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Thread: Whole Plate Standardization...

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  1. #1

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    Whole Plate Standardization...

    I'm thinking about getting a whole plate back for my 8x10 camera.

    Are the modern crop of WP filmholders / backs - from Chamonix, Argentum, Ebony - compatible/interchangeable with each other as far as holder dimensions and T-distance?

    In short, has WP finally been standardized for "modern" gear and is that standard published somewhere?

    Thanks in advance!

    Erich

  2. #2

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    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Hoeber View Post
    ...Are the modern crop of WP filmholders / backs - from Chamonix, Argentum, Ebony - compatible/interchangeable with each other as far as holder dimensions and T-distance?

    In short, has WP finally been standardized for "modern" gear and is that standard published somewhere?...
    Lotus, Chamonix and Ebony -- yes. Argentum -- I don't know.

    The "standard" isn't published. It resulted from my work to have Lotus build the first modern holders, which I then sent a sample of to Ebony, from which it built the first modern camera. I later sent one of those holders to Chamonix, which duplicated the dimensions when designing its holders. Later yet, Hiromi made his own holders which, since they work with the camera, also meet the "standard."

    We started from a Lotus 8x10 holder and simply shortened/narrowed it to achieve the desired image dimensions. T-depth and lock rib location are just like the 8x10 ANSI standard.

  3. #3

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    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Thank you, Sal. Extremely helpful!

  4. #4

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    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Oren Grad is the fellow to ask I think. When a firm in Japan was getting close to making new plastic holders in 6585 Oren did a bunch of measurements for them the final plan was to make holders compatible to the last Eastman Graflex holders that were made in the 1920's and '30's. Eastman standard if you will. I believe Cham followed suit and it sounds as though the others did also.

    I have a decent old eastman back to sell if interested. No extra holders though. The new ones never got made.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  5. #5

    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Sal's word should be definitive on this, since he was responsible for the specs of the Lotus holders and then provided one as the pattern for Chamonix.

    We worked for a while with Paul Droluk of Fotoman on specifications for new metal-and-plastic WP holders and got to the point of evaluating a prototype. Unfortunately, it became necessary for Paul to discontinue the Fotoman business, and the WP holder project ended as well.

    Although I don't own any of the Lotus WP holders, I do have a set of Chamonix. For those considering using them in older cameras, they fit nicely in my Eastman and Century cameras, with the caveat that T-distance is always hit-or-miss with the old cameras. So if getting that within very close tolerances matters, one needs to be prepared for the possibility that some shimming or shaving of the back will be required.

  6. #6

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    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Oren Grad is the fellow to ask I think. When a firm in Japan was getting close to making new plastic holders in 6585 Oren did a bunch of measurements for them the final plan was to make holders compatible to the last Eastman Graflex holders that were made in the 1920's and '30's. Eastman standard if you will. I believe Cham followed suit and it sounds as though the others did also...
    When Oren finished evaluating the Fotoman prototype he forwarded it to me. I checked it out and sent it back to Fotoman in China.

    Oren's plan was to get Fotoman's design compatible with my "Lotus standard" as well as some vintage cameras. Neither Chamonix nor Ebony followed that 'universal' path; their holders are exactly the same as Lotus, i.e. 8x10 T-depth and lock rib location, but overall length and width shrunk to achieve the smaller image area.

  7. #7

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    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Great minds think alike. And within the same minute too.

  8. #8

    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Here's the rest of the story, for whoever's interested in the revival of WP cameras:

    http://theonlinephotographer.blogspo...eplate_09.html

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    159

    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    I guess I don't understand the motivation for a whole plate back on an 8x10 camera. I have a whole plate camera, and I love the size. It's a much lighter camera and easier to use than an 8x10. I have 6-7 fiulm holders, and haver brought whole plate film in the past and used it. I added a 5x7 back and use the camera that way quite often. However, a whole plate back on an 8x10 camera gives you the ability to use film that's basically impossible to get, you have to cut 8x10 down. The camera is still heavy, not giving you the weight advantages of a true whole plate camera. You might as well use 8x10 film and get a bigger negative and save the hassle all around.

  10. #10

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    Re: Whole Plate Standardization...

    Quote Originally Posted by rjmeyer314 View Post
    I guess I don't understand the motivation for a whole plate back on an 8x10 camera. I have a whole plate camera, and I love the size. It's a much lighter camera and easier to use than an 8x10. I have 6-7 fiulm holders, and haver brought whole plate film in the past and used it. I added a 5x7 back and use the camera that way quite often. However, a whole plate back on an 8x10 camera gives you the ability to use film that's basically impossible to get, you have to cut 8x10 down. The camera is still heavy, not giving you the weight advantages of a true whole plate camera. You might as well use 8x10 film and get a bigger negative and save the hassle all around.
    A 5X7 back on a whole plate camera is sensible but a whole plate back on an 8X10 camera is not. Perfect logic.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

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