4x5 plate holders hard to find. Why?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by michaelbsc, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Over the past several months I have been collecting a few 5x7 film holders for a foray into that size. In the course of those purchases I have run across a fair number of glass plate holders in 5x7 and some for 3.25x4.25, but I have found virtually none in 4x5.

    I had some idea I could experiment with 4x5 collodion plates (or even attempt to make dry plates) and get them in my enlarger, whereas I cannot possibly get a 5x7 in my enlarger.

    I also haven't seen 8x10 plate holders either, but I haven't been looking for them.

    Was 4x5 just never a popular size for glass plates? What size, besides 5x7 obviously, and the full plate and half plate sizes, were popular before sheet film took over?

    MB
     
  2. degruyl

    degruyl Member

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    I just saw two over on e-bay last week. 4x5 plate holders with film holder inserts. They were a bit rich for me, so I didn't pick them up.
     
  3. anon12345

    anon12345 Member

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    When I recently bought a Sands & Hunter Exhibition (circa 1883) and it turned out to be a 5x4. All three book plate-holders will also take standard 5x4 film inserts with absolutely no room to spare. So, 5x4 was out there but I'm not of their popularity. I have also looked for spares. I gave up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I run into 4x5 plate holders all the time. With the PHSNE Photographica show in Wakefield, MA coming up on April 30/ May 1, I expect I will see dozens of them. They seem to come in waves, though, as collector/dealers empty out their bins of old stuff. While on APUG we have quite a few people who might use them, this is a cross section of international photo nuts (I include myself as a complete nut, so please don't take offense.) Overall, the number of potential users is certainly lower than the number who would want film holders - or at least holders that are converted, and that is in itself not a huge number. Keep looking at any photo show you can find or at antique dealers, where they are often described as "good for display."
     
  5. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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  6. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    It may simply be that 4x5 and 8x10 didn't become standards until the changeover to film had started. Here in Australia you see a lot of half-plate and quarter plate cameras and book form holders to suit, but not much in 4x5 or 8x10. My impression of 19th Century photography was that the manufacturers tried to cover all possible formats so it wouldn't have been a clear cut choice of 4x5/5x7/8x10. Even in the early twentieth century Kodak persisted with postcard format as well as 4x5. The 4x5 plate holders will be out there, but just not as common as 4x5 film holders in comparison to other sizes.
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Wayne Cogan had some antique cameras and plates in stock in his business. I have lost contact information but he had quite a few 4x5 plates for sale at reasonable prices. There is another place that makes them to order - for a handsome price.

    A google search might find you Wayne or his business, but I think he sold it and retired. His old web site name (camerafinder.com) is for sale.

    PE
     
  8. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I have already placed an order with Niles to mill out two of my 4x5 film holders to use for 3.25x4.25 glass plates. But this is a 3.24x4.25 plate in a 4x5 spring back. He cannot make a 4x5 plate holder from a 4x5 film holder because there's nothing to support the plate if you mill away all the material.

    But the 5x7 plate holders I've accidentally acquired trying to buy cheap 5x7 film holders will fit perfectly into the 5x7 spring back. They're made differently than a converted film holder.

    I would have expected that I would see more of the 4x5 holders that fit a 4x5 back built like the 5x7 holders.
     
  9. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    Now that you mention it, it's been awhile since I've seen any Linhof 4x5 holders with Auswerfer's for sale on eBay. Maybe sellers have given up.

    Fortunately, I laid in a supply while I could find them :D

    Charley
     
  10. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I found one in a box of film holders i was given. It was from a 1901 camera of which i am blanking the name... but the dark slide seems to be made of a resin of some sort and the whole thing is wood.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I bought a couple of MPP 5x4 plate holders a few years ago. I bought them by mistake thinking they were for film

    Americans can use their 4x5 holders in British 5x4 cameras, simply by rotating them by ninety degrees (with apologies to Roger Hicks who I stole that phrase from).


    Steve.