View Full Version : are these plate holders the same

11-Jun-2017, 04:49
you may have seen my post in the "want to buy" section
just came back from the George Eastman House workshop
where we coated, then shot 4x5 glass plates
I want to do this at home but don't have any plate holders

have been looking at Ebay for those plate holders
but the items I see there look different than the ones I used at GEH
so I have two questions

for plate holders marked:
"plate holder for No. 4 Cartridge Kokak"

1. are these units the same size as modern 4x5 film holders?

2. I don't see a hinged flap at the end of the holder (opposite end to where the dark slides come out)
how do you load these earlier plate holders

I have also seen other early plate holders on the auction site
and my two questions relate to those also

thanks for your help

Jim Jones
11-Jun-2017, 05:46
Film holders have flaps at the end, Plate holders do not. The plate is slid into a slot at one end and a spring forces it back into a slot at the other end. Plate holder size wasn't completly standardized in the early years. The distance between the emulsion and the face of the holder may differ from that dimension in the ground glass frame.

11-Jun-2017, 07:03
thanks for the reply Jim, but not sure your answer is totally correct
because the plate holders we used (at least the ones I used at GEH) did have flaps on the end just like film holders
and these were not converted film holders, I seem to recall I was using a wooden Ansco plate holder
so obviously there are a variety of different types of plate holders out there

so let me restate my question(s) in another way
buying on Ebay is always risky, because often the seller is not knowledgeable about what they have
but is there anyway of determing (aside from buying and then measuring) that the plate holder
which you want to purchase off of Ebay will fit a modern 4x5 camera?

Bob Salomon
11-Jun-2017, 12:16
Linhof glass plate/film holders have a flap at their end.

Robert Brazile
12-Jun-2017, 07:24
The Letchworth Park workshop always looks like a lot of fun, will have to try it someday.

Eastman has a bunch of holders, some with the flap (probably Linhof, as Bob points out, and considerably newer usually) and some of the old Kodak, Premo, and other vintage wooden plate holders. I really like the Linhof holders when I can find them.

The trick with buying the vintage wooden ones is that, as Jim points out, the sizes weren't standardized. He mentions one issue, another is that the distance from the end of the holder to the rib lock for the light trap varies, as does whether the rib extends above the surface of the holder (more common) or is a slot in the face of the holder (a couple I've seen). That distance matters as to whether the holder will seat properly in your camera with no light leaking in. The only way to be sure is to measure it, or to buy a bunch, and try them until you find some that fit. The latter was my approach; I now have a set of holders that work for me, and a bunch that don't fit any of my current cameras. The latter I may try to modify, or I may try to modify a camera. or build a camera to suit, because I enjoy doing that sometimes.

The other issue I'll point out is that the vintage wooden holders are often much shorter than new models, which can make it hard to grab the contoured edge of the dark slide grip when the holder is inserted. Either take a tool to grab them, attach something to the grips to extend them a bit, or get real good at pulling the holder away from the body of the camera enough to get your fingers in there, pull the dark slide out *slightly*, re-seat the holder, and hope you can now grab the handle and haven't exposed the plate already. Really not ideal, but can work in a pinch.

Good luck in your search.