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  1. #1

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    need some tips for building a LF camera

    Hey everyone,

    I just got a about 200 pieces of weather treated mahogany. About 8.5x3.25x0.75 inches and I really want to make a nice field camera out of some of them.

    I have been thinking of making a camera for some time and now that I have some nice wood I am ready to jump on it.

    I already have a few large format lenses for 4X5 format.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on where to start? (I would like it to be able to fold for easy travel)

    Any help is much appreciated!!

    Thanks a bunch
    Jenny

  2. #2

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    You did not say what tools do you have access to and what experience you have using them. While building a camera can be done with basic tools, it may take quite a bit of time. I am in the process of designing a field camera and I will be making the plans available for free when it's completed, but that is at least a couple of months away. There are other plans available on the net that you could find now, but since I have not tried them I cannot recommend any one of them in particular.

    I have to say though, a folding camera is a lot more complicated to make then a monorail, so you may want to take that into account.
    Sorin

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  3. #3

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    There are several DIY plans on the internet and most of the good ones have been mentioned in this forum so I would suggest start with a search here then branch out with google. That said I've never built one but may get to it some day.

  4. #4
    keithwms's Avatar
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    If I were to do this, the very first thing I would do is buy a beat-up crown graphic or poco or such and take it apart. I bought an old kodak somethingorother for $50 or so and did this and learned a lot.

    I really like the basic, light ~1902 poco field design and if I were to make a camera I'd base it on that; if you wanted to add more movements you could do that but I think step one is to make a solid "box" and figure out how to make it stable.

    Mind you, I am not dissing the plans online and so forth, I just think that you can cannibalize some useful joints and rails and ideas from the older field cameras... and probably fall in love with those cameras while you do it. The craftsmanship was extraordinary.... needless to say since I am still happily using these 100+ yr old cameras and I am not exactly gentle with my gear.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Have a look here: http://www.raymentkirbycameras.co.uk/ especially the 'workshop' section.



    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.

  6. #6

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    And then there is always... What's the worst that could happen? You make a bunch of fire wood.

    The idea of getting a beat up old something-or-other is probably sound advice.

    I'd still probably find some plans for a monorail and dive in and start making firewood.

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    I'd still probably find some plans for a monorail and dive in and start making firewood.
    I would say if you don't want a monorail, don't make one. Go straight to the style you want.

    When I first thought about making an acoustic guitar, plenty of people told me to make a simple spanish model first, but that was not what I wanted. Instead I got the plans for a Selmer Model Jazz and made one.

    (one of these: http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbas...2/0/273220.jpg ).


    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
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Oh yes, I have some CAD drawings inspired by the design in Rayment Kirby's site. Send me a PM if you want them.


    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.

  9. #9

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    I agree with Steve. No point in making something that you don't really want. Having said that , if you really know what you want you are lucky!

    Great guitar Steve, you did a very nice job.

    Alan Clark

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    Great guitar Steve, you did a very nice job.
    Actually, that wasn't the one I made, it was just a representation of the style!!

    I did post a picture of mine once. I will see if I can find 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.

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