View Full Version : Do 4x5" holders fit 9x12cm backs?

21-Jun-2016, 14:40
will 4x5 filmholders fit into a 9x12 back ?
i am guessing YES because from what i read
the 13x18 cameras supposedly will accept 5x7 holders.

are the rumors true ??

much thanks !

21-Jun-2016, 15:10
The 9x12cm holders have the same outside dimensions a 4x5", but the film cavities are different.

21-Jun-2016, 17:39

any idea what the NON METRIC measurements
are of a 9x12 back ? 5 x 6 1/2 by chance or is that the 12x16 ?
i google the conversion numbers and am not sure which is which ...

karl french
21-Jun-2016, 18:27
That entirely depends on the camera.

21-Jun-2016, 19:13
i had a feeling ...

karl french
21-Jun-2016, 20:13
Well, most European cameras made after 1960 or so with 'International' spring backs that are marked 9x12cm will take 4x5 inch film holders.

Drew Bedo
22-Jun-2016, 08:05
To convert metric to inches:

25.4mm = 1 inch
2.54mm = 1 inch

A good conversion to know when working with view cameras.

Emmanuel BIGLER
22-Jun-2016, 08:27
will 4x5 filmholders fit into a 9x12 back ?

Hello from good ol' metric Europe!

This raises some interesting historical questions.

Before War War II, most European 9x12 cm camera did not take 4"x5" film sheets.
However old Voigtländer catalogues, around Wold War I, tell us that the honourable German company did manufacture some cameras / film backs for the Imperial 4"x5" format (or 5"x4", as they say in the UK).
So, at least, we can say that the European Continent did know what was in use across the Channel in the beginning of the XXst century ;)

I have no idea, when European 9x12 cm cameras became International, with the capability to take US film holders for the 4"x5" format. Some time between 1945 and 1960.

So as a summary, with 9x12 European camera made before WW-II, you can only use modern International fims backs if you modify the rear part of the camera.

Pre-WW-II Glass plate cameras like the 9x12 Voigtländer Avus or Bergheil cannot accomodate 4"x5" film, but you can load 9x12 cm cut film in the original 9x12 plate holders, with an intermediate adaptor part (the proper term in English is sheath). The German company RADA was a specialist of those sheath / adaptors.

Regarding 13x18 cm / 5"x7" films holders, the situation is similar.

"Modern" 13x18 cm - 5"x7" view or field cameras can take "modern" International standardized film holders with the same external dimensions, for 13x18 cm or 5"x7" film inside, but film holders are different for their inside measurements

Linhof 13x18 cm film holders with their famous spring-loaded pressure plate can accommodate both sizes. 5"x7" is smaller than 13x18 cm but if you slightly rotate a 5"x7" film inside a Linhof 13x18 cm holder, the pressure plate will hold the smaller film properly.
However, if you try to load a 5"x7" film inside a US-made 13x18 cm film holder, the smaller 5"x7" film will not be held properly.
There are some workarounds, you have to fabricate a small part, a kind of a spacer, that will help to hold a 5"x7" film inside a 13x18 cm film holder.

One of my French friends is an aficionado of 13x18, uses metric 13x18 cm holders routinely, and he has made those small adaptors; he can load either true 13x18cm or true Imperial 5"x7" films into his 13x18 cm metric holders.

22-Jun-2016, 10:19
thanks emmanuel !

- john

Drew Bedo
22-Jun-2016, 17:36
To convert metric to inches:

25.4mm = 1 inch
2.54mm = 1 inch

A good conversion to know when working with view cameras.


the second line should read: 2.54 cm = 1 inch.

My thanks to Jac@stafford.net for pointing this out via PM.

22-Jun-2016, 18:46
no worries drew
i know what you meant :)

28-Jun-2016, 07:24
turns out the camera was a 13x18, fit 5x7 film holders perfectly,
and was sold .
thanks for the into and help !