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  1. #1
    adrian_freire's Avatar
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    Making my first LF camera

    I was thinking about making my first LF camera using a EL-NIKKOR f5,6 enlarging lens and 10x15cm paper sheets as negative. Will this lens work well for this purpose? Can it cover all the negative area? Could I have enough room for some movements? I suppose that I can do it without a shutter (use a lens cap instead of shutter) due to the low asa of the paper and the f range (f5.4 - f32) of the lens, am I wong?
    I want to start making a simple camera with movements only in the front part of the camera and expending a little amount of money.
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  2. #2

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    That will only work at extreme closeups. I seriously doubt it'll cover at infinity.

    Plenty of cheap LF lenses in shutters for sale if you're only looking at 4x5. If you want even cheaper you can look at process lenses.

    Personally for 4x5 a normal 150mm lens in a shutter is likely your best best. The older ones won't cost very much.

  3. #3

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    That's an enlarging lens for nominal 6x6. It covers at most an 80 mm circle. For 10x15 you need a 180 mm lens, the diagonal of 10x15. Think again.

    As long as you're going to capture the image on paper and use a capping shutter, why not do without a lens and make a pinhole camera?

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan

  4. #4
    adrian_freire's Avatar
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    Thanks to everybody. I'll look for an old lens with shutter as soon as I can. I think ebay is the best place to find it. Do you know what is the asa of the paper (in this case ilfospeed rc deluxe).

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    I don't know about that paper but in general figure around 5.

    Watch Ebay for older cameras. You can often find cameras that are either in not great shape or just not that popular with a lens for less then the lens itself might sell for.

  6. #6
    127
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    Just build it with the lens you've got, and watch out on ebay for something better - it should be easy enought to switch in a better lens latter.

    I did pretty much the same, but picked up a few cheap lenses - an ancient ross lens cost $10, and a teletessar about the same. The catch is they don't have shutters. Stopping right down in bright sunlight give an exposure of about 1 second on paper (asa 5-10), so I just put my coat over the lens and used that as a shutter.

    Lenses with shutters are way more expensive - they're cheap enough compared to serious equipment, but more than I wanted to spend on a home build project. I intend to build a falling plate shutter into the body of my camera.

    for my first go I built without movements so it would be an easy build.

    Have fun!

    Ian

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127

    Lenses with shutters are way more expensive

    Not really. Plenty of cheap lenses out there. How about getting an old roll camera? The old postcard cameras are pretty close to 4x5 and tend to be cheap. Just takes a little effort to liberate the lens from the camera. Or didn't Polariod make some larger cameras that no longer have film?

  8. #8
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    If you are into close-up photography, your enlarger lens could be better than a conventional lens. As you get closer to your subject, the coverage of the lens will increase and you will be operating at the sort of distances that enlarger lenses are designed for. I use a 100/5.6 Componon-S in a shutter as a "macro" lens for 6x9 and the lens has performed superbly in this role. It also works rather well at middle distances, up to about 10m (maybe further), but I think your 80mm lens would be running out of coverage at this kind of distance.
    Heat or light; it depends on your sensitivity.

  9. #9
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
    The old postcard cameras are pretty close to 4x5 and tend to be cheap. Just takes a little effort to liberate the lens from the camera. Or didn't Polariod make some larger cameras that no longer have film?
    Postcard format (3 1/4 x 5 1/2, approximately -- 122 roll film, or "Postcard" sheet film) usually used a 165 mm lens which will easily cover 4x5. Many of the 135 mm lenses used on 9x12 plate cameras will cover 4x5 without movements (Tessar will, just), and you can often find these cameras without ground glass or plate holders, but with (useless) film pack adapter and suspect bellows for $10 to $30 -- with good glass and shutter needing only simple cleaning. The 9x12 are usually cheaper than the postcard cameras, mainly because they're a lot more common. Even the cheapest lenses sold in these will do a fine job stopped down to f/8 or f/11, without movements, and most would stop down to f/32 (I have one shutter, with f/4.5 13.5 cm Tessar, that stops down to f/45). You'll sometimes find a 150 mm or even 165 mm on a 9x12, and these lenses will cover 4x5 nicely and allow for a little movement.

    Removing these lenses is easy -- with the camera folded, the retaining ring is readily acessible through the camera back, and once it's started you can open the camera and hold the shutter from the front while unscrewing the ring the rest of the way. Mind you, I'd hate to see someone pulling the lens and shutter off a usable plate camera, but one that's in junk condition is another story entirely -- and the shutter and glass are likely to be the best parts of one of those.

    The larger Polaroid roll-film cameras (took Type 47 film) made a 3x4 format print, approximately, and most have semi-wide lenses in the 110-120 mm range (the later Model 180/185/195 pack-film cameras made the same size images with a 114 mm Tominon); the Ysarons in the older cameras will cover 4x5 without movements, apparently (judging by the number that are converted), but I doubt the 114 mm Tominon will.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  10. #10
    gma
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    I recommend the website of Jon Grepstad in Norway. He has an extensive collection of pictures and descriptions of home made cameras, including one that I made. You can spend many hours on the website and probably you will discover some construction techniques that you had not considered.
    [FONT=Century Gothic][/FONT][SIZE=7][/SIZE][COLOR=DarkOrange][/COLOR] I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up!

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