View Full Version : Is 9x12 the same as Quarter Plate?

3-Apr-2008, 12:24
I just bought (for a pretty good price) an ebay Voigtlander Avus advertised as 9x12, though now looking at the auction images more carefully I noticed the included instruction manual says "Voigtlander 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 and Quarter Plate". It's got a 13.5 cm lens, consistent with the other 9x12 voigtlander avus models, and it looks the same as others in images I've seen. It's definitely not a small size like 6.5x9 cm or 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" (which usually have 10.5cm lenses, and obviously smaller dimensions). Would the instruction manual likely say "Quarter plate" if it was 9x12?

Guess I'll wait and see. Might be cutting down film (yuck).

Ole Tjugen
3-Apr-2008, 12:34
9x12 (cm) is not the same as quarter plate, and the lens will be 13,5 cm, not 13.5 inches. There are also 9x12cm cameras with 15cm lenses, and 6.5x9cm ones with 12cm lenses. And 10x15cm with 16,5cm lenses, but that's a different and even rarer beast.

The manual may not be original with that camera, or it could have been written to cover several different sizes.

Why cut down film? Just buy 9x12cm in the first place. It's a nice size. :)

3-Apr-2008, 12:59
13.5 cm

Err yeah, sorry. Typo. 13.5 inches would be a bit long for this kind of camera ;)

Why cut down film? Just buy 9x12cm in the first place. It's a nice size. :)

That's what I'm wondering; whether the camera is actually 9x12 or some pesky other size which I'll have to cut my own film for. I only followed my impulse to buy it because of the film availability.

Dave Parker
3-Apr-2008, 13:10
9x12 is a European standard, a bit smaller than a 4x5

The key word is "AND" sounds like the manual was wrote to cover more than one size..

3-Apr-2008, 13:18
Cool. BTW Dave, if you're back in business I may be pestering you for a 9x12 ground glass at some point. Not totally sure whether this avus has one or not.

Dave Parker
3-Apr-2008, 13:22

I am getting a bit closer, I have been trying to get three very large orders done for the European market that was placed many months ago, each one of them is over 200 pieces each and then I should be back to the retail orders very soon.

I will post a message when I am ready to take retail orders again.


Emmanuel BIGLER
4-Apr-2008, 01:42
Welcome to the Voigtlânder Avus Club ;)
I have offered 9x12 Avus to a member of my family, so I know a minimum about the camera.
The 9x12 Avus takes glass plate holders named (many thanks to Ole for the clarification) Normalfalz or Universalfalz. they were common to several manufacturers in the twenties and thirties of the last century.

The Avus camera line is described in detail in the last volume III of Claus Prochnow's Voigtänder Report. I have mail ordered the book directly form the publisher, Lindemanns in Germany. The book is in German but images and technical specifications are easy to understand.

Claus Prochnow: Voigtländer Report 3.
Platten- und Rollfilmkameras ab 1840. (Glass plate and rollfilm cameras since 1840) 320 pages with about ca. 700 illustrations, 17 x 24 cm, Braunschweig 2007,
EUR 35,80
If hou have those holders you'll have to add an intermediate metal or cardboard plate in order to accommodate a sheet of 9x12 film.
Adapting a modern 9x12 holder for the International 9x12 cm / 4x5" back would imply to modify the back of the camera ; this might not be impossible but probably not worth the effeort is you have a few Normalfalz glass plate holders.
So far there is no trouble finding a large choice of 9x12 B&W cut film. (well I live in Europe !)

Finding colour film in 9x12 becomes more difficult but not totally impossible.
But you can do tri-color images on 3 B&W successive films through 3 red, green and blue filters with your Avus as with any camera (includng a difital camera, why not ;).
This old technique in use before World War II revisited today by several enthusiats and explained here

In French :
Automatic transation by google, quite readable in English

4-Apr-2008, 05:55
Here is a reference to your camera.

Glenn Thoreson
4-Apr-2008, 10:43
Film holders (not plate) show up regularly on the auction site. There are several different types, so you need to be sure you get the right ones. It also takes a special removable ground glass back. Does your camera have it? They are a bit harder to come by. 9X12 cm film is available in B&W in the States and Europe. I'm not sure if the European market can supply color. No color available in the States. You would have to cut down 4X5.

4-Apr-2008, 12:05
Thanks for the help, guys.