Kodak 35mm Adapter for 9x12cm Plate Cameras; Anyone Ever Use One?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by leigh_marrin, May 21, 2009.

  1. I impulsively bought a nice Voigtlander Avus 9x12cm plate camera in very good shape from eBay, and it came with something I'd never heard of before, a Kodak adapter for full-frame 35mm. No dark-slide is needed: you slide the 35mm adapter up and down on its mounting plate. Beneath the film body there is a small box that contains a 24x36mm ground glass. The film pressure plate is a MIRROR, instead of being the usual matte-black. (This has gotta cause internal flare, right? I can't figure why Kodak used a mirror...) Before I waste (?) a roll of film, anyone ever use one of these crazy adapters? Any problems with light leaks or the film plane being out of register with the ground glass? Also, with the typical 135mm Tessar lens covering 9x12cm, does the 2.4x3.6cm portion recorded have enough decent sharpness for at least a 4x6" snapshop? Thus far the only application I can think of for this oddball gadget is to cheaply compare center sharpness of my several view and plate camera lenses. Thanks for any info; Leigh in Santa Barbara, Calif.
  2. Another view of 35mm adapter...
  3. PS: my iMac and Safari browser won't post blank spaces when using the Photo.Net editor; anyone know how to add them
    using my set-up?
  4. I have seen those adapters before but don't know the real application. I have a plate holder for a 9x12 with a strip holder in the center for about a 4 1/2 inch strip of 35mm film for panoramic pictures that's kinda different.
  5. Cliff, interesting adapter. Does it have a brand-name, or is it home-made?
  6. I's a film sheath that fits in the plate holders like a kodak film sheath but is made for a strip of 35mm film. There is no name on it.
  7. Leigh,
    The mirror doesn't surprise me as much as it does you - I've seen chrome pressure plates in a few 35mm Kodak cameras. What the thinking behind it was, I can't begin to guess. I wonder if early Kodachrome had a black backing like cine film did that was stripped off in processing.
  8. Yes, Kodachrome had an anti halation coating.
  9. It was indeed for Kodachrome. With the rem-jet backing, halation is not a problem. While there was 9x12cm sheet film Kodachrome from a period, I suspect it was too pricey for most folks to consider.
    I've pulled some strong enlargements from my Recomar 33, it's a sharp lens.
  10. I don't remember a 35mm adapter, but there was also an 828 adapter.
  11. That's the neat thing about those plate cameras like the Recomar and the Maximar, etc., you can slide just about anything on the back of them as an adapter. I've had articulating backs, roll film backs, spring backs for double plate holders, wet plate backs and an enlarger back for the 9x12. They are great cameras, especially the ones with the quick change lens/shutter.
  12. Leigh,
    I have used one of these. The pressure plate on mine isn't a mirror but chrome plated. REALLY SHINEY!! It's a lot of work to use the thing because the ground glass is so small and tucked awkwardly under the film holder. I used a roll of cheap expired print film and got acceptable results. It was no fun using it and I only ran one roll of film through the thing. I did like the results of the old Zeiss lens though and am going to use it (the lens) on my new (to me) 4x5 camera.
    Give it a try maybe you'll like it. I think I'd rather use a 120 roll film adapter. It is an easy and quick way to check an old plate camera. Cheaper too as you're only out a roll of 35mm and processing.
    Good luck,
  13. Thanks for all the replies. Lionel, glad to hear your adapter worked OK, if somewhat awkwardly. This adapter will be a
    cheap way of checking center sharpness on my several plate cameras, including an ancient 118 rollfilm Ernemann "Bob"
    that has a 9x12cm plate option. (It has a two-element "Aplanat" lens; I'm certainly expecting better results from my 135mm
    Tessar, Xenar, Skopar & 127mm Ektar, but perhaps the two-element lens might make an interesting portrait lens.) Also glad
    to hear you did not have any major problems with light leaks, etc.

    Cliff, sounds like you have quite a collection of plate cameras. They are addictive... I've recently won another auction for an
    old Bergheil with an ancient Radiar f6.8 lens. This camera is missing the optical finder, and I was hoping to replace it with
    the prism finder from an $8.00 Zeiss Donata "parts" camera from the thrift store. But I can't figure out how to remove the
    finder... I assumed the outer chrome ring was threaded, and gently cranked on it with a pliers, but it just spins... suppose it's
    a press-fit?
  14. John, about ten years ago I first handled a plate camera in a local antique store, a Recomar 33. I was blown away by its
    quality and overall finish. I did not buy it, because of its odd film size. But a few years later I found a nice 9x12cm "Bee
    Bee" camera with a Tessar, and also had holders with film sheaths. I mail-ordered Agfa and Efke film, developed it in the
    Jobo daylight tank, and got fairly good results. I have a few others now, but STILL want a Recomar.
  15. The adapter was made by Kodak. A local photo consignment shop has one in original box but I haven't gotten around to justifying its purchase.

Share This Page