Prototype of the Polish 4x5 LF camera

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ulv, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. ulv

    ulv Member

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    Hi. You could see photos of the prototype of Polish large format field camera here.
    There quite big possibility that we will start production. Prototype has quite strange colors but final model will have more classic look (cherry wood and brass). Size of lens board and bellows is the same as in Linhof Technika 4x5. Matte screen is paired with. At this moment front standard could be tilted and tilted back, swing and rise. Back standard has only tilt, but final model will have also swing. Bed could be dropped. Bellows extension is over 30 centimeters.
    I want to hear what do You think this camera should have additionally. All suggestions are very important for us.

    Price for final product will be estimated, but probably will be similar or even smaller than Chinese one.

    Thanks
    Rafal
     
  2. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Rafal,

    I look forward to seeing your project develop. Is the maximum extension actually 30 inches? I used Google translate so I am not sure.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
  3. ulv

    ulv Member

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    It is a little over 31 centimeters, so it is about 12.5 inches.

    Thank You
    Rafal
     
  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Hi Rafal,

    I sent you a PM with some information.

    It's A Beautiful Camera !


    Ron
    .
     
  5. Ian C

    Ian C Member

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    The prototype you have shown looks promising.

    The camera can be improved by choosing larger diameter knurled locking knobs. Most buyers prefer a ruled ground glass instead of a plain one.

    They want to know the species of wood used in the construction of the camera as well as the metal used for the hardware.

    Polished and lacquered metal parts make a wooden field camera especially desirable in the eyes of most buyers. Polished and lacquered brass fittings are especially desirable.

    Likewise, the choice of red bellows is also appealing to many.

    The camera will be more desirable if the bellows are attached in a way that makes removing and replacing them fast and easy.
     
  6. largely

    largely Subscriber

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    Hello,

    Bubble levels would be a worthy addition.

    Larry
     
  7. moki

    moki Member

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    I actually love the colors... red bellows are awesome and the white makes for a nice contrast. You may want to consider offering it in natural wood look but also painted black or white on request. Something unusual like that can actually be a good selling point. At least it would be for me.

    I agree with Ian C that bigger locking knobs would be useful. The ones on your prototype look too small to operate reliably when you're under the dark cloth. Making the bellows detachable is a good idea too, though I have no idea how hard that is to realize or if there are any standards.

    I don't know about bubble levels... of course they're useful, but do they fit with the style of the camera? You'd need to find something small and unobtrusive that fits with that old-fashioned style of the camera, not one of these massive neon-green things.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I agree. I have the brass plate and spirit level glass tube from an old Rabone level which I intend to fit to a wooden camera one day.

    I do like the white finish with the redd bellows.


    Steve.
     
  9. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    Better fitting srews would be an improvement. The heads should be flush with the brass fittings

    Ulrich
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Levels are a very practical addition and are not so unusual on cameras from the early 20th century.

    Unless there is an option like a bag bellows, interchangeable bellows wouldn't be worth the extra cost. The bellows should last 10-15 years or more, and will probably have to be fabricated from scratch anyway, so a bellows with a frame at each end, screwed to the front and rear standards in the traditional way will be easy enough to deal with for such an infrequent repair.

    It's hard to say what a traditional field camera can add to the existing market in terms of features. The likely attractions might be low cost at the entry level of the market or high craft at the opposite end.
     
  11. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    I was about to comment that I wouldn't need the level.
    Being as I have the Photo Tools Pro iPhone App, that provides
    a horizontal, and vertical level. But I just deleted it accidentally
    from my phone. I always keep an assortment of levels in my box.

    I would be interested in such a camera if it's available as a low
    budget painted, no frills inexpensive version. But the larger knobs,
    and a groundglass with a grid would be helpful for us older folks.

    Ron
    .
     
  12. ulv

    ulv Member

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    Ron. I've just sent You a PM.

    Ian C, Moki. All knobs will be in final model more than two times larger in diameter. This one at photographs are temporary. Similar situation is with ground glass. I think the grid is a must.
    Next one camera will be cherry or mahogany wood with polished brass metal elements. Prototype is mixed aluminium and brass. We (I use 'we' because I am not one and only member of the crew) want to offer possibility to choose between classic black or red color of bellows. Thank You for all of suggestions.

    Largely, Moki, David. If we find small, button-like and not neon green bubble level there is possibility we put it on front and rear standard.

    Moki, Steve. I think red and white version is very interesting. I have signals from our friends here in Poland that they also like this combination. So Idea of color version along with classic wood and brass Is good point. Thanks!

    Ulrich. Good point.

    David. In prototype bellows are mounted in permanent way with glue, but we want to give possibility to mount it with screws in final camera. Our main aim is to hit entry level first, but also We all the time thinking about adding custom options for additional fee in future.

    Rafal
     
  13. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Thanks Rafal,

    An entry level version would be perfect for me !

    Ron
    .
     
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  15. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

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    I agree, it needs bigger knobs.

    My fingers hurt just looking at those tiny things.
     
  16. kyler.

    kyler. Member

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    Beautiful camera.
    If it is offered at an affordable price, I would definitely be interested.

    Good luck!
    Kyle
     
  17. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    It really needs a reversable back to compete with the Chinese cameras. Other than that, it looks like a champ!
     
  18. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    John: Reversible, or Rotatable ?

    Ron
    .
     
  19. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

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    I really like the white and red too. Most other field cameras are so "same-y", and interesting aesthetics are half the joy of owning a nice creative instrument. I love my Wista, partly because of its beauty, partly because of its functionality...

    Marc!
     
  20. ulv

    ulv Member

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    John. This camera has reversible back.

    Djacobox372. This knobs are temporary and they are as uncomfortable as they look ;-).

    Kyler. Munz6869. Thanks.

    Rafal
     
  21. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    You can actually see it in both horizontal and vertical positions in the pictures. What does make me wonder is how it is locked in place? :confused: I don't see any clear sign of a locking mechanism.
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I was going to ask that too!


    Steve.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    will it use standard film holders, or
    special ones that only fit your camera ?

    looks nice !
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The film holder in a couple of the pictures looks like a standard Fidelity or something similar. It was the way the back is removed, rotated and held bak in place which I couldn't work out.


    Steve.
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Will the camera close with a small lens, like the one shown in the blog, attached? That would be a useful feature.

    A white camera with a red bellows is going to start looking dirty with regular use, I think. If you want to offer a camera in patriotic colors, how about red with a white bellows?

    Also, be sure not to neglect the basics. It may seem obvious, but the first generation Chamonix 4x5" had a problem with groundglass registration. It was otherwise a very attractive camera, lightweight, with extensive movements and many attractive features, and affordable, but if the groundglass is out of register, it's a paperweight.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Very interesting to me. Of course the final configuration, any choices or options, and the price with shipping to North America would play into any buying decision for me.

    Natural finished cherry, red bellows and shiny brass ... ahhhh :smile:

    Steve