View Full Version : 12x10 Camera Back, purpose of pins ??

28-Sep-2014, 21:09
I acquired a 12x10 made by The Midland Camera Co. Birmingham, and in the process of getting her ready for duty I notice these sets of pins on the inside of the camera back. I was curious if anyone knew their intended purpose? There were 6 pairs of pins at one time. Three pins are now missing. Please see picts. Many thanks in advance.

122469 122470 122471

28-Sep-2014, 22:50
hi dannL

i have seen some "older" cameras with pins that hold some sort of viewing mask
so if there was a reduction holder ( larger holder with smaller film- insert )
the photographer could put a mask on the ground glass and view / compose
.. not sure if that is what yours are for .. i have a toho reducing film holder
and it uses a composition mask that i slide in on the other side of the ground glass
so i can compose and know where the holder holds the film .. maybe this
is a "vintage" version of the same thing ?

29-Sep-2014, 08:20
Thanks John. I believe you are correct. The way the pins are installed, one in front of the other, leads me to believe "something" could be installed between them temporarily. Ie; as you have described, a mask of sorts. I can't tell if the pins were original or were added at a later date.

This camera is very well used and has the scares to show for it. It's been repaired on several occasions. And I've had to repair some of the repairs to make the camera functional, once again. This camera has some stories to tell. Because of it's condition it wouldn't surprise me if it saw action in the trenches of the Somme during that great war.

Steven Tribe
30-Sep-2014, 01:00
Almost every set of mahogany/brass large format equipment I have bought has had backs which show signs of "extensive" modification! The more usual are permanent format reductions screwed (or hammered!) in.

Whilst the penciled framing on the GG may work for the ocassional change in format, I can understand that the frequent user/studio photographer would prefer the ease of the more permanent mask. But this is obviously a user modification - the manufacturers had a far more complex format reduction system, which probably didn't perform better in practise.

9x12, 4x5, 5x7, 18x24, 12x15, 30x40

30-Sep-2014, 14:30
This camera has had it's share of "fixes". And here's another one . . . I'm off the the lumber yard in a bit to pick up some wood for a couple a lens boards. The Aviar lens that came with this camera I suspect was probably not used on it. It only goes down to f/16, and it's not a shuttered lens. But, luckily the RD Gray Periscope that I use on the 8x10 will cover 14"x17", supposedly. I want to see that!. If you want to see a modified back, you should see the work I did on the back of my 8x10. Scarey.