New 5" x 4" Folding Camera Under Construction

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Steve Smith, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have deliberated, planned and talked about this for long enough. It's time to start cutting some wood.

    Back in 2006 I made a 5" x 4" camera with the benefit of knowing nothing about them or how they worked. It didn't fold up, had limited movements and weighed about seventeen and a half tons... It took pictures though which was the main thing.

    A couple of years ago I discovered Rayment Kirby's website: http://www.raymentkirbycameras.co.uk/ which is one of the best sites I have found for DIY camera builders.

    I based my camera on his design and produced some CAD drawings from the PDF file on the website.

    Today I started to cut the wood - some oak which used to be a piece of furniture which was given to my brother and which I somehow ended up with.

    Whilst I like working wood with hand tools (I have built a few guitars) I also have the use of a CNC router/drill at work (as those of you who have read about my 6x12 camera will know) so I used that to cut the rebates and the profiles. It can cut much more accurate finger joints than I can!

    I will add more pictures as I progress.


    Steve.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2012
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Don't forget to put a tripod socket on its side so you can also use it US style 4"x5" :D

    Nice one keep us posted.

    Ian
     
  3. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Have fun, having the right tools help with a project like this. But why a nonstandard 5x4, wouldn't the standard 4x5 be easier. :D

    Edit: Bugger, 1 sec faster and I could of been the funnest person on APUG......
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Surely in Australia, you use the proper British 5x4 term, not 4x5!


    Steve.
     
  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Steve, my experience of your ingenuity and engineering skills suggest that you can make this work and maybe make some money from it or at least cover costs of development.

    Best of luck

    PS while you are at it can you produce a cheap second P645n for me :D:D

    pentaxuser
     
  6. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    No 4x5, 8x10 or a least I do. Now I'm confused...
    although thinking in timber sizing it always the larger size first.
     
  7. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I used to shoot 4x5", but now only ever 5x4" (and sometimes 3 1/2 x 2 1/2")...

    Also - Steve, I'm embarking on a similar project: currently all-obsessed with black heart sassafras and finger joints... I will be jolly keen to see your results!

    Marc!
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Some more in progress pictures.

    1. Parts balancing in roughly the right place.
    2. Parts being glued together with integral bellows mounting plates (an old pair of tights being used instead of clamps).
    3. The front and back being introduced to the bellows.
     

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  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Do you want a focus screen Steve, I owe you a favour or two :D

    Ian
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Yes please!


    Steve.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No problem, just PM the size.

    Ian
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I promised some more pictures as I progressed so here they are:

    EDIT: And they appeared in the wrong order! The second picture is some recently CNC drilled and routed parts to form the outer part of the focussing rack and the first picture is those parts glued together with the previous parts balanced on top in roughly the right place.


    Steve.
     

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  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Screen is ready and unless urgent will be delivered in person :D

    Ian
     
  14. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Excellent. I had better bring this bit along to see if I gave you accurate measurements!


    Steve.
     

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  15. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    The hardest part of a DIY camera is the bellows. Maybe you already stated, but how/where did you get the bellows?
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I think the bellows are from a Sinar Norma camera (that's how they were advertised on ebay).

    They are too long though. As I need the front and rear standards to get close together to fold the camera up, I cut off about 1/2" (closed measurement) from the back and will now have to re-glue them back to the plate.

    I have made bellows before but the reason I'm building this camera is that I bought the bellows for not much money.


    Steve.
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    More pictures. I have cut some parts from 3mm black plastic which will eventually be made from 1/8" brass to see if it all works (it does).


    Steve.
     

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  18. daveandiputra

    daveandiputra Member

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    Steve, from the picture I see that the front standard is quite big compared to other field camera, i'm guessing id does not fold the same way? ( as in pulling the front standard downward and closing the back on it)
    Just curious :smile:
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have had lots of thoughts about this. The front standard is large because I have used the Sinar bellows from a mono-rail camera which do not taper as much as the bellows on most field cameras.

    Because of this I am going to use the method Chamonix use which detaches the front standard from the sliding bed.

    I am building a second camera with another set of bellows I have which will have the more traditional folding mechanism which I am copying from Wista.

    There is a thread here with a discussion about the differences between the two cameras with some good detail pictures: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/105153-chamonix-045n-2-compared-wista-45dx.html


    Steve.
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I can now CNC cut 1/8" brass sheet.

    This might not sound like much of an achievement as CNC machines are supposed to cut metal. However, my machine was built to drill and rout printed circuit boards and has a minimum spindle speed of 7,000 RPM (goes up to 40,000 RPM).

    I have found that if I use a 2.4mm diameter double fluted cutter and cut 0.5mm depth at a time, I can get a nice cut which doesn't need a lot of cleaning up.

    This is good news because it means I can make all the brass pieces instead of paying someone else to do it!


    Steve.
     
  21. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    If you can find four flute cutters to fit your collets, you'll find them much more robust than two flute. Or... If the collets will take 6mm shanks, you have a wide choice of three flute disposable carbide cutters that can be run at 7-10,000RPM.
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Thanks. I can only fit 1/8" shank cutters into our machine (Excellon). I did find a company selling a 3/32" cutter with an 1/8" shank suuitable for cutting metal so I might try one of those.


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2012
  23. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I might have some 1/8" shank solid carbide cutters (four flute), if not I can put you in touch with a UK supplier. Ping me in a day or so if I haven't gotten back (doing the night shift tonight).
     
  24. adamsimms

    adamsimms Member

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    Would you mind sharing your CAD files?

     
  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I wouldn't mind at all. I have shared them with many people already. Send me a private message with your e-mail address.

    Are DXF files ok for you? (originated in AutoCAD).


    Steve.