View Full Version : Use bookform holders with a spring back?

Roger Hesketh
2-Feb-2013, 11:14
Is it possible please to use bookform holders with a Spring back?

I have a Deardorff 10x12 spring back. I have had it for a number of years but have never used it. I also have some 10x12 bookform holders, eight of them I think,which fit another camera .

That camera is a Vageeswari 10x12, which I have made a 10x8 reducing back for utilising a Gandolfi 10x8 back to do so. I have used that camera for 10x8 but not as yet for 10x12 use. I intend to do so soon making use of some 9 1/2 inch wide aerial film that I have. To do that I will need to make film sheaths.

The Deardorff back is too wide to fit the other camera so I am not in a position to test to see if it will work with the bookform holders which are incidentally exactly the right width to slip under the ground glass of the Deardorff back.

Has anybody done this please? Is it possible to use the bookform holders with a spring back? Would the registration distance be similar? If not any suggestions that you might have to correct the registration distance would be appreciated.

Any project involving the 10x12 spring back is still some way off but would like to know if any potential project is a non starter as I am not keen to buy different 10x12 holders as the advantages to me of using that back over the set up I already have are marginal. I bought the back intending to build a camera around it and then went and bought the Vageeswari camera as it was so relatively inexpensive.

I have a more pressing reason to ask if bookform holders are usable with a spring back. I have just managed to fix and get ready for use a Thornton Pickard Whole plate camera, It has a spring back for which I have no holders but bookform holders are potentially available.

It is not by any stretch of the imagination a pretty camera. I paid I think 20 for it some time ago but most people even now would consider that somebody had seen me coming and that I had been robbed. I will be looking during the next few weeks to make reducing backs for it 5x7 and 4x5 to use it in places and weather I would not necessarily look to use a nice camera. I have just replaced a broken track on a beat up Crown Graphic to use that in a similar way. I am keen to give whole plate a go too using film cut down from the aforementioned aerial film.

I live in the UK and my field cameras have on the whole stayed at home during this year. The wettest except one I believe since records began.

2-Feb-2013, 11:47
The short answer is no, no, no and no chance :D

If your TP camera has a spring back it's been added long after the camera was made, I have a few TP cameras . . . . . . . . Maybe it's time you popped down south :)


Roger Hesketh
2-Feb-2013, 12:34
Why not is the registration distance different? I know the back is a recent addition I know the difference I found the camera whilst looking for that bookform half plate back for you which incidentally is unfortunately too big 21cm across. I got to measuring backs and ended up 'refinding' this whole plate camera and fixing it last night. How do you know it won't work? I suspect I may be out of luck but I am not sure. How is it you can be so sure. Thanks for the invite would love to see them sometime but I have not been too good recently not well besides which I'd never find your place I always get lost whenever I visit the land of the roundabout. In Kidderminster is their anywhere which is more than 50 yards away from one?

2-Feb-2013, 13:02
Yes register on bookform holders is usually quite significantly different to modern International holders, then there's also issues with light seal of holderr in the camera back.

From the North there's no roundabouts to where we live :D


Roger Hesketh
2-Feb-2013, 15:57
Thank you Ian You have saved me a lot of time and trouble finding that out for myself. I was hoping that the difference would be small enough that one might have been able to get away with shimming the ground glass further away from the camera.

Uncle Jim
4-Feb-2013, 18:25

I also have a 10 x 12 camera that uses book form holders. I would be interested in seeing pictures of your 8 x 10 back for it, as that is what I have been considering making for mine.
I currently use 10 x 12 X-ray film in the 10 x 12 holders. hope to hear from you.

uncle jim

Roger Hesketh
4-Feb-2013, 21:13
The back is not a thing of beauty by any means but it works and that is good enough for me. Utilising a Gandolfi back to make a reducing back for the Vageeswari which is itself an extremely well made camera has enabled me to gain for myself a quality 10x8 field camera which their is no way I could have afforded otherwise.. To be honest it is still a work in progress I still need to let some little brass pieces into the corners to reinforce the slots I have cut into the corners to take the catches which secure the top part of the back. It works as it is though and I have no intention of pulling hard on the thing.I need to locate some tiny little brass screws. Everywhere I have tried so far the smallest they have had are to big. I was fortunate to get the back for 40 .

88713 88714

Cosmetically it leaves a lot to be desired but it works which is all I need it to do. Tomorrow I am intending to start making a couple of reducing backs for the Thornton Pickard Whole Plate making use of a 4x5 Graflex Graflok back and a 5x7 back from a Kodak 2D. I am sure the resulting backs will be equally crudely made..

5-Feb-2013, 02:53
It's EASY way to fit your 1012 spring back onto your big camera.
However it's NOT easy way to find a modern 1012 back for it.

Uncle Jim
10-Feb-2013, 19:48
Hi Roger,

Thanks for the pictures. I recently completed a 5 x 7 reducing back for a Whole Plate Vageeswari camera. It isn't difficult to make the plates that go in the three corners. They can be cut from aluminum. You can remove the excess wood in the corners with a small router. Try a large hobby store for the necessary small screws to attach the plates. It takes a little time, but isn't difficult to do. I hope to start on my 8 x 10 reducing back shortly. I have several old ones that I can use.

uncle jim