View Full Version : Kodak 2D 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 sighted today at a shop

23-Sep-2017, 19:38
I saw a Kodak 2D today that caught my eye. Unfortunately it was a 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 with lens but without any holders. Of course searches with the term "6 1/2 X 8 1/2" return nothing relevant. So, it there a way to make this camera useful? Putting a 5x7 back on it? Then where to find a 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 to 5x7 reducing back. Looks like they're made of unobtanium to me. I guess a pretty useless camera in its current state.

I had to pass this one up for the factors discussed above.

23-Sep-2017, 19:46
If you really want the camera, you could just shoot full plate.

Kent in SD

Oren Grad
23-Sep-2017, 19:53
It's plenty usable as a whole plate camera - you just need to have some patience to watch for holders. I don't see much point in putting a 5x7 back on it - for my taste the result would be way too heavy and bulky for the format, and cameras intended for 5x7 are not hard to find. But YMMV.

I've owned a 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 Eastman No. 2 for almost 20 years now; it was my first whole plate camera. (Actually bought two of them at the time - one had a bad bellows and the other a bad back; between them I assembled a usable camera.) I started with plate holders and film sheaths, eventually found film holders as well. I used the Eastman a fair bit before moving on to a couple of other whole plate cameras, but I still have it and have no plans to sell it.

24-Sep-2017, 10:46
Whole plate film holders seem to me quite expensive but if you wait you can sometimes find them at a good orice. We now have 8 of them. You could make a 5X7 back for it and shoot that format while looking for WP holders. We bought a homemade 8X10 to 5X7 back and remodeled it. We already had lots of 5X7 holders and only a pinhole camera for them. I am not a big fan of the 5X7 but my wife is plus we now have an enlarged for that size.

I would skip the camera you saw if you would only shoot 5X7 due to its size though.

David Karp
24-Sep-2017, 11:53
Chamonix makes new Whole Plate size holders that will work on the Eastman standard. I have a couple of those, plus a variety of WP sized holders made by Hoffman, Eastman, and others. The 2D takes Eastman holders, as does the WP Seneca. There are other standards out there, including one that works on the Japanese WP cameras and others for older USA and British cameras. Search this forum for multiple discussions on holder standards.

24-Sep-2017, 12:24
Perhaps it could be adapted to 5x8.

David Karp
24-Sep-2017, 12:36
. . . Of course searches with the term "6 1/2 X 8 1/2" return nothing relevant. . . . Then where to find a 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 to 5x7 reducing back. . . .

I should have mentioned that you could try to search for "Whole Plate" or "Full Plate" to find some information. I have a dedicated search on EBay for "6 1/2 x 8 1/2," "Whole Plate" and "Full Plate." That is how I found most of my holders. As Oren says, if you are patient, you can find holders on EBay and sometimes on this forum. I started with two and now have plenty.

5x7 reducing backs are likely available. I have one for my WP Seneca. Or, as mentioned above, you or someone who has the skills can cut down an 8x10 to 5x7 reducing back for use on a WP camera.

You can get film from Ilford once each year. They run a sale where less common sizes are available. Buy some and freeze it. WP negatives make nice contact prints.

24-Sep-2017, 13:32
Thanks all of you that replied. Once Kent mentioned full plate, that opened up a lot of information as far as internet searches go. The replies here are have a lot of information and ideas to look in to.

I agree that using that camera is not ideal if used only for 5x7 as there are many more options. David mentioned that Whole Plate negatives make nice contact prints. Sounds interesting as WP is seems large enough for contact prints.

Coating glass plates is intriguing, but perhaps not in the near term. From what I've gathered about wet plate/dry plate chemistry, the lower light sensitivity is ideal for older lenses in barrels and with flaky shutters so extended exposure times can be measured and implemented. I always learn something from this group if my searches don't return anything useful.

I have a lot more things to look at now that "all y'all," as they say in Georgia, have mentioned and guided me toward

Reed Jones

24-Sep-2017, 16:17
If cheap, why not, as you can get a generic 5X7 back somewhere and make a simple wood adapter to hold it to the camera... But the condition of the bellows is the deal breaker...

Could be a good investment if you are considering going into wet plate, as this is a sought after size by it's followers, and shouldn't be too hard to resell...

And a fun winter project to restore!!!

Steve K

24-Sep-2017, 16:37
Be advised that all Whole Plate holders are not made alike and thus interchangeable. Have come across two vintage variations that I can not use on my Chamonix Whole Plate camera.

25-Sep-2017, 10:27
Thanks all of you for the feedback. Though quite enticing, I'm going to pass on this camera and lens to concentrate on and improve with what I already have without distractions. 4x5 provides plenty of challenges as it is.
Reed Jones

Jim Andrada
25-Sep-2017, 11:17
I print a lot of things regardless of original film/sensor size at Whole Plate size. It's a great size to exhibit.