View Full Version : Kodak Specialist 3 questions

David Low
19-Dec-2010, 05:24
Hi - I have just joined the LF ranks through buying a Kodak Specialist 3 half plate camera and would be grateful for some guidance on one or two things.

The camera came with a number of accessories, one of which was described as a repeating back. This is around 14 inches and locks on to the camera either landscape or portrait, and has a rectangular hole in the centre of 2" by 3". There is a sliding ground glass/dds holder, which can be locked in position anywhere along the length of the back and that seems to take a film holder of 115mm width and the length from the base to the retaining slot is approx 170mm.

Question 1 - what would this normally be used for?
Question 2 - does anyone know what size of dds/film this is meant for? It is much too small for the half plate DDSs that I had supplied with the camera, and when I took it into a local camera shop it was slightly too small in width for the 4x5 holders that they had.

The other thing is that half plate film seems to be unavailable here in the UK and I have read that people are commonly cutting down 5x7 film. Either that or using 5x7 holders but they seem to be in very short supply. Can anyone give me pointers on how best to do the cutting down?

The format seems ideal for producing good sized contact prints but the shortage of film is a bit of a problem!

Thanks in anticipation.

19-Dec-2010, 06:17
I have a half-plate camera of unknown make. At least with mine I can use 5x7 film holders. In fact, both half-plate film holders and 5x7 film holders are a little undersized. With mine I've found that European book-type half-plate film holders are the best fit.

gari beet
19-Dec-2010, 07:12
Hi Dave, give mr cad a call. I have 2 boxes of HP film in my fridge that I got from them a year or so ago.
Also try here, http://www.lumiere-shop.de/index.php?page=product&info=1652.
It's a great format for contact printing.


David Low
19-Dec-2010, 08:07
Hi Gari & RJ

Thanks for the advice both - I tried Mr Cad last week and they were out of stock, but will take a look at lumiere and see what is available.

In the meantime I am going to try paper negatives with a box of old agfa paper that I found in the loft. It must be 30 years old but no harm trying?
Regards David

Pete Watkins
19-Dec-2010, 08:23
Before buying any film from Mr. Cad check the use by date. If it's out of date they won't tell you and if you find out too late you're expected to pay the postage to return it.
I agree with others, 5x7 holders are like unicorn crap, very hard to find. Half plate holders are fairly plentiful and you can always cut the film down to size.
I've not yet tried paper negs but as far as I've read here resin coated paper seems to be the favourite and there is a contstant debate about pre flashing, try it.
Foma film is allegedly available in half plate format but god knows where. Try some of the German stockists.
Best wishes,

David Low
20-Dec-2010, 11:54
Hi Pete

Thanks for the advice re Mr Cad. I exposed some paper negatives at the weekend and just need to get round to processing them.
Regards David

20-Dec-2010, 14:25
robert white are selling new 7/5 dds new ,ag photographic might well have half plate but certainly have 7/5 film Adox 100 asa ,silverprint also stock adox and forma and are worth a phone call,teamwork have some half plate dds in a box by the front door ask for ty and I am sure he will sort you out

Jim Galli
20-Dec-2010, 16:59
I'll take a stab at your repeating back.

Your camera was probably used last by someone doing portraits in schoolyard. I think it probably takes a rollfilm back that would hold 120 film. So you slid it over to gg for focus, then slid the back over and did the shot. repeat. Kid after kid after kid.............

David Low
22-Dec-2010, 15:51
Alun - thanks for the tips about the various stockists, will give them a try.

Jim - you may be on the right track with the multiple portraits but I don't think that it would be with a rollfilm back. The overall size of the gg holder is exactly the that of a half plate DDS and because of end stops does not have room to move completely clear of the rectangular opening. It just shuffles from side to side but always over the hole! It is more as though it is designed to take two or three photos side by side on the same piece of film in a holder.
My other thought is that if I could identify what size film it would take (slightly smaller than 4x5 maybe) and in holders (115mm wide and 170mm to the retaining slot) then I could easily put together a back for the gg and dds holder and use it as a form of reducing back?
Regards David