View Full Version : Help identifying this Tachihara

2-Feb-2010, 22:07
Hi all,

I just bought a Tachihara "Hope" 4x5 field camera :




I started cleaning it and do some light restoration on the metal parts (I'll post pictures later).

Then I wanted to try a few shots with it and ... the back and the glass are way bigger than my film holder : the film holder space is 6 1/4 x 8 and the "hole" is 6 1/4 x 4 3/4 (which is also the size of the glass). The camera doesn't come with any film holder.

So I was wondering if i really bought a 4x5 or if it is an "exotic" camera format I don't know?

Any help would be appreciated as I'll have also to find a way to use my 4x5 film holders with this camera.

Thank you!

2-Feb-2010, 22:09
and an other picture with the glass in upper position :


Oren Grad
2-Feb-2010, 22:19
It's not a 4x5. Your measurements suggest a half-plate or Japanese "kyabine" size. The back is designed to accept "book form" plate holders, not modern double-sided "block form" cut sheet film holders.

3-Feb-2010, 09:41
Thanks for the fast answer :)

I spent some time looking for information on this film format ... seems pretty obsolete now (and anyway I'm not equiped to develop or scan this format of film).

I guess there are no "already-made" solution to convert this camera to use 4x5 film holders and I'll have to come with my own home-made one?

Any help is welcome :)

Oren Grad
3-Feb-2010, 09:58
Half-plate film is still available, and you can trim your own from larger sizes too. The greater challenge would be finding the correct plate/film holders to fit this camera.

If you follow the discussions here for a while you'll find that there are people doing all sorts of clever adaptations of different cameras. In this case, to use 4x5 you'd need a new camera back, and you'll probably need some custom-made lensboards as well as I expect this camera uses a size that's not commonly found.

I actually enjoy working in odd formats myself. But honestly, if you just want to use 4x5, unless you enjoy tinkering for its own sake, or don't mind spending more money and lots of time trying to get a cobbled-together solution to work, I think you'd be better off just shopping for a different camera designed for 4x5, that you could start to use right away. There are many inexpensive ones available.

3-Feb-2010, 11:24
There are pictures in Post #9 at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=51845 of a half plate to 4x5 adapter I made for an Okuhara camera I have.

10-Feb-2010, 21:38
Thanks for the valuable informations!

I took the time to restore the metals part of the camera and also build both a lens board and a adapter so I can use 4x5 film holder...

So here are the photos :





10-Feb-2010, 21:42


Lens board :



10-Feb-2010, 21:46
And the 4x5 adapter :



Mounted on the camera :



I just now need to find 2 little metal pieces to secure the film holder in place (just puting down the GG in position isn't enough as I thought in the first place.

Just shooted with it tonight, and it's a realy light and nice camera!

Oren Grad
10-Feb-2010, 21:54
Well, the best way to respond to the skeptics is to just go out and do it. :)

Good for you! The two things to watch for are the alignment between the ground glass and the film, and the light seal around the holder. But you've gotten this far... enjoy!

11-Feb-2010, 03:43
That looks great-
good work-

That baseplate is really pretty too-

11-Feb-2010, 09:01
The bottom tabs and upper latches look the same as on the later 4X5 back/ground glass/film holder. I suspect there are dimensional differences, but perhaps a later 4X5 back will fit on this camera. It's a spring style back that holds the double film holders and attaches to the camera in the same way your's shows.

I have a 4X5 back with a broken GG but otherwise complete and would be happy to measure the dimensions for you. If you list the width and height of the back, I will check. You will at least know if the 4X5 back fits your camera. If it's smaller, it could be extended to fit by merely attaching a wood plate the right thickness for the latches to the regular 4X5 style back.

11-Feb-2010, 19:05
Thanks for the great comments :)

I hesitated at the beginning betwen doing this adapter or completely redoing a back that would fit the 4x5 format. I ended doing the adapter as it wasn't "altering" the original camera ...

Here's what I measured :


Roger Thoms
11-Feb-2010, 19:53
Gorgeous camera and nice job on the adapter!!!


16-Feb-2010, 16:53
Hi all,

here the final adapter : I added to wood part so that the film holder remains in place when inserted.



Also a little tweak to the lens plate : as it fits reversed in the camera when folded with the lens, I added a little wood finger to grab it easily (instead of pushing it trough the back of the camera).


Thanks again for all the useful and nice feedback.

Kuzano : I would still be interested in knowing the size of the back you have, did you had the chance to measure it?

Oren Grad
16-Feb-2010, 17:48
Nicely done - thanks for sharing!

17-Feb-2010, 12:36
Nice job.

What do you use to ensure that the film holder is pressed against the film plane?

In my holder, I used wooden spring action, but that was not strong enough -- the holder could gap up and let light in when I removed the dark slide. I ended up drilling through the adapter and adding a pair of brass bolts with knurled nuts to lock the film holder down.