Film holders for old 5x7 plate cameras?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by markbarendt, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Will modern 5x7 film holders work in the old Pony Premos & Century Grands?
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    No answers? Wow, I am amazed.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Would the registry be right? I don't think so; plates and film have quite different thickness. But you could check and adjust if necessary.
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks Kieth,

    Shimming or grinding for the ground glass/film plane registry seems doable.

    So am I to assume that 5x7 film holders have essentially the same exterior dimensions as the plate holders?
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi mark

    the outter dimensions of plate holders are pretty much the same as film holders.
    i use film holders in a plate camera all the time without problems ...

    as long as you are stopped down a little bit you probably won't have trouble with
    the whole thickness-thing. don't forget that film sheaths / septums were traditionally
    installed into plate holders when sheet film started to appear on the market. the septums
    do not bring the film to the same focus plane as a glass plate. stopping down a little bit
    will probably correct for this problem.

    have fun!
    john
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks John.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hmmm

    after reading the link, maybe i better say,
    that the plate and film holders *I* use in my
    cameras ( manhatten wizard and delmar )
    can use modern film holders without a problem
    and the modern cameras i have ( graflex/graphic, toyo and szabad )
    use wooden plate holders without any problem.
    i never saw that thread keith referenced, and i didn't realize
    that they weren't interchangeable ... sorry about that !

    i love this place, where else would one learn such random and obscure information !


    john
     
  9. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I've used a modern 4x5 filmholder in a little 4x5 pony-type plate camera. It fit perfectly. At some time in the past, a previous owner flipped the ground glass around so the matte side faces out. This would move the focus about the thickness of a glass plate. I had no trouble making a sharp image on film at about f/11 or 16. I did the same with a 5x7 Seneca Black Beauty I own and have been able to make good, sharp images on film.

    Peter Gomena
     
  10. borek

    borek Member

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    Hi Mark,I have same problem.I have not back side Pony Premo-1908 year,where I find it?I repair this camera,now it nice but no back side.
    Here is my e-mail borek_t@hotmail.com Thanks borek
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As John says it's the design of the back and holders that's critical not whether they hold film or glass plates. Some older wooden plate holders set the plate or film far more deeply inside the holder than others, I'm thinking particularly of the very much thinner German and British 9x12cm & quarter plate holders.

    Ideally if modern holders fit you should measure the register and shim the ground glass, if it used older wooden holders the register need moving back a little.

    Ian
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Hi Borek,

    I don't know where to get the parts.

    I was poking around on Ebay looking for whole cameras, check there.
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the info, helps a bunch!
     
  14. premo

    premo Member

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    I have read somewhere that if you put a piece of cardboard behind the film in a plate holder, it will bring the film into the correct register. IIRC, you dont want a tight piece of cardboard, thickness wise. Just thick enough to register the film correctly.
     
  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    One problem is that the film size isn't the same as the plate size, it's smaller. This is because intially plate holders were fitted with metal adaptors so film needed to be narrower and shorter to allow for the metal thickness etc.

    So where a piece of card is used people often use a dab of honey or similar to keep the film in place, otherwise it can fall out :D

    Ian
     
  16. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the original question, but it seemed to be about the holder fitting the camera, not about film/plate thickness. If I'm right, I have a little something to add: The really early Rochester Camera Manufacturing Co. cameras used odd sizes (by today's standard) for their film holders. They are longer and wider. During one of the many reorganizations of the company, they standardized on what we have come to expect from Fidelity, Graflex, etc. holders. Google "Rochester camera companies" for details on the company's many reincarnations.

    When they went with what we now consider standard, they added the ridge that locks the holder in place on the camera back - previous versions are completely flat, and the camera back has no corresponding groove into which the ridge would fit. At least, this is my experience. If your camera back has a groove just inside the end where the holder would be placed, it most likely takes "modern" holders. If not, be on the lookout for Rochester plate holders and add film sheaths. As has been said by previous posters, the film plane placement makes little practical difference on a camera that is likely to have many other minor aberrations and a 100 year old lens. Mine works just fine.

    Of course trying one out makes the most sense. If it seems to fit, shoot some film. That will tell you very quickly.
     
  17. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    You have discerned well, thanks.
     
  18. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    Yes, before the modern standards, film holders were a mixed lot of sizes depending on manufacturer. I have Eastman whole-plate film holders from the 1920s that appear to have had the ridge sanded flat to work with my 1895 Rochester Optical Company camera. The camera must originally have been a plate camera. There is a little brass springy-thingy that would click into place on the end of the original plate holders to hold them in place while pulling the dark slide. To have worked properly, the plate holders would have been a little bit shorter than the Eastmans. I've been lucky so far having purchased old cameras and usable holders.

    Peter Gomena