View Full Version : Best 9x12 folding plate camera to start

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09-11-2008, 07:58 PM
...with the happy exception of the Kodak combination holders, which (1) don't need a sheath at all, and (2) fit Voigtlaender cameras (and the various compatible ones) nicely. I have the Kodak combination holders in both 6,5x9 and 9x12, and while the do fit Voigtländer cameras the film plane is tilted by 0,3 mm or so, so I find them unusable.

Ian Grant
09-12-2008, 03:39 AM
No obviously we won't know for sure if Xenar's were re-branded as Kodak Anastigmat's for Kodak's US market. However many of the Recomars were actually finished in the US where they had the Rangefinders fitted and Kodak Anastigmat lenses were being made in Rochester. Schneider weren't a well known lens manufacturer outside of Europe before the war, unlike Zeiss, so re-badging for Kodak in the US would not be a major issue, but all European sold Kodak camera's fitted with a decent Schneider lens were branded as such.

I have a list of 9x12 cameras & lens/shutter details that I've been adding to occasionally and all the big manufacturers top models have lenses from Zeiss - Tessar, Schneider - Xenar, Goerz - Dagor, Rodenstock - Eurynar or Voigtlander - Heliar/Skopar. Of those the Eurynar is possibly the weakest lens due to it's higher number of air/glass surfaces, unless you're lucky like Ole to have a coated lens :D

Some of the best pre-war triplets were excellent performers stopped down past about f8, I had a superb Zeiss Triotar on an early Rolleicord, and the Trinar's aren't bad either. It's worth mentioning that I was using a 1932 135mm Zeiss Tessar on a Crown Graphic until recently but found the edge sharpness was quite soft until stopped down to at least f16.


That's where I got some of my inserts, and some holders, before I bought a boxful of them on German ebay. :)

Thanks Ole, I've emailed them this morning.


09-12-2008, 12:55 PM
However many of the Recomars were actually finished in the US where they had the Rangefinders fitted [...]

Cool---I didn't even know they sold them with rangefinders. Just what I need: Another flavour of cameras to lust after. :-)

I took a look at my 9x12 Fornidar last night, and found that I misremembered: The lens isn't labelled Nagel but Rexo, a name on which the Vade Mecum is resolutely silent. The shutter is a dialset Ilex (they're supposed to suck, but this one seems fine), though, which would vaguely support an American-made lens---why would a Nagel-branded camera have an American lens???---and I looked at reflections a little bit and ended up thinking it's a 2/2 lens of some sort, but I have no idea what. Could be a Dagor. Might not be the original lens, for that matter.

But we digress hugely---I still say they're nice cameras, not competitive with a Bergheil but not priced like one either, and some of them bearing good lenses.

On another note, I definitely haven't had the film-plane problem someone mentioned with the Kodak holders in 9x12. Is this a common problem, or maybe a matter of a specific camera or holder batch being misaligned? If it happens regularly, I'll stop looking for more of them!


Ian Grant
09-12-2008, 02:59 PM
Once Kodak bought Nagel in 1931 it's quite easy to see how a Nagel branded camera could end up with a Rochester lens/shutter. Cameras must have been shipped with no lens/shutter fitted possibly with no bellows either to allow the fitting of the optional rangefinder (http://www.mattdentonphoto.com/cameras/kodak_recomar_18.html). (Link is a 6x9)

It's ironic that Kodak had their Kodak Anastigmat name put on the lenses when they sold some Triplets, mid range & high quality lenses marked similarly. Later they realised that mistake and named their own top lenses Ektars.

The best Recomar cameras fetch similar high prices compared to the best 9x12 Zeiss & Voightlander cameras, there isn't very much difference in quality between the cameras themselves, they all use the same Compur shutters and Tessar type lenses. Personally I would place a Recomar 33 with a range-finder top in my list of the most desirable & usable 9x12 cameras.

If I could find a pair of coated 135mm Tessar or Heliar cells from the 50's early 60's, or even in a shutter, I'd buy a Recomar with a rangefinder instantly. That would make a very useful, high quality, practical pocket size LF camera. Of course coated Xenar cells would probably be easier to find but the Heliar & East German Zeiss Jena Tessar lenses were better coated.

Feeling jealous of Ole and his coated Eurynar I got a quote today to have mine coated - $195 for each air glass surface there are 8 - so that's $1560 in total. I could buy quite a few modern Multicoated Symmars, S


09-16-2008, 01:51 AM
I need some more info on The Voigtländer 9X12 filmholders if possible with pics.
I have been told there are two types, is this correct?
Are they plateholders with adapters?
Does sheetfilm only holders exist? Plates only?
Are the internal dimensions 9X12 cm exactly?
Which plate thickness will they accept?
Oh and btw I read something about a tele Dynar for the Bergheil................?
Kind regards

Ian Grant
09-16-2008, 02:14 AM
I started a thread about Plate holders here. (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum192/51677-9x12-plate-holders-1-a.html#post646397). Someone mentions which ones fit a Voigtländer

Plate holders are adapted for film, they often come in sets of three and are listed on ebay regularly, but usually it's difficult to tell exactly what fit they are. The way they are made would allow for a small variation in glass plate thickness.


09-16-2008, 02:53 AM
Thanks Ian
Any good online recources on Platecameras?
Kind regards

09-16-2008, 12:17 PM
Søren, I hope we will ba able to make one here. There's a lot of information on the web already, but much of it is scappered and hard to find.

Do a google search for "Tigin Cameras" - if it's still online, he's got one of the best lists. At least it's all in one place.

09-16-2008, 01:21 PM
Søren, I hope we will ba able to make one here. There's a lot of information on the web already, but much of it is scappered and hard to find.

Do a google search for "Tigin Cameras" - if it's still online, he's got one of the best lists. At least it's all in one place.

Ole, It seems he is not online any more, at least the page didn't work.
I found a page on woigtländer cameras. I'll post it later when I find it again.

Edit. Found it.

Kind regards

09-16-2008, 01:41 PM
How about this one? http://www.ukcamera.com/classic_cameras/camindexe.html

09-16-2008, 01:42 PM
Søren, http://www.ukcamera.com/classic_cameras/camindexe.html is a mirror of Tigin's old site.

09-16-2008, 01:44 PM
Ah - Jerevan beat me to it. :)

09-16-2008, 01:48 PM
Nah... your link is probably better, Ole. :)

Ian Grant
09-16-2008, 01:53 PM
Søren, like Ole says info is very scattered, it's also fragmented by language. That's why it's so important to share our info here, but unless we get more people to share information we can't really progress.

Like you I found a few reference's to Tigin and some of his pages but not much of use. That included the link ole's just posted.


09-18-2008, 02:25 PM
A warning concerning plate holders: Never buy a Zeiss (or Ica) ideal without holders! I have one (a lovely 9x12 camera with interchangeable lenses). But it can only use the very special clip-on holders made for this camera and no others! It has taken me several years to collect the 10 usable holders I now have. People usually don't know what camera they fit, so you'll only get them when there's a photo thats clear enough to identify them. If you've got the holders, you'll never find a good camera at a reasonable price, so sell them to me!

Ian Grant
09-18-2008, 02:52 PM
Could you photograph them and post the details on the 9x12 holder thread I started - its now sticky so at the top. (check if they are there already).

That's just the info we all need to collect. I discovered a thread about holders that fit KW Patent Etui's and by going to those pages found I have holders that fit, should add I'm in Turkey the holders are in the UK - and the camera's are being sent to the UK too.

It maybe we have to arrange holder swapping :D it's just like wife swapping only more invigo............. boring :) and normal.

Problem is Zeiss didn't use one standard. That's probably due to the way the Zeiss Ikon compay came together and amalgamated into one feuding whole.


09-21-2008, 02:24 PM
I'll try to post a photo, but am a little too busy right now. In the meantime, I can tell you that the Zeiss Ideal 9x12 holders have the number 726/7 stamped on their back. /7 is Zeiss's code for 9x12 size. they used /2 for 6,5x9 and /9 for 10x15. They used this system for the cameras too, with the exception that when it comes to cameras the 6,5x9 size is called /3. All this is taken from my reprint of the 1936 Zeiss Ikon catalogue (except that I own a Zeiss Ideal 250/7 9x12 with holders).
I also have som Ica holders that have the number 726/6 (also 9x12), so Ica obviously had another size-code system. The more common holders that fit Maximar and Trona (and the Miroflex SLR too) have the number 665/7 etc. Lastly, I can also mention that I have one nameless holder for the Ideal, obviously not original Zeiss since the construction is a bit different and unusual.

Ian Grant
09-21-2008, 02:55 PM
Thanks, I've had some emails & PM's asking about Zeiss code numbers, so I gave a link tom some Zeiss catalogues.

Am I right in thinking that the Ideal takes different holders to the Maximar ? My guess is that the Ikon model range is derived from models from the companies who formed Zeiss Ikon, and the holder type differ for taht reason.

I may have some film holders to swap, I have a number that don't fit any of my 9x12 cameras,as well as a Rollex back. As far as I can see they fit Maximar's.


09-22-2008, 01:30 AM
I think I saw a post by Ole somewhere about the "plane of focus"? being different for Plates and sheetfilm in the adapted holders. Is this true?
Kind regards

Ian Grant
09-22-2008, 02:17 AM
The plane of focus won't be any different because the plate or film emulsion rest against the same guides. The adaptor is there to ensure the film lies flat and is pressed against those guides.