View Full Version : Plaubel Makiflex Single Slide Back - HELP.

Daniel Unkefer
19-Dec-2010, 07:45
Hello All,

I recently acquired (from Germany) an Automatic-Iris Plaubel Makiflex Body, with a Single Shot Back attached to it. I have a Plaubel Makiflex 4x5 Back, which I use with Graphic and Linhof filmholders, Graphmatics, etc. But this one is a different style, which I am not familar with. I want to buy some sheet film (single-shot) film holders to fit it, so that I can use it. There was a little silver tag on the holder, but it has come off, so there is nothing marked on the holder, to give me a clue what to look for.

The original Plaubel catalog for the Makiflex lists the following:

#97324 31/4x31/4 back for Single Slides 4x5" MX1/537
#97486 4x5" Universal Holder for Plates & Sheet Film (use with MX1/537) SG1/377

By my measurements, the holder would be approximately 101mmx140mmx7mm. Is anyone able to tell me what holders I should be looking for, to get this back operational? Thank you All for your help!

Here is what the back looks like. A 4x5" Graphic holder is too big to fit. Perhaps this takes 9x12cm Single Shot plates?

19-Dec-2010, 08:24
The regular sheet metal plate holder back is slide-in. By the catalog description it sounds most plausible for this to be a (International) spring holder back with additional sheet metal plate adapter. Sure that thing does not separate into two pieces?

Daniel Unkefer
19-Dec-2010, 09:57
Hi Sevo,
Thanks for your response!

No, It's definately all one piece. I will need to disassemble it however, to re-do the foam lighttrapping on the inside, facing the camera body. It is quite old and rotten, and falling apart. I think I can take it apart, by removing the two large screws, holding the bail together. Will try to do that later today, It's very cold out in my workshop.

I'm sure this is a single shot plate holder from the looks of it, I'm wondering what types of film holders will fit it? Perhaps Zeiss? Plaubel? Any other possibilities? I'm also wondering whether it takes 9x12cm or 4x5" single shot holders?

Here's another view, with the bail fully open, showing where you would insert the very thin single shot plate. BTW I have a 6x9cm Plaubel Peco Jr back, which takes unusual 6x9cm single shot plates, which have no markings on them at all. Also from Germany. My feeling is that this is something similar, on a larger scale.

Daniel Unkefer
19-Dec-2010, 11:45
Here is what is inside, after undoing the four screws on the back piece. Flipped open, you can see the innards, including the rotting light trap. I will redo it, using 3mm thick lighttrapping foam, then it will be good to go.

Still need some holders :cool:

Daniel Unkefer
28-Dec-2010, 12:28
OK Will These Work?
Measures 100mmx165mmx5mm according to the seller.
Are these the correct holders?
Anybody know who makes these?
If not right, I guess I need something -very- similar.


28-Dec-2010, 14:18
Maybe, or maybe not - it is nearly impossible to tell by a frontal view. The edges are most critical - there were five or six different "Falz" standards for the guide rails that determine whether the holder fits a given back. To make matters worse, some Falz series had additional subtypes by length, locking structures and film plane position. Unfortunately few to no sellers are able to give specifics from which all critical details can be identified. But close-up pictures of the edges of both holders and back would already eliminate the risk of buying something obviously wrong...

Daniel Unkefer
28-Dec-2010, 15:03
OK Thanks Again Sevo.
Perhaps I should contact Plaubel, and see if they can help me identify which back this is, and give me the catalog number of the back, and the appropriate sheet holders.
I will give that a try, and that's probably my best bet.


Steven Tribe
31-Dec-2010, 04:25
I doubt whether Plaubel can help you!
I take it the Plaubel is somewhat later then 1926. After this date most German manufacturers standardised around thr "Normal" edge design and width - led by Zeiss-Ikon products.
I can find the back serial numbers later to-day. Where are you based?

Daniel Unkefer
31-Dec-2010, 05:58
I doubt whether Plaubel can help you!
I take it the Plaubel is somewhat later then 1926. After this date most German manufacturers standardised around thr "Normal" edge design and width - led by Zeiss-Ikon products.
I can find the back serial numbers later to-day. Where are you based?

Thank you for your help! I have three Makiflexes, and they date as early to middle 1960's vintage cameras. I had a feeling that Zeiss-Ikon plates may fit this, but I'm not sure. I know they made a lot of plate cameras. I am based in the midwestern United States. I can make camera and photo purchases in Europe via the internet and Paypal.

Steven Tribe
31-Dec-2010, 09:15
I'll check some widths tonight and get back to you.

Daniel Unkefer
31-Dec-2010, 09:25
I found these Zeiss Ikon holders, the seller says these are 100mmx150mm. That appears to be the correct size for my Makiflex back. If they have photographic film septums inside, I could be in business. It does say "Normalfalz" on the package.

If you can get me the original Plaubel catalog numbers as well, that would be extremely helpful. My 1960's catalog from Plaubel was intended for the USA, and I'm thinking what I have is not in the U S catalog.


Steven Tribe
31-Dec-2010, 09:37
The most usual Zeiss-Ikon (and easiest to get hold of too!) is stamped 665/7.
7 means 9x12 and the other code means type (single double pack film etc) - in this case single side.
The thickness of the 665/7 is almost 5mm - double sided is around 8.5mm.
The length is 150mm to the start of the dark slide pulling handle. The width has 2 measures - across the edges it is 100.5mm and between the internal edges (away from the thin flange) it is 98mm. Note that this model has a double flange system which means that there is a central channel down each side.
I have other designs with just a single edge on the darkslide face. These measure exactly the same.
If you do go shopping, remember that a good proportion will be originally designed for glass plates and may not have the excellent sheet holders installed.

Steven Tribe
31-Dec-2010, 09:39
I am not really a Plaubel person but will have a look!

Steven Tribe
31-Dec-2010, 09:55
It was very usual for 9x12cm cameras to use 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 cut film holders in the US. I have some very nice Suydam of Pasadena C holders that do (did) this.

Daniel Unkefer
31-Dec-2010, 10:13
Here is another set of holders, this one has solid vertically-running "lines" on the back of it.

The inside of my holder has two sets of "rub marks", where the paint has been scratched off, by the "ribs", on the back of the film septum.


See in the attachment below, the "rub marks" caused by the ribs on the back of the planfilmkassetten.

Steven Tribe
31-Dec-2010, 10:22
These are clean with very good cut film holders (unused?).
He gives the width without the edge flange. Perhaps you could ask whether the total width is between 100 and 100.5mm?

Daniel Unkefer
1-Jan-2011, 11:08
Here is a hand drawing where I have made exact measurements from the inside back plate of my Plaubel Makiflex single-shot planfilmkasette film holder.

Does anyone out there, have any 9x12 film plate holders, which have anything that will fit these dimensions? If you do, photos of the holder, manufacturer, and any other data would be most helpful.

Notice the two "ribbed" "stripes" that run vertically, which is a good clue for identifying the exact holders Plaubel intended for this camera.

Thank you everyone for your help!


Steven Tribe
1-Jan-2011, 13:19
Figure doesn't seem to help.
Send me your address with a PM and I'll send you some backs which I think might fit - and a single cut film holder that fits. 9x12cm film is easily available from Europe.

1-Jan-2011, 16:42
Pictures of the edges would be more useful - these are regular size holders, but that was to be expected given the age and type of the camera, and we still haven't figured out what type flange (Falz) it needs.

Daniel Unkefer
2-Jan-2011, 10:59
Here are two final pictures, of the back opened-up. I have re-applied 3mm foam all around the inside of the back, as the original foam had deteriorated, and was quite a gooky mess. Difficult to remove, for sure. But it is all back together again, ready to use, good as new.

In the latest pictures, notice the scraping on both sides of the interior, where the cassettes have been sliding in-and-out. Appears to be quite a tight-fitting planfilmkassette, exactly the type of tight fit one would expect from Plaubel.

Ordering some 9x12cm Efke 100 from Freesyle, so I will be ready to shoot, once I get some proper planfilmkassettes.

2-Jan-2011, 17:34
That seems rather spacious for sheet metal holders (which are four to five millimetre thick). You have cross-checked that no odd size international holders (including quarter plate) will fit?

Daniel Unkefer
2-Jan-2011, 18:11
That seems rather spacious for sheet metal holders (which are four to five millimetre thick). You have cross-checked that no odd size international holders (including quarter plate) will fit?

That photo shows the back split into it's two component parts, and now it is reassembled. The scrape marks on the interior look like they would come from the insertion of metal holders, to me. And the back side of the planfilmcassette has made marks on the interior of the holder, those are the "stripes" or "ribs" I have photographed and sketched.

I just measured the depth from the inside back of the holder, to where the new foam rests. It is between 6-7mm total depth. Perhaps the original back had thicker foam (maybe 4mm thick instead of 3mm?), it was completely deteriorated, so I have no idea about the original. I can easily re-do with thicker foam, if necessary.

What odd sized international holders are there? If I can find some on ebay, I can ask for their dimensions. The holders I linked previously are the wrong sizes, so I have eliminated those.

Daniel Unkefer
8-Jan-2011, 01:52
If you scroll down about half way, you can see the back I am trying to identify, in the rear left corner of the photo (directly above the cable release).

Can anybody translate the description for me?


8-Jan-2011, 06:03
What odd sized international holders are there?

Positively quarter plate and 10x15cm - the latter are not that odd sized really, being the same width as 9x12/4x5 and only a bit longer. There may have been more (probably not officially standard, but following the same pattern), as portrait formats in particular were often very local, dependent on picture frame sizes from pre-metric/pre-imperial days or fitting mug shots into the filing system the local police had been using ever since hand drawn wanted posters.

Daniel Unkefer
8-Jan-2011, 11:34
Steven Tribe,

I cannot Thank You enough for your help!!

Your package arrived today, and both plates fit my Makiflex holder tightly and -perfectly- and are obviously the exact item I am needing.

The holder in the left photo (I'm quite sure) is the -exact- 9x12cm holder that was used quite a bit in my old Makiflex back. The vertical "ridges" on the back of the holder have made an rubbed-out impression on the inside of the holder. Everything matches exactly. The holder is unmarked, except for the designation "D.R.P." on the darkslide. Does anybody know who made this holder, and where I could get about a dozen more of these? But for now, I can begin using the Makiflex back with 9x12cm sheet film. I am absolutely delighted!

The other holder (in the right photo) is a Zeiss Ikon 665/7 , and it also fits exactly my Makiflex back, just as well as the other one! This one came with an inside adapter for shooting 6x9cm glass plates, I have inserted one, and it fits perfectly. Did Zeiss Ikon (or anybody else) make an adapter/insert for shooting regular 9x12cm photographic film?
I can use these just as well, with the right adapters.

Thank you everyone (especially you Steven!) for your help! -Dan

Daniel Unkefer
8-Jan-2011, 11:56
OK I just figured out, that the Kodak 9x12 FILM SHEALTH will fit both of these holders. So I can just find some more of these, and Zeiss Ikon or the other holders, and I am totally in business.

Does anybody out there have any more of these they would like to sell??

Steven Tribe
8-Jan-2011, 12:51
Dear Daniel,
I have more of the ribbed type.
I thought you knew that the 9x12 film sheaths fit ALL types of 9x12 plate holders - perhaps 4x5" plate holders as well. I mounted it in one to reduce the size of the package!
You had better check - distance to ground glass/distance to emulsion surface when film is mounted in a sheath, which is also mounted in a plate holder. Should be OK though.
I really need the 9x12 sheaths I have - but they were bought on e**y. They are usually well described as no-one can overlook the bold EKC text on them!

8-Jan-2011, 17:22
The left seems to be a Normalfalz holder, the right looks like Millionfalz. If both fit, the back does not use the ridges to attach the holders, but clamps them down spring back style. If so, you'll only have to beware of too short or long holders.

Sheath inserts are cross-brand exchangeable - these alter the dimensions of a 9x12 sheet to those of a 9x12 plate, and both sheets and plates are standardized. As you noticed with your one 6x9/1x12 one, sheaths were made in a wide variety of adapter sizes - sellers are mostly ignorant and might only mention one size where two are involved, so expect to receive some wrong holders and sheaths in the process of getting a working set. But in my experience you can often make a small profit on sheaths and holders if you resell them with a accurate description, so that the risk of experimental purchases is low as long as you stick to modest bids at or below the going rate.

I have less 9x12 and 6x9 than I'd like. But in case anybody stumbles across this thread in search for odd size sheaths: I have a box full of tiny 6.5x4cm sheaths to spare...

Daniel Unkefer
9-Jan-2011, 11:59
If both fit, the back does not use the ridges to attach the holders, but clamps them down spring back style.

Yes that is correct, it a bail (clamp-down) mechanism. So it appears that as long as the holders are the correct size and thickness, they will work perfectly, and the edges are not a concern. BTW the edges contact the black foam lighttrapping material, which I have just completely restored, in my Makiflex 9x12 back.

And Thank you for your help and comments!


Daniel Unkefer
16-Jan-2011, 11:37
OK, I have received two 50 sheet boxes of 9x12cm Efke 100, from Freestyle in California. I loaded a sheet into the holder (with the ribbing) and photographed a test target (fine newspaper print at 45 degrees) in my studio, to test the film focus registration. I exposed the plate, and will develop it later today. I will also shoot a test at infinity, but I'm fairly certain that focus will be good as-is. I need to run tests, with a body and lens that I know are working properly, which I have just partially accomplished.

I have a friend who think he has boxes of Zeiss holders that he thinks are the right ones, as well as lots of Kodak 9x12 inserts. He is checking later today, and will call me back.

Daniel Unkefer
20-Jan-2011, 06:50
Now I'm ready to shoot some serious tests. I have thirteen holders now, eight are Voigtlander, three Russian, one generic German, and one that I think is Zeiss Ikon, with the ribs on the back. All are exactly identical, similar style and dimensions. I have loaded all thirteen holders with 9x12cm Efke 100, and will begin testing holder registration, focus, etc. After studying the Makiflex Back a bit more, I can see that four metal "stops" touch the front of the metal holder, that provides the correct plate focal distance/spacing. I reopened the Makiflex back, and removed the 3mm foam, and replaced it with -much- thicker foam, which provides the lighttrapping for the holder. I ended up using self-adhesive foam window insulation I had around. Now the Makiflex is completely lighttight, and holders still slide in and out quite easily, using the spring-loaded bail mechanism. All appears good and ready to go.

Interestingly, the Makiflex that came with this 9x9cm Back, had the groundglass installed frosted-side up, unlike my other two camera bodies, which focus sharp with rollfilm and 6x9cm sheetfilm, and have the groundglasses frosted side down. I think I will focus-test with the new body, since that is what came with the 9x9cm back. Hopefully a good match regarding focus. I can develop four 9x12cm sheets in an 8x10 Unicolor Print Drum. Hopefully the images will be fully sharp, or I may have to make some further adjustments.

Steven Tribe
21-Jan-2011, 11:49
I think you are doing very well, Daniel!

Daniel Unkefer
21-Jan-2011, 14:15
Thanks Steven.

Here's my Standard Makiflex, with 150mm F2.8 on recessed board, ready to go. I have adapted the body to take a Sinar Norma Cable Release:

Steven Tribe
22-Jan-2011, 13:52
As this back appears to have a clamping system, I would imagine that the double plate holder (which has the same front catch ridge both sides) would fit. And there was a film pack holder too - but of little use these days!

Daniel Unkefer
4-Nov-2011, 09:21
Hello Again All,

Here are several German Ebay auctions, which feature the same (single-shot) back on a makiflex (two different cameras) which I have also acquired. And these particular outfits -come- with the original film holders.

Here they are:



If you scroll through the photos in the ads, you will see the original holders. I am curious to know who manufactured these particular holders?

4-Nov-2011, 09:31
Who manufactured these particular holders? I am curious.

There seem to have been several German holder makers. Rada (by the fifties a Plaubel subsidiary) had been among them at least before the war, so they are a likely suspect. But Rada did not have sheet film holders in their list by the late sixties - maybe they supplied Plaubel exclusively by that time (or had different lists for roll film holders and their more arcane products), but there might just as well be yet another maker involved.

Daniel Unkefer
5-Nov-2011, 07:30
Thank You Sevo!

Most likely they are "Rada" Holders, then.

Searching yesterday through my inventory of plate holders, I found these three 6x9cm ones, obviously from the same manufacturer, as the markings appear to be identical to the 9x12cm ones in the Plaubel auctions.

The holders are 6x9, marked only "MADE IN GERMANY" stamped into the handle part of the dark slide.

Anybody know for sure who made these?

Daniel Unkefer
26-Nov-2013, 12:51
Yes these are definately RADA film holders, I have secured a copy of the RADA catalog, and -there they are-. Solves a mystery I've wondered about for years.

27-Nov-2013, 16:45
Could you upload a scan of that catalogue somewhere? It seems to be more complete than mine.

Daniel Unkefer
28-Nov-2013, 05:39
Could you upload a scan of that catalogue somewhere? It seems to be more complete than mine.

Hi Sevo,
Thanks again for your help. Have you been using your Makiflex much?
I am starting to get out with my three bodies. 9x12 film has been hard to source in the USA.
Here is the link to the RADA catalog:


I would appreciate any comments when you read, I do not speak German.