13x18 Film Holder question?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Just Tim 4
Just Tim 4 Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: 13x18 Film Holder question?

Very nice though the camera is I must warn you about just how much of a pain in the butt these old cameras are to use. Here is one of the same age that I own and have used:

Marion and Co *Perfection* circa 1898-1902

With regards to parts the dark slides were not standard at this time and are brand or even camera specific. At the age of the camera they were generally made for glass plates rather than sheet film and though the conversion is simple, (a cut film holder that neatly fits into the glass plate holder), it still needs to be done. What is important is that the film sits in the same position as the ground glass so you're actually focusing where the film will be. I bought mine complete with dark slides, 3 of which had already been converted to sheet film.

Tripod mounts of the time were generally quite different to what we use today so again a modification may be needed.

The actual movements, (I see yours has shift in both directions and tilt on the rear standard), are a pain to set up and adjust. With the older and slower emulsions and with the *expectations of the time* this was not a problem, but with the faster and better modern emulsions and with *current expectations* of image quality I can't stress how fiddly these things are to set up and use. Seriously the ability of my Linhof to zero the movements with precision and adjust them is a big step forward!

The other main drawback, and why I don't use it anymore, is that the odd film size requires a darkroom to develop. 5"x 4" can be done in a daylight tank that requires nothing more than a light tight changing bag, a MOD54 tank and a scanner, (if you're looking for a hybrid process). This is a serious saving of money over a full wet process which will require an enlarger capable of the format, (and often requires custom made film holders as well). Also be aware that the availability of film will be directly proportional to the demand, sizes that aren't used will become obsolete.

If you want a cheaper way into LF film then a working Speed Graphic with a standard Graflok back is or similar is a far easier and ultimately cheaper option.

I use a Linhof Technica IV from 1958 and it's a joy to use compared to the *Perfection*.

Marion and Co Perfection

Linhof Technika IV

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