Ground Glass / lexan, plexi

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ty G, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Ty G

    Ty G Guest

    I know someone out there has done this. Ever tried to grind lexan or plexi for a ground glass viewing screen? I am working on a 20x24 and figured that would be great to help prevent possible breakage. If you have done this, how "bad" is the image quality?
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Lexan is available with a fine textured surface which I have used in place of ground glass.


    Steve.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have an 18"x24" GG made from quarter inch plate glass, its pretty durable.
     
  4. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    I haven't tried grinding any glass myself, but both my 8x10 and 12x20 have plexi glass screens. They are bright, durable and don't break like glass. They are great.

    Gary
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Where from ? (In the UK)

    Ian
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Cadillac: http://www.cadillacplastic.co.uk/

    Plastic Technology Service Ltd: http://www.ptsuk.com/ - Polycarbonate here: http://www.ptsuk.com/longhua.html (PC813F).

    A similar product but in polyester is available from Autotype/McDermid: http://www.macdermidautotype.com/

    We only use these materials up to 0.25mm which is a bit too thin for focusing screen use (although I have used it) but most are available at least up to 1.5mm.


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2010
  7. Shutterbob

    Shutterbob Member

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    I'm pretty sure that glass is not ground but sand blasted or etched. You might want to check with a glass crafter or leaded glass supply house in your area.
    Bob
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Bob it's either Ground or Etched using Hydrofluoric acid, but grinding gives the best results. Welcome to APUG BTW.

    Ian
     
  9. Todd Foster

    Todd Foster Member

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    Need 4 X 5 Ground Glass

    Hi. Looking to buy 4 X 5 ground glass for my Toyo Field Camera. The Satin Snow source seems to be gone. Anyone have a source for it now?
    Thanks, Todd F.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Brilliant Glass, Stephen Hopf hope I spelt his name right sells on Ebay from the US, excellent glass at good prices.

    Ian
     
  11. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Similar question came up the other day on LF Forum, and Bruce Barlow noted that Richard Ritter uses plexiglass as the standard 'ground glass' in his ULF cameras. Sand King jumped in to say that the experience he has had with a RR camera is that the plastic GG is just as good as regular glass, plus it's lighter in weight and unbreakable. The only downside is that plastic can be attacked by some solvents (which probably shouldn't be allowed within five miles of a good camera anyway), and can scratch.

    Ritter gave a presentation at the 2005 LF Conference on quick and dirty field repairs in which he suggested that if you break your ground glass while traveling, just whip into a Walmart to buy a cheap plastic hoto frame of the appropriate size, and a package of fine sandpaper, then sand the plastic from the frame to make a replaceable ground glass.

    I purchased a fresnel from Calumet for my Zone VI lightweight. The fresnel/ground 'glass' is actually plastic, but there is a thin cover glass to go over it. But the image is actually formed on the plastic fresnel/ground glass.
     
  12. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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    Steve, do you know the designation code of this type of Lexan? Is it a General Electric / Sabic product or perhaps a different type of polycarbonate? Is it available in 3mm thickness? Did you have to sand it further lightly with 800 & 1000 water-type grit paper?
     
  13. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Richard is a big believer in plexi GG's for big cameras. Glass shards and big expensive bellows don't play together very well if the GG breaks.

    I've used the gallery's RR 7x17 with a plexi screen, it works fine, there is no practical difference between it and a glass one.
     
  14. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    http://www.cadillacplastic.co.uk/products/lexan-polycarbonate-film/graphics-films/

    Anything designated 'fine' will probably work. Velvet is a bit coarse.

    I used it as is with no further treatment.

    EDIT: Or see my previous post in this thread...


    Steve.
     
  15. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    In the back of my wista is a piece of clear lexan as a protector for my plastic fresnel. It's also etched with an exacto to show grid lines and highlighted with different color fine point sharpie to mark out 6x7 and fuji instant sizes on their specific holder templates. Works well for me.
     
  16. darkroom_rookie

    darkroom_rookie Member

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  17. blindpig

    blindpig Member

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    Just finished an 11X14 camera build and used a Plexiglas screen with a Fresnel lens laminated on it from a projection TV set.Lightly sanded the side opposite the Fresnel and installed,works great.If you can salvage these from an old TV size won't be an issue, as I cut mine down from a 1/8" thick 52" screen.
    Luck,
    Don