progress on my 8 x 20

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Dan Dozer, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Finally have some progress photos on my 8 x 20. I have completed the back standard assembly and the back frame itself. The two photos show the back standard in the two positions to have the camera either horizontal and vertical. I've encountered a few minor challenges, but nothing major. Two things I've realized since I've gotten this far. First is that "THIS THING IS REALLY BIG". I can't imagine what you real big camera people deal with. Second is that in the vertical format, the top of the camera will be pretty high up there. Removing the dark slide and film holder will be a challenge. I have to think about how tall my tripod will be. Good thing that I'm not vertically challenged.
     
  2. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dan, very interresting design on the rear standard. Keep up the great work and let us see the developments. I'm working on the rails for my 8x20. I hope to post some pictures soon.

    Stay Focused.....or Sort Focused!

    Jim
     
  3. Terence

    Terence Member

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    Although it's frightening to do with a $300+ film-holder, I've inserted the film-holder from the bottom the two times I tilted my 8x20 on it's side. I'm 6'-2" and with the tripod up pretty high it would have been a chore to get the dark slide out from the top without unseating the holder. As you're designing your own back, maybe you could design in a positive lock of sort.
     
  4. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    On my 8x20 I just had an extra vertical back made. I roll the one off and the other one on. Takes about 60 sec. to change. But I see that your design is centered around just using one back. Keep up the good work it looks promising.
     
  5. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Get yourself a Strebor (www.strebor.com) case for the camera. When you shoot a vertical, you can stand on the case to pull the darkslide.
     
  6. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    The same holds true with the pelican cases. I stand on mine all the time. They're built like tanks
     
  7. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Dan, keep in mind that most 8x20's like mine are built on an 8x10 bed. Now when you go to vertical position the normal front standard for the horizontal 8x20 is not tall enough to get the lens up to the sweet spot of the ground glass. If you make a taller front standard then your camera will not close up when it is in the horizontal position with the taller rails that are meant for the vertical back. I tried using the shorter front standard and a radical bed tilt to get the lens up to the sweet spot in the vertical position but that doesn't work very well either. I had a taller front standard made for the vertical back and solved the problem. But that means two backs and two front standards. But it only takes like I said 60 seconds or so to make the change. I just wanted to point out a few of the problems with 8x20 because it is the only camera to have that big of a difference in formats. (12inch difference in 8 and 20 inches). the small front standard that gives you enough rise for the 8" format will not work for the 20" format. the longer front standard that will allow enough rise for the 20" format will not allow you to close the camera up into the transport position when you have the horizontal back on. Just something to keep in mind as you're designing your's. Good luck
     
  8. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Dan, The ultimate would be a telescoping front standard of some type. where the vertical rails the hold the lens board has height adjustment.
     
  9. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    sorry, that should have read "where the vertical rails THAT hold the lens board"
     
  10. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Thanks for the comments and tips so far. It helps keep me motivated seeing more shooters who are interested in my progress.

    Robert - my plan all along is to have a taller front standard and transport the camera always in the vertical position. I anticipate that this may be annoying at times always having to change from horizontal to vertical to pack things up (assuming that most shooting will be horizontal), but it is something that I have accepted. However, your comments got me thinking. I have a large fishing gear bag that I sometimes use for my 8 x 10 instead of the backpack. I was intending on using it for the 8 x 20 as well. It looks really big sitting on the floor and I just assumed that it would be plenty large enough for the 8 x 20. I just tried the fit and in the vertical format, the camera is a little too tall to fit. But in the horizontal format, it just makes it. Given that, I think I'll give some more thought to your idea of a "telescoping front standard. A vertical double extension front standard similar to a double extension base on a flat bed camera - why wouldn't that work?

    Jim - one question/suggestion - are you planning on using any screw in threaded inserts to screw a threaded rod or knob into? If so, don't bother with the brass types with the slot cut in one end (got them at Lowes). The brass isn't strong enough and when you get a short way into the wood, one side of the brass fitting shears off. I'm going to have to go with the type of treaded insert that you pound into the hole in the wood. I've used these in cabinet making before and they work much better.

    Terrance - by the way - I'm 6'-5" so maybe I'm tall enough. The idea for some sort of lock is a good that I think I'll incorporate into the camera back.
     
  11. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Not neccesarily, I bought (many years ago) a t-handled tool to insert these and have never had that happen to me since.


    erie

    (no, I dont' remember where, hell I dont' remember 2 days ago most of the time)
     
  12. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dan, thanks for the heads up. The last thing I need is for something like that to happen. Someone suggested a steel insert. Any ideas on where you get one of these? Thanks.

    Jim
     
  13. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Jim,

    I don't know for sure if they have the screw in type steel ones at Home Depot or Lowes. I'll have to do some checking. The "pound in" type they do have because I've used them before. I also use McMaster Carr as my first internet source for parts and pieces. I'm sure that they have them.
     
  14. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Our local Ace hardware store carries the steel inserts that screw in, if you have an ace you might check there.

    Dave
     
  15. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dave & Dan, thanks for the info on Ace. I have several in my area of Southern California. I'm not at the stage yet that I need to get one but I will be soon. I'm sanding the front rail on my 8x20 now and hope to install the gear track and do the finishing soon. I will post some pic's when I get it done. I am working on the base now. I just cut the wood and have to assemble the pieces.


    Stay Focused........or Soft Focused!!

    Jim
     
  16. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    Great idea Robert, mind if I use it? Commercially? Thanks
     
  17. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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  18. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Barry, thanks for the info. Yes, I've been into the Rockler store on Rosmead Blvd. in Pasadena or Monrovia, it's on the border of these two cities. It is difficult to go in. They have to many things that make me nuts. I could spend way to much money in there. If I go in with tunnel vision and get the inserts then I will be fine. Right, as if that's going to happen!! BTW the nobs look fantastic on the front of the 8x20! Thanks again.

    Stay Focused....or Soft Focused!

    Jim
     
  19. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    Great Jim, glad you are happy with your knobs.

    I find it best to send someone to the Rockler store with a list. Saves hundreds even thousands of dollars.

    Cheers
     
  20. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Barry, if you're refering to a telescoping front standard. By all means run with it. I was trying to get Ron Wisner to devise something but I wasn't willing to wait on the Wisner lead times. I just had Ron make me a complete front standard using the vertical rails from a 16x20. Now I just roll the short one off and roll the taller one on. I already had the vertical back so making the change on the front standard was nothing. I just put it in the same case with its appropriate back. But that means carrying an extra back and front standard assembly. I'd love to see what you come up with. Good luck, Robert
     
  21. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    Awesome Robert, thank you. I may incorporate the idea into my half finished 7x17. I see no reason I cannot come up with something.
     
  22. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Barry, That would be great to see. I love having a vertical back. For one your movements are all the same as opposed to turning these large banquet style cameras on their side. Also you don't have all the stress on those bed rails when its turned on its side. I have had nightmares of the front and rear bed rails ripping out of the bed. My wisner is a light weight expedition model 8x20 which makes it even more suspect of something not holding. I shoot more in the vertical position than I do in the horizontal. ( Well at least lately I have). But having to transport two backs and two front standards is like hauling two cameras. Now I will go to the site first and see what format I want to shoot in a few days before I actually go back with the camera. This eliminates having to take the other back. But there will come a time when that will not be an option. It has already happened. Being able to use one back and one front standard and change from horizontal to vertical without turning the whole camera would be the ultimate application. Keep me posted on what you come up with. Thanks
     
  23. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Sorry that should have read..." Also you don't have all the stress on those bed rails as opposed to the stress it gets when its turned on its side."
     
  24. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    Jim,

    Where in So. Cal. are you located. I'm in La Quinta (Palm Springs). If we're close enough, perhaps we could get together when we're both done and compare our Creations.
     
  25. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    Dan, I'm in 'cool" Ventura. It would be great to get together to look at each others creations. My "real job" is in outside construction sales and I travel all over So.Cal. My territory does not go out that far east( I get the central coast all the way up to Monterey; I know what a bummer!) but it would be great to get together during the construction phase to swap idea, designs, head off potential problems etc. I'd have no problem coming out there if we can get our schedules together. You can e mail me if you want. jimfitzgerald101@hotmail.com.

    Stay Focused...or Soft Focused!!

    Jim