View Full Version : Any plastic whole-plate holders ever made?

Joe Smigiel
28-Apr-2010, 18:48
I just acquired a Rochester Optical Universal whole-plate English-style field camera from an eBay auction. I plan to shoot whole-plate wet collodion ambrotypes with it and will need to adapt a plate holder in order to do so. It came with 3 functional period plate holders with film sheaths, but I hate to ruin one of these antiques.

It would be fairly easy to adapt a plastic Lisco, Fidelity, Regal, etc., film holder to that purpose, but I'm not sure any were ever made for this format. Has anyone ever seen a plastic whole-plate holder and if so, any pointers to where I might find one for sale?


Oren Grad
28-Apr-2010, 19:38
Glenn Evans ("Glennview") once had a handful of Toyo WP holders posted on his site. He has since sold them, and I've never seen any others. But they must exist.

They're much more scarce than vintage plate holders, though, and would be worth a lot more. I'd rather convert an antique plate holder, especially since when one is out hunting for WP holders to use with film, the number of plate holders floating around always seems to exceed the number of film sheaths. Might as well put some of those bare plate holders to good use.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
28-Apr-2010, 20:15
I sold those six Toyo WP holders to Glenn. I bought them New-Old-Stock in a camera store in Japan about 7 years ago, long before the current WP craze. Anyhow, the dealer told me that he had never seen nor heard of Toyo WP holders before, and that they were probably never produced in large numbers.

So the short of it is that I don't think you will find a plastic holder easily, and if you do they would be more valuable than the antiques. I have a handful of old wooden ones Joe, which I will never do anything with. PM me if interested, and send me the size of your current holders.

John Schneider
28-Apr-2010, 21:59
Rittreck made some plastic holders to go with the optional WP back for the 5x7 Rittreck (I had a pair and sold the lot to someone here). I never compared them to another WP holder, but I was told that their dimensions were somehow different than the "typical" WP holder.

Oren Grad
29-Apr-2010, 08:24
The body of the Rittreck holders is actually wood, not plastic, though they're in a black finish that might easily look like plastic at a glance. The Rittreck WP holders are longer and narrower than vintage American WP holders.

Joe Smigiel
29-Apr-2010, 19:41
Hmmm. Somehow I managed to win a second whole-plate camera (Eastman View #2) off eBay this week. When it rains...

I guess I'll find out how standard whole-plate holders are.

Scott Davis
30-Apr-2010, 07:02
It's my understanding that WP holders came in two major flavors, with a smattering of proprietary offshoots. There's the "Eastman" variety, probably the most common, and then there's a Gundlach. The Rittrecks might conform to a third, Japanese, standard (WP had a much longer life in Japan as a format, so there may be a Japanese standard that the Rittreck holders may or may not conform to). Just about everything else is a unique proprietary variation fitted to a specific camera.