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

  1. #11

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Wayne,

    Thanks for the response. I've considered using a belt sander to shave ~0.020" off each side of the Canham holders. My main concern is dust. I'm worried that a bunch of plastic dust particles will get in the light trap, be impossible to clean out and will lay in wait only to jump out and ruin my best shots. I may try it with one of the holders to see how it works. I could place some tape over the ends and around the edges of the darkslide to seal out most of the dust.

    Before attempting modification of the Canham holders, I would like to know how yours measure up compared to your Lotus holders. The 0.040" number I posted was a typical number. The actual differences measured between 0.032" and 0.056"

    Also, have you noticed that the actual image area on the Lotus holders is about 1/4" shifted to the right, compared to the Canhams? If so, do you just allow a little extra room at the edge of the frame when you compose? It just seems a little weird to me that Lotus would make their holders almost, but not quite the same as the Canham holders.

    Kerry

  2. #12
    Photographer
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Pine Junction, CO
    Posts
    508

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    I bought my Wisner 4x10 back from Lotus (Burkhardt Kiegeland) on Ebay some time ago. It was new and unused and still had the tags attached. I suspect that he had purchased the back to measure it in order to produce his 4x10 camera. Perhaps the Lotus back you have was made to the Wisner standard.

    Since I couldn't get film holders from Wisner, I corresponded with Lotus and they indicated that I could get Wisner-type holders from them. Eventually, I decided to have my 4x10 back modified by Canham to use the Canham-type holders. This was the most economical way to go and, also, seemed to ensure a better availability of film holders.
    Keith Pitman

    keithpitman.com

  3. #13

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry,

    Welcome to the world of non-ANSI-standard camera sizes...

    Keith has posted the dimensions for his camera backs and holders on his website at:

    www.canhamcameras.com/Film Holder Specs.html

    You can see if your holders deviate from his dimensions.

    Shaving the plastic may be possible, but then those holders will never be 'right' in the Canham backs, which is what they were designed for. I think I would not make the modifications to the holders, as they could cause someone in the future problems since they will be non-standard. I would make the modification to the back, since it is already a non-standard item.

    ---Michael
    Platinum/palladium, gum bichromate
    and photogravure printing

  4. #14
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Marin County, California
    Posts
    834

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Hi Kerry,

    The film holders I got custom made from S&S are beautiful and fit my Wisner back nicely. They based the construction on a Lotus holder that I sent to them. This Lotus holder is made to fit the Wisner back. I don't want to add to the confusion, but are the early Lotus holders (which fit the Wisner backs) different from those they make now? The S&S holders are $175; not cheap, but certainly less then $420 for the Lotus ones. Good luck with your search!
    Brian Vuillemenot
    Images of Enchantment
    http://www.imagesofenchantment.com

  5. #15

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for all the responses. Nice to know I'm not the only devotee of the neglected 4x10 format.

    Perhaps the Lotus back you have was made to the Wisner standard.

    Nope, I have some of the Wisner compatible holders and they are MUCH skinnier than the Canham and Lotus holders.

    www.canhamcameras.com/Film Holder Specs.html

    You can see if your holders deviate from his dimensions.


    Thanks for the link. This is very useful information. I don't have the holders or measurements in front of me, but I do recall my Canham holders were in the 5.3xx" wide range. The Lotus holders were in the 5.28x range.

    I would make the modification to the back, since it is already a non-standard item.

    I am reluctant to modify the back. I have more of the (very expensive) Lotus holders than Canhams. The Lotus holders fit the back beautifully. I hate to mess with something that works as well as the Lotus back/Lotus holder combination. Perhaps I may just bag it and get used to reloading more often (I've become spoiled by Quickloads and Readyloads in 4x5).

    The film holders I got custom made from S&S are beautiful and fit my Wisner back nicely.

    Yes, the S&S holders are very nice and reasonably priced for mand made wooden holders of this quality. Sandy King was kind enough to loan me a sample for an article I am working on.

    They based the construction on a Lotus holder that I sent to them. This Lotus holder is made to fit the Wisner back. I don't want to add to the confusion, but are the early Lotus holders (which fit the Wisner backs) different from those they make now?

    I am a victim of my own actions on this one. You see, back when I had my 4x10 Wisner the ONLY holders I could get for it were the Mido II style. Mine were poorly made and suffered for assorted light leaks. After a few years of fighting this problem, sending holders back to Mido for repair, and still suffering far too many light leaks, I gave up and sold my entire 4x10 outfit - to Burkhardt Kiegeland. Burkhardt was also unhappy with the 4x10 Mido II holders and decided to do something about it. He started Lotus View Camera and their very first product was 4x10 holders to fit the Wisner camera. For a brief time, these holders were sold by Wisner at the bargain price of $95 each. Eventually Lotus started making their own cameras and ceased supplying holders for Wisner. They supposedly designed their own 4x10 camera to be compatible with the 4x10 Canham holders (which I just learned is not 100% true). So, at various times Lotus has made 4x10 holders in at least two different sizes - the skinnier Wisner size and their own almost-Canham size. As my Lotus back and holders are several years old, I have no idea if their current products are identical to mine, or if they are indeed Canham compatible.

    Perhaps I should just be thankful that I have a nice Lotus back and several very nice Lotus holders that fit it well and leave it at that. After my problems with my original 4x10 Wisner camera and the Mido II holders, when I decided to re-enter the 4x10 format, I bought the holders first and then bought a back to match. As I got a good deal on my Lotus holders, that stategy worked well until I got greedy and wanted even more holders. Live and learn.

    Kerry

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    57

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry,
    Trimming is the best idea, but the way to do this is run them on a jointer. If you have a friend or know a woodworker who has one. it will do a clean job and keep them square. Just feed them through slowly. If you lived in NJ I would do it for you.
    Good Luck

  7. #17

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Mark,

    I hadn't thought of using a joiner. Yes, it would be important to feed them slowly to avoid excessive heat that could melt or warp the plastic. Thanks for the offer, but I'm in the Portland, OR area - a long way from New Jersey.

    Kerry

  8. #18

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry,

    I just measured my holders and I get measurements similar to yours. I don't have a caliper large enough but I used a machinist rule to get a difference of about .040 inch or about 1.5 mm. The Lotus holder is about 134mm wide and the Canham is about 135.5 mm. I stacked nine Lotus holders on edge on a table and noticed slight variances in their widths. I guess this is to be expected with handmade objects. I did this with three Canham holders and they appeared to be the same width. I think shaving a little off the plastic holders would be the way to go, either with a jointer or a good router mounted to a table and used as a jointer. I never noticed the difference in holders because my Canham and my homemade cameras are made for the slightly wider Canham holders.

    The Canham holders in the Canham back are quite snug with no play. The Lotus holders are about 1mm narrower than the Canham back.

    I never noticed the 1/4" offset in image either, but you are correct about that as well. I noticed that in addition to the offset the Canham image size is slightly longer than the Lotus. I guess that I don't compose tight enough for any of this to make a difference to me. That's why I made the homemade camera as a fast shooter. Thanks for bringing up the subject, though. I learned something today.

    Wayne

  9. #19
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry,



    I'd have some serious reservations about trimming plastic film holders. You're talking about taking about .020" off either side. That's only about 1/64". But do you know what the wall thickness is? Is there enough material there to do that without compromising the structural integrity of the holder? And if you start trimming away plastic, how do you know that it won't relieve internal stresses which could possibly warp the holder?



    A jointer doesn't sound like the correct tool for the job. Maybe it would work, I honestly don't know. But I think a much better solution is to have the edges milled properly. That's assuming that the plastic these holders are made of will tolerate milling of any sort. If so, then it sounds like a job for Keith Canham. He's got the tooling, the experience and he sold you the holders to begin with.



    Early on you indicated that you'd "just" bought these, suggesting that they're new. Again, perhaps Keith would be willing to take them back in exchange for some new ones which he could possibly assemble to your required dimensions from the outset.

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    3,961

    4x10 Canham Holders do NOT fit my Lotus Camera

    Kerry, I have enjoyed reading a lot of the material that you have posted over the years, as well as ink and paper articles. So this question isn't intended as a Troll. But why in the world if you're going to shoot 4x10 don't you just shoot 8x10 and crop it (either in the camera or when printing)? The cost and bother of such a specialized format must vastly outweigh the weight savings (I know you're very hyper when it comes to weight).
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

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