View Full Version : Whole plate cam newbie questions.

09-22-2008, 07:09 AM
I've succumbed and have purchased a
well-preserved Korona View whole plate
camera. I have two immediate questions
that I hope a reader might answer.

1. The camera came with only one film
holder. I just won an eBay auction (item
14026680856) for three Rittreck (Wista)
holders. Will they be compatible with
the Korona?

2. I have a 5x7 back from a 5x7 Deardorff.
I would like to have it made into a reducing
back for the Korona. It should be a fairly
simple bit of carpentry, but can anyone
recommend a shop for the work?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

09-22-2008, 07:33 AM
Richard Ritter comes to mind, http://www.lg4mat.net/

09-22-2008, 10:01 AM
I succumbed yesterday to Mr Galli's whole plate temptress.

Doing a little bit of research over at the Large Format forum, I think the Korona takes Eastman-type holders, so the Rittrecks might be 3mm too long.

But after three attempts at whole plate, I have come to believe that "nobody knows nothing" when it comes to whole plate. I have found conventional wisdom highly suspect.

So the best answer is, wait until everything's in hand and give it a try.

Ian Grant
09-22-2008, 10:16 AM
Terence, your new camera or one extremely like it is shown in the 1954 British Journal Photography Almanac. The Kodak advert shows a half plate Kodak Specialist Camera Model 2, but all the hardware etc is the same as your whole plate. By 1961 the Specialist Model 3 is all metal.

I may have an older BJP Almanac with an advert for your camera in the UK, I will scan it for you if I find one.


09-22-2008, 10:18 AM
Thanks. This looks like the first "shooter" I'll get to use.

I have an old Japanese whole plate camera, but the bookform holders need a serious rebuild to get them anywhere near usable.

09-22-2008, 04:33 PM
I've owned several Korona 5x7s and one 8x10, all of them worked fine with standard film holders. The 5x7s worked fine with 5x7 plate holders. I would guess that your Wista full plate holders would work so long as Wista was thinking Imperial and not metric. Only one way to find out though! :)

09-22-2008, 04:45 PM
Chris- there are several competing standards for Whole Plate film holders. The Rittreck is one distinct specimen. Then there is the Eastman standard, which is the most common, but far from universal. There is also I think a Korona standard which is different, and a Rochester Optical size, and then there are the bookform plate holders which have no standard but are made to fit the camera they were sold for at the time. Sanders- I don't think your Wista holders will fit. They MAY be able to fit with a minor modification to your back, but I don't want to say for sure because the film plane dimension may be off as well. I have two different whole-plate backs for two different cameras, but they both take the Eastman size holders. If you measure your Korona back's film-holder gate, I can measure mine and let you know if the dimensions are the same. If they're not, you may be placing a phonecall to AWB or S&S to get a set made.

09-22-2008, 05:19 PM
Fotoman is supposedly working on bringing Eastman-style whole plate holders to market. I haven't heard any recent updates on delivery dates though.

09-22-2008, 07:00 PM

much as I'd like to believe in their holders, they've been "bringing them to market" for over 2 years now. I was waiting oh so patiently for their 5x7 holders for six months or maybe more, then caved in and bought Shen Hao holders. 5x7 has an ANSI/ISO standard, unlike whole plate. If Fotoman still doesn't have their 5x7 holders available, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for the whole plate ones.

09-22-2008, 10:59 PM
That's why I hesitated to bring them up. I'm usually accused of being a pessimist, so I figured I'd go for the optimist tone for once.

Oren Grad
09-22-2008, 11:58 PM
Sanders, my guess is that the Rittreck holders won't fit. I have a set of the Rittreck holders to match my Rittreck camera with "yatsugiri" adapter back; they're too long to fit my older American WP cameras (Eastman, Century, Gundlach Criterion). But since they're on the way, soon enough you'll be able to check for yourself.

A bit of trivia: the Rittreck yatsugiri holders actually aren't "Wista" holders - they were made by Tachihara, as was the yatsugiri adapter back for the Rittreck.

09-23-2008, 12:02 AM
Oren, alas, the education comes after
the horse has bolted the stable. "Too
long" would seem to be remediable
but as you say, I will soon enough
see for myself. If the holder can be
made to fit otherwise, will it hold the
film the proper distance from the lens?


Oren Grad
09-23-2008, 12:59 AM
Well... that depends on your definition of "proper". How close do you need your ground glass register to be?

Allowing for typical sheet film thickness, none of my American holders precisely matches any of my American backs. The Rittreck holders show an even bigger mismatch with both the Rittreck back and my American backs. The best match, between some Hoffman holders and my Century and Gundlach backs, is within about 0.003"; my Eastman holders are off by about 0.010" from my Eastman back, the Rittreck holders are further off than that compared to both my Rittreck and American backs, and there are other combinations that are worse still.

I wouldn't place much weight on these exact numbers, nor would I run out looking for Hoffman holders to match with Century or Gundlach cameras, just on the basis of this one set of measurements. There can be variation in cameras and holders even within a brand. And film holders turn out to be devilishly non-rigid when you start attacking them with a micrometer, so there is almost certainly some slop in my numbers.

But the take-home is that in WP-land, if you must have very accurate ground glass register for your intended uses, there are three possibilities: either you get very, very lucky; or the mismatch is in a direction that can be fixed by shimming the glass; or you need to have a set of holders custom-built to match your camera.