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  1. #1
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    4x5 field camera plans?

    Hi Folks,

    I'm new to the APUG forums and have conducted a few searches here regarding the subject line, which have borne some fruit, but not specifically for plans for a 4x5 field camera.

    I build custom guitars, have my own lathe and mill in addition to all sorts of other woodworking tools, both powered and hand. I have wanted for some time to try my hand at building a nice little field camera. I'm figuring it can't be any harder to build than a guitar, eh? Er . . .

    I didn't really want to go the kit route, besides I see that Bender has now closed its doors, so that's out, regardless.

    You know, I can buy sets of excellent drawings for dozens of different guitars, made from world-class builders, but I haven't been able to find anything equivalent to this for, say, a Deardorff or a Gandolfi. Guess I'm a bit surprised about this.

    So, given that I've come up with pretty much zilch trying to google this infio, I'm hoping that somebody here might be able to point me in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best,

    Michael

  2. #2

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    I'd look at a cheap Tachihara camera for your foundation, and then apply your quality wood working ability to make your camera.

    I have no idea if drawing exist on-line. There got to be someone at a Houston area camera club, or professional studio, who has a camera from which you can make your own drawings.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/tachihara.htm
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  3. #3

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    Here's an address to an excellent website for numerous view camera models. Just follow the menus on the left side of the web page to view the different manufacturers. Granted the dimensions of the cameras are not given, but if you have a film holder then you can surely build a camera around it. That's how I built my first 8x10.

    http://www.fiberq.com/cam/ao.htm


    And one of the reasons I'm stearing you towards this website is because it also shows the Champion Variation 3. I purchased a modified version of this camera in the 8x10 format recently. I must say they wasted no money on engineering this camera. If I were to build another camera myself, I might start with a simple design such as this.

    http://www.fiberq.com/cam/anthony/amchampl.htm

    Some ideas to ponder.
    "Lo único de lo que el mundo no se cansará nunca es de exageración." Salvador Dalí

  4. #4

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  5. #5
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the links, guys. Some of them I ran across during my search. The Tachihara looks like an interesting design also to try and copy.

    I guess that, before I attempt to finalize my plans, I should do as Pinholemaster suggests, and check into the local camera clubs. Make friends with somebody with a good field camera and maybe even put together my own set of drawings. I've done this sort of thing with guitars before.

    Best,

    Michael

  6. #6
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    If I wanted to study a known design to build, it would be a Wisner. I have both a Tachihara and Wisner 4x5. The Tachihara is a very clever, stable, and about as small and light as possible. Being very small and light, I think the overall tolerances are pretty tight, as is fitting in a proper bellows that will fold up. Great camera.

    The Wisner traditional or technical is a little looser in its overall tolerances, and is a bigger camera, too. I would rather carry the Tachihara, but I would rather use the Wisner, as it works super smooth and intuitive for me, but locks down tight.

    Both of course are great cameras.

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooltouch View Post
    I'm new to the APUG forums and have conducted a few searches here regarding the subject line, which have borne some fruit, but not specifically for plans for a 4x5 field camera.
    Have a look here for some good ideas: http://www.raymentkirbycameras.co.uk/workshop/index.htm I have translated some of these ideas to CAD. If you send me your e-mail address I can send them to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by cooltouch View Post
    I build custom guitars..... I'm figuring it can't be any harder to build than a guitar, eh? Er . . .
    I have built a few guitars too. I would say that a camera is easier to build than a guitar so you shouldn't have any problems. As you have found out though, the difficulty is finding out what to do in the first place rather than actually doing it.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #8
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    PM sent. Thanks for that link -- it looks to be very informative, just what I need to gain some perspective.

    Last night, I spent some time just making a few rough sketches, without benefit of any images of field cameras to go by. I quickly realized that they are deceptively complex instruments. A monorail would be so much easier to build, it seems, but half the fun of a project is the challenge, eh?

    Best,

    Michael

  9. #9

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    please do update with build pictures

  10. #10
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    Some time ago, a fellow up in Washington state (?) did a design and helped a few folks build their own. I thought he was going to make the plans available for purchase...and perhaps, a kit. Haven't heard much from him. I think it was user: SchwinParamont ? ?

    They posted regularly here.

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