View Full Version : Is this tailboard 4x5 convertable?

1-Jan-2009, 06:20
Hello everyone,

A few years ago I was given a box with two wooden tailboard plate cameras, complete with lenses, 9x12 metal and 4x5 wooden plate holders (and assorted odds & ends). I'd actually love to shoot FILM with these but wouldn't know the first thing about converting them to take film holders.

Am I way off track or does anyone have any good ideas? - otherwise they'll go onto the auction block on evilbay (but I don't even know what they're worth).

Both have beautiful light-tight bellows (the one not pictured has red bellows), front rise/fall, shift and a touch of upwards base tilt, rear rise/fall, full axis tilt. The tailboards extend almost the full length.

The gg is 4x5 but marked off for 9x12.

One has a 6.3/105 mm Goertz doppelanastigmatic Citona mounted in an Ibsor D.R.P shutter(?), which seems to work at all speeds. The other is wearing a 7.7/170 mm Kodak anastigmatic mounted in a Kodak ball bearing shutter (EKC?) with Jan 18 1910 stamped on the side. The shutter needs work but fires at 25, 50 and B perfectly.

Included is a Steinheil Aplanat 14 with Waterhouse stops and a Steinheil 6/210 mm Unofocal that also has d=3.5 mm stamped on it.

They're just too classy to not use, but if I can't get film into them they're better off befriended by someone who shoots plate. :o

Can anyone help with this? I'd really love to use these cameras (or at least one of them).

I have more photos if needed.

Thanks in advance,

Johnny :cool:

1-Jan-2009, 06:26
a few more pics

Donald Qualls
1-Jan-2009, 08:20
The simplest way to shoot film in holders made for glass plates is to obtain some "film sheaths" -- I have a bunch of them in 9x12 cm size (no, not for sale, I'm using them), and they were also made in 4x5 inch. What a film sheath does is hold a sheet of film in the space that would have originally accommodated a glass plate, and in fact the thickness of the film sheath is responsible for the slightly sub-size dimension of standard sheet film (9x12 film, for instance, is actually about 88x118 mm, while 9x12 glass plates are actually 90x120 mm).

I obtained my film sheaths on eBay, and they still show up there from time to time -- and unlike plate holders, any film sheath made for 9x12 will work in any plate holder made for 9x12 and will accept any 9x12 film (same for 4x5).

Another option, of course, is to convert to a modern spring back and use modern film holders (both cameras would probably convert to 4x5, which would be simpler if you live in the USA) -- this reduces collector value, but increases the likelihood you'll use them regularly (because film holders and film will be easier to work with).

1-Jan-2009, 08:25

I actually have about five or six of those film sheathes in 9x12 (some agfa, some ICA). . . but that format's too small for me - I'll look for them in 4x5 but don't anticipate finding any for quite a while.

Thanks, :cool: