Can I get this baby up and shooting?

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by freakminded, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Howdy Folks,

    I made made this account specifically for this question I have here... I discovered this full format camera that my great-grandfather had custom made for his work as a photographer back then. I’m hoping that someone here is familiar with some of the parts... for all I know I just need a film holder and a new lens mount, no? Can I just buy a new plate with a different lens mount? Or are there lenses for the existing one? Any Input is highly appreciated! I hope my noobery doesn’t upset you — rest assured that I did a bit of research before asking you.



  2. Well the good news is that you should not need another lens board or mount. Just a lens. That contraption on the front is a universal mount. Just twist the knob till it opens wide enough to hold whatever shutter your lens has. Close the blades and lock them in place to hold the shutter.
    I’ll let someone else tackle the film question.
  3. That looks like a 'book form' back with a couple of hinges missing. Taking 9x12cm plates judging by comparison with the ruler.

    That's not going to be easy to adapt to modern film-holders without seriously altering the camera.

    It'll probably be easier to adapt a plate-holder to take film. Are there any plate-holders with the camera?
  4. Hey guys, thanks so much!
    That this thing is a lens mount is amazing... I thought it’s a universal Aperture of sorts!
    9x12cm seems correct... the visible portion of the glass measures 8,4x11,5cm. So for the lens, if I google “4x5 full format lens” that should fit, right?
    Sadly, there are no plate-holders left.
  5. FYI...the term would be 4x5 large format lens. Not full format.
    I think for plate cameras it was either full plate or half plate.
    I'm sure that someone will educate us both on the proper terminology.
  6. Whole plate was (is) 6.5" by 8.5" and half-plate was 6.5" by 4.25" - neither of which would fit that ground-glass size.

    9x12cm or 5"x4" would be the closest standard film/plate size.

    A 'normal' lens to cover those formats would be between 135mm and 210mm, with 150 and 180 probably being the most commonly used focal lengths.
    Cheapest option would possibly be a used 135mm Schneider Xenar.

    If you accurately measure the width of wooden channel when the ground-glass frame is removed, we can see if a modern double-darkslide will fit in there.

    Easiest option will be to shim the viewing/focussing screen to give the modern standard 5 mm register, and simply replace the frame with a DDS to take the picture. You might have to tape the DDS temporarily in place. But how much money and effort you put into making this camera shootable depends on the amount of use you plan to give it.

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