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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    I am building a 4x5 field camera

    So I started the construction on my first camera ever. It is a 4x5 field camera. I'm building it around an old Schneider lens that I picked up for a steal on eBay. Here is the link to my blog: http://tomasyoung.blogspot.com/2010/...-progress.html
    I only have most of the front standard made. I'm currently working on the brass hardware for the movements on front.
    Please ask questions, give me comments or critiques. I'd love to hear what you all have to say.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_5804.JPG   IMG_5805.JPG   IMG_5806.JPG  

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    35mm
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    The joints you use are rather weak, even with reinforcement. They are also prone to light leaks, as the join direction is intersecting the light path. You might want to look at butt joints. When done correctly, they are quite strong.
    Sorin

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    Frugal Sorin Blog - Last article : light proof material (for darkroom, changing bag, focusing cloth,etc)

  3. #3
    Tom Nutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Eastern USA
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    Large Format
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    218
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    there used to be plans for this kind of thing from Bender Photographic...just googled their site...seems they are out of business. bummer.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Surrey, England
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    Good luck with your project! I'm just getting near to the end of my first camera build and I've already made another 4 front & rear standards for next few!! Be warned - it can be addictive
    Creative Image Maker e-magazine is back! Find out more at http://creativeimagemaker.blogspot.com

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    north central Pa
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    I commending you for building a camera, FWIW-- your choice of joinery and wood species both are circumspect. Red oak is not a stable wood(others will disagree) quarter sawn white oak far and away more stable. Miter joints actually open and close with humidity changes, and hide glue will fail. Box joint or dovetailing is stronger. Plain butt joints with corner brackets will serve better. To salvage what you already have, you can run a spline through the middle of the joint on a 45 degree angle. Clean all the hide glue out and use epoxy or polyurethane (Gorilla glue) adhesive, or even PVA (carpenters) adhesive. Cut the slot deep enough to go completely through the joint from point to heel.
    Looks like you are going to have a dandy shooter when finished.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails scan0001.jpg  
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  6. #6
    Steve Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ryde, Isle of Wight
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    Have a look through this site: http://www.raymentkirbycameras.co.uk/


    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.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Montgomery, Il/USA
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    Dang! Steve beat me to the link.
    His drawings can really help with your project.
    I've never liked oak as a wood for fine (small) projects because of it's tendency to splinter.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  8. #8
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    I built my 4x5 field camera from some mahogany I've had stashed away for over 20 years. It came from a guy that had it stashed from before WWII. I'm just now using up the last few BF of what was a couple of thousand BF of the stuff. Walnut and cherry are two of the better (more stable) wood species, some of the fancier grained maples such as fiddleback, quilted, and flame grained, oh, and lets not forget birdseye. I'm sure there some exotic woods out there that would make beautiful cameras, koa comes to mind, as doex zebrawood and purpleheart. Some of the South American rosewoods ought to make a real looker.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Boston, MA
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    35mm
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    78
    Rick, I tested many woods for the camera kits and while some of the exotics are really nice, most of them are TERRIBLE on tools (because they are extremely hard).
    Sorin

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    Frugal Sorin Blog - Last article : light proof material (for darkroom, changing bag, focusing cloth,etc)

  10. #10
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Yeah I know. I've had the 'pleasure' of using exotics over my career as a cabinet maker. Thats why I used mahogany for mine. If you use good quality tooling and are careful, you can use the exotics, my only gripe with them is price. I would like to use some local fruitwoods, but they aren't as stable as I'd like. Bois d'arc might make a beaut, maybe sycamore. I used to hunt for trees that were headed to the firewood pile and slice up lumber on my bandsaw(36" Oliver)for special projects and inlays, sliced tons of veneers. Now that I'm retired I have loads of time to play with these ideas, alas, I sold all the equiptment. I still have a small hobby shop, and still tinker a bit.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

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