Old plate cameras?

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In my search for an affordable 8x10 kit I've come across a number of older plate-type cameras from the turn of the century. Can they be adapted to use standard cut-film holders? Anything I should keep in mind when evaluating these older cameras? (I already know about http://www.fiberq.com/cam/fcam.htm)


-- Josh Wand (josh@joshwand.com), November 15, 2000


An easy way to do this is to make what I call a focusing shim. This is an aluminum frame the size of a film holder with a window the size of the 8x10 image area (actually smaller, just measure the aperture in an 8x10 holder) and having a thickness that is equal to the difference in depth between a plate holder and a film holder. You slide the frame into the camera back, do your composing and focusing and then remove it, replace it with the standard cut film holder and make your exposure. I've done this with an old 5x7 Century Grand from the early 1900's and get perfect results as confirmed with my dollar bill step target gg alignment test.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (info@razeichner.com), November 15, 2000.

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