View Full Version : Need some advice on 9x12 and 4x5 format

22-Jun-2008, 18:58

I have a LF PLaubel, it came with I supposed to be a 4x5 back. Well, it was a 9x12. So hard to find this film... I contacted PLaubel, and they would sell me a 4x5 back for about 300 euros. That would be almost the price of a new camera, and I was already in search of a new one whenthe anouncement of a 9x12 and 4x5 back. Does that exist? Is it possible? Because the formats are diferent, and my 4x5 film holder would never fit my original 9x12 back. Anyway, can some one give some advice on that? I feel really insecure about buying it. It would be a pain to pay for it and get another 9x12 back. I will send a picture

thank you

22-Jun-2008, 23:11
Modern 4x5/9x12 holders have the same outside dimensions.

23-Jun-2008, 02:46
9x12 film is available from Foma, and other manufacturers, and modern 9x12 dark-slides (film holders) are very easy ton find in Europe.

However as Nick says the outside dimensions are the same as 5x4, so it's more a cse of whether your prepared to accept composing an image on a screen that differs slightly from the film format.


Bjorn Nilsson
23-Jun-2008, 04:21
There is some information missing here.
First, when Nick and Ian are talking about "modern" that means from the 50ies and later. The back on the picture you posted seem to be a "modern" one.
Now, what is the size of the ground glass opening. I guess that it's closer to 4x5" than 9x12cm. Or is there some kind of outline for 9x12 on the ground glass, which leads you to the conclusion of the back being 9x12 only. A picture "straight on" the ground glass would probably help us help you.
I take it you have some filmholders. If so, what is the size of them (4x5 or 9x12) and do they fit in your Plaubel?


Peter K
23-Jun-2008, 04:42
The problem with the old Plaubel backs was discussed before. In the picture the back looks like a "Profia" back. This back takes double film holders only. So you have to look for 4x5" holders, not for another back.

23-Jun-2008, 04:45

Here's the best photo i've got. I have some old and very thin metal film holders (9x12). They fit perfectly on my Plaubel back. Im new in LF, and I tried to use 4x5 film holders in it. Didn't work, of course

I don't want to use 9x12 film. Impossible to find, at least in my country, and, even on the internet, its rare to find color film (neg. or pod.)

So my problem is that I need a 4x5 back that will accept those normal, bolder film holders (the normal ones: toyo twin, fidelity, etc.). This one really seem to fit my camera: the shape of the plate, and the marks seem perfectly like a plaubel back. But I wasnt sure if it was possible that it could be a 9x12 AND a 4x5 back, for normal (and my old thin and metal) film holders.

Im worried, 'cause when i bought my Plaubel, they told me "its a 9x12/4x5"...

Did I make myself clear? I'm sorry for my bad english.
Thank you :)


23-Jun-2008, 04:51
Björn, is right I have a cCambo and the screen is marked for 9x14 even though the blass is actually 5x4.

The older style pre WWII style 9x12 cameras and backs were quite different, usually the cameras were very much smaller, the dark-slides single sided and only a fraction larger than the 9x12 format itself.

Usually the modern 9x12/5x12 backs are called Universal because they accept the modern 9x12 and 5x4 dark-slides which have common outside dimensions as we've mentioned.


23-Jun-2008, 04:59
Julia, you posted as I was writing, sorry.

Does the holder accept a 5x4 darkslide by removing the focus screen, using the slider bit shown in the photo, sort of like a Graflok ?


Jiri Vasina
23-Jun-2008, 05:03
What country you're in? You could order your films through internet. BW films are available in 9x12cm size quite readily - Fomapan 100, Efke PL 100, Ilford FP4+, HP5+, Delta 100. You could try www.retrophotographic.com (if you are in Europe).

But you are right about color film. It's very hard to find it in 9x12cm, and almost always is as expensive as 4x5 (or even more! as I have just found out) - but www.calumetphoto.de lists Kodak EPP 100 in 9x12cm. If you intend to shoot color, it's wiser to solve your problem and shoot 4x5".

From the pictures you attached, it's pretty clear that the back should be useful for both of them - on the GG, there are frames for 6x9cm, (the off-center edges for polaroid?), 9x12cm (those closest to the edge), and the edge itself for 4x5". So it would seem it should be possible to use it for both. Do you have a standard (modern - Fidelity, Lisco, Arca swiss) 4x5 holder at hand? If so, why does it not fit in - is it too thick? is it too wide?

Bjorn Nilsson
23-Jun-2008, 05:07
Hmm... it seems like it's time for someone else to chime in here. Julia, in the meantime it will be helpful if you can tell us more about the camera. Which model etc. Some more pics of the camera would be great too.
I gues that the persons that sold the camera isn't of much help, but do try with them again.
Last, once you know which model this particular Plaubel is a source for an alternative back if needed, could be the german ebay, where there's plenty of Plaubel gear around.


Peter K
23-Jun-2008, 06:16
Julia, here http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/plaubel/plaubel.html you can find some information about Plaubel cameras up to the Peco Universal III.

Peter K

23-Jun-2008, 09:09
Dear Peter, Bjorn, Ian, Jiri and Nick

Thank you very much for your help
In fact, the guy that sold me the camera isnt really of much help. He is hard to contact.

This is a Plaubel Peco Supra camera. Its perfect, the movements are great. I could not imagine it was a 1954 camera... Advantages of good old craftmanship

Anyway, im posting a photo of the front and a big photo of the back. Taking the ground glass out as suggested wont soilve my problem (but thank you for the hint ;)).
The back I showed in the first photos is not mine. I intent to buy it, and I am just trying to make sure it fits my camera. The photo of my camera back might help you helping me. For this back I can only use 9x12 thin metal frame holders. Regular 4x5 holders wont fit it, they are bolder and larger.

thank you again


23-Jun-2008, 09:35
ops, missing a photo...

Peter K
23-Jun-2008, 09:48
Julia, the Supra is a great camera. Very similar to the Universal. Also lens plates and backs from the Universal 4x5" will fit to your camera too. There where two backs aviable, the one for the single film holders and the other one for double film holders. As mentioned before, sometimes one can find backs at ebay. But the back from the first picture won't fit to your camera.

Peter K

23-Jun-2008, 10:40
Try putting a wanted advert in the Sales & Wanted section here, you never know someone might be able to help.

I've just bought 10 old style 9x12 film/plate holders, and have the film, unfortunately my old pre-WWII cameras don't have the movements you have available with you Plaubel. Good luck with your search.


23-Jun-2008, 12:51
why do you think this back wont fit in my camera

:) thank you for your help,


Peter K
23-Jun-2008, 13:03
Julia, there is no back for Linhof, Plaubel and Sinar as the seller writes with his offer. Every camera needs a special back. The 4x5" back looks like your back for single film holders, but the two hooks to hold the film holder are missing, because there is a groove for the double film holder. BTW I've worked with an Universal III with both backs, for single film holders and double film holders.

Peter K