Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: 4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

  1. #1

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Just a word of warning about yet another possible pitfall for those considering the 4x10 format. I have a 4x10 camera that consists of a Lotus 4x10 back and bellows that I have adapted to mount on my ARCA-SWISS F-Line chassis. I have several of the beautifully made wooden Lotus 4x10 film holders that, naturally, work wonderfully with this camera. I just purchased some 4x10 Canham holders to supplement my stock of Lotus holders (with the weak dollar these days, new Lotus 4x10 holders are running almost $420 each - compared to $100 each for the 4x10 Canham holders). Much to my surprise (and disappointment), the Canham holders do NOT fit my 4x10 Lotus back. I found this rather odd, since I have always been told the 4x10 Lotus was designed to take the Canham holders.

    The difference is small - I measured several Lotus holders, as well as the four Canhams that arrived today. On average, the Canham holders are about 0.040" wider. Now, 40 thousandths of an inch may not sound like much, but it's enough to keep the Canham holders from fitting in my Lotus back. I also tried the Lotus holders in a Canham camera. They fit, of course, but are slightly loose.

    During this process, I also noticed that the location of the film in the holders is different. I'm not talking about the T-distance (film plane distance) which appears to be the same (within reasonable tolerances). I'm referring to the actual x, y dimensions. In this case the actual image area of the Lotus holder is shifted to the right by about 1/4". Not a huge amount, but it could mess up a carefully composed shot if you attempt to fill the whole frame.

    One caveat, I have been told by Lotus that my particular 4x10 back is a very early production model. I have no idea if the design of their back or holders have changed over time. Has anyone else attempted to use a 4x10 Canham holder in a 4x10 Lotus Camera?

    I may consider having my 4x10 Lotus back modified to accept the Canham holders (but, I'd still have to deal with the image being shifted - in this case, to the left by 1/4"). In the meantime, I would not recommend assuming 4x10 Canham holders will fit a Lotus Camera. So, not only do Canham and Wisner have different size holders for their 4x10 cameras, it appears Lotus does as well. With all three camera manufacturers using proprietary holders, is it any wonder the 4x10 format has never really caught on?

    Kerry

  2. #2
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Would it not be simpler and easier to trim the Canham holders to fit the Lotus back? I suppose it depends upon how heavily invested in Lotus you are...

  3. #3

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Will,

    The Canham holders are made from plastic. I'm not sure if I could trim them down without chipping or cracking.

    I have several of the Lotus wooden holders, and the Lotus back on my camera. I was just looking for some relatively inexpensive holders so I wouldn't have to reload as often.

    I thought I'd post this as a warning to anyone who has, or might be buying a Lotus 4x10 camera and planning to use it with the more affordable Canham holders.

    Kerry

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    129

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry,

    I had this same problem with new 12x20 film holders. I ordered and received a 12x20 Wisner camera but the holders were not delivered as promised and after several months of waiting I purchased two S&S holders from Quailty Camera after they assured me that the holders would fit the Wisner. The S&S holders were a little too big - only then did I learn that Wisner used a differant standard to build his holders. I have used modern and vintage view cameras (4x5 to 11x14) for nearly 30 years and never had this problem until the Wisner episode. I had mistakenly thought that manufactures of film holders subscribed to specific standards. I was certainly mistaken.

    Gary

  5. #5
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    "The Canham holders are made from plastic. I'm not sure if I could trim them down without chipping or cracking."

    Oops! I obviously was thinking of wood. Hope it won't be too difficult to modify the Lotus back. And then you'll shim the Lotus holders?...

    It's a shame that something so simple has to be so complicated!

  6. #6

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Gary,

    Unlike the more common sizes, there is no ANSI standard for 4x10 or the banquet formats. I found this out back in the early 1990s when I bought my first 4x10 camera - a Wisner. Keith Canham was the first to market with a dedicated 4x10 camera. Keith makes his holders from parts he get's from Fidelity. He basically uses the "long bits" from 8x10 holders, cuts the "wide bits" in half and glues them back together. So, they are basically just like 8x10 holders only skinnier. Wisner, on the other hand, based his 4x10 camera on some old X-Ray holders that had been discontinued 30 some years ago and are all but impossible to find (thanks to eBay, I have managed to accumulate a few over the years) . These are more like long 4x5 holders, rather than skinny 8x10s. The Canham holders are substantially wider than the Wisners. This, I've known for years. I was surprised to learn that the Canham holders would not fit the Lotus as I had been told the 4x10 Lotus was designed based on the Canham style holders. They are close, but not exactly the same. Too bad these three companies could not get their act together and agree on one common standard. It sure would make life easier for the people that buy their cameras.

    Kerry

  7. #7

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Will,

    I'm still undecided on how I'll proceed. The Lotus holders are beautifully made and fit the camera perfectly (as one would expect). It's hard to believe that back in 1997 they sold for $95 each. I was fortunate to pay even less than that for mine which were slightly used. At nearly $420 each, I simply can't afford to buy any more. The Canham holders seemed like a good alternative - they would be, if only they fit my camera. If I do modify the back, I'll probably leave the Lotus holders alone. It is the width of the Canham holders that's the problem, not the film plane location. As it's only about 0.040", it wouldn't have much affect on the fit of the Lotus holders.

    Kerry

  8. #8
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    "[Canham] ... makes his holders from parts he get's from Fidelity. He basically uses the "long bits" from 8x10 holders, cuts the "wide bits" in half and glues them back together. So, they are basically just like 8x10 holders only skinnier."



    Just not skinny enough. Perhaps it would be possible for Keith to make some which are sliced just a tiny bit narrower so that they then fit the Lotus. It doesn't seem right to modify the nice Lotus to a "standard" which doesn't even exist. That seems to compromise everything. But that's just me...

  9. #9

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Will,

    Maybe I'm just getting greedy (or lazy, take your pick). Perhaps I should just be happy with the Lotus holders I have and just reload more often. I have enough to get me through a day of busy shooting. I just hate to spend time reloading when I could be shooting (or sleeping). The Lotus holders are a pleasure to use and fit the camera like a glove.

    In addition to the Lotus and Canham holders, I have also amassed several 4x10 holders in the Wisner form factor (Mido IIs, wooden X-ray holders and some nice fairly modern plastic Lisco X-Ray holders). I have enough of these I was thinking it would be worth the money to get a second back, in the Wisner size, made for my camera. S&S is now making nice wooden holders in this size. They are around $200 each, which makes them a bargain compared to current price for new Lotus holders, but still twice as expensive as new Canhams.

    Or, maybe I should just sell everything but the Lotus holders and back, buy a bunch of film and go out and do some shooting (and a whole lot of reloading).

    Kerry

  10. #10

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry,

    Since the holders are only .040" too wide. I would just trim the Canham holders. I would use a belt or disk sander or a router to shave off a bit from each side. It's just plastic and you don't have much to risk. I wouldn't mess with the Lotus camera or holders. I have both types of holders and assumed that they were exactly the same size. I will check the sizes for you since your problem might just be a one time manuafacturing glitch somewhere.

Similar Threads

  1. Need 4x10 film holders for Wisner TF
    By Brian Vuillemenot in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2009, 06:09
  2. Visit to Lotus View Camera
    By Marco Annaratone in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 15-Dec-2006, 20:13
  3. Lotus View Camera Experience?
    By Wilfried Kruse in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 21-Dec-2004, 09:53
  4. Feedback on Lotus 8x10 field camera
    By michael todd in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 1-Apr-2001, 16:45
  5. Canham large format camera
    By William Jones in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Jul-2000, 15:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •