View Full Version : Question about glass plate (film) holders

02-06-2007, 04:54 AM
So, a couple years ago I purchased some glass plate film holders at auction, and they looked like standard 8x10 film holder size. I was thinking I could adapt one to wet plate use, with my standard 8x10 film camera. But no....they are wider and will not slide into the back of any of my 8x10 film cameras.

My question is....is this the norm? Were there glass plate holders that would fit in view cameras intended primarily for film holders?

02-06-2007, 02:16 PM
One hundred+ years ago, I don't believe there was any standards for view cameras. Your plate holders will fit some camera somewhere!

I have a couple of 8x10 plate holders at home I bought (old but unused) -- I haven't tried to fit them into my Zone VI yet, but they look identical to modern holders. I'll try to remember to check them with my camera this evening. I believe they were made by graphic.


Allen Friday
02-06-2007, 02:47 PM
I have several old, plate holders. The ones made to hold dry plates, in general, will fit my modern cameras without much trouble. These often appear on ebay with film sheaths available. The older wet plate holders are all too wide to fit my modern cameras. The true wet plate holders are hinged on the side to allow the plate to be put into the holder from the back.

When buying a plate holder, I e-mail the seller and get exact size of the holders before buying. I have thought about trimming the old holders down by taking a 1/4 inch off each side, but haven't had time to do it yet. It should work, however. I just haven't decided if I want to ruin a 100+ year old holder.

By the way, most dry plate holders can be used for wet plate, but they are harder to load and a lot more work.

02-06-2007, 03:00 PM
I had the same problem a couple weeks ago. My 8x10 Korona View is set up for contemporary sheet film holders, however the plate holders I bought off ebay are 1/4 inch too wide, and possibly too long as well. Perhaps one's best option would be to 1) build a second wider back for the camera or 2) sacrifice some film holders and router them out to fit glass plates. I have a feeling I'll be exploring both options soon.

10-01-2008, 03:43 PM
I was facing a simialr problem as well. I ended up buying dry plate holders on ebay for modern camera (thickness). Oddly enough my 8X10 is an Imerial View Camera from 1903. Those dry plate holders SUCK! They are way too difficult to "safely" load your glass. Some of the holders have metal clasps that will severly contaminate your wetplates as well.

I was given a GREAT book. Primitive Photography "A guide to making cameras, lenses, and Calotypes." By Alan Greene. This book has detailed info on making holders for use in modern cameras. It is a different process but if you convert his wet paper process holder (the paper is sandwitched between 2 sheets of glass) it is not too much modification to convert it to wet plate, and it will be easier to load them into the holder. The materials are around 35.00 to 40.00 USD. I found it well worth it.