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  1. #1

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    I want to build a LF camera

    Hey folks!

    New member here, been wanting to get into larger format photography and was thinking about MF, but knowing myself, I am bound to build a camera sometime in the future. So, why not kill two birds with one stone ad build a larger format camera. I have a very well stocked shop, I am a knife maker by hobby, have years of experiance in composite work as well. I would like to utilize Carbon Fiber and Titanium in whatever I build. I am also trained as a metrologist, so working in tight tolerances is nothing new to me.

    In short, I am looking for a simple design to cut my teeth on, so to speak, likely from more simple materials like quarter sawn red oak or teak, and that is acceptable for field use as well as studio. The more complete the plans, the better as I really don't know what I don't know yet. I fully admit to being a "I can do that" kind of guy, usually ending in some sort of success. My wife usually calls it stubborn as a fence post and never admitting failure, lol!

    So, if someone has any recommendations on where to start my research, that will be fantastic!


    Cheers!

    -Xander

  2. #2

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    I've given this idea a fair amount of thought also. I think it would be some amount of undertaking.Obviously some pretty fine measurement tolerances would be necessary. For that, I would think a bench disc sander would be necessary. Everything is going to have to have their time on this tool. Backtracking from there, I would think a decent table saw would be needed. Certainly a router with a lot of jig fabrication at the least. Calipers, clamps, hardware...
    The most important thing needed is a past record of finishing the projects you start, even if you get partway through and realize you could have done it a better way. This stalls a lot of workers and results in unfinished projects. Unfinished projects are the bane of my existence, personally. Gratefully, I am one who generally finishes them.
    So this is the question one needs to ask himself before proceeding. Just my thoughts. GL

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Do a Google search for Rayment Kirby Cameras.

    And I have some plans in CAD form which might be of some use.


    Steve.

  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
    I would think a decent table saw would be needed. Certainly a router with a lot of jig fabrication at the least.
    Whilst they would be useful, people used to make cameras before these power tools were invented.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
    Unfinished projects are the bane of my existence
    I have plenty of those myself!


    Steve.

  5. #5

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    Thanx for the info! Tom, I do have a variable speed 9" disc grinder, calibrated surface plates, several sets of micrometers and calipers, drill press, belt grinder, like I said, a well stocked shop. I am pretty good about finishing up my projects, only have a few still kicking around.

    Steve, thanx for the tip. I'll check that out for sure.


    -Xander

  6. #6

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    Hi Xander,

    You might like to take a look here http://www.largeformatphotography.in...o-It-Yourself)

    Sounds like fun!

    Chris

  7. #7

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    Building a view camera is really a piece of cake, and just takes desire and a willingness to experiment until it works. First I suggest going to the following website . . .

    http://piercevaubel.com/cam/sco.htm

    . . . go through the menus for each manufacturer and take note of the types and variations of cameras made. Everyone approached making a camera differently, an some models are quite elegant. The cameras I chose to make were styled after a camera such as this . . . http://piercevaubel.com/cam/scovill/elite.htm

    The cameras I built where 8x10's, and I built them around a modern standard film holder. I simply replaced the View Screen with the Holder to make an exposure. There where no movements beyond focusing. I used a B&L Rapid Rectilinear lens/shutter from an old Kodak 3A Model C folder. Removing one of the lens sets (front or back) allowed it to cover 8x10 perfectly.

    A bellows can be challenging. But if you build it over a form of the proper shape it can really speed up the process. IMO

    O.F.

  8. #8

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    O.F. thanx for the info! That is what I was thinking for my first project, build around a film holder and lens. I'm not put off by building a bellows, but it is an involved process and exposure to error is far greater.

    ChrisK- thanx!


    -Xander

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast14riot View Post
    O.F. thanx for the info! That is what I was thinking for my first project, build around a film holder and lens. I'm not put off by building a bellows, but it is an involved process and exposure to error is far greater.

    ChrisK- thanx!


    -Xander

    Oh, and one thing I learnt from DIY cameras . . . weight should be considered "before" you build. I once found myself with one of those 8x10's between a herd of longhorn cattle and their watering hole. They were very thirsty. And that camera weighed way too much.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fart View Post
    Oh, and one thing I learnt from DIY cameras . . . weight should be considered "before" you build. I once found myself with one of those 8x10's between a herd of longhorn cattle and their watering hole. They were very thirsty. And that camera weighed way too much.
    Haha, I have been charged by a herd of cattle as well!

    I just finished reading the build-along on Rayment Kirby and that project sound perfectly feasable for my abilities.

    Now, I am thinking of something in the 5x7 size range, maybe smaller like a quarter sheet. What would be a good lens for general landscape or urban landscape. Basically, I need a bit of hand holding to find the starting bits of kit to build a camera around.

    Appreciate all the info thus far!


    -Xander

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