Using film in wooden book-form plate-holders

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Megrez, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. Megrez

    Megrez Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I am sure this is a time-honoured question, and I have searched for previous posts on this topic.

    I am about to begin using vintage half-plate and 10" x 12" wooden plate-holders with traditional modern black & white film stock. I have made surrogate glass plates from 2mm thick Foamalux (plastic board) and covered them with matt black vinyl. As you will know, the wooden rebate, which was originally designed for holding glass plate, is only a few millimetres deep. Obviously, my concern is that the film drops out when the sheath is withdrawn, or rather how to prevent this from happening. Has anyone surmounted this potential problem, and can you offer me any advice please?

    Kind regards,

    Gary
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There were film isnerts made to convert plate holders to use film. I use them in my 9x12 cm) cameras but I've nearly finished an adaptor plate to use modern 5x4 film holders in my Houghtons Duchess half plate camera, and I made a similar converter to fit a roll folm back on my Houghtons Victo quarter plate but that's a different approach.

    Essentially a film adaptor is a thin metal sheet with three folded lips that hold the film, and then fit like a plate, these are the reason that film is a fraction smaller than the actual plate sizes even today.

    Some use a drop of honey to stick film to backing in adhoc plate adaptors :D

    Ian
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Yes- the super-cheap DIY solution is a thin glass plate (or plexi to lighten the load, but glass is better because it's more rigid) with a bit of corn syrup, honey, or blueberry jam (the blueberry because it has no seeds to cause unevenness behind the film) in the corners and the center of the plate. If you do an adequate pre-wash when developing your film, there's no issue with contamination - the sugar-based adhesive comes out in the wash along with the anti-halation layer.
     
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  4. Megrez

    Megrez Member

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    Thanks Ian and Scott. I much appreciate your comments. I'll give the blueberry jam a go. If all else fails, I can always eat it :smile:)
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some extra fine grain developer formulae contained Sugar :D

    ID-44 an Iford developer was one and Harry Champlin had a sweet tooth as well, so as long as the sugars are well mixed in they won't do a lot of harm.

    Ian

     
  6. formPhotography

    formPhotography Member

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    Hi Gary,

    I too use 10" x 12" holders of the type you describe and haven't had a problem. Perhaps I've just been lucky, but you mention this as a potential problem - have you actually tried it?

    Steve
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Yes, sugar acts as a restrainer in developers - it's a primary ingredient in the developer for wet plate collodion.
     
  8. Megrez

    Megrez Member

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    Thank you Steve. You are quite right, I am only anticipating a potential problem, as I haven't yet used the plate-holders - I'm awaiting delivery of the film from Germany.

    I envisage putting the film into the holder and placing the 'dummy' glass plate on top of it. I wondered if the weight of the film would cause it to sag?

    I would be very interested to hear more about your experiences, particularly loading and processing the film. I am intending to dish develop the film.

    Many thanks,

    Gary
     
  9. szadow

    szadow Member

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  10. ndrs

    ndrs Subscriber

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    Solve gelatin in hot water, add some glycerol, then coat your glass plates with this stuff and let them dry for a few days. Result will be a moderately sticky surface reusable for months. Wash off and renew when it stops working. I did this a long time ago and have forgotten how much of each ingredient I used. Just experiment.
     
  11. Megrez

    Megrez Member

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    Hi szadow & nrds, Thanks for your additional suggestions. I will experiment with all of these ideas and suggestions and see how I get along. I will eventually post some images in my portfolio.

    I am really grateful for all of the suggestions. Many thanks to everyone for taking time to reply.

    Gary
     
  12. Steve S

    Steve S Member

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    Just a thought. I haven't tried this but maybe double sided sticky tape would be an alternative solution.
     
  13. Megrez

    Megrez Member

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    Thanks for that Steve. I have done that many years ago with 8 x 10 film, in 'modern' film holders. It's very difficult to release the tape from the backing without putting half-moons in the film. However, I did find some 'low-tack' double sided sticky tape a while back, so I may give that a go, if I can find some!

    It's good to see someone else from the UK here. I'm on the opposite coast.

    Many thanks,

    Gary
     
  14. szadow

    szadow Member

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    I've loaded 6 sheets today using honey I'll let you know how this sweet solution worked :smile: