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David Karp
7-Mar-2007, 10:01
Check out the new Ebony SV Whole Plate camera: http://www.ebonycamera.com/cam.html

I read about it on the Online Photographer: http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/

If enough of us dive in to this format, and holders become readily available, I think I will have to dive in too. The main thing that has kept me back is that I don't have the time or inclination to search and search for holders and wait unitl I can luck into some. As so many have said, it just seems like a wonderful size for contacts.

Thouht some of us might be interested.

Doug Dolde
7-Mar-2007, 10:05
Talk about non standard ! I'd rather 8x10 !

Oren Grad
7-Mar-2007, 10:05
Dave - stay tuned, T.O.P. will have more to say on the topic, likely sometime within the next two or three weeks.

David Karp
7-Mar-2007, 10:11
Oren,

I gathered that you would be providing something for TOP after reading Mike Johnston's blurb. I am looking forward to reading it.

Of course, if the only new camera available is an Ebony, I am still out of the game, but their introduction of a camera is a somewhat interesting development.

Christopher Perez
7-Mar-2007, 10:14
I will be interested in learning how Ebony will support this format with new film holders. :) :) :)

Jim Galli
7-Mar-2007, 10:27
Sweeeeet!

Oren Grad
7-Mar-2007, 10:31
I gathered that you would be providing something for TOP after reading Mike Johnston's blurb. I am looking forward to reading it.

Yeah, Mike's been on my case, and very cleverly put a public stake in the ground. I guess I can no longer evade my duty to uphold the honor of wholeplatedom... :o

But don't get carried away with speculation, all. I think we'll have some good information to share, and we'd love to see others pick up an interest in this fun format. But so far as we know, there's nothing cooking in the way of bargain-priced new cameras or holders. If anyone has information to the contrary, please do get in touch and we'll investigate further.

Christopher Perez
7-Mar-2007, 10:33
Come on, I need a reason to live. A person can hope, can't they? :) :) :)


... so far as we know, there's nothing cooking in the way of bargain-priced new cameras or holders...

Oren Grad
7-Mar-2007, 10:52
Come on, I need a reason to live. A person can hope, can't they? :) :) :)

We definitely encourage all whole-some hopes. ;)

George Hart
7-Mar-2007, 11:41
I would be amazed if resurrecting this format is an economic proposition! 3 months ago I drew attention to this new camera on the LF Forum (http://www.lf-photo.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=271), and the response was not overwhelming, to say the least!

I write as an enthusiastic user of Ebony cameras (45S and SV57E). I have no connection with them.

Christopher Perez
7-Mar-2007, 11:49
There was a discussion over on APUG where the Fotoman, well, man responded (Paul Droulak(sp?)). He was surprised at the level of interest.

Fotoman already offers "odd" sized film holders and some interesting cameras. The trick would be to offer an attractively priced bellows-based full plate camera with new plastic film holders. Apparently Fotoman's camera creation process is scalable. I was under the impression that they could get a decent ROI at 20 units. Seems almost too good to be true, so I must have misunderstood something from the discussion.

I recently uncovered a complete working tab-style film holder camera with like new holders. Ilford kindly had HP5+ in stock pre-cut. I bought what I could afford and will continue to pursue the format.

English Full Plate is SUCH a brilliant format. It fits nicely between 8x10 and 5x7 contact print work. Final matted images fit nicely to hand for viewing. It's probably the largest "personal" format where a person doesn't have to share viewing space with others. Unless they wish to, that is.


I would be amazed if resurrecting this format is an economic proposition! 3 months ago I drew attention to this new camera on the LF Forum (http://www.lf-photo.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=271), and the response was not overwhelming, to say the least!

Diane Maher
7-Mar-2007, 11:49
I bought a whole plate Century recently and placed an order for some film. The previous owner is letting me borrow a few film holders for a while, but I am planning to see about getting some from AWB later this year.

Bill_1856
7-Mar-2007, 12:13
The Ebony seems pretty heavy. When I hit the Lottery, the second thing I'm gonna do is put in an order with Gandolfi for a full plate camera and a bunch of holders.

Christopher Perez
7-Mar-2007, 13:06
Indeed, Ebony weighs too much.

However, it appears the Japanese (Nagaoka, Anba???) until sometime in the past 30 years regularly built Full and Half Plate cameras. These are incredibly light. My Half Plate Nagaoka weighs just a few ounces more than my Ikeda Anba 4x5!

I'm still searching for a Nagaoka/Anba Full Plate. I wonder if I'll get lucky that way...



The Ebony seems pretty heavy. When I hit the Lottery, the second thing I'm gonna do is put in an order with Gandolfi for a full plate camera and a bunch of holders.

Oren Grad
7-Mar-2007, 13:44
However, it appears the Japanese (Nagaoka, Anba???) until sometime in the past 30 years regularly built Full and Half Plate cameras.

My Rittreck View with full plate back is likely mid-70's vintage or so.

Re Nagaoka full plate, check out the fine print on the bottom of this page from Seth Broder's treasurehouse:

http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/nagaoka/p2.html

Now that would be a sweet camera. I wonder how many ever got made - or whether one could get Nagaoka-san to dust off the specs and build another.

Sal Santamaura
7-Mar-2007, 14:01
...When I hit the Lottery, the second thing I'm gonna do is put in an order with Gandolfi for a full plate camera and a bunch of holders.What's the first thing?

Rob_5419
7-Mar-2007, 14:04
I would be amazed if resurrecting this format is an economic proposition! 3 months ago I drew attention to this new camera on the LF Forum (http://www.lf-photo.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=271), and the response was not overwhelming, to say the least!


Now you've really gone and hurt my feelings.

This is my favourite format; from college when I studied Dorothea Lange's work, right up to trawling through Photographic Fairs and admiring the beauty of the whole plate. I wasn't reading this forum 3 months ago....guess I came on to find out more about plates etc....

Those of you who read any half-plate format posts at all will probably have worked out I'm saving up for one of these. I've already started by buying a whole plate holder which I uh, keep very close to my pillow just to check the format still fits at bedtime.

Sal Santamaura
7-Mar-2007, 15:36
...3 months ago I drew attention to this new camera on the LF Forum (http://www.lf-photo.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=271), and the response was not overwhelming, to say the least!...Thanks for pointing out that thread. I just registered and posted a link to information on APUG detailing the availability of Ilford wholeplate film. There are many avenues to using the format; not all need be expensive.

clay harmon
8-Mar-2007, 05:16
Whole plate filmholders are available from AWB, S&S and Lotus. This format is not dead, just a little under the weather at the moment......


I will be interested in learning how Ebony will support this format with new film holders. :) :) :)

wfwhitaker
8-Mar-2007, 05:48
Whole plate filmholders are available from AWB, S&S and Lotus. This format is not dead, just a little under the weather at the moment......

6 1/2 x 8 1/2 holders are not listed at Quality Camera's web site, the usual outlet for S&S holders. I seem to recall a post from Sandy saying that he'd been burned on making that size and wouldn't consider it again. I could be wrong...

Full plate isn't listed on the Lotus web site, either. That's too bad; some Lotus holders would be very nice to have. AWB does list the size, but I can't help wondering how long it would take to actually get the holders in hand.


...I just registered and posted a link to information on APUG detailing the availability of Ilford wholeplate film...

Sal, where's that post? I can't find it.

clay harmon
8-Mar-2007, 07:27
Lotus just made me a brace of whole plate holders. You have to ask.

I also hve a few S&S holders from Sandy. Again, you have to ask.



6 1/2 x 8 1/2 holders are not listed at Quality Camera's web site, the usual outlet for S&S holders. I seem to recall a post from Sandy saying that he'd been burned on making that size and wouldn't consider it again. I could be wrong...

Full plate isn't listed on the Lotus web site, either. That's too bad; some Lotus holders would be very nice to have. AWB does list the size, but I can't help wondering how long it would take to actually get the holders in hand.



Sal, where's that post? I can't find it.

Jim Chinn
8-Mar-2007, 07:27
I recently started a thread about retailers for LF film holders. As far as S&S holders go, Sandy King responded to contact him directly about holders. He listed a lot of sizes in stock although I don't recall if any were plate sizes.

Sal Santamaura
8-Mar-2007, 08:10
...Sal, where's that post? I can't find it.It's at the bottom of the thread George Hart linked. Click on that and scroll down.

Oren Grad
8-Mar-2007, 10:46
6 1/2 x 8 1/2 holders are not listed at Quality Camera's web site, the usual outlet for S&S holders. I seem to recall a post from Sandy saying that he'd been burned on making that size and wouldn't consider it again. I could be wrong...

Full plate isn't listed on the Lotus web site, either. That's too bad; some Lotus holders would be very nice to have. AWB does list the size, but I can't help wondering how long it would take to actually get the holders in hand.


So far as I know, nobody has them on the shelf. Lotus will build anything you want, you just have to wait a few months. AWB will, too, though timing is iffier. Sandy made a batch years ago - before he formally launched the S&S business - of which I purchased a few at the time. I think Clay got the leftovers from that batch. If I recall correctly, Sandy said recently that he's flat out with other formats and is reluctant to take custom jobs for the time being.

David Karp
9-Mar-2007, 11:25
I have been thinking about this development a bit over the past day. Does anyone know how this Ebony whole plate camera came about? Did someone convince Ebony to build one for them, and it ended up in the catalog? Or perhaps Ebony decided that there is a big enough market out there to justify creating a new product?

Oren Grad
9-Mar-2007, 11:36
I have been thinking about this development a bit over the past day. Does anyone know how this Ebony whole plate camera came about? Did someone convince Ebony to build one for them, and it ended up in the catalog? Or perhaps Ebony decided that there is a big enough market out there to justify creating a new product?

Two people requested custom-built cameras from Ebony in this format. Not for the first time, Ebony chose to show the result of a custom job on their website; it's a nice way of reminding customers of what they're capable of doing. And if anyone else wants one, they'll be happy to build more.

The distinction between custom and regular items for a company like Ebony is a bit artificial. Although their more popular 4x5 and possibly 8x10 models may be in serial production, their catalog lists all sorts of variations in other formats that are probably built one or two or at most a few at a time.

David Karp
9-Mar-2007, 11:40
Thanks Oren.

I expected as much. Hopefully they will sell a lot more and Tachihara or Shen Hao will offer a whole plate camera too.

Asher Kelman
9-Mar-2007, 23:08
What film is aavaliable in this size?

Asher

Sal Santamaura
10-Mar-2007, 07:01
What film is aavaliable in this size?

AsherAs part of its approximately annual "ULF" special order periods, Ilford offers FP4 Plus and HP5 Plus. Check with Silverprint for availability in Europe. There are others as well, including something offered by Retrophotographic.

Oren Grad
10-Mar-2007, 08:08
It's also not that difficult to cut down from 8x10 using a compact rotary cutter.

Rob_5419
25-Mar-2007, 07:56
What film is aavaliable in this size?

Fujifilm Japan market whole plate film internally; as do Efke (Fotochemika, Eastern Europe) & Ilford FP4+/HP5? on special order.

One advantage of the older book-form style holders is that glass plates (DIY collodion, liquid light emulsion or dry plates) can be used as well as sheet film. It seems that a lot of modern whole plate camera users are fixed on using film only - the advantage of the whole plate format is that there is a repertoire of historical methods of imaging all made possible because of the design of the whole plate bookform holder.

The bookform holders last longer than DDS type film holders and are easily repaired (light leaks can be blocked with black tape). Being heavier is it's most significant disadvantage although that is a reflection of its quality build - usually solid mahogany with durable brass fittings.

It's a shame the Ebony moved towards DDS film holders only (although granted that this met with their client requirements): that seems to be a modern concession which has restricted Ebony's whole plate users to 8x10" cut down emulsions, or the choice of 3 film emulsions from the above makers. I'd prefer to see a whole plate camera with an adapter for both bookform and DDS film holders. Clearly this won't be out of the question for Ebony, however it is significantly cheaper for anyone interested in whole plate photography, to start with a bookform plate holder back, and then modify a back extension for DDS: there is less work involved in machining a block of wood in this respect.

Ole Tjugen
25-Mar-2007, 17:32
AS to bookform holders, there are still possibilities. I have a bookform holder for 18x24cm plates which is 100% compatible with modern 8x10" cameras. There should be no problems in making these for any size. The holder is identical in all measurements to a new 8x10" DDS.

With the appropriate format reducers (which I also have), I can use any (metric) size film or plates in that holder - 18x24, 13x18, 10x15, 9x12, 6.5x9, and even 4.5x6!

Rob_5419
25-Mar-2007, 20:01
Your 8x10" camera also has grooves to take 18x24cm book form plates? That's a marvel then! It does demonstrate how flexible bookform holders are, in being multi-format friendly for whatever native format a photographer sets up with his camera.

In contrast, DDS's are not format-free in the same way as a book form holder: an 8x10" DDS takes 8x10" film, and not much else without a risk of error; similarly true for a 5x7" and a 4x5" holder.

Looking at the 5x7" DDS thread, I suspect it's a lost cause hoping for any future manufacture of a modern lightweight whole plate polycarbonate bookform film holder which can accept reducing inserts for 5x7", half-plate, 4"x5", 6x12cm, 6x9cm etc.

Ole Tjugen
25-Mar-2007, 20:44
Your 8x10" camera also has grooves to take 18x24cm book form plates? That's a marvel then!

No, it's the other way around: That bookform plate holder is identical in all important measurements to a standard 8x10" DDS - it even has the raised ridge in the correct location!

Rob_5419
25-Mar-2007, 21:06
No, it's the other way around: That bookform plate holder is identical in all important measurements to a standard 8x10" DDS - it even has the raised ridge in the correct location!


Uh!! The other way round you mean, chicken or egg - which came first? The DDS 8x10" is identical in all important measurements to the book form plate holder that preceded it.

That's quite a book form holder then - it certainly exceeds my expectations of a practical bookform film holder. If only it were available in half/whole plate. If these are standardised for 8"x10" then maybe my being cautious and settling on a half-plate was a mistake, given the huge variations in book form holder dimensions as well as non-compatibility with 5x7" DDS. It has been more of a mine-field trying to sort my way through these. In fact, I now have 4 Thornton Pickard size book-form holders which don't fit my book-form plate holder back. Interesting to discover that a bunch of 5x7" DDS' which I acquired were actually mis-described. These are actually Kodak half-plate DDS holders which fit my half-plate camera perfectly (with a makeshift clamp).

Back to whole plate then.....so when are you adding a WP Ebony to accompany your Gandolfi? :)

Oren Grad
25-Mar-2007, 22:19
It does demonstrate how flexible bookform holders are, in being multi-format friendly for whatever native format a photographer sets up with his camera.

In contrast, DDS's are not format-free in the same way as a book form holder: an 8x10" DDS takes 8x10" film, and not much else without a risk of error; similarly true for a 5x7" and a 4x5" holder.

I think this is more a function of the difference between plate holders and film holders than between book form and block form holders. I've seen plenty of adapters that enable old block form plate holders to accept different formats - for example, I have a set of wooden adapter frames that enable quarter-plate cut film sheaths to fit in block form 5x7 plate holders. The difference is that the plate holders have the extra depth needed to fit an adapter.

Ole Tjugen
26-Mar-2007, 03:08
Uh!! The other way round you mean, chicken or egg - which came first? The DDS 8x10" is identical in all important measurements to the book form plate holder that preceded it.
I'm quite certain that this holder is newer than the DDS standard - not least because it's an 18x24cm holder the size of a 8x10" DDS.


...
Back to whole plate then.....so when are you adding a WP Ebony to accompany your Gandolfi? :)

I'm planning to use the German whole-plate format in my Gandolfi. That happens to be 18x24cm.:) I'm already using German half-plate in another Gandolfi, 13x18cm :) :D

Rob_5419
29-Mar-2007, 19:39
I think this is more a function of the difference between plate holders and film holders than between book form and block form holders. I've seen plenty of adapters that enable old block form plate holders to accept different formats - for example, I have a set of wooden adapter frames that enable quarter-plate cut film sheaths to fit in block form 5x7 plate holders. The difference is that the plate holders have the extra depth needed to fit an adapter.

Thanks Oren. I think that's it. The design of the bookform holder holds more potential than a Double Dark Slide Holder due to its inherent bookform design.

Trawling through the net, there are archived threads on half-plate camera buyers who are keen to scrap their half-plate camera back to use reducing 5x4" backs by modification. Even Gandolfi offer this 5x4" reduction back service at £299 now (not £50 as posted on the net several years ago!).

The bookform holder enables a simple cut wooden or plstic 5"x4" mask to be inserted into a bookform holder. Then the bookform holder can be used to use 5x4" film or half-plate with minimum hassle. 5x4 grid markings on the ground glass too.


I'm quite certain that this holder is newer than the DDS standard - not least because it's an 18x24cm holder the size of a 8x10" DDS.

Ahhh...the wonders of Europe never cease! 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" whole plate is a British invention btw ;)

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
29-Mar-2007, 20:27
... 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" whole plate is a British invention btw...

And I suppose Daguerre was a great Anglophile.

tim atherton
29-Mar-2007, 20:50
I don't remember where, but I seem to recall reading that the metal (and later glass) photographic plate sizes as we know them 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" etc - were originally based on the standard British copper engraving plate sizes?

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
29-Mar-2007, 21:09
... photographic plate sizes ... were originally based on the standard British copper engraving plate sizes? ...

If I recall correctly, Daguerre purchased his polished copper plates (which he had silver plated) from a printing house, so Tim's point would make sense. However, I still don't see why these would be a British standard.

Oren Grad
29-Mar-2007, 21:41
Here's a nugget:

The plate sizes referred to in eBay listings reflect the decision made by Daguerre, sometime during his experiments with fixing the images produced by the camera obscura, to use plates sized 6.5 inches by 8.5 inches. I do not know why he so decided, but if I were to guess, he did so because that size was convenient for some reason: perhaps it simply matched the dimensions of the camera obscura he was using; perhaps he did so because it mated with work he had earlier done with Joseph Nicephore Niépce, the man who in 1827 took the first successful photograph after an eight-hour exposure. Someone probably knows the true reasons, but I don't....

Photographers who read Daguerre's full report released in August 1839 followed his specifications exactly, including his size specifications, and thus the concept of the whole plate was born. For reasons most likely related to cost, plates were cut up into different sizes, and the easiest way to do so was by simple repeated bisecting (or trisecting). Cases were manufactured to match these new standardized sizes, first by the photographers themselves, then by companies that were already manufacturing cases for other products.

http://reviews.ebay.com/Antique-Photographs-and-Photographic-Cases_W0QQugidZ10000000000805900

Dirk Rösler
30-Mar-2007, 05:58
Fujifilm Japan market whole plate film internally

Hi, do you have any references for that please? I have never seen them anywhere.

Regards

Dirk

Scott Davis
30-Mar-2007, 06:26
I saw half-plate on the Megaperls website, so if Fuji is cutting half-plate, they surely must also cut whole plate. Might be worth giving the Megaperls folks a poke to see if they can order it for you.

Dirk Rösler
30-Mar-2007, 06:53
Thanks - actually I am the Megaperls guy :)

Rob_5419
1-Apr-2007, 19:38
Re: Ebony Whole Plate!

I saw half-plate on the Megaperls website, so if Fuji is cutting half-plate, they surely must also cut whole plate. Might be worth giving the Megaperls folks a poke to see if they can order it for you.



Re: Ebony Whole Plate!
Thanks - actually I am the Megaperls guy

That's hilarious ;)

Dirk - I'll have to email s.o in Japan for his reference. Guess it would be good to see you stock whole-plate film in your shop too.

Eric James
1-Apr-2007, 19:40
Would the moderators please delete this thread before I'm further tempted to place an order?

Rob_5419
1-Apr-2007, 19:59
I don't remember where, but I seem to recall reading that the metal (and later glass) photographic plate sizes as we know them 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" etc - were originally based on the standard British copper engraving plate sizes?

If you get a chance to look at the Bassano collection of over 40,000 whole plate (that's 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch) and half plate (4 3/4 x 6 1/2) photographs in the National Gallery, it'll become very clear that there was a marked standardisation of plate sizes in England in the mid 1800's - 1900's. http://images.npg.org.uk/OCimg/weblg/2/7/mw17327.jpg

(Image from the Bassano Collection of whole-plate & half-plates), National Portrait Gallery

Steve Hamley
2-Apr-2007, 04:54
For those who already have an Ebony 8x10, it would be a cheaper and expedient measure to simply have a 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 reducing back made - about $750 versus 10 times that much. The camera sizes wouldn't be that much different.

Steve

Ted Harris
2-Apr-2007, 05:44
Steve, i suspect having someone else like Richard Ritter make the back as opposed to ordering it from Ebony would be way less than $750.

Steve Hamley
2-Apr-2007, 11:24
Ted,

Yep, I suspect it would. However, you'd still have to have (likely) expensive custom film holders or scrounge a lot, cut down most film to fit the holders, so I've decided to put 6-1/2" x 8-1/2" framing marks on my cover glass for the 8x10, then cut the film down AFTER exposure rather than before if I want to. Or crop the print.

Additional cost: The price of a new extra-fine Sharpie.

Steve

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
2-Apr-2007, 12:36
Although it is not quite as cheap as a Sharpie, I put together a whole-plate reducing back for my 8x10 for $100; $60 for an junked 6x8 camera with 10 holders and $40 for a junked 8x10 to 5x7 reducing back. It took and hour to put togther with a saw, drill, screwdriver, glue and woodputty. Doesn't look as pretty as an Ebony, but works perfectly well.

Ted Harris
2-Apr-2007, 13:18
Steve, you will also find whole plate holders popping up on Europen eBay sites with some regularity .... not every day but at least once a month.

Rob_5419
2-Apr-2007, 15:37
Steve,

It's warming to hear an 8x10" photographer pursuing the whole plate format. Although I don't own an Ebony (had a Wista 10x8" if that counts), I'm very reluctant to take on the extra dimensions of the 10x8". With Ilford removing its minimum order quantity on whole plate Ilford FP4+ orders, I can't think of a better time to get into whole plate photography.

The Ebony whole plate camera seems to be a lot lighter than an 8x10":

http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/2007/03/ebony-wholeplate.html

and it's specifications indicate that it is at least 1kg lighter than the 8x10".

$750US is enough to refurbish a whole plate camera with fitting bookform holders and a vintage lens or two. Although the Ebony is exquisite and high on fondle factor, my thoughts are that anyone curious about whole plate photography would be at an advantage starting off with a smaller investment in an older/vintage working plate camera. Not lest, I feel some kind of moral duty to rescue abandoned cameras from the attic kennels of their former owners. The disadvantage of scouring for whole plate holders is that these come in different flange widths (as usual!) even if the format is the same and therefore may not mate with a specific whole plate camera. The added disadvantage of this idea of starting off with a low cost vintage whole plate is that Paul Droluk's possible whole plate DDS venture won't help unless the rear plate holder is modified.

The irony is that to modify a whole-plate camera bookform holder rear into one which can accept DDS type film holders will probably cost as much as the whole plate camera :(

Steve Hamley
2-Apr-2007, 16:15
Rob,

I'd certainly do the same thing if I could find a deal, or just have Richard Ritter make me one. Or use the framing marks on 8x10. The only reason I mentioned the Ebony is because the thread started with that brand, and because I lucked out a few years ago and found an Ebony SV810 with a 5x7 and 4x5 reducing back all still in boxes for just a very few bucks more than I paid for my 4x5, which I dearly love.

So, already having the 8x10 with 2 reducing backs, I can't see getting expensive new hardware.

Steve

Steve Hamley
2-Apr-2007, 17:07
Just another observation on weight: I laid out the 6-1/2" x 8-1/2" framing marks on the GG of my SV810. The difference is minuscule with respect to camera size/weight, so I started looking at where a kilo could be saved. The camera pictured on the Ebony site apparently has a 4x5 front standard which uses Technika boards rather than the Sinar-sized 8x10 standard.

Nothing wrong with that unless you want to use portrait lenses on full plate. Personally I'd be inclined to have one made to use the even larger Deardorff boards to accommodate portrait lenses. If I did it at all.

Steve

Rob_5419
2-Apr-2007, 17:21
Hi Steve,

that's really interesting. I had assumed the weight was saved in some magical way in the whole design of the camera rather than a specific part. Is the Ebony's front/rear standards interchangeable/replaceable?

I do subscribe to the "small is beautiful: philosophy and prefer small over large. The Gandolfi half-plate camera is a case in point: it's lens panel is the size of a Speedgraphic and a standard half-plate lens is smaller and lighter than a 50mm f1.7 standard 35mm format lens.

Good point about the portrait lens although I think I would be happy with just one portrait lens which I've already earmarked (along with its Series XV sister.... 2 -3 lenses would outpace me, to say nothing of a huge array of lenses which I would never ever find the time to even mount on a lensboard...

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/Pictures/Cooke-lens.gif

Sal Santamaura
2-Apr-2007, 17:29
...The camera pictured on the Ebony site apparently has a 4x5 front standard which uses Technika boards rather than the Sinar-sized 8x10 standard...Not correct; it takes the larger Ebony/Sinar size boards. What you see is the adapter board for Technika type boards that Ebony includes as standard with all its 5x7 and larger cameras. Smaller Ebony cameras (4x5 and 6x9) accept Technika type boards directly.

The SV Wholeplate is lighter and smaller than an SV810. Compare specs on Ebony's site.

Sal Santamaura
10-Apr-2007, 09:11
Check out the new Ebony SV Whole Plate camera: http://www.ebonycamera.com/cam.html...If enough of us dive in to this format, and holders become readily available, I think I will have to dive in too. The main thing that has kept me back is that I don't have the time or inclination to search and search for holders and wait unitl I can luck into some. As so many have said, it just seems like a wonderful size for contacts.

Thought some of us might be interested.More information about it now here:

http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/

Given Fotoman's announced plans to produce holders, I hope David and many other dive in. That would likely inspire additional camera manufacturer whole plate offerings, not to mention supporting ongoing film production.

Rob_5419
10-Apr-2007, 13:59
It's a great article and worthwhile read - lovely discovering how the Ebony Whole Plate camera came about.


It'll be great if it encourages anyone to take up whole plate format too. 4 kilograms....4 kilograms....how am I going to carry around 4 kilograms of just camera.....

Shame the blog format makes posting comments so difficult though.

The only minor point I'd raise about the article is that it seems to erroneously attribute the whole plate format to Daguerre which is more of an assumption than historical fact.....but that's not important really. I'm just glad to see that whole-plate is here to stay ;)

Don Hutton
10-Apr-2007, 14:13
Hi Steve,

that's really interesting. I had assumed the weight was saved in some magical way in the whole design of the camera rather than a specific part. Is the Ebony's front/rear standards interchangeable/replaceable?

I do subscribe to the "small is beautiful: philosophy and prefer small over large. The Gandolfi half-plate camera is a case in point: it's lens panel is the size of a Speedgraphic and a standard half-plate lens is smaller and lighter than a 50mm f1.7 standard 35mm format lens.

Good point about the portrait lens although I think I would be happy with just one portrait lens which I've already earmarked (along with its Series XV sister.... 2 -3 lenses would outpace me, to say nothing of a huge array of lenses which I would never ever find the time to even mount on a lensboard...

http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/Pictures/Cooke-lens.gif
The PS945 does not have huge coverage - I really don't think that you are going to be satisfied on whole plate with it. 5x7 is fine, and while I have a shot or two on Polaroid 8x10, you have to get very close.... I honestly can't see it being the solution for whole plate portraiture unless you like shooting only heads from less than 5 feet.

Rob_5419
10-Apr-2007, 14:15
Thanks for the feedback Don.

You are saying this to make me feel better now that the PS945 has been discontinued, right? (It will cover half-plate in any case)....

Don Hutton
10-Apr-2007, 14:19
Thanks for the feedback Don.

You are saying this to make me feel better now that the PS945 has been discontinued, right? (It will cover half-plate in any case)....


Well that too!:) BTW, the story on Cooke lenses: there will not be any manufacture of either the PS945 or the XVa going on for the next twelve months - they have just landed a large job which is going to tax their small resources. It is their intention to manufacture LF lenses again... Obviously that could change, but that is the update I have.

Rob_5419
10-Apr-2007, 14:25
Ok ok!

I think I'll work a 12" English brass lantern lens into a shutter instead ;)

Shooting heads from 5 feet would be a real challenge! :eek:

That means their XVa series will be on hold as well. Who knows by next year whether it will be out again or not.

Maybe I'll just settle back into using all these ancient optics that have been seeing dust and give up-dating the modern..

David Karp
10-Apr-2007, 18:24
Given Fotoman's announced plans to produce holders, I hope David and many other dive in. That would likely inspire additional camera manufacturer whole plate offerings, not to mention supporting ongoing film production.

I have been seriously considering the creation of a whole plate fund that I can contribute to over time. A nice camera is in order, and I have a serious case of Ebony envy for the first time. Of course, if Tachihara started selling whole plate cameras, maybe more of us could afford a new camara! In the meantime, don't tell my wife I am thinking about this! :rolleyes: :eek:

Oh yeah. I loved Oren's recent article. Maybe Mike Johnston would allow it to be reprinted on Tuan's site, if Oren is interested.

Oren Grad
10-Apr-2007, 18:30
Of course, if Tachihara started selling whole plate cameras, maybe more of us could afford a new camara!

I'd love to see Tachihara making a whole plate camera. Who knows, maybe they will. But if you don't insist on having the minimum possible weight, you can easily get a Tachihara whole plate camera by buying the 8x10 and having a whole plate reducing back made for it. You can do that with any 8x10 that has a removable back, of course. That would add only a few hundred dollars to the price, which means that there are many options for having a "new" whole plate camera at a price very substantially lower than the cost of a new Ebony SV. And if one is fortunate to own a Phillips, a Wehman, a Canham lightweight, or some other ultralight 8x10, it can be done with little or no weight disadvantage.

And thanks for your kind words! Per Mike's enlightened blog-contributor policy, I retain the copyright on that piece. In fairness to Mike, I'd like to let him have it as exclusive content for a little while, but after that I'd be happy to have it posted on the LF Info site if people would find it useful.

Sal Santamaura
10-Apr-2007, 18:42
...Of course, if Tachihara started selling whole plate cameras, maybe more of us could afford a new camara!...I'm hoping Fotoman's holders will become the whole plate "ANSI Standard" that never was. This should make it easier for other camera makers to enter that format. The possibilities aren't limited to Ebony or a fantasy Tachihara. I've heard of one Asian manufacturer who would consider a small run if the market demands it, and someone today suggested they might contact Keith Canham to inquire about a whole plate version of his design. Be agressive and vocal -- go for it!