View Full Version : Quarterplate Konona for Wetplate

6-Feb-2011, 07:47
I've always liked quarterplates. It's just nice to be able to use a thimble full of collodion and have a silver bath the size of a piece of bread.

Though I now shoot larger cameras, I kept thinking it would be nice to have a dedicated quarterplate camera, with movements. I bought this Gundlach Korona from a friend thinking it was a 4x5. Then I discovered that though the camera was mint, the bellows were not. They turned my darkroom into a planetarium when I put a light inside them to check. I also discovered it wasn't a 4x5, it was a 3 1/4 X 4 1/4. Ok, this would be my quarterplate wetplate camera.


I spent the day painting all the holes in the bellows with fabric paint. The Gundlach Turner Reich in the Optimo shutter would work, but I wanted a Petzval. Lo and behold, a little 1870s Darlot 4" gem lens fit the Optimo flange!


I just happen to have a 3x4 Graflex Film Pack adapter I've been holding onto for this occasion. These make great little bookform plate holders, and can be bought for a dollar to two.

And voila! A tiny wetplate camera. First trial plate (still lightleaks from pinholes on the bottom):


6-Feb-2011, 08:06
What a cool little camera. You definitely lucked out fitting that gem lens into the Optimo. I've passed on a bunch of quarter plate cameras and I always think, they're too small, but none of them were in as nice condition as yours. Maybe you should break down and have some new bellows made--it can't cost too much.

6-Feb-2011, 08:44
Yeah, I've gotten lucky on flanges and such a lot recently. It's a great feeling when you screw something and it goes in....nevermind.

I have several cameras that need bellows. I guess I'm cheap, but I hate the idea of spending $300 on bellows to put to a camera maybe worth $300 total. I have a 8x10 2D just sitting, cause fore the price of getting bellows put on it...I could just find another with good bellows....

Maybe my goop will hold a while, at least for wetplate which is about ASA 1.

7-Feb-2011, 05:55
Oh my gosh, I love it! You make me look at this format with a brand new set of eyes. I agree - - unless you can get a bellows done inexpensively, it may be worth keeping an eye out for a camera that is in tiptop condition from tip to tail. :)