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  1. #1

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    Film with plate cameras

    There's plenty of plate cameras in the world, but no Tech-pan coated plates, I think. At the moment I've got a 9cmx12cm plate camera and am looking at 8x10, or 18x24cm actually, and want to be able to use film instead. Any suggestions for doing this? The 9x12 is a Zeiss 207 series and the 18x24 is the Soviet folding beast that you find on eBay. Luckily for me (?) they sell them locally and I get to actually look at the thing before I take it home. I'm not expecting much for $100 and don't mind modifying it and spending the money I'd save on better lenses. Also, using standard holders isn't necessary, so the more odd but useful ideas, the better!

  2. #2
    Ole
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    There may be no more Tech-Pan or Tmax plates when my meagre supply is gone, but there is still Slavich - and WePhota.

    For 9x12cm, 13x18cm and 18x24cm there are film inserts to be found; I have managed to get enough of these in all those sizes plus 6.5x9cm.

    Until I got hold if the 18x25cm inserts I used a glass plate behind the film to press it firmly into the rebate. Worked fine, but was a bit heavy.

    For my 30x40cm (Soviet folding) beast I plan to use plywood - or rather wood veneer flooring. A can of HAMA spray-on "post-it glue" completes the "modernisation".

    "Better lenses"? What's wrong with the Industar-37?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole

    "Better lenses"? What's wrong with the Industar-37?
    Ole, you were the man in mind when I wrote that post - thanks for answering!. I've been looking at making sleeves for single sheets and for the 9x12 I also have a Zeiss 6x9 roll-film adapter.

    I had planned on using the Industar-37 for B&W, but wasn't sure about it for color work, especially slide. Any experience with it for color? If it can be used for that, then great. I'm taking it out for shots of castles in the Carpathians, landscapes out there and on the Black Sea coast, and if the horse has to carry a heavy but expendable lens, I'll give it an extra carrot at the end of the day.

    As for the 20x30, I didn't know that they made one! Do you know the manufacturer? Was it in Kharkiv (Kharkov back then) like the 18x24?

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    Oops, 30x40, not 20x30. Sorry

  5. #5
    Ole
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    The In-37 is coated - at least mine is. It's a Tessar type, so it's reasonably well corrected for all aberrations. After having seen the results from a 1958 Angulon with colour slides, I have no fear of any lens regardless of reputation. Of course the lack of a shutter can be a handicap...

    I found 6.5x9, 9x12 and 18x24cm inserts on ebay.de, and then I bought a 13x18cm "Reisekamera" (Like the FKD's only a century older) to get the iris lensmount. It came with 5 plate holders - with film inserts in!

    Maybe I have more 18x24-inserts than I need - and since I have Linhof "Universal" 13x18 holders, I don't need all those inserts.

    Need some? Some of those Soviet cameras can have slightly weird plate size measurements or plate holder mechanisms, and may not work well with anything more "sophisticated" than a sheet of plywood

    The 30x40 camera is a monster. If I start "restoring" it, I think there will only be the front left. But it works, even if I have difficulties seeing how it can survive being mounted on a tripod. Pillow and car roof?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #6
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    I've never handled an unexposed plate, but I have two plate cameras that I've used a bit and plan to use for a long time yet. With film sheaths and 9x12 cm film, they're no harder to use than modern large format cameras -- easier, in some ways, as I think it's easier to load the sheath and then latch it into the holder than to get the film slipped into the correct slots inside an ANSI film holder. Not to mention the extremely compact cameras. And since 9x12 cm is smaller than 4x5, I'll be able to cut down film, if necessary, for as long as there is film in the world (since I expect large format will be the last bastion of chemical photography).

    My preference to date is Fomapan 100 -- it's inexpensive and very good film. Sure do wish I could get something in ISO 400 in this size on a routine basis, though...

    Oh, and don't worry about pre-War uncoated lenses with color film. If the lens had uncorrected chromatic aberrations, it would be a "soft focus" lens in B&W, too. In fact, I have a 1928 Skopar that's one of the best lenses I own, despite the fact that color roll film larger than 35 mm was close to twenty years off when the lens (and the camera it's mounted in) were made. If you have a good lens, it'll be good with color. If you have a bad lens, B&W won't save it.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  7. #7

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    Jimin, I don't have an I-37, but I do have a coated I-51 and have shot it on my little -- tiny compared to your camera -- 2x3 Speed Graphic. Its not the sharpest 210 I have but I've made some pleasing color slides with it. Good color.

    Give your I-37 a try, and remember that what makes for transparencies with poor color is bad exposure. Getting good exposure with a barrel lens is the biggest problem you'll face.

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. #8

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    Ole- thanks for the offer. I don't have the 18x24 yet, so let me see if the guy who sells them has some inserts floating around. As for plywood being the best insert sometimes, I wouldn't be surprised. You should see the stuff they didn't expect to export over here.

    The 9x12 Zeiss is tempting to use often once I get sheaths made for the film. It's much smaller than the 4x5 press camera I brought over and a stack of sheaths will fit in the space of one holder.

    Thanks to you all for the most important thing, actually - the lens issue. Ive shot color slide with a single-coated Wolly, but had still shied away from trying older lenses - mental astigmatism, I guess. Most of the Industars are pretty cheap over here - should be, I guess.

    How about making sheaths for single sheets of film. Any suggestions? I've got a head full of overly complicated ideas for this one...

  9. #9
    Ole
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    "Overly complicated" it shouldn't be... My 9x12cm sheaths consist of a sheet of 0.3mm metal, bottom and both long sides folded in to form a 2mm lip under which the film fits.

    A (very) few cameras had a toggle on one side which moved the lens 0.3mm back after focusing to compensate for the little offset. I've shimmed the GG on one of my 9x12's, the other one is "pristine" in case I want to use plates (while I still have some).
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway



 

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