll film back is arguably easier to use, and currently available.

So, I would think that you would want to build these in 4x5 to provide something different. Current 4x5 is fairly thick, so how tight a turn radius are you going to be able to get away with? Not having having tested this I would only be guessing, but I don't believe that the tight curve required by 16 sheet film packs is even possible.

The next problem are the holders themselves. Old holders for the Graflock can be found but I would think you would be further ahead building your own rather than rely on a dwindling supply of the old holders. But, I could be wrong here since I am not searching for them nor evaluating their present condition (rust, felt, etc.)
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Old 01-16-2015   #15
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I suspect one important reason why it's hard to drum up much interest in film packs - apart from the fact that they're plainly not coming back - is that people who would be inclined to use them are generally satisfied with Grafmatics or bag mags, which can still be had in usable condition.

Even Grafmatics and bag mags have their foibles, though, and I've never been inclined to mess with them myself. My volume of sheet film exposures is low enough that standard cut film holders are fine.
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Old 01-17-2015   #16
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A few years ago, there was a company that sold reusable large format film pack sleeves.
Roger Hicks probably remembers the Shutterbug article.
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Old 01-17-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
I would love to see film packs for lf rangefinders come back. Unfortunately I think you are looking at a very, very small market. Not only does your customer need to shoot 4x5 large format film, they need to want to shoot it like a press photographer from the 30s, 40s and 50s would have. There are only a very few of us who are foolish enough to waste that kind of money shooting large format film like a 6x4.5 medium format.

I have shot old, expired TriX in 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch press packs but I have never been fortunate enough to find it in 4x5.
If that large! I've never heard anyone with a good word for them. Also, I strongly suspect that quarter-plate (3-1/4 x 4-1/4 inch) was more common than 4x5 inch. The very thin films are apparently a bar steward to develop: I'd back Grafmatics and real film every time.

I have an apparently unused quarter-plate film pack in front of me as I write: Tri-X Pan Professional. As far as I can see it works pretty much like a Polaroid film pack: pull a black tab, flexi film goes into window on front, then to back.

There were a couple of variants on the Grafmatic -- one from Fuji, one from someone else, I think -- as well as several varieties of single-sheet systems, whether with Polaroid or specialist holders. There was also a sort of super-thin conventional blockform holder that was put into a thicker adapter to get the register right. I did at least one article about these in the British Journal of Photography some 20-30 years ago. Maybe Shutterbug too. For that matter, I remember an auto-change multi-exposure back for 4x5 inch at Photokina, perhaps from Schneider. It was huge and expensive; suitable only for studio use (if that); and I don't think it ever went into production.

You put your finger on the basic question, though: how many people, indeed, are crazy enough to want such things nowadays? There's probably more demand for wet plate.

Cheers,

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Old 01-17-2015   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlouzan View Post
A few years ago, there was a company that sold reusable large format film pack sleeves.
Roger Hicks probably remembers the Shutterbug article.
The Mido sleeves?

It's interesting how expensive they are when sold used. You still have to manually load them so I personally don't see the the advantage. Yes, marginal space/weight saving depending on how many you bring, but...well not worth it for me.
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Old 01-17-2015   #19
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Yes!!!
http://www.largeformatphotography.in...do-filmholders
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The Mido sleeves?

It's interesting how expensive they are when sold used. You still have to manually load them so I personally don't see the the advantage. Yes, marginal space/weight saving depending on how many you bring, but...well not worth it for me.
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Old 01-17-2015   #20
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Kodak made a developing tank specifically for developing pack film.
I have no experience with it, nor am I affiliated with this seller.
Looks like the individual sheets go in, taco-style.
I used tray developing, and BTZS Film Tubes, to process pack film, back in the day.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KODAK-FILM-P...item54186a7d9f
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Old 01-18-2015   #21
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Quote:
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If that large! I've never heard anyone with a good word for them. Also, I strongly suspect that quarter-plate (3-1/4 x 4-1/4 inch) was more common than 4x5 inch. The very thin films are apparently a bar steward to develop: I'd back Grafmatics and real film every time.
R.
The very thin films were in the 16 exposure packs, thinking about it they were probably intended to be developed in the 70's version of the Kodak B&W Versimat Processor. those were mounted in the darkroom wall, you fed your sheet film into it and it came out on the lightroom side processed and dry. Those were about $10,000 in 1970 dollars, or what ($100,000) of today's dollars? The polyester film was so thin that if it had been celuloide film would have torn easily.

I just posted a couple of photos on the blog where you can see how a film pack is constructed:

http://graywolfphoto.com/journal/201...-construction/

The film in that 12 exposure film pack of Plus X is about the same as 120 Plus X film in thickness. About 1/3rd the thickness of regular 4x5 film, thin but not unhandily thin.

The sheets in the film pack are 101mm x 135mm, while the regular 4x5 Plus X in my file are 99mm x 125mm.

I wonder why I have such a hard time finding this info on the web and had to waste $20 to get it? The pack of film certainly looked shootable.
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Old 01-18-2015   #22
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Tom, thanks for all the info. It does look doable, though the film thickness could be an issue. Unless you wanted to shoot Arista's ortho litho film, which has a thinner base than standard sheet film, but comes in standard 4x5 size; being ortho, you could cut it down to size as needed in the darkroom under safelights.

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Old 01-19-2015   #23
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Quote:
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Special sizes: Back in the day someone inquired about special sizes of film from Kodak. The answer they got was the Kodak was willing to cut it to that size but they would have to buy a whole production roll of film. I seem to recall that was 40" x 500'. I think most of the current film producers are using smaller machines than that, something like 24". I have a vaguish recollection that the sheets were actually something like 105mm x 135mm a bit larger than 4x5 sheet film, but 105mm was once a standard roll film width.

Now that 24" x 500' is still a lot of film. But would only be about 500-600 film packs. If there was a market for that much worldwide, it would be a viable product. If not, it would not be.
I think folks that regularly go backpacking or out traveling with their 4x5 (and dearly miss readyloads etc.) would be a good audience, assuming the technical details can be worked out (e.g. I would want regular film stock, even if that means only 8-10 shots per pack). Kickstarter is a good way to find out if there is a market, as the folks from Wanderlust Camera, Ferrania & New55 have found out...
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Old 01-19-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
I would love to see film packs for lf rangefinders come back. Unfortunately I think you are looking at a very, very small market. Not only does your customer need to shoot 4x5 large format film, they need to want to shoot it like a press photographer from the 30s, 40s and 50s would have. There are only a very few of us who are foolish enough to waste that kind of money shooting large format film like a 6x4.5 medium format.

I have shot old, expired TriX in 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 inch press packs but I have never been fortunate enough to find it in 4x5.
I used to have a converted Polaroid 110B which was essentially a hand-held 4x5 rangefinder. Never was a hassle using regular film holders, since the rest of the camera was just so easy to use.
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Old 01-20-2015   #25
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I just stole a sheet from the pack and tried loading it into my daylight tanks (CombiPlan & Federal), it slid in slick as can be. Actually it is easier to load than the stiffer regular 4x5 film.

That is exactly as I remember it. The film in the 12 exposure packs is nothing like the stuff in the 16 exposure packs.

99.9% (of the 0.01% who are still using film) of the people out there are not interested. You do not have to tell me you are one of them, only if you are interested.
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Old 01-20-2015   #26
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For a reality check, people are trying to sell TXP 16x Packs for $49.95. Old, 50 year out dated, Plux-X 12-expose packs seem to be going for about $20.

I was hoping that I could produce new 12x film 4x5 packs of 400 speed B&W for about the same as a 25 pack of B&W 4x5 goes for. That is for 12x exposures that are daylight loadable, and removable from the camera and about the same size as one 2 sheet film holder.

You could shoot each of those 12 exposures twice as fast as could one shot from a standard film holder, because you only have to have the dark slide in to remove the film pack adapter. It would be quite easy to shoot up the whole pack in a minute if you had to.

With the film packs a press camera becomes handier to use than most medium format cameras.
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Old 01-21-2015   #27
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I'd be in, and exactly for the reasons I stated before: I don't need the shooting speed of 12 sheets per minute , but for the dramatically lower weight & bulk when travelling or backpacking. Together with my (future) Travelwide 90, I'd have a true P&S 4x5
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Old 01-21-2015   #28
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I was hoping that I could produce new 12x film 4x5 packs of 400 speed B&W for about the same as a 25 pack of B&W 4x5 goes for.
Ignoring the costs involved in procuring the needed materials and tools, and assuming that you somehow get started: What do you hope to make, per hour, working in total darkness? Kodak supposedly dropped the last packs from their catalogue when the last employees who could load them retired, so there obviously are massive skills involved.
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Old 01-22-2015   #29
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Ignoring the costs involved in procuring the needed materials and tools, and assuming that you somehow get started: What do you hope to make, per hour, working in total darkness? Kodak supposedly dropped the last packs from their catalogue when the last employees who could load them retired, so there obviously are massive skills involved.
I believe that the blind ladies, and the scuttlebutt was there were three of them, only did the final assembly of the the film packs. I just wrote the following for a friend that is interested:

"Now I imagine that Kodak et al cut the production rolls into strips, then loaded 12 strip rolls into a machine along with the backing paper, Then those machines fed a backing paper cut off 135mm of film, automatically ran a strip of glue on the sheet of film and feed it on to the backing paper 12 at a time, then piled one on top of the other. The blind ladies working in the dark put the safety paper into the box, then the pile of 12 glued paper and film strips into the box, laid the backing plate with spring on top of them, folded the paper over the backing plate assembly and closed the box. The metal box was then sealed into the light tight foil and the foil package put into the retail box."

As the story goes Kodak made the 523 (4x5) Film Packs until the aging ladies reached retirement age, then ceased production. 2-1/4x3-1/4 and 3-1/4x4-1/2 were dropped in 1976 (the other sizes except 4x5 were dropped in 1946) according to the film Wiki. The 4x5 about 10-12 years later. As far as I know Kodak was the only company still making Film Packs at that time.

Considering that Kodak probably had to sell 10,000 Film Packs a year to make a profit, it is a wonder that they continued making them that long. Remember that 4x5 went out as a news camera about 1955 or so. So likely the only ones buying many film packs after that was the military.

The question is can 500 to 1000 4x5 Film Packs a year be sold to us die hard film users? One of the problems is that there are enough people around that remember the super thin film that was used in the 16x packs (which came out about 1970) who never used a 12x pack who bad mouth film packs loudly. From all accounts they were right, it was miserable stuff to work with, I think it was brought out trying to compete with 35mm that had 36x available. I remember the 72x Ilford Autowinder 35mm film from the same period on the same film base. It was about as thick as lens cleaning tissue, I quickly decided that carrying two SLR bodies was preferable to using the Autowinder film.

HOWEVER, the 12x Film Pack stuff was not like that! It was on the same film stock as 120 film is. As I said in the above post, I tried a sheet from the 12x Film Pack and it loads easier into the developing tank than regular 4x5 does, just as I remembered it from the 1960's. Stiff enough to work with, but not too stiff.
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Old 01-25-2015   #30
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Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
I believe that the blind ladies, and the scuttlebutt was there were three of them, only did the final assembly of the the film packs. I just wrote the following for a friend that is interested:

"Now I imagine that Kodak et al cut the production rolls into strips, then loaded 12 strip rolls into a machine along with the backing paper, Then those machines fed a backing paper cut off 135mm of film, automatically ran a strip of glue on the sheet of film and feed it on to the backing paper 12 at a time, then piled one on top of the other. The blind ladies working in the dark put the safety paper into the box, then the pile of 12 glued paper and film strips into the box, laid the backing plate with spring on top of them, folded the paper over the backing plate assembly and closed the box. The metal box was then sealed into the light tight foil and the foil package put into the retail box."

As the story goes Kodak made the 523 (4x5) Film Packs until the aging ladies reached retirement age, then ceased production. 2-1/4x3-1/4 and 3-1/4x4-1/2 were dropped in 1976 (the other sizes except 4x5 were dropped in 1946) according to the film Wiki. The 4x5 about 10-12 years later. As far as I know Kodak was the only company still making Film Packs at that time.

Considering that Kodak probably had to sell 10,000 Film Packs a year to make a profit, it is a wonder that they continued making them that long. Remember that 4x5 went out as a news camera about 1955 or so. So likely the only ones buying many film packs after that was the military.

The question is can 500 to 1000 4x5 Film Packs a year be sold to us die hard film users? One of the problems is that there are enough people around that remember the super thin film that was used in the 16x packs (which came out about 1970) who never used a 12x pack who bad mouth film packs loudly. From all accounts they were right, it was miserable stuff to work with, I think it was brought out trying to compete with 35mm that had 36x available. I remember the 72x Ilford Autowinder 35mm film from the same period on the same film base. It was about as thick as lens cleaning tissue, I quickly decided that carrying two SLR bodies was preferable to using the Autowinder film.

HOWEVER, the 12x Film Pack stuff was not like that! It was on the same film stock as 120 film is. As I said in the above post, I tried a sheet from the 12x Film Pack and it loads easier into the developing tank than regular 4x5 does, just as I remembered it from the 1960's. Stiff enough to work with, but not too stiff.
The last time I remember developing 4x5 film packs was in the photography portion of an investigative school I was in while in the US Army. I didn't find it an problem. I don't remember any feeling that the film was uncomfortably thin. I wanted to use it when I got my Super Press 23, but it was more expensive than roll film due to the cost of the adapter and film so I never jumped.

I don't have a 4x5 RF, but do have 9x12 (and 6x9 non-RF folder) RFs that came with complete or partial film packs. I keep telling myself I should use up the partials and develop them, but haven't convinced myself to do so yet.

I would not be interested in 4x5 film packs myself, but I might be in 9x12. However, I would consider that even less likely than film packs in 4x5.

Good luck for all those that wish for 4x5 film packs. It could be a fun nostalgic trip. I just don't see an advantage over cut film holders, at least for my photography.
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Old 01-26-2015   #31
graywolf
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Nor do I see any advantage over roll film in the same sizes.

The problem with 9x12, unless your camera is new enough to have a universal back, is that there are many different backs I can not imagine it would be viable to make something for them. On the other hand if it has and international back 4x5 film holders, included the Film Pack Adapter will fit.

One of the advantages of the 4x5 Film Pack Adapter is that it will fit both Grafloc/International backs and 4x5 spring backs.

BTW. Linhof at one time made 5" aerial roll film backs, about like a giant 70mm back. I ain't seen any for sale though.
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Old 01-27-2015   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
Nor do I see any advantage over roll film in the same sizes.

The problem with 9x12, unless your camera is new enough to have a universal back, is that there are many different backs I can not imagine it would be viable to make something for them. On the other hand if it has and international back 4x5 film holders, included the Film Pack Adapter will fit.

One of the advantages of the 4x5 Film Pack Adapter is that it will fit both Grafloc/International backs and 4x5 spring backs.

BTW. Linhof at one time made 5" aerial roll film backs, about like a giant 70mm back. I ain't seen any for sale though.
I agree film packs for 9x12 coming back are unlikely. If someone figures out a way to reuse any I would be interested as I have two in 9x12 and one in 6x9. But it would only be for nostalgia as I have about 25 usable cut film holders and 3 or 4 that need the film inserts. I just haven't gotten around to having inserts made.

Other than physical size of the holders, I only know of two types of holders. The majority of those I have a thin slit on each side of the back of the camera, and the holders fit into that based on a thin tab down each side of the holder. I also have a film pack holder and 3 or 4 cut film holders which have very thick sides and must fit into a much larger slit down the sides of the back of the camera. I don't know what cameras they fit.

All of the brands of 9x12 I have take the holder with the thin tabs down the side. I have Agfa, Bee Bee, Voigtlander, Zeiss, Kodak, and maybe one or two other brands. Holders I have are Zeiss, Voigtlander, some French of some kind, and maybe 2 or 3 others, but I don't have them in front of me so I don't remember. Most are the same size, but I do have some very short ones that still seem to fit.

I have asked before, but if anyone knows what cameras the 'larger' sided holders fit, I would appreciate knowing.
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Old 02-01-2015   #33
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A thought. I can see no real reason for view camera users to be interested in Film Packs. I mean they leisurely take one shot at a time. That means the extra time to replace the dark slide, flip the holder over, and remove the other dark slide is not a problem.

But for us who use rangefinder cameras handheld, all that time may mean missing the next shot. Also we can change the Film Packs just by removing the completed one and putting a new one in the adapter without having to remove the adapter (if you have replaced the ground glass back with the adapter), quicker than you could change a roll of film.
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Old 02-01-2015   #34
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After a bit of work I have loaded a short video on youtube showing how the Film Packs work. Be sure to watch the last 30 seconds or so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkYB...ature=youtu.be

Be aware that I have a lot to learn about making "good" videos.
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Old 02-04-2015   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
After a bit of work I have loaded a short video on youtube showing how the Film Packs work. Be sure to watch the last 30 seconds or so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkYB...ature=youtu.be

Be aware that I have a lot to learn about making "good" videos.
Thanks. I had forgotten that it was necessary to tear the paper as opposed to just pulling it out all the way. But I think I mentioned before I haven't used film packs since about 1967.
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Old 02-04-2015   #36
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Thanks. I had forgotten that it was necessary to tear the paper as opposed to just pulling it out all the way. But I think I mentioned before I haven't used film packs since about 1967.
I do not know from experience, but I was told, back in the day, that if you did not tear off the tabs; you could get light leakage form the hanging tabs spreading the light trap open.
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Old 02-04-2015   #37
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I appreciate all of the information on the film packs. I've never used a film pack since they are a bit before my time, but my father used them with his Speed Graphic. I still have his Graflex film pack adapter and even a couple of very old but still-sealed film packs. So, I have been curious about how they work. A while back I was scanning some of his negatives and found that some of them would not fit into the scanner's film holder without trimming. I now know that these negatives came from a film pack! I don't recall being annoyed by the negatives being thinner, only that they required trimming.

It would be interesting to see what results come from shooting and processing one of the old NOS film packs. And I do believe that there would be some interest in newly-produced packs. I would definitely give them a try if they were newly made. That said, I also have a Grafmatic to try which serves a very similar purpose.
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Old 02-05-2015   #38
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Originally Posted by graywolf View Post
I do not know from experience, but I was told, back in the day, that if you did not tear off the tabs; you could get light leakage form the hanging tabs spreading the light trap open.
That makes sense. It has been so long I just assumed when you pulled them, the paper came out altogether. At least that is what I thought I remembered. I last used film packs in late 1967. Before that I used a few with my father's 9x12 in late 1957-early 1960, but mostly with the 9x12, I used 828 film with an adapter my father made from a cheap plastic camera and peg board type material (no holes of course).

47 years on with little use even then, small details are easily forgotten.
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Old 02-11-2015   #39
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Nope, the tabs are 3.5 inches wide the film and backing 4 inches. That leaves a 1/4 inch shoulder on each side that stop them from pulling out of the housing. The guys who designed these Film Packs back around 1900 sure knew what they were doing. It is truly elegant engineering.
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Old 02-11-2015   #40
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Tom, if you are really interested in pursuing this, I would highly suggest making a thread over at the Large Format Photography Forum and a poll to boot. You might want to figure out the cost and how you'd manufacture them too for the interested.

Frankly I think the # of photographers shooting handheld 4x5, and a lot of it, numbers in the dozens or maybe a hundred or so tops, but I could be wrong. Hence the poll. Even then they might not be interested despite their shooting habits, like me.

Personally I have over 1000 sheets in my freezer so I wouldn't be even thinking about it before I shot all of that!
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