Graphlex Film Pack Adapter Adaptation

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by smieglitz, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,941
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Climax, Michigan
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    My most recent eBay "victory" was a 4x5 Graphlex camera that came with a 4x5 Graphlex film pack adapter. (The camera is fine mechanically, works, and came with a tessar lens for $65!) I want to construct a glass plate insert into this film pack adapter so I can do wetplate collodion 1/4 plates (3.25"x4.25") in it. I think the reversed image on the ground glass from the reflex mirror will be just the ticket for composing ambrotypes and tintypes since they appear laterally reversed when processed

    Having never used a film pack adapter like this before, I'm curious as to where the film plane is inside. Can someone who is familiar with these things or 4x5 film packs measure the thickness of the front of the film pack or give me the dimension from the front of the film pack to the film emulsion surface (which I assume is the same distance)?

    Thanks for any help.

    Joe
     
  2. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi Joe,

    I have used these as plate-holders with daguerreotypy, and they work very well. The focal plane is a small distance off the edge of the holder, usually these come with the metal pack film insert, made of a thin metal, which rests on the inside edge of the pack-holder, and puts the film plane about .25mm (not an exact measurement...) off the edge. For collodion, you will have put the varnish on thickly, so the silver nitrate doesn't react with the metal.

    jason
     
  3. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,941
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Climax, Michigan
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the reply. So now I'm thinking if sheet film is .007" or 0.21mm that a sheet of film is probably about the correct thickness. (I'm also using a sheet of film as a spacer for an 8x10 sheet film adapter I'm converting to plate use.)

    If I could find an old Graphlex holder around here I could make the actual measurement assuming the Graphlex holders have the same "T" distance as regular holders. Does anyone know if the are coincident and/or if they match the modern standard?

    I was thinking about using a coat of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray instead of varnish. Any reservations on that?

    Joe
     
  4. JG Motamedi

    JG Motamedi Member

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The Krylon is what I have been using, and it works perfectly.

    One more caution; very occasionally the silver nitrate drips and pools in the holder, this isn't a problem for the holder, since it is varnished (acrylicized?), but I imagine a drop of silver nitrate could easily destroy the shutter curtain.
     
  5. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,941
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Climax, Michigan
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    "Great minds think alike."

    :cool:

    Joe