This video is a bit of a beginners guide to film holders, how to load them and an issue that I had with one that you might experience too.

The video is the seventh video in a short series following my experience of starting out with large format photography. The camera I’ll be using is an Intrepid 4×5 Camera (

When I first started out with large format photography, film holders, inserting and removing film were not only a bit of a mystery and worry for me. This was mainly because loading and unloading film needs to be done in complete darkness, in my case, inside a change tent. In the video I show you the process I use, but here are a few tips that will hopefully help you:

  • Practice in the light until you are confident of the technique. |To do this you’ll need to sacrifice a sheet of film, but in the long run, I think it’s worth it
  • You’ll see that the holder covers slide in above the film. Before you put your film holders into the change tent (or switch the light off in your darkroom), pull the covers out slightly so that they will help guide the film underneath it when you try to insert the film
  • Make sure you are familiar with being able to tell which way round the film is. Basically, if you have the notches on the top left, the side of film that is facing you is the emulsion side that need to face the lens.

Hope you enjoy the video and if you have any questions or comments please pop them in the YouTube comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.

ps Once again, sorry about the overly bright background and sound quality. I recorded this in a white walled yard while on holiday. White walls in the partial sun wasn’t a great choice and neither were the acoustic properties of the hard enclosed space!

Camera: Intrepid 4×5 Camera (Second Generation)
Film Holders: Fidelity

Camera 1: Panasonic GH4
Audio Mic: RØDE VideoMic Pro

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