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  1. #1
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Building a primitive LF Camera

    I have ordered a box of P/N 55 from eBay and am going to build a large format camera. Very few movements if any. I'm thinking one box that will slip inside of another (five sided cubes). The smaller up front that will hold the lens. The outer to the back that will hold a ?

    O.K. Where do I start? I'm thinking lens so I know focal length hence how long the camera needs to be. Then, Graflex back? Ground Glass and Polaroid holder? Build the boxes around these. Anyone done anything like this? Any ideas? Anyone have a near junk LF lens that they would be willing to donate to the project?

    Lemme know what you all think. I'm in no hurry on this one. This will be a little by little labor of love, and probably hate as well. You know how it is. Any other design ideas welcome as well.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  2. #2
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Check out Alan Greene's book Primitive Photography. Just for fun, I wanted to make the lightest 8x10 camera possible and I did it out of gator board (like foamcore, but with plastic cover sheets) that would have ground glass viewing, uses standard holders and a home made lens. If you are curious, I have pictures of it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofish/ It sounds close to what you are talking about.

    Mark

  3. #3

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    Here is a paper on buildig a replica chamfered box camera. It may give you
    some good ideas.

    http://www.daguerreotypes.com/replica/Replica.pdf

  4. #4
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    WHOA! Another Delawarean on APUG. HOT DAMN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  5. #5
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    for a sliding boxer, the rear sliding into the front is inherently better for light leaks because the leak would have to enter, and reflect into the rear portion to reach the film holder.

    This doesn't cure all potential leaks, but it's better than front sliding into rear where a loose fit will beam light straight back to the filmholder.

    Graphlok is most desirable (expensive) back, Spring Back I think is possibly most flexible regarding types of filmholders that fit. Ask around here or graflex.org to make sure you don't end up with the awkward combo that requires grooved filmholders, unless you have the matching stuff.

    Junk lens? You could easily MAKE a junk lens. An unwanted slightly better than junk lens? I'll look.

    A Kodak 1A or 2A with rotten bellows probably has a 120-130 mm Rapid Rectilinear symmetrical lens and 2 (read 1) speed shutter with B & T & adjustable iris. Might cover a good portion of 4x5. Unscrew one cell (preferably front) and you have a meniscus achromat of slightly more than 2x the original f.l. and a large enough image circle that you have the advantage of only using the central portion, stop down to correct the lens further & you can use B and long exposures. IF you have excess image circle, do a good job of baffling the interior to prevent internal body reflections. Flat surface w/black paint may not be enough.

    Gatorfoam actually has a wood fiber facing, per the mfr. Per a competitor, it also has formaldehyde in it, so don't inhale dust from sawing or sanding it.

    I made two lenses from reading glasses. Haven't tried them yet, but Sam Wang, a respected and accomplished photographer & photography prof. in S.C., with much better credentials than I , suggested this to me.

    I'll take a photo & post them. Remind me if you get impatient.
    Murray

  6. #6
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murray@uptowngallery View Post
    for a sliding boxer, the rear sliding into the front is inherently better for light leaks because the leak would have to enter, and reflect into the rear portion to reach the film holder.

    This doesn't cure all potential leaks, but it's better than front sliding into rear where a loose fit will beam light straight back to the filmholder.

    Graphlok is most desirable (expensive) back, Spring Back I think is possibly most flexible regarding types of filmholders that fit. Ask around here or graflex.org to make sure you don't end up with the awkward combo that requires grooved filmholders, unless you have the matching stuff.

    Junk lens? You could easily MAKE a junk lens. An unwanted slightly better than junk lens? I'll look.

    A Kodak 1A or 2A with rotten bellows probably has a 120-130 mm Rapid Rectilinear symmetrical lens and 2 (read 1) speed shutter with B & T & adjustable iris. Might cover a good portion of 4x5. Unscrew one cell (preferably front) and you have a meniscus achromat of slightly more than 2x the original f.l. and a large enough image circle that you have the advantage of only using the central portion, stop down to correct the lens further & you can use B and long exposures. IF you have excess image circle, do a good job of baffling the interior to prevent internal body reflections. Flat surface w/black paint may not be enough.

    Gatorfoam actually has a wood fiber facing, per the mfr. Per a competitor, it also has formaldehyde in it, so don't inhale dust from sawing or sanding it.

    I made two lenses from reading glasses. Haven't tried them yet, but Sam Wang, a respected and accomplished photographer & photography prof. in S.C., with much better credentials than I , suggested this to me.

    I'll take a photo & post them. Remind me if you get impatient.
    Hey, go visit this thread. Get junky.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=35097
    Murray

  7. #7
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Magnifying glasses. I like it. I'm gonna try this out. Keep 'em coming folks. Give me ideas.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
    APUG BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE
    DE Darkroom

    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  8. #8
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    Considering the cost of 55, maybe a single non-achromat element (magnifying glass) might not be a good approach.

    At least you get to shoot one sheet at a time & decide whether to use that lens for the crossword puzzle or leave it on-camera.
    Murray

  9. #9
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    Pinhole?

  10. #10
    Murray@uptowngallery's Avatar
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    Apologies for the wretched phone cam pics:

    http://www.uptowngallery.org/Murray/...Lenses/no0.jpg
    http://www.uptowngallery.org/Murray/...Lenses/no1.jpg
    http://www.uptowngallery.org/Murray/...Lenses/no2.jpg

    Wide open, no stops yet. One is made from a pair of +2.5 reading glasses from a $ store and the other from a +3 or 3.5 - I forget. Glued together, taped with 3M 235 phototape to keep dust out
    Murray

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