A few years ago, I retrofitted a spring back to an old plate camera:
The camera was an Indian plate cam, and the back, made of quartersawn sycamore, effectively converted the odd plate size to 5×12 film (a complete run-down on the conversion is available on nelsonfoto.com). The work was precise, but not too terribly difficult, aside from some delicate joinery.
I’m suddenly interested in this project again because I recently “won” an auction on eBay for what appears to be an Asanuma half plate cam, which the previous owner had tried to convert (unsuccessfully) to 4×5. He’d screwed a Graflex spring back directly to the back of the camera, which was/is missing the original back:
Now, the Indian-made plate cam was a copy of an English design, and so is this Japanese-made Asanuma. I’m pretty sure that a back retrofit will be similar, which will make for a fun project.
Tracking shows the camera shipped yesterday. Can’t wait for it to arrive. Stay tuned…