View Full Version : So what's the deal with the big hole in the bottom?

Removed Account
01-04-2008, 02:39 AM
I've seen this on several cameras; at first I thought it was a missing tripod mounting plate, but now I'm not so sure. I first saw it on an old plate camera at an antique shop but passed on it because my tripod only takes a 3/4" socket, not a 6". I've since seen it on several other cameras on ebay or other websites. Are all these cameras missing their bottoms or is there some ancient secret tripod mounting technique which I don't know of?

- Justin

01-04-2008, 04:08 AM
That large hole has clips along its edge that specialized tripod legs hooks into -- rather than the now-standard tripod screw.

I suppose it would not be to difficult to fashion a mounting plate onto the bottom of the camera to take a modern tripod.


Denis P.
01-04-2008, 05:02 AM
I've had the same problem with that kind of tripod mount (so-called "turntable" mount).
See here (http://www.apug.org/forums/237413-post6.html).
I removed the existing turntable mount and replaced it with an aluminum plate with screw holes in the exact same positions as the original (so the modification is reversible - i.e. I can put the original back on the camera).
The new aluminum plate has a standard tripod screw hole, and works like a charm.


Justin Cormack
01-04-2008, 06:19 AM
My plate camera had been previously modified, but most of them have the holes. I was looking at one the other day and it seems quite a good tripod mounting system, but not very compatible with modern tripods... the aluminium plate modification sounds good.

01-04-2008, 12:12 PM
On certain (maybe all?) old woodies with that hole, the lens can be left on when the camera is folded up, since the base of the camera will fit around the lens - unlike my Rochester Universal, which must be stripped of its lens before folding. As long as you have a good lens cap, it seems like a pretty neat design feature to me.

01-04-2008, 01:41 PM
I just had one of my plate cameras fixed with a plate that allows me to put a 3/8" tripod mount beneath it. I can still rotate the turntable mount too. I just wish I could use a longer lens than a 355 mm on it. My next lens up is a 420 and I can't quite focus with it. :( In a way, this is a good thing because I must deal with that factor when I am shooting.