PDA

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



Pages : [1] 2 3 4

Uncle Goose
09-10-2008, 01:21 PM
OK, I'm seriously thinking to try a 9x12cm folding plate camera but it looks like there are a zillion different types out there. I narrowed it down to a Zeiss Ikon or equivalent because people say it's more easy to get the holders. Now what about the different lenses? Which one is the best or which one is best avoided? I would like to get some info on how the holders work too, I suspect the procedure of using one is very much like a viewcamera (I've already used a Cambo 4x5inch)? or am I mistaken?

Since I'm not very familiar with this kind of camera I rather planning to buy one on a camera fair because there I have the opportunity to test it and see if it's in OK shape (unless somebody here has one in OK condition to sell :)). Anything to look out in particular?

Ole
09-10-2008, 01:28 PM
The best, IMO, is a Voigtländer Bergheil. The ones with Heliar 150mm f:4.5 lens tend to sell for less than half what the lens alone would bring. It can be used like a (very small) view camera, or like a simple box camera: The choise is yours.

The Zeiss maximar is more common, and almost as good. Same with the Voigtländer Avus, Alpin and VAG. :)

Ian Grant
09-10-2008, 01:37 PM
Most of the manufacturers offered a range of options, usually with different lenses & shutters. Top models usually have a Compur or Ibsor shutter with a full range of shutter speeds, while the bottom end models have a 3 speed shutter. Likewise lenses vary from Dagor's, Xenar's, Heliar's, Tessar's etc to cheap and nasty triplets with a variety of indifferent anistagmatic lenses in between.

Often the lenses are the weak link as they are all uncoated, my Ibsor & Compur shutters are still remarkably accurate despite being over 70 years old.

9x12's are usually quite cheap, plate/film holders are easy to find but there is some variation, so make sure you find which type fits. Don't be fooled into thinking all Zeiss 9x12 cameras take the same film holders they don't. Remember Zeiss Ikon was an amalgamation of a few German camera companies.

The glass focus screens are quite poor but Belgium is now famous for exporting Glass focus screen :D so contact Geert for a better one :)

Good luck, let us know what you buy.

Ian

Uncle Goose
09-10-2008, 01:56 PM
Mhhh, I'm tempted by a Voigtländer Bergheil with a Heliar 105mm 1:4.5 lens although it's only a 6.5x9cm. I will see how high it goes. Any idea how easy it is to get holders for this size?

Ole
09-10-2008, 02:00 PM
If it's urgent, I think I could spare a few holders for that camera. :)

BTW, I've got one of those too - but with a 120mm Heliar. :D

Ian Grant
09-10-2008, 02:01 PM
If you get a 9x12 you can use a Rollex 6x9 back which takes roll film which is easier to get & process.

Ian

Uncle Goose
09-10-2008, 02:07 PM
Mhhh, good thinking Ian. Would indeed be the same then. It's not urgent, it's just something that went trough my mind after using a cambo, but a cambo itself is way to big to carry around so I think a 9x12 will be the best solution in terms of portability. I'm gonna look around some more, the next fair here in Belgium is at the end of this month so it's worth waiting a little bit and have a look there. With the current digital market I assume there is plenty of choice in this camera type and there will be people there who know at least some more then me :).

JPD
09-10-2008, 02:08 PM
Mhhh, I'm tempted by a Voigtländer Bergheil with a Heliar 105mm 1:4.5 lens although it's only a 6.5x9cm. I will see how high it goes. Any idea how easy it is to get holders for this size?I have one plus twelwe holders. The 105mm Heliar is excellent. Psuedo-3D-results and nice "bokeh" at large apertures, and very sharp stopped down.

I needed to make my own viewing screen and adjust it to focus correctly, though.

I recently bought a 9x12 Bergheil with 13,5cm Heliar, and have yet to test it.

Uncle Goose
09-11-2008, 03:12 AM
Just one more thing, what is the common price of a Zeiss Ikon Maximar or Voigtländer Avus in good working condition? I would like to have an idea how much I'm gonna be ripped off :D.

Soeren
09-11-2008, 03:20 AM
Darn you guys. This is really bad timing for such a thread :mad:
Now shut up :D :D
Well, now when its out in the open, how easy are the holders to achieve and are they plateholders with cutfilm adapters?
Kind regards

Ole
09-11-2008, 03:24 AM
Kadlubek's (fifth ed.) says EUR 80 for a Maximar, and EUR 60 to 90 for an Avus. Bergheils double that and up...

There will be variations with different lenses and shutters, different modelss with slightly different features and so on, but except for Bergheils with Heliar lens the price is remarkably constant.

I'm deliberately not fiving the prices in US $, since the exchange rate has changed in the time since printing - and these cameras are more common in Europe thus the EUR price is more stable.

Ole
09-11-2008, 03:31 AM
Well, now when its out in the open, how easy are the holders to achieve and are they plateholders with cutfilm adapters?

Holders are quite easy to find, but it's always best to buy a camera WITH holders. Otherwise you are bound to find out just how many slightly incompatible systems there are...

The holders are plate holders, which may have cut film adapters inside. Or they may not. Some I bought had unexposed plates in them.

But at least the cut film adapters are standard: any 9x12cm sheath will fit in ant 9x12cm plate holder. They would have to, since they are all the same size as a 9x12cm glass plate. :)

ntenny
09-11-2008, 09:36 AM
But at least the cut film adapters are standard: any 9x12cm sheath will fit in ant 9x12cm plate holder.

...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. There seem to be a fair number of them around in both the 9x12 and 6.5x9 sizes, I suppose originally associated with Kodak's Recomar plate cameras.

The Recomars, and the Nagel Fornidars that preceded them, are also very nice cameras, and a whole lot cheaper than a Bergheil. The lenses aren't on par with Heliars---they seem mostly to be Xenars relabelled as "Kodak Anastigmat", but Xenars are perfectly good lenses, and the cameras command no particular price premium, I suspect because a lot of people see "Anastigmat" and assume it means "triplet".

-NT

Ian Grant
09-11-2008, 09:52 AM
From the few I've come across I was under the impression that the Formidar's & Recomar's either had Nagel-Doppel Anastigmat f/4.5 135mm, Nagel Laudar f4.5 135mm, and later Kodak Anastigmatic f4.5 135mm's and alternatively the top versions having Tessar or Xenar f4.5 135mm lenses.

Ian

ntenny
09-11-2008, 01:32 PM
From the few I've come across I was under the impression that the Formidar's & Recomar's either had Nagel-Doppel Anastigmat f/4.5 135mm, Nagel Laudar f4.5 135mm, and later Kodak Anastigmatic f4.5 135mm's and alternatively the top versions having Tessar or Xenar f4.5 135mm lenses.

I've been trying to research these lenses a little bit, and as far as I can tell there's a lot of confusion, but it does seem to be pretty certain that Nagel-werk never made lenses---anything labelled "Nagel-Doppel Anastigmat" is a lens sourced from someone else and rebranded, as are many of the Kodak Anastigmats.

The Vade Mecum doesn't have much light to shed, but thinks that at least some 105mm Nagel Anastigmats on 6x9 folders were triplets.

-NT

Ian Grant
09-11-2008, 01:57 PM
NT, a lot of the 9x12 camera manufactures offered cheap lenses that they probably bought in branded for them. The cheapest lenses were triplets, the Nagel Ladar may be one, the Nagel-Doppel Anastigmat f/4.5 135mm was probably a just a run of the mill Anastigmatic.

The only really decent 9x12 lenses are sold under the lens manufacturers own name, that does match the camera manufacturer in the case of Zeiss, and the Tessar, Voightlander and the Heliar, Goerz and the Dagor, Rodenstock and the Eurynar, there may be others.

Ian

Uncle Goose
09-11-2008, 02:24 PM
Holders are quite easy to find, but it's always best to buy a camera WITH holders. Otherwise you are bound to find out just how many slightly incompatible systems there are...


I will hold out till the next camera fair at the end of this month. Changes are that I can buy a complete set with holders and all. I might pay a little bit more than the Ebay but at least I have a change to (dry)test it all before I buy it. For that I'm willing to pay a little more. And once I got some holders I know what to look for. I will see if they have a nice Maximar at a decent price there.

Ian Grant
09-11-2008, 02:59 PM
Uncle Goose you edited your post as I was writing !!!!

I only have plate holders, I need to make some more cut film inserts. My main problem is my 3 cameras & film are in the UK, and I live in Asia Minor (Turkey), unfortunately airline weight restrictions are so low I've not had room to bring them yet.

So far I've never seen cut film adapters for sale anywhere, and I look on Ebay on at least a weekly basis, plate holders are always available but only buy when a lot are listed and ending around the same time. The first ones fetch high prices then you get the bargains, and usually there's no difference in quality.

Ian

Ole
09-11-2008, 03:25 PM
http://www.oldcameras.at/platten.htm

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

ntenny
09-11-2008, 04:29 PM
Hi Ian,


NT, a lot of the 9x12 camera manufactures offered cheap lenses that they probably bought in branded for them. The cheapest lenses were triplets, the Nagel Ladar may be one, the Nagel-Doppel Anastigmat f/4.5 135mm was probably a just a run of the mill Anastigmatic.

I dunno. The whole history of Nagel/Kodak AG is a bit strange and unclearly documented; it seems to be very widely thought that the "Kodak Anastigmat" lenses on the Duo Six-20 (which was also made in the Nagel factory) were rebadged Xenars (there's a lot of discussion of this possibility at <http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00FVVo>).

With the earlier Nagel-branded lenses, I don't think anyone has an authoritative history of what came from where.


The only really decent 9x12 lenses are sold under the lens manufacturers own name (...)

That seems like too strong a statement to me. You're not saying "no Xenars were ever rebranded", are you?

At some point I'll try to take a really close look at the "Nagel" lens on my 9x12 Fornidar. My feeling is that it handles bright lights too well to be a triplet, but maybe it's just a really good one.

-NT