4x5 in Half Plate Holders

Discussion in 'Plate Cameras and Accessories' started by Two23, May 14, 2011.

  1. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I've been looking online some, but I'm not sure I've got my question answered yet. I'm considering buying an older half plate camera as I think I want to get into making dry plates. From what I've read a dry plate is something like 4.5" by 6.25", or similar. What I'm hoping is that I can also shoot 4x5 sheet film in something like that. I do already have a Shen Hao 4x5, but think it would be cool to have the option of shooting sheet film in an old half plate camera as well. I think I saw somewhere that it's no big deal to put a blank glass plate in a half plate holder and then "glue" or stick a sheet of 4x5 onto it using honey etc. to keep it in place. Does this work? Alternately, would I be better off looking for something like a Thornton Pickard Imperial made in 4x5 and look for 4x5 plate holders?


    Kent in SD
     
  2. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Kent,

    I love the half plate format. I have a 'new-to-me' Underwood Instanto camera. Absolutely delightful camera. I learned a lot in the year it took me to find the camera. I'm happy to share a couple of tips I think are worthwhile. First, the term "half-plate" can be confusing. Whole plate is always 6-1/2 x 8-1/2 (inches). Quarter-plate glass plate is 3-1/4 x 4-1/4, so you'd think that half plate would be 6-1/2 x 4-1/4, but that size is usually called 'double-quarter'. The size that is almost always considered 'real' half plate is 4.75 x 6.5 inches. Back in the day, it was a very popular size and there were a multitude of camera makers, each with an ever-so-slightly different size and holders to match. And, the holders were usually book style (open on hinges.) You'll want to make sure you get at least one with your camera. Having said that, I have been able to adapt three different sizes to match my camera by shaving a bit off the sides and carving new notches (once you examine a camera and book style holders you'll see exactly what I mean.)

    It's very easy to use film with any plate holder that's bigger than the film format. Cut a piece of 4-ply mat board to the plate size and cover it with black paper (or paint it black). Use a dab of re-positionable adhesive (Post-it type) in each corner of the non-emulsion side of the film and press it to the mat board. The film will stay in place until you're ready to take it out of the camera. Only trick is to make sure you know where the film is when you focus through the ground glass.

    Best of fun!
    d
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2011
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Kent, I've made an adapter plate that takes modern 5x4 DDS (film holders) and this slides into my Houghton Duchess half plate camera instead of a book form half plate holder. I did similar to use a Graflex 6x7 back with my Houghton quarter plate camera.

    Ian
     
  4. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    In my collection of 5x4 DDS, I found one that has a removable platen that when removed, allows for the use of glass plates. Looking over ebay, I spotted a couple made by MPP (England) currently for sale.
     
  5. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    Thanks--this is a all great info that takes forever to round up online.


    Kent in SD
     
  6. rjmeyer314

    rjmeyer314 Member

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    I have a half plate camera. I've found that mine will accept standard size 5x7 film holders. Since 5x7 film can be found, while half plate film is impossible to find (although it can be cut down from 5x7 or 8x10), I suggest you buy 1 5x7 film holder and try that in your camera. If it works, buy 5x7 film. If you still want to do 4x5 film (for example, if you have a 4x5 enlarger), then you can mound 4x5 film in a 5x7 sheet film holder easily, it will slip in the usual film rails. You may have to cobble up something to keep it centered.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Modern half plate and 7x5 cameras made after WWII do take the same DDS in terms of the external dimensions, it's an International standard.

    No 7x5 holder will fit a British style half plate camera designed for book form plate (films) holders.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2011
  8. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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