Originally Posted by Shinnya
I'm leaning toward an 8x20, but may opt for a 5x12. I've also thought about building a 12x20 with a 8x20 accessorie back.
Something simple of course
What ever it is I would like for it to look good and be as durable and functional as possible. No monorail - a flatbed.
great work on that Econo LF camera! very nice.
getting the ground glass in position is tedious, but grinding the glass is easy. here's my process (which isn't the only way to do it, just one way):
I think it's all as hard as you want to make it... I successfully made something which took pictures what were in focus, and without any leaks despite my VERY limited woodworking skills. Fortunatly my design skills are MUCH better, and I just designed something I could build. Bellows and movements were too difficult for me, so I went for a 54 mousetrap design.
It's not pretty, and it's not the easiest camera to operate, but I BUILT IT, and I'm proud of it. I'd really like to build another thats a bit more ambitious (BIGGER!), but I learnt a lot from the simple design, and the total cost was under $20 including lens.
To me, the hardest part of building a large format camera was designing it. The actual construction was pretty easy. Each step of the design process involves compromise: if I use x, it will be lighter, but less stable; if I have this long a bellows, I need more support; do I need 20% of swing, or 30%; etc. With each step, I had to decide what was really important to me and what I could do with out. I had to evaluate how I photograph and build a camera to match it.
I built three unique DIY 8x10 views in the past 3 mos. and did find the back standard and the bellows challenging, but fun. Two of cameras eventually became dumpster assets. The most frustrating part was designing a smooth focus system. On the camera that survived, the front standard is fixed and the rear standard (film plane) moves. I later decided on a screw focus system with a twist knob. Acid etching the glass was also challenging and fun. Why did I choose a fixed front standard, might you ask? "Large Format Macro". I was in "no way" trying to compete with the big guns on looks or functionality. Just trying to satisfy my on curiosity. Honestly speaking, I was very pleased considering the costs were extremely low. I used 8x10 Eastman No. 1 Film Holder as a pattern for the rear and built everything around it.
Mine looks very similar to the Scovill Waterbury View at the following site . . . In fact, I found a lot of inspiration in sites like the one below. I figured if they could build a camera in the 19th century, I should be able to do something similar today, with all the resources that are available.
Here's mine . . . works for me and was a great way to get started . . .
The focus assembly was added after the photos were taken.
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For me it was also the back. You want to make sure it is flat with no light leaks and film plane is the same as the glass. Strangely, I found folding bellows harder than making it. It took me a couple of days to fold it and a at least a week to keep them in shape. Good luck on your project!
Those are all beautiful pieces of artwork ! I find woodworking impressive when it develops into something you can USE. I just wrapped up plans for a ceder strip kayak...Now that I see this, Im tempted to put that on hold .
as shown in the camera building thread, I spent less than $30 and less than 30 hours to build this, the only mods will be focus control, and better locks for movements....
quick and dirty, but was only designed to test the coverage of a bunch of lenses I had lying about, as well as hold 8x10 sheets of lith film for speed testing.
I remember reading a quote about darkrooms once, that I will modify to fit our current discussion:
The first camera you build, give to an enemy. The second, give to a friend. The third, keep for yourself.
Sounds like sage advice!
Originally Posted by Allen Friday