Film Holder Hinge Tape

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by david_gardner|1, Jan 10, 2001.

  1. I've just gotten into LF over the last year. Overall I am enjoying the experience immensely, and even the technical challenges are just that, challenges rather than deterents.


    I have five old wooden 4x5 film holders. In general, they work well, but the hinge tape is loose on most of them, and light leaks along the bottom edge of my film is, I suspect, being caused by hinge tape that doesn't stick to the holder parts. Is there a specific hinge tape that I need to buy to replace the old tape? I asked several local camera stores and was told to use duct tape. Will it work just as well?


    And while I have your attention <g>, all of my reading says that wooden and plastic film holders are pretty much interchangeable, and that neither has a distinct advantage. I took my setup on a camping trip to the Smokies last summer, and it rained the entire time I was there. The wooden holders swelled and were difficult to open and close, but I'm guessing that plastic holders would not suffer from this problem. Are there any downsides to using plastic holders that I need to know about?


  2. I had the same problem with some old 5x7 holders a while back. The
    original tape looks like what a bookbinder would use on the spines of
    old books. Not being able to find any (I didn’t look too hard), I
    resorted to duct tape and contact cement.
    I cut the tape to size, placed contact cement on the holder, and the
    tape, let it dry, then CAREFULLY placed the tape on. Make sure to
    ONLY put the cement on surfaces where the tape touches, and to open
    and close the hinges a few times BEFORE the cement dries completely.
    After more than a year, these holders are still performing just fine.
  3. I don't know about wooden holders, but on my plastic ones I use black
    electrical tape. Load them with 4x5 print paper...lay then out in the
    sun awhile, then develope...if the paper is still leaks!
  4. I posed a similar question with regard to tape for 4X5 plastic
    holders a while back. I ended up using Gaffer's tape at about $8.00
    a roll from Adorama. It worked well over the summer. I put the new
    tape on wax paper for cutting, and used the old tape as a template.
    There is another reference in the Archives that refers to
    an "official" tape from Fidelity that can be ordered from on the
    Calumet website. This may be even better. I would be careful using
    duct tape or electrical tape, as these may get gooey around the edges
    in hot weather and get gunk on other stuff.
  5. How about checking out upholsterers for the fabric tapes or remnants I
    am sure they have
  6. If cost isn't an issue, then dump the wooden holders and get plastic
    ones, you won't regret it. Wooden holders rarely have an accurate or
    consistent film-plane distance.<br>I'm all for using older equipment
    when there's no advantage in the modern replacement, but IMHO wooden
    holders have had their day.
  7. Various widths of book tape are available from Gaylord Archival in
    New York. They have a web page, too. It is listed under the Archival
    section. I use it for books, but have not needed it yet for film
    holders. I have used a metal foil tape, very flexible, on holders. It
    can be found in some art stores, but I got some from an aircraft
    supply house. They use it to seal holes in firewalls. I think it is
    actually a reflector tape. It is also thin enough to put over the
    original fabric tape and still not protrude.
  8. I use a one inch wide black tape manufactured by Permacel. Calumet
    sells it.

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