4x5 box camera shutter advise

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Surly, May 12, 2005.

  1. Surly

    Surly Member

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    I want to build a box camera- I have a (actually two) 165mm process lenses.
    The lens covers 4x5 with a reasonable focus distance. It's a little long for "fixed focus" so I will probably make some sort of focus mount. I would like a shutter that has "time" and "instantaneous" like the old brownies and such.
    Has anyone out there made this type of shutter? The shutter design in the Holga would work but the rear element of my lens is roughly 1.5"
    I dont want to use a Packard. Nothing against Packard I just want to build the shutter myself and I dont want it pneumatic.
    Any other suggestions for the overall deign are certainly welcome.
    Check out BoxCameras.com if you are intersted in box cameras, also. No affiliation, I just found the site.
    Thanks, Surly
     
  2. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to add that I own "Photographic Cameras and accessories" by Paul Hasluck. I'm looking for something other than what is in that book. Thanks.
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, er, ah, why not simply mount your process lens in front of an ex-Polaroid MP-4 Copal #1 shutter? Inexpensive, easily found, timed speeds from 1/1 to 1/125, no fuss, no muss. Vignetting shouldn't be a problem with no movements.

    Do it y'rself is well and good, but why settle for an inferior product? Make or improvise the mount adapter y'rself if you must do something.
     
  4. Surly

    Surly Member

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    That's a good suggestion, Dan. It's not quite what I am looking for, however. If I was wanting a shutter like that I could make the front of the box accept Calumet lens boards and just slap one of my other lenses in there.
    As for inferior, It's a box camera. I have a Calumet view and a Super Graphic.
    Perhaps I'm just peeing in the wind. Heck, I cant even spell advice. ;>)
    Surly
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    Since you don't want a Packard, how about a Thornton-Picard? Simple pull-cord things; usuallt triggered with air, but can be used in a number of different ways. T, B and variable time in a small wooden box (with "ripcord").
     
  6. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I understand...

    I'm currently collecting ice cream sticks (If you don't know what these are... it's too hard to explain! cross-contienent differences!) to build something like a box camera. You can buy these things in bulk in packets but my twist is they have to be all from ice creams eaten by my family (75% me!)

    Why, cause... that's why! :smile:
     
  7. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Nige,
    We have ice cream sticks up here. Sometimes we call em popsicle sticks. The kiddies in grade school make crafts out of them.
    Yes, the point is I want to do it myself. I want to make all the things I can actually make on a camera. I have a lens and I'm making almost everything else (theoretically).
    wish me luck.
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Surly, it occurs to me that with a process lens you probably aren't going to need high shutter speeds -- a rotary shutter (like in your Holga) with B capability, operated by a locking cable release to give walk-away time exposures, would probably do very nicely. You'd get one "instant" speed (potentially adjustable by swapping a spring or adding/subtracting mass on the rotary disk), and B, and you could make the thing easily from hobby brass and music wire from the local model airplane shop. The shutter need not even be huge; it only has to accommodate an opening the size of the largest stop in the lenses, if you can somehow mount it between the groups just ahead of or behind the aperture (should be at least as large as the back element if you mount the shutter behind the lens, though). I've seen these in old roll film box cameras that had disks as much as three inches across, giving about 1/25.
     
  9. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Maybe I'm a bit outdated here (it's been a while since I last posted, or for that matter browsed through the forums), but a while back someone here made a "gravity shutter" by building a box around the lens and having the foward side (perhaps made out of styrofoam) slide down in front of the lens. If I recall correctly, different sized horizontal gaps in the front side provided different shutter speeds (since they all fall at the same speed, etc..)

    I thought that this might go well with the box camera theme.

    Good luck,

    André
     
  10. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Even in the U.S. "ice cream sticks" may be misconstrued. Aside from popsicle sticks, and their kin from ice cream bars, in New England we had little dogbone-shaped sticks used with ice cream cups. These are little (about 4" diameter x 2" deep) cardstock (now plastic) cups full of ice cream. In Boston we referred to them as Hoodsies, after the Hood Milk Co that made them. I know you didn't want to get into it, but just which "ice cream sticks" are you using? I don't think the Hoodsie sticks would be usable above 35mm.
     
  11. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Off the top of my head, if you wanted to build a shutter which is "all your own work", the simplest kind to make would be a guillotine shutter, which is basically a piece of thin wood about 5 or 6 times as long as it is wide with a hole in the middle. This runs vertically between two wood rails, to fire it, you first raise it so the hole is higher than the lens and hold it in place with a releasable detent. To release it, you then disengage the detent, the shutter drops, either by gravity or driven by a rubber band, etc. the hole in the wood passes the lens and comes to halt beneath this. If you can find a Victorian photography book from the 1850s or 1860s, you might even find some working drawings, since there were no commercially-available shutters at this time and people made their own.
     
  12. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Ahh, now were gettin somewhere. Gravity shutters,great idea, I'll throw that in the sketchbook.
    Donald-you seem to be smellin what I'm steppin in. Rotary with a spring or two with one speed and B. Thin brass circle with a hole in it etc.... This is what I originally had in mind and I was looking for maybe a picture of what someone else has done. I found pictures of a Holga shutter, I have a Kodak with a shutter like I'm talking about but I cant get the thing apart without damaging it and it works so I'm going to leave it alone.
    Great ideas-keep em comin.
     
  13. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Ho-ho, strange ideas you want, eh?

    The gravity/guillotine concept has a name I can't remember...maybe Andrew Davidhazy at RIT has it posted on his site. I have heard of it used with 3 separate color filters (hey, like Neopolitan ice cream!), that sequence past the lens...I just can't remember the surname who it's asociated with.

    I usually see those craft sticks (for those too lazy or allergic to clean the ice cream off first) used for little houses. I have some that are half the width and have holes at the ends because they were intended to be laced together for some project. That must have some photographic application.

    I just, uh, copied the chapter on shutters from the Kingslake-edited Applied Optics and Optical Engineering 5-volume set - found it in the library at work. They refer to another linear shutter called a 'shooting plane' shutter...I had thought this up myself but dismissed it as too bizarre...turns out it exists. Apparently it's like when I was a kid and I got my sister's boyfriend to put his Ducati motorcycle up on it's kickstand that lifted the rear wheel off the ground. We'd put 2x4 lumber between the tire and the ground, he'd rev up the engine and lean back until the time hit the wood, shooting boards down the driveway.

    With a shooting plane shutter, metal plate, similar to a FP curtain shutter, with one or multiple slots, is engaged by two or more idler wheels that accelerate it to speeds up to 500 inches per second. There are 'brushes' to catch the plate at the other side.

    Now, I ran into a guy at my last job, a contract engineer, who worked at Chicago Aerial Industries (now ReCon Optical I think). I asked him whether the large mass of the camera was one factor in what allowed hyper springs on big shutters to not blur images. He gave me an interesting concept - at least for leaf shutters, they can bang & clatter all they want at the beginning and end of the motion, because the shutter is closed at those points. You want smooth motion during the open (efficient) phase of the shutter motion.

    Small idea - see what's inside a typical disposable camera. Labs are really skittish and inconsistent about who will give you the empties or not. One clown wanted my name phone # & address...I accused him of dragging me into a marketing ploy but he thought it was more like Homeland Security. Last time I went there! Ugh, it never occurred to me there was a third possiblility, but I don't want to think about that.

    Big idea - I bought a box of 'Lazy Susan' bearings (plates with bearings) to experiment with a 6-7/16" hole. It's large enough to pass an Aero-Ektar 309/2.5 lens barrel. The idea was to make a 4-leaf or butterfly-bladed shutter with hand rotation. The butterfly type takes more room but doesn't have to reverse direction, just accelerate, open, decelerate. I'm still examining other reversing blade shutters to figure the shape and dimensions to fit the curvature of the Lazy Susan aperture. I'm also doing the geometry for a multi-aperture plate (like on old lenses) that can be rotated into position. Two of these back to back might allow a large Lazy Susan and Lazy Iris to be accomplished in a thin space. I have a 12" Metrogon lens set that is rumored to need less than 1/4" space between....that's part I'm still researching.

    Once I get one working, I can probably use the smaller L.S. bearings in the future. I talked to a place that makes photoetched parts to make blades, but don't want to spend that $ right now...I'm looking at spray-painting the clear fronts from CD cases, thin, rigid, lightweight...

    Murray
     
  14. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Well, this stinks! It doesn't matter that I can fit 9 stops on the big Lazy Susan bearing if the physical aperture at the back of the lens is large (66 mm in an 80.2 mm plate on 12" Metrogon). The 9 stops overlap the lens so more than one is illuminated...dim idea...

    I might only be able to fit 3-4 stops in a circle spaced far enough apart to not be exposed more than 1 at a time. A linear array of Waterhouse-style stops would be as long as a monorail! Hmmmm.
     
  15. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

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    Murray,

    sounds like you might need 2 or 3 circular plates with diff apertures on them (one of them being wide open on each plate). Put 2 plates on wide open, the third one selects a smaller f-stop (or wide open, even). This way you can fit 10 stops total (3 different on each plate, and wide open).

    just a thought,

    André
     
  16. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, er, ah, the words that members of the Lazy Susan set are groping for are "rotary sector shutter with variable sector angle." Widely used in cine cameras.
     
  17. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Surly, take a look here and you'll see some excellent pictures of a large rotary shutter (in a 116 format box camera) and how to convert it to B-only operation. It should be pretty obvious how to make the B setting optional, and there's enough detail in those photos that you ought to be able to fabricate one with no other references.

    If that doesn't do it for you, find any Ansco box camera and slip the front off by lifting the tabs on the two long sides off the short pins -- the whole shutter is right there, out in the open. If you get a 116, you might be able to simply take the whole shutter board and install it on your 4x5 box (saving a fair amount of labor). Alternately, e-mail me and I'll take some detailed pictures of the shutter in my Shur-Shot Jr. :wink:
     
  18. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Magnet over red widow for high-ISO film...that's a good idea...I was just wondering if a recent acquisition had permanently open red windows & what to use other than black tape. I will check the cam-back for ferro-magnetic properties.

    Murray
     
  19. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've never found it necessary to cover red windows for ISO 400, either color or B&W, whether with Kodak films or Lucky SHD 400, or even the very inexpensive J&C Pro 100 -- even in a camera with the red plastic gone from the windows. I've seen examples of fog-through with Efke 100, however, and I can't speak for Delta 3200 (though TMY pushed to 3200 showed no problem, it wasn't exposed to sunlight while in the camera). The only problem I've ever had that I could reasonably ascribe to the red window was edge fogging from reflections, which will happen while advancing (when the red window has to be open) just as readily as when the camera is sitting.
     
  20. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    You might look for a GITZO lens front shutter. It has Instant (probably 1/25th), B and T only, operates via a cable release and fits lenses up to 80-something mm in diameter.
     
  21. Surly

    Surly Member

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    Donald,
    Thanks for the box camera conversion stuff. That is quite helpful. I'll also look into the Gitzo shutter. I think I have what I need now, except time.
    "Lazy Susan set" ....that's hilarious.
    Thanks everyone
     
  22. Surly

    Surly Member

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  23. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I got a friendly machinist to re-do the 6-7/16" hole to 8.5" now.

    It gives me a 1/4" border to attach an inner plate (which will contain the circularly placed holes) to. I think I can fit 7x 66 mm barely. 6 to be conservative.

    I'm counting on this camera being heavy enough that the rotation of the Lazy Susan bearing won't induce vibration. Actually for f/stop, that's not a problem as it's done before exposure. It's the concept of an hand-powered leaf shutter that's gonna rock the boat, I guess.

    M
     
  24. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    You mean like the two-leaf, hand (pull string) or air powered Packard? Or practically any large format shutter set to B? Yep, a major revolution there... :wink: