materials for camera building?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Discoman, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Discoman

    Discoman Member

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    As always, some background.
    I was browsing around field cameras from all different companies trying to find one good one. Too cameras got good reviews, but people complained of the weight, as they are metal.
    Wooden cameras usually got complaints about stiffness.

    So, I was wondering if any place had or any person had tried using carbon to make a camera? It should have a lot of the rigidity of metal and the light weight of wood, but it is substantially expensive compared to other things to work with, and if it is damaged, it breaks like wood and needs replacement, instead of bending like metal.

    Has someone done it? Is there some place doing it? Could such a thing even work?
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Richard Ritter makes the rail systems for his cameras from Carbon Fiber.
    It works pretty well for that, you can see his test of the rail system here; http://www.lg4mat.net/717.html
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    PM Ole here about his Carbon Fibre camera.

    He is quite fond of it :smile:
     
  4. gmay

    gmay Member

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    Chamonix?
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Walker uses ABS
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I've thought about it a bit and there would be three approaches to making the body parts. First is to try to use flat stock pieces of carbon fiber panels, I believe Chamonix does this on their base. The problem is that not many parts on a camera are well suited to this approach as they need to be connected at corners. The second approach is to do it as a layup for the front, back and base of the camera possibly including a foam layer to help stiffen the "sandwich". This approach is used in canoes and aircraft. The third option I can think of is to build the camera out of balsa wood, foamcore or urethane foam and then cover it with graphite cloth and epoxy. I think the third option would hold the most promise for a home builder. I am in the process (long process) of building an ultralight canoe using a similar technique with wood as the core material and fiberglass instead of carbon fiber.