View Full Version : Tachihara 6.5x8.5 (wholeplate)

Michael Sta. Maria
18-May-2009, 23:52
Hello all,
I'm soon to be acquiring a whole plate tachihara view camera and would like to know some info on what camera back i would need to acquire next as well as lensboards and film holders. Are there any alternatives to what I would need to start shooting? Or can I ONLY use dedicated lens boards and/or camera backs and holders? From the bit of research I've done, I've found that this camera can take toyo holders? Are there any film holders in whole plate format that are compatible? Please help! I am completely new to large format and am open to learning as much as I can about whole-plate format especially.
Thanks in advance,

Oren Grad
19-May-2009, 00:06
Welcome, Mike!

Tachihara made a "yatsugiri" (Japanese whole plate) adapter back and matching holders for the Musashino Rittreck 5x7" view camera. These holders are somewhat longer and narrower than the vintage Eastman-type holders that are more common in the United States and the Lotus and Chamonix WP holders that are available new. However, I don't know whether Tachihara built their own WP camera to the same specification. Also, although I'm aware that Toyo made some WP holders, I don't know what their dimensions are.

If your camera is coming with a spring back/ground glass your first task will be to measure the width of holder that it can accommodate as well as the distance from the stop at the far end to the locking groove. This will determine what sort of holder you need to be looking for.

If the camera is coming without a back entirely, it may be a challenge to find a matching one.

Lensboard will depend on the camera - over the years Tachihara has made cameras with both industry-standard and proprietary lensboard types. A WP Tachihara is likely to have been a domestic-only model and to have had a proprietary lensboard size.

FYI, we are currently in the middle of the annual Ilford special order period for sheet films in unusual sizes. Once a year, Ilford accepts prepaid orders for a variety of special sheet film sizes including 6.5x8.5. This is your chance to get fresh, factory-cut FP4 Plus or HP5 Plus in whole plate size.

Michael Sta. Maria
19-May-2009, 00:15
Thanks for the informative reply! The camera does come with a ground glass. I will keep you posted on when it arrives so I know what to look for and how to measure the back to find out what type of holder it will accommodate. I will also post some pics as well. Thanks Again! I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again... :-)

21-May-2009, 10:46
Hi Michael,

How lovely to hear from a new large format photographer moving straight to the whole plate format!

The history of Wista; Rittreck; Yamasaki; Tachihara; Asanuma Shoka, Anba, all link back to the iconic Charten camera company, itself an outgrowth of another Japanese manufacturer at the turn of the Russo-Japanese war. The significance of this information, is that as a whole plate photographer, you may find it quite frustrating, sourcing whole plate holders for the Tachihara which fit; or whole plate holders which register the coincidence of the image on the groundglass with that of the film plane.

In any case, a little handiwork could probably resolve the latter issue.

All the best with your new format too. There's a number of us engaged in working with this format too, however you may be one of the few revivalists of the Japanese Tachihara whole plate format to grace these forum pages.

Kind regards,


Whole Plate Column (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/wholeplate)

Ernest Purdum
21-May-2009, 15:17
You might want to consider adapting a 5" X 7" back to fit your camera. It's a fairly straightforward task for any competent woodworker. 5" X 7" backs show up on eBay very frequently.

Does your groundglass fold up and over the camera before inserting a holder or does it pull back against springs? If the former, the holders can be expected to be book-form plateholders and probably unique to Tachihara. If you have a spring back, modern type ("block-form") holders would more than likely fit whether made by Tachihara, Toyo or whomever.