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Camera Anatomy - Plate Cameras, Part 3 - roll film adapters

For some of the smaller sizes of plate camera, roll film adapters could be obtained - generally 120. These are handy as it allows this size of camera to be used relatively easily today. The principle problem with them is the many locations light can leak in, especially now as most will be 60 + years old and the felt light dams will be worn. The two shown here are in regular use with the collection, being used on the Nagel Recomar and Houghton Butchers Ensign Cameo, both of which date from the early 1930s.


Roll film adapters

roll film adapters

In use, roll film adapters slide down the same rails as the plate carrier. Each adapter has a darkslide in the same manner as a plate carrier, this needs to be withdrawn before the exposure can be made, as shown here. It should be noted that the light seal at the top between the camera and the plate carrier/roll film adapter is the weak spot, rocking the darkslide on withdrawal is likely to open the gap and allow light to streak the negative. The use of a hood helps prevent this as does not removing the darkslide completely.

The film adaptors are handy as they give the convenience of roll film, but also allow the use of the ground glass screen for critical focus as well as the ability to have different film types loaded in different carriers.

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