View Full Version : Is This a Multi Format Plate Holder?

01-07-2010, 12:03 PM
Sorry for my ignorance on plate cameras and accessories. I just never got into them. However, I received this as part of a package purchase a few years ago and I need help identifying its purpose. Thanks in advance for your help. Pics will be in two posts.

Overall dimensions are 11" wide x 11 7/16" long x 3/4" thick.

/// Back? ////// Front? ////// Pull knob & 1 slide lock

01-07-2010, 12:10 PM
Four more pics...

/// Front open / Inserts removed / Back open / Front slide has multi-hinge that wraps around to back.

01-07-2010, 12:45 PM
Yup. The inserts allowed different size plates to be used on the same camera without changing backs. By the relatively clean appearance, I would guess the whole set was for dry plates, though I've seen them adapted for wet-plate work. Pretty nifty, huh? I have a set for my Rochester Universal.

01-07-2010, 01:30 PM
Thanks, Whitey!! Any idea what it's worth? It shows some external wear but it's in great shape and 100 percent complete. Any idea what camera it fits? It seems to be an odd size.

01-08-2010, 07:53 AM
No idea whatever. I'm sure there is a buyer out there somewhere, but the size of the whole thing makes me wonder if it's not specific to one camera, thereby reducing the potential buyer crowd to people who are interested in customizing - and the few owners of one particular (unknown) variety of antique camera.

01-08-2010, 12:00 PM
No idea whatever. I'm sure there is a buyer out there somewhere, but the size of the whole thing makes me wonder if it's not specific to one camera, thereby reducing the potential buyer crowd to people who are interested in customizing - and the few owners of one particular (unknown) variety of antique camera.

Thanks, Whitey. That's what I was afraid of. This may be difficult to sell then.

Jim Chinn
01-08-2010, 01:44 PM
I think if you measure it you will find the depth of the film plane consistant with modern holders. However it will be wider than a standard camera back. I know someone who cut off a certain amount off the side on a table saw to make it usable for wet plate.

01-08-2010, 04:52 PM
Thanks, Jim. I'll check to see if this can be done. I think the width is about a quarter inch or a bit more too wide for standard 8x10... I'm unsure about the length.

Jim Chinn
01-09-2010, 04:24 AM
1/4" sounds about right IIRC. If you decide it is not something you want to keep send me a PM. I would like to purchase it.

01-09-2010, 12:01 PM
Will do, Jim. Thanks!! :)

01-10-2010, 01:46 PM
Hey Jim... other than trimming approximately 9/10" from the two long sides is there anything I need to do to make this holder complatible with 8x10 other than sanding (smoothing), staining, and sealing the two newly raw edges?

Jim Chinn
01-10-2010, 02:01 PM
Allen Friday had the holder that is similar to yours and we used it for wet plate. He showed me how he had simply cut it down on the sides in a table saw. I don't recall if he did anything else to make it work. I don't know if it had a slot or rib that worked with his camera, an 8x10 Tachihara, but with a good dense darkcloth and the collodion there was no fogging of the plates even if there were any gaps. I know the T dimensions for his holder were compatible because the plates we made were sharp. I sent him a PM about his holder but if you contact him directly he could provide some specifcs. Yours might not be exactly the same but from what I recall it sure seems the same.

01-10-2010, 02:18 PM
Thanks, Jim. I'll contact Allen. The're is no way to add a ridge since the sliding sliding front prevents use of one... it's flush with the front of the holder. Perhaps short ones could be added to the outer edges but I see no point in that since the majority of the edge can't have one. Contacting Allen Friday now. :)

Allen Friday
01-12-2010, 06:40 PM
Hi all,

Sorry to be late to the party, but I have been traveling and just got back to Iowa yesterday.

I have two similar holders, which I purchased off e-bay. I paid $99 for one of them, and got the other for about half that. Sorry, I don't remember the exact price. The holders I have are different, however. Mine are labeled "Bromoil" holders. They are the same thickness as a modern holder. Unmodified, they were about 1/4 inch wider than a standard holder. I simply placed my regular holder over the Bromoil holder and marked the size with a pencil. I then trimmed down one side with a table saw. My holders have a hinge on one side which prohibits trimming both sides of the holder. There is no ridge along the top, but I have not had any problems with light leaks.

The holder you show looks older than the one I have. It also looks a bit thicker. Be sure to check the thickness of the holder (and film/plate position) before trimming down the sides.

The insides of the holders look the same. I clean the insides each time I use the holder for wet plates. I wipe down the inside before the plate goes in and after taking the plate out for processing. Be sure to clean the back of the holder.

I really like my holders. I can have one holder and it will take many sizes of plates. I hope you can make this one work for you.


01-12-2010, 11:18 PM
Allen... thanks for the info. This one is indeed thicker than a standard 8x10 holder but the distance to the plates "looks" about right... I haven't measured. The end (bottom) is correctly postioned with a standard 8x10 holder and the sides are plenty wide to allow trimming. At any rate, I'll measure depth before trimming. I'll have to find that information and dig out the old micrometer. :D

Thanks Again!!

01-13-2010, 03:42 PM
Okay... measured the thickness of the plate holder area... approx. 4.57mm or 0.179921". The distance between the front of the plate and the front of the holder is approx. 8.86mm or 0.348818".

Any more help available??

Allen Friday
01-13-2010, 08:07 PM
The depth of the plate in the holder needs to be the same as your ground glass when in place on your camera. Measure your ground glass and compare to your holder.