Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

    Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    I am interested in doing some tintype photography and the only camera I have right now is a Horseman monorail 4x5 camera. I am trying to find out if it is possible to use this camera to expose plates and what I would need to do that (what I would need for the camera, not for the entire process).

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    105

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    You can use a regular camera, but will need to adapt a film holder so it can hold plates. It involves cutting a hole in the septum, and then making corners (either solid ones, or by stringing silver wire across) so the plate has something to sit on. There's a useful picture (fig. 4) in this article by Joseph Smigiel (a very good article, and well worth a read.)

  3. #3
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    3,377

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Another alternative is to get a real plate holder!

    There are plate holders that are compatible with modern cameras, and there are also single-plate-holder-adapters for modern cameras.

    Since tintype is a wet plate process, making a dedicated wetplate back is better - it tends to get messy.

    But the best way is to get a real plate camera with plate holders.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Besanšon, France
    Posts
    1,564

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Hello from France
    I have "modern" Linhof holders in size 9x12 and 13x18 for the internaional backs (respectively : 9x12 - 4x5" or 13x18 - 5x7") that can accommodate glass plates as thick as ~ 1.9mm
    Those holders will fit any modern large format camera fitted with an international sprinback.
    In the Linhof traditional holders, a built-in spring-loaded back plate allows to take either cut film or glass plates.
    Beware however that Linhof marketed some 9x12 holders that are very similar to conventional Fidelity® holders ; those are thinner and simpler in design, they cannot accommodate glass plates. Linhof holders that can take glass plates can be recognised because they have a lever that serves both to check that something is loaded inside and to eject the film or plate when unloading. A very nice system however even for those who only use cut film

    Those plate holders existed in 18x24cm format but are more difficult to find. The easiest to find, at least in Europe, are Linhof 9x12. May be some of hose holders were mad for 4x5" but I have never seen one.
    So the only issue is to find a glass plate of the right size and proper thickness ; a friend of mine tried to load Russian Slavich 9x12 glass plates in a linhof 9x12 holder and failed because Slavich plates are about 0.1 mm thicker than the maximum allowed by the design, of Linhof holders.

    I also have manipulated various vintage European 9x12 plate holders fitting plate cameras of the first half of the XX-st century. Some of those holders can also accommodate cut film, with a spring-loaded plate like the Linhof. What differs fundamentally from modern international back holders is the way thoese holders are attached to the camera.
    There are various types & shapes, one of the most common among German plate cameras are named 'Norlmalfalz' witha thin edge. (Many thanks to Ole T for the tutorial he gave me some day about this )
    Another German type os amed : Million-Falz or Millionenfalz and has thicker edges ; this one is not compatible with the Normalfalz.

    Machining a custom-made back adapter to accommodate Normalfalz or Millionenfalz vintage holders to a modern camera is not very complicated. The first issue if you add something at the back of the camera is to be able to get the proper back focal distance to focus at infinity. No problem with a monorail camera.
    The other issue to renew old plate holders is to be able to find fresh black felt or plush that was used on the camera back to make those holders light-tight when taking the picture with the dark slide removed.

    Going off-topic we can add Rolleiflex 6.5x9cm holders. Those could accommodate either cut film or plates in 6.5x9 cm (2"-1/2 x 3"-1/2, 63.5x88.9 mm, the bigger European one of 2x3" formats ; the US 2x3" is slightly smaller)
    The Rolleiflex cut film holder can be found very easily as a second-hand item. The attachment is very close to a Normalfalz slide. To load glass plates in those holders you simply have to remove a metal plate used for cut film. Plate thickness is about 2 mm, I did not check precisely. A sping systme allows a certain variation in plate thickness. Another spring will press the plate against the image window, this was necessary for use on the Rollei TLR designed for rollfilm. This is a very convenient feature for a home-made 6x9 camera, since you know exactly where the film plane is located : it will be located where the film will be pressed during exposure !! So you can adjust for infinity-focus by pressing a glass plate against the same window. Rollei sold a open ground-glass plate holder similar in size to the plate holder.
    But this is only for the "small" 6x9 format !!

  5. #5
    All metric sizes to 24x30 Ole Tjugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    3,377

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    I have Linhof plate-and-film holders in 9x12cm, 4x5" and 13x18cm - so I assure you that the 4x5" version exists. I also have a couple of very nice bookform 18x24cm plate holders which fit any modern 8x10" camera!

    Linhof also made plate holder adapters which slide into modern backs, and allow the Linhof-type single-plate holders to be used in mmoders cameras. They were made for 9x12cm (in 4x5" cameras) and 10x15cm and 13x18cm in modern 5x7" cameras - and possibly others; those are the three I have.

    And yes, modern Slavich plates are just a fraction too thick for many original plate holders including the Linhof Universal ("mit Auswerfer"), but work fine in the even older Linhof single-plate holders.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Thanks for the help, looks like the Linhof 4x5 plate holder would work well for what I need.

    Do any of you know a source for these holders in the US?

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St Paul Mn
    Posts
    81

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Dry plate holders can take a lot more work to convert than a modern film holder, but the converted dry plate holder may give you a full sized image where the converted film holder will make a slightly smaller image.

    If you luck into a dryplate holder that loads from the rear and is designed to hold only one glass plate, you may find it fairly easy. If the plate holder was designed to take 2 dryplates in a similar way to a film holder, you will have to remove the septum, figure out some way to mount 'ears" to hold the plate, and deal with the "T" dimention.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Would this be just a regular plate holder like you would use for a dedicated plate camera?

    If so, are there instructions you can point me to on how to convert a dry plate holder to fit in the view camera?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    St Paul Mn
    Posts
    81

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by rmmoore View Post
    Would this be just a regular plate holder like you would use for a dedicated plate camera?

    Pretty much, yes. There are some dryplate holders that will fit right into a back made for film holders, the size is the same and the rib lock is in the same place. The problem is that the "T" dimention, the distance from the front of the holder to the film plane, can be and usually are, different, this will affect focusing. Two oprions here, shim out the holder or in some other way modify it according to what is needed, OR make careful measurrements of the difference between the holder and the back, and adjust after focusing on the subject.



    If so, are there instructions you can point me to on how to convert a dry plate holder to fit in the view camera?
    I am not aware of any. I think each conversion job will be a custom job, as there is so much variation in plate holders. Converting a film holder is very easy, and would be a good starting point, I would do that first, and then start messing with the plate holders with your newly blackened fingers.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    261

    Re: Modern Camera for Plate Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by katie cooke View Post
    You can use a regular camera, but will need to adapt a film holder so it can hold plates. It involves cutting a hole in the septum, and then making corners (either solid ones, or by stringing silver wire across) so the plate has something to sit on. There's a useful picture (fig. 4) in this article by Joseph Smigiel (a very good article, and well worth a read.)
    Wow, thank you for the link! A good (informative) article, I am in awe at the thought of doing wet plates used in the field & question if the dark tent may have been used as a shooting platform as well as dark room?

Similar Threads

  1. Need 4x10 film holders for Wisner TF
    By Brian Vuillemenot in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2009, 06:09
  2. Another victim - AGFA in Chapter 11
    By Juergen Sattler in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 29-May-2005, 03:11
  3. Ebony Counterpoint
    By Doug Dolde in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 7-Jan-2005, 12:27
  4. Arca-Swiss or Shen-Hao
    By darren in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 2-Aug-2004, 07:30
  5. Ebony Camera - what a beauty! A first time user's comments - long post.
    By Peter Brown in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 22-Oct-2001, 19:09

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •