Loading and unloading

 Sheet Film into the Holder.


It is a good idea to make yourself familiar with loading sheet film into the film holder.

1) to practice start with a sheet of film (old useless negative) with open eyes in daylight.

2) next with closed eyes

3) finally practice the procedure in the dark room, bag or tent or a cabinet.


Film package 

The film package exist out of three boxes: Cover, bottom and inner box with plastic bag. 

Inside the plastic bag we'll find a hard cover containing the sheet films separated by sheets of paper.

Tip: keep notes about the number of used sheets on the outside of the box.



Take one of your film sheet holders and clean the inside from dust. Make sure that the white or metal side is up.

The holder has two different handles to distinguish between film which has been exposed or not.


The next procedure has to be done in total darkness.

Draw the dark slide of the holder halfway out. You may have to turn the lock hook on top of the holder.

Take a sheet film out of the package in full darkness. 

Open the hinged bottom frame of the dark slide and slide the sheet inside the holder between and below the guides.

Make sure that you insert the corrugated side on the right side up into the open holder.

That means the notches on the right side up




Make sure that the sheet film slides in between the sliding groves. You do that by the feeling.

Please check and double check with your fingers to make sure the sheet film is well positioned.

Check by tilting the negative a bit.

Once the sheet film is in position push it all the way up, you may close the hinged slot and push the slide all the way back into the closed frame.

Make sure the hinged slot can not be opened after the dark slide has been pushed back all the way into the holder.

Lock the dark slide by turning the hook on top of the holder.

After having loaded the holder make sure to close the sheet film box.

Switch the light on and you may place the holder on the back of your camera.


Unloading after exposure

Unlock the holder and remove it from the back of your camera.

After exposure and having pushed the dark slide back into the holder, secured by turning the hook over the end of the dark slide, you may unlock the holder from the back of the camera, 

Place the holder in de dark tent. Make sure the tent is light tight. Preferable work in dimmed room, avoiding direct sunlight.

Draw the dark slide halfway out of the holder. Next tilt the sheet film with the nail of your finger and grab the edge of the film to pull the negative out of the holder.




Open the dark slide grab the negative and pull it out of the holder.

Tip: Use an empty film package to store the exposed films temporality before loading them into the developing tank.


Developing the exposed film.

Film developing can be done in a daylight developing tank, but the film has to be loaded in total darkness. Filling the tank with film developer and afterwards with water and at least with fixer, can be done in daylight. The whole developing, washing and fixing process finds place in the daylight tank. There are lots of websites which teaches the best way to do that.
Personally I develop in a very practical new designed developing tank for 4 sheets. Exclusively for 4x5 inch. 

The new designed 4 sheet processing tank from Stearman.
Saves time and money and most of the times a better alternative than the huge 6 sheet tanks.
The SP-445 film processing system process up to 4 sheets of 4x5 inch at the time and uses not more than 475 ml of solution. 
My favourite mix is 50 ml Tetenal Ultrafin and 425 ml water. Any other good mixture would do as well. 
No need to wait until you have plenty negatives to start up processing as 1 to 4 sheets is enough.
It is a great invention and I'm very happy with it.
if you are interested please contact the inventor.

For more details click here


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