View Full Version : Elitist half-plate user group forum [Eh-pug] Mr Moderator Please?

3-Mar-2007, 14:15
Although I've been registered here for ages, I have always found the search engine very difficult to trawl through here.

Now that I'm working on a half-plate camera, I wonder - is there any mileage in having a separate forum for Plate cameras/Half-Plate cameras? I guess there is a lot of overlap with the usual LF Forums, although it might simplify things for newcomers to plate camera photography in the future, if they can reference everything under the banner of a Plate Camera Forum.

Discard the silly name - Ehpug of course ;)

Oren Grad
3-Mar-2007, 14:35
We had a discussion recently about adding format-specific forums:


There's a bit more differentiation at APUG - they have separate ultralarge, panoramic and plate forums. But there too there is concern about dividing things too finely.

3-Mar-2007, 14:43
Thanks Oren -

I guess I wasn't interested in the lines of argument given in the thread, arguing for or against a separate ULF forum.

It's just that the search engine here is so hopeless: type in 'plate photography' or 'half-plate' and see what comes out.

For plate photographers, it makes it harder for anyone trying to make use of the whole LF forum just to try and find some detail about plate cameras/techniques which probably are a little more specific to the plate ethos than general LF photography.

Personally I haven't found Apug very attractive due to the direction in which most sane discussions head. They do have a separate Plate photography forum which can be a good resource. I've just registered with their site and will start looking at it more.

Oren Grad
3-Mar-2007, 14:48
Yes, the search function can be frustrating to use sometimes. I was able to find that thread quickly only because I remembered participating in it.

I'm sympathetic - I love my odd-format cameras, and think your half-plate explorations are great. OTOH I do understand the challenge the moderators have to keep things in balance.

The least-bad solution may be to keep posting the threads like yours, making sure each time that there are distinctive keywords in the thread title, so that they're easier to find later.

3-Mar-2007, 15:21
On sites such as this one if I can't easily find what I am looking for using the forum search, I use google and for example I want to search for half plate on this site I would use the search string...

half plate site:largeformatphotography.info

This returns only search results for the largeformatphotography site. Many times it is much better than the forum search. It also works on any site. Just replace the site name instead of largeformatphotography.info


3-Mar-2007, 15:53
Thanks Oren - I understand where you're coming from.

Certainly I wouldn't enjoy having to try and moderate threads, let alone manage them on this forum (to say nothing of other forums).

Alabill - lol! Try doing a search for Taylor Hobson Series III lens.

There is a problem in the search engine with the recency effect ;)

Best regards,


Ralph Barker
3-Mar-2007, 17:53
The easy way to find things, as Oren mentioned, is for everyone to be more precise when naming their threads. Including "half-plate" or "full-plate" in the title would certainly help the plate camera users.

In the ULF sub-forum thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=18598), we danced around some of the issues of creating format-specific sub-forums, but never came to a conclusion. One issue not really discussed is that of people actually posting in the appropriate sub-forum. There's no way to enforce the initial sub-forum selection, and moderators don't really have the time to analyze the appropriateness of every thread's location. So, half-plate topics could easily end up in other sections, defeating the benefit of having a format-specific sub-forum.

3-Mar-2007, 18:09
That's true Ralph - I'll have to remember to post with the 'plate' epithet.

Although I notice that I've been posting about Plate Cameras in "Camera & Accessories" when I could have done so in "Gear" (only I don't like the connotations of the word 'Gear'). Equally, if I wanted to find out about lenses for half-plate cameras, I could post in Lenses & Lens Accessories, or if I needed Contact printing plate advice, in the Darkroom section, or if I was introducing myself to other half-plate users, post in "Introductions".

That's all perfectly fine ........ until it comes to trawling for 1% of information from the search engine :(

I don't know if appropriate keyword flagging is going to help: as a newcomer to plate photography, I won't know what the keyword is, and I might confuse "book form holder" for something other than a film holder or DDS which I am more accustomed to. Similarly, for those in the know, the task may be laborious.

I guess it depends whether we wish to be like Linnaeus and classify four-legged animals with fur, or four-legged animals with wings ;)
Or just say they all have four legs...

Oren Grad
3-Mar-2007, 21:36
I don't know if appropriate keyword flagging is going to help: as a newcomer to plate photography, I won't know what the keyword is, and I might confuse "book form holder" for something other than a film holder or DDS which I am more accustomed to. Similarly, for those in the know, the task may be laborious.

Often the best help in finding things is from folks who've been around for a while and know where the skeletons are buried. ;) It's certainly a courtesy to see first if you can find something via search. But we understand that it's not always fruitful.

...Oren, sp. Apatosaurus largeformati

QT Luong
4-Mar-2007, 12:40
I also recommend using the google search (there is a reason they are the kings of search) over the built-in search. The simplest way is to click on "LF Home page" and use the search box there.

13-Jan-2008, 16:17
Well, almost one year on....let's see how the search engine fares.....

Search String: 'Full Plate':


Search String: 'Whole Plate'


Search String: 'plate camera':


Search String: 'half plate camera':


Hmmm...not sure why the same nutcases appear to start these threads.

So how is the forum search engine then and now. Good? Bad? Ugly?

Is it yielding hits only because over the past year there's been more posts?