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Thread: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

  1. #1

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    Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    I'm just curious if anyone has used a Graflex Film Pack Adapter for wet plate. It seems doable and a good use for an obsolete piece of equipment.

    Thanks,

    Don Bryant

  2. #2

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    A film-pack adaptor is not light-tight without a filmpack in it; therefore would not be an easy adaptation like a surplus double dark slide film holder is.

  3. #3

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    A film-pack adaptor is not light-tight without a filmpack in it; therefore would not be an easy adaptation like a surplus double dark slide film holder is.
    Gene,

    I can see that the opening on the end would need to be closed and made light tight which seems pretty simple and straight forward. Also the coated glass plate surface would have to be offset slightly to match the ground glass plane but other than that couldn't it work?

    Thanks,

    Don

  4. #4

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Don, what you'll have to do to put the plate in register with the ground glass is gut a film pack and then put the wet plate in it in the FPA or put a shim as thick as the front of the film pack around the FPA's gate and then lay the plate on it. Either way you'll need to modify the FPA's springs to hold the plate in place.

    Gene's comment is right, so is your reply. FWIW, I based a coupling for stacking two cameras front to back on an FPA. Used darkroom tape to seal the slot for the dark slide, end of problem.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan

  5. #5

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Don, what you'll have to do to put the plate in register with the ground glass is gut a film pack and then put the wet plate in it in the FPA or put a shim as thick as the front of the film pack around the FPA's gate and then lay the plate on it. Either way you'll need to modify the FPA's springs to hold the plate in place.


    Dan
    Gene and Dan,

    Any idea where I can get an old film pack? I've never used film packs, I pulled the Graphlex Adapter from one of my junk boxes the other day and realized that it could possibly be converted into a WP holder. So I have no old film packs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    FWIW, I based a coupling for stacking two cameras front to back on an FPA.
    That sounds kind of interesting. What was the purpose behind that?

    Thanks,

    Don Bryant

  6. #6

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Don, when I bought a small bunch of 2x3 FPAs some had film packs. That's one way, but of course then you'll have more useless FPAs.

    The longest lens that's comfortable on a 2x3 Speed is the 12"/4 TTH telephoto as fitted to Vinten F95 and early Agiflite cameras. It isn't long enough. Since I have two 2x3 Graphics (three, actually) the economical way to shoot lenses longer than that on 2x3 turned out to be a tandem Graphic. Two 2x3 Graphics with brackets to hold them in alignment and a light-tight coupling beyween the back camera's front standard and the front camera's Graflok. If I'd had just one Graphic, buying a 2x3 view camera with a long enough rail might have been a better choice ...

    Cheers,

    Dan

    What you really need to know to use your FPA is how thick the front part of a 4x5 film pack is. Perhaps someone who has one will take pity on you, measure, and report. Then you can get shim stock and go. You might ask on the www.graflex.org helpboard.
    Last edited by Dan Fromm; 24-Jan-2008 at 10:37. Reason: afterthought

  7. #7

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    What you really need to know to use your FPA is how thick the front part of a 4x5 film pack is. Perhaps someone who has one will take pity on you, measure, and report. Then you can get shim stock and go. You might ask on the www.graflex.org helpboard.
    Dan,

    At the very worst I figure I can measure the depth of a regular film holder and compare that to the glass plate in the FPA and shim it from there.

    Don

  8. #8

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    I have a couple of the graflex film pack holders that you can have for the price of shipping if you want.

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by D. Bryant View Post
    I'm just curious if anyone has used a Graflex Film Pack Adapter for wet plate. It seems doable and a good use for an obsolete piece of equipment.

    Thanks,

    Don Bryant
    Hi Don,

    Yes. I made a 1/4-plate wetplate holder out of a 4x5 FPA. I used some trophy aluminum to make 4 corners on an acrylic insert sized to fit the FPA. The thickness of the aluminum offsets the plate surface enough to keep the focus acceptably sharp.

    I had to use some black tape to seal off the end of the holder near the lock springs, but was able to do so without much difficulty.

    I use the FPA in an old, beat-up 4x5 Graflex Series D SLR which is a really nice combo because I can see the composition reversed laterally on the GG just as it will appear on the positive ambrotype. I have the lens curtain open and use the lens on T. I can load the FPA on the back of the camera and still see the image to make final adjustments. When I'm satisfied with the composition, I briefly cover the lens and flip the mirror out of the way to make the exposure. Really an easy combo to use for wetplate.

    Joe

  10. #10

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    Re: Wet Plate - Adapting a Graflex Film Pack Adapter

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Smigiel View Post
    Hi Don,

    Yes. I made a 1/4-plate wetplate holder out of a 4x5 FPA. I used some trophy aluminum to make 4 corners on an acrylic insert sized to fit the FPA. The thickness of the aluminum offsets the plate surface enough to keep the focus acceptably sharp.

    I had to use some black tape to seal off the end of the holder near the lock springs, but was able to do so without much difficulty.

    I use the FPA in an old, beat-up 4x5 Graflex Series D SLR which is a really nice combo because I can see the composition reversed laterally on the GG just as it will appear on the positive ambrotype. I have the lens curtain open and use the lens on T. I can load the FPA on the back of the camera and still see the image to make final adjustments. When I'm satisfied with the composition, I briefly cover the lens and flip the mirror out of the way to make the exposure. Really an easy combo to use for wetplate.

    Joe
    Joe,

    Thanks for the info about the Grapflex Series D. I've been wondering what 4x5 camera I could dedicate to WP as I'm loath to submit my Wisner wood field to exposure to silver nitrate stains.

    Converting the FPA seems pretty straight forward and the acrylic seems like a good idea rather than using brass shims which is what I was thinking of.

    BTW, I also have an old Kodak Brownie 3B like the one mentioned in your new article which will be fun to learn with.

    Thanks,

    Don

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