Could an old plate camera be put to use? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Just a simple question: Could a 5x7 (or a 8x10) plate camera from early 1900 be used with modern film and holders? If so, what modifications would be needed to make?

Regards, Jimi

-- Jimi Axelsson (, November 29, 1999


Jimi, I've done this very thing. I have an old Century Grand Sr. 5x7 complete with a beautifully crafted new bellows from Ken Hough. Problem was the thing was designed for plates. After making some depth measurements, I machined an aluminum window which I insert between the gg and the camera body just prior to focusing. I then remove the window and insert a film holder, make an exposure and I'm done. I checked gg/film plane alignment using my test target (see my article in Nov./Dec. 1996 issue of ViewCamera) and the results were right on the money. Going about the modification this way was totally uninvasive, allowing the camera to be used as it was originally intended and most importantly, allowing me to close the hinged door over the gg. The only other option would have involved removing the door and making some rather thick shims to go under the gg.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, November 29, 1999.

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