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  1. #1

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    Plate-to-film adapters

    Has anyone a source for plate-to-film converters? Or has anyone had them made?

    These are just big, thin metal plates with the edges turned over on three sides to hold the film, to allow film to be used in plate holders. I have them for quarter-plate, 9x12cm and 4x5 inch but what I really need (ho, ho) is 12x15 inch and 12x10 inch.

    Maybe I should have posted this in 'ultra large format'?

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)

  2. #2
    Ole
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    I have them for 6.5x9cm, several "flavors" of 2x3, 10x15cm, 5x7", 13x18cm, and 18x24cm. For the larger sizes (24x30cm and 30x40cm) I use a glass sheet, sprayed on one side with a few dabs of GEFE "Flexofix" - a spray "post-it" type glue.

    In an emergency any sticky substance can be used, like blueberry jam. But next time I need to improvise I'll look for orange marmelade...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  3. #3
    DBP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    But next time I need to improvise I'll look for orange marmelade...
    Would that be for color film? Is that where the mask comes from?

    I use old glass plates behind the film in my 9x12 (CM) holders. I would think a sheet of anything of the right thickness would work, plexiglass for example.

  4. #4
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    Roger, any sheet metal worker worthy of the name should be able to fabricate film sheaths to your specifications. They need to fit your film, have enough clearance between the folded lip and the base to slide the film in but not enough so it rattles around, and ideally should have some creases criss-crossing the flat surface to give stiffness. You can use your existing 9x12 and quarter plate sheaths to provide examples, measure your film for inside dimension, and measure your plate holders for "do not exceed" outside dimension.

    They'll cost a bit, but if you're shooting 10x12 and 12x15 inch, you're used to that...
    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.

  5. #5

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    Thanks, Ole and Donald,

    I had already cut some glass to size but have to admit I had not thought of the low-tack adhesive idea which would be all but essential: relying on edge-friction would be optimistic in the extreme, hence my enquiry about metal adapters. All I have to do now is find a source for the adhesive. Living in a village in rural France may be idyllic but it has its disadvantages... I'll try the small art store in Loudun first and if that fails it'll have to be the much bigger one in Poitiers. If that fails, Paris.

    As for finding the sheet-metal worker 'worthy of the name', that is again a problem, so I think I'll stick (as it were) with the glass: at those huge sizes I'd have to use a bit of double-sided tape in the middle anyway. Which would be nothing like as good as repositionable adhesive.

    With the smaller sizes -- up to 4x5 inch, anyway -- the ridging for rigidity is optional but as you say, Donald, at those sizes they'd probably need ridging.

    Thanks again,

    Cheers,

    Roger

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    With the smaller sizes -- up to 4x5 inch, anyway -- the ridging for rigidity is optional but as you say, Donald, at those sizes they'd probably need ridging.
    Depends on the design, to some extent. I have some Kodak Film Sheaths in 9x12 cm, which have very little fold on the ends, and they *need* the ridges, but the ones I have that have an fold on the closed end similar to that on the long sides are more than stiff enough without. Of course, metal gauge enters into this; the stiffer ones are about twice the metal thickness...
    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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    This might sound like an outlandish idea Roger, but give it a try. Not having the proper sheet metal adaptors for my quarter plate and half plate English cameras, I simply cut regular mounting board to fit the holders, and then placed dabs of gum arabic at appropriate places and allowed the gum arabic to dry. Preparatory to loading film, I moisten the gum arabic with a watercolor brush, thus making it tacky. I then lay the sheet film against the card backing and load the plate holder (in the dark, of course).

    Being water soluble, the gum arabic comes of the back of the sheet film rather easily in my customary presoak. Another plus is that a small amount of gum arabic goes a very long way, and the card backing only requires occasional recoating for the entire arrangement to work. Although I've not tried using glass backing plates, it might work even better with glass since the gum arabic would not soak into glass the way it does with thick cardstock.

    I hope this is helpful.



 

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