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Handmade Wet Plate Cameras

Each camera is individually handmade using the same techniques that would have been used in the 19th century, no computers or automation just traditional cabinet making.

The Classic Tailboard Camera

The tailboard camera dates back to the 19th century and was one of the most popular designs during the wet plate era. It is simple, strong and reliable ideal for wet plate photographers of all abilities. The camera is focused by sliding the rear standard along the tailboard, unlike more modern large format cameras these cameras in their standard setup have no camera movements.

The tailboard camera can accommodate a wide range of lenses, the bellows extension is long enough to allow plenty of extension when shooting close up portraits and head shots while still being suitable for wide angle lenses if required. The robust construction means that heavy brass petzval lenses can easily be accommodated.

Made from solid hardwood such as cherry, mahogany and walnut.

Traditional joinery such as hand cut dovetails, bridle joints and tongue & groove.

Solid brass fittings used throughout.

Oversize lens boards combined with the fixed front standard allow the use of heavy petzval lenses.

Dedicated Wet Plate Holder

A wet plate camera is only as good as it’s plate holder, for this reason all my cameras come with a dedicated wet plate holder that has been based on period designs with a few modern touches to ensure the best performance.

Rotatable, interchangeable inserts allow multiple plate sizes in one holder.

Mechanical light trap and removable dark slide.

Plates are held just at the corners which helps reduce contamination giving you cleaner plates.

Simple to attach and remove from the camera using pins to locate.

Prices for Tailboard Cameras

Camera Size Plate Size Price
4 x 5 4 x 5 inches (102x127mm) £695 GBP
5 x 7 or Half Plate 5 x 7 or 4.75 x 6.5 inches (127x178 or 121x165mm) £995 GBP
Whole Plate 6.5 x 8.5 inches (165x216mm) £1245 GBP
8 x 10 8 x 10 inches (203x254mm) £1495 GBP
10 x 12 10 x 12 inches (254x305mm) £1745 GBP
11 x 14 11 x 14 inches (279x356mm) £1995 GBP
14 x 17 14 x 17 inches (356x432mm) £2495 GBP

Larger sizes such as 16x20, 18x22, 20x24 are also possible along with panoramic formats. Please contact me to discuss.

What is included with the camera…

  • A plate holder with rotatable insert (portrait or landscape) for the chosen plate size plus an insert for a smaller size, for instance on the 8x10 camera an insert for 5x7 is popular allowing a bit of flexibility on plate size.
  • Two blank lens boards.
  • Folding tailboard on Whole Plate cameras and larger.


  • Additional plate holder inserts can be supplied in any size you wish including panoramic and square sizes.
  • Additional lens boards can be supplied, if you already I have a suitable lens I am happy to drill the lens boards to suit.
  • Camera movements… as standard my cameras have no movements other than focusing, however it possible to add rear tilt, rear swing and front rise at an additional cost.
  • Folding tailboard… cameras whole plate and larger have a folding tailboard however it is possible to add this to the 5x7 and half plate if required.

What is NOT included…

  • No lenses are included with the cameras, any lenses shown are for illustration purposes only. I can sometimes supply lenses, depending upon the size of the camera. Please contact me with your requirements.
  • Shipping, I use Royal Mail, DPD and UPS depending upon country, prices range between £25 and £200 GBP depending upon your location and the size of the camera, please contact me for an more accurate price.

Lead Times…

  • All my cameras are handmade and built to order, lead times are approximately 2-3 months at present.


If you would like to order a camera or require further information please feel free to send me a message.

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