View Full Version : My new plate camera

08-27-2008, 05:50 PM
Hey guys

I'm a 4x5 shooter who was in need of a smaller camera, mainly for backpacking, after a few failed efforts I acquired a plate camera, love the size and the weight of it.

I replaced the lens with modern Fuji lens and have a friend who is quite crafty with tools create a 4x5 back.

Here is the final product, see if you like it, so far the camera is working great and I'm quite happy with my friend design, best of all it only takes a small space on my backpack.

Let me know how you like it.



08-27-2008, 07:07 PM
I replaced the lens with modern Fuji lens and have a friend who is quite crafty with tools create a 4x5 back.

What was the old lens? The camera is a Zeiss, but I can't tell what model---looks like it could be a Maximar, which I think means it would most likely have been sold with a Tessar, but Zeiss made about a billion models of plate cameras.

I think a lot of people would be interested in seeing more details of that 4x5 back. It looks like it shifts the film plane back a little, which would mean a correspondingly shifted position for the ground glass and the point of infinity focus. What are you doing about the ground glass? I guess the long-range focus shift is something to just live with unless you want to move the stop.


08-27-2008, 07:18 PM

The old lens is a Zeiss Ikon NOVAR ANASTIGMAT 6.3 (or at least that what is written on the front), I actually kept the lens which is now mounted on a Linhof Board, I would have kept the lens on the camera but I need to use filters and a few more speeds that the original gave me.

If you look at the picture of the back of the camera, the holder actually has a piece of ground glass, that is how I focus the camera, dark cloth and magnifier, the whole works, and yes the film plane has shifted with the new new back.

I will either take some pics of the back or ask John "my crafty friend" to see if he has any detailed pictures of the process.

Will be back


Ian Grant
09-13-2008, 11:39 AM
There is a semi retired camera repair man in the US who still occasionally makes a 5x4 conversion back for 9x12 cameras. Does anyone know his details ? Any 5x4 back will change the plane of focus & require a new focus screen.

Hugh, which Fuji lens have you usedd, and can you close the camera with it fitted ?


09-21-2008, 06:23 PM
Hi Ian,

Is a Fujinon W 135 5.6 lens, and no I cannot close the front part, I unscrew the front element for easy transportation.

09-21-2008, 06:30 PM
Sorry Ian, I didn't see the first question, if you are interested I can put you in touch with my buddy, he is actually a musician but does this sort of things on the side, on a former life he was a finish carpenter.

As far as the focus, since you are moving the film plane back the camera focus does change a bit, the workaround is to cut a film holder and place the a piece of ground glass on the side of the film holder facing the inside, if you take a closer look at my pics is there.

Focus that way and replace the ground glass with a film holder with glass and presto.