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  1. #1
    Wishy's Avatar
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    Home Made 65mm Shift camera

    Hi,

    Wonder if anybody can offer advice on a home made camera I've been considering.

    I shoot mainly architecture. I use medium format, I want the convenience of rollfilm still, but there aren't really any medium format which offers much shift. (Which would obviously be handy for architecture)

    I cant really find anything other than a full size monorail which offers what I want (I looked at a baby press, but some experiments with bodge tilt on the rollei SL66 shows the amount of shift I'll get won't be enough)
    And as far as I can work out a full 5x4 with a rollfilm back isn't going to be even vaguely compact, and I'm looking at short bellows, recessed lens panels.
    (Of course, any non home made suggestions are welcome!)

    So, I figure I can build
    - get 65mm 5x4 lens, which means I've got oodles of coverage, which means lots of shift. With a shutter, obviously!
    - get a rollfilm back (Considering 6x7, and an RB67 back is often suggested as good and cheap. Experience welcome) and a 6x7 focus screen
    - make the rest out of MDF

    Limitations
    Infinity focus only (Stop down to get additional depth of field)

    Considerations
    Dark bag is pulled out via elastic
    Focus plane won't be exactly parrallel throughout the shift range, so will make the grove at an "off" angle to allow infinity focus throughout range

    Things I'm not sure on
    Lens - I'm considering a super angulon 65mm f5.6 or f8, which both give decent coverage and good shift. Any other lenses I should be considering?
    Attaching the back - anybody got any suggestions on a good back to use.

    This is the design, some people in the know having a look over it would be hugely appreciated


  2. #2

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    Be more ambitious. Learn about tailboard cameras, then design a little one. I think that all you want is decentering movements and that's where tailboards shine; they're not limited by bellows. I can understand why you want to give up swings (includes tilt, think about it), can't grasp why you think you can live without focusing.

    Re lenses, if you search a little -- visit the LF forum, it has a better collection of articles than APUG -- you'll find that there are many fine w/a lenses for 4x5. If you start with a 65 mm lens -- fine, wonderful, by all means do -- you'll soon find situations where 65 mm isn't the right focal length. So design y'r box to use other focal lengths too.

    Re backs, if you're going to use bits from an MF camera look into the Mamiya Press system. This because their S-shaped backs are said to hold film flatter than any other roll holders. I know, "said to" is hard to verify. They attach to what Mamiya calls an M-frame -- Graflok backs can be attached to any camera in the Press system with a G-frame -- and I believe Mamiya offered a ground glass that attaches to the M-frame too. Again, be more ambitious. 6x9 can be cropped to 6x7, 6x7 doesn't stretch well.

    Also contemplate using, e.g., a 4x5 Cambo carrier frame for your back. I mention Cambo because I'm in that system, believe that other LF systems, in particular Sinar, offer much the same functionality and low cost. Cambo carrier frames -- part of normal ordinary Cambo standards -- are very inexpensive, Cambo International backs are reversible (can be attached in portrait or landscape orientation), have ground glass for focusing, and accept 6x7 and 6x9 roll holders. In other words, consider using bits from an LF camera instead of bits from an MF camera.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Not really what you want but there is a link in my signature line to my home made 65mm roll film camera.


    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.

  4. #4
    Wishy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Be more ambitious. Learn about tailboard cameras, then design a little one. I think that all you want is decentering movements and that's where tailboards shine; they're not limited by bellows. I can understand why you want to give up swings (includes tilt, think about it), can't grasp why you think you can live without focusing.

    Re lenses, if you search a little -- visit the LF forum, it has a better collection of articles than APUG -- you'll find that there are many fine w/a lenses for 4x5. If you start with a 65 mm lens -- fine, wonderful, by all means do -- you'll soon find situations where 65 mm isn't the right focal length. So design y'r box to use other focal lengths too.

    Re backs, if you're going to use bits from an MF camera look into the Mamiya Press system. This because their S-shaped backs are said to hold film flatter than any other roll holders. I know, "said to" is hard to verify. They attach to what Mamiya calls an M-frame -- Graflok backs can be attached to any camera in the Press system with a G-frame -- and I believe Mamiya offered a ground glass that attaches to the M-frame too. Again, be more ambitious. 6x9 can be cropped to 6x7, 6x7 doesn't stretch well.

    Also contemplate using, e.g., a 4x5 Cambo carrier frame for your back. I mention Cambo because I'm in that system, believe that other LF systems, in particular Sinar, offer much the same functionality and low cost. Cambo carrier frames -- part of normal ordinary Cambo standards -- are very inexpensive, Cambo International backs are reversible (can be attached in portrait or landscape orientation), have ground glass for focusing, and accept 6x7 and 6x9 roll holders. In other words, consider using bits from an LF camera instead of bits from an MF camera.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
    Thanks for the very helpful reply, much appreciated

    -I intend to start quite simple. the expensive bit is the lens and the back. These parts are reusable, so if i start with something simple, and then look at making it more clever (Focus, etc). Also the MDF is cheap, quick to work and will fall apart quite quickly, so suits prototyping. I'll take a look into tailboard focus as that might not be a particularly complicated thing to do.
    - Re focus, I shoot architecture and that tends to be at infinity. Otherwise I'll be extremely close and the tilt will then be of less use. I figure if i want to get closed I can stop down - It'll be on a tripod anyway. That's going to give me quite a "flat" looking image if I can't get differential focus
    - One lens is a deliberate choice. If an image fits at 65mm then I can use shift and get some nice straight lines. If it doesn't work at 65mm I've got the rollei too do the job instead.
    - Thanks for the advise on the mamiya press backs. Hopefully they should be easy enough to attach. 6x7 is a deliberate choice. I normally shoot 6x6. If i start shooting 3:2 ratio on the same day then my compositions go to ****. Also I want to be able to project the images, which will require a 6x6 crop. So 6x7 wastes a little film already.
    - Will consider the cambo advice. Using a 5x4 back is going to add a lot of bulk immediately though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Not really what you want but there is a link in my signature line to my home made 65mm roll film camera.
    Think this is a bit different to what I want, but interesting manufacturing

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    If you need more shift than a Horseman 6x9 field camera, then you will likely need a monorail and bag bellows. If your homemade camera cannot focus then you may be better of with a pinhole camera.

  6. #6
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    There is a 75mm shift lens for RZ, not cheap though.

  7. #7
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Wishy, if you want to build your own camera, you have all my encouragement.
    If all you need is a portable camera, able of shift movement, able of using middle format backs, I suggest you look into the Silvestri camera offer.
    They have a model which is specifically designed for this kind of traveling architecture photography, the Silvestri H, with a separate viewfinder with shift compensation (mechanically linked to the lens) to make the work faster (you can use the ground glass as well).

    Another option might be the Plaubel 69 ProShift.

    I don't use any of those cameras myself but you asked for possible suggestions and I think the options above might be of your interest.

    Fabrizio
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  8. #8
    Wishy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    If you need more shift than a Horseman 6x9 field camera, then you will likely need a monorail and bag bellows. If your homemade camera cannot focus then you may be better of with a pinhole camera.
    Pinhole is never going to give me the sharp image I want unfortunately. Also its not going to be much use when I want to compose the image through the ground glass!

    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    There is a 75mm shift lens for RZ, not cheap though.
    There are shift lenses for the SL66 as well. Thing is they don't shift a huge amount and they're chuffing expensive!

    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    Wishy, if you want to build your own camera, you have all my encouragement.
    If all you need is a portable camera, able of shift movement, able of using middle format backs, I suggest you look into the Silvestri camera offer.
    They have a model which is specifically designed for this kind of traveling architecture photography, the Silvestri H, with a separate viewfinder with shift compensation (mechanically linked to the lens) to make the work faster (you can use the ground glass as well).

    Another option might be the Plaubel 69 ProShift.

    I don't use any of those cameras myself but you asked for possible suggestions and I think the options above might be of your interest.

    Fabrizio
    It'll be spending £2000 on these cameras before I blink. Don't get me wrong, lovely camera, and I'm sure given the small numbers they sell the price is justified, but if i can get similar functionality for a few hundred (Most of which is a lens I can sell at what I paid for it) then building will be my first option.
    If I then love working with my home made camera, but find its limitations get in my way or i want something better made then I'll give this sort of camera some consideration

  9. #9
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Just because I was curious, I did a bit of sketching. If you assume that the Super Angulon 65mm can just about cover a 5x4 frame without movements then that is a 160mm diameter of coverage.

    Placing a 6x9 frame in the centre leaves 37mm of available upward shift until the frame reaches the coverage circle.

    Reducing to a 6x7 frame gives 43mm of movement.

    Any coverage greater than the corners of a 5x4 frame can be considered a bonus and would relate to a little bit more rise.

    I think you have a good idea with using an RB67 film back. The interface between the film back and the body of an RB67 is removeable and could easily be built onto a custom body with the added advantage of it being rotatable.


    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.

  10. #10
    Wishy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Just because I was curious, I did a bit of sketching. If you assume that the Super Angulon 65mm can just about cover a 5x4 frame without movements then that is a 160mm diameter of coverage.

    Placing a 6x9 frame in the centre leaves 37mm of available upward shift until the frame reaches the coverage circle.

    Reducing to a 6x7 frame gives 43mm of movement.

    Any coverage greater than the corners of a 5x4 frame can be considered a bonus and would relate to a little bit more rise.

    I think you have a good idea with using an RB67 film back. The interface between the film back and the body of an RB67 is removeable and could easily be built onto a custom body with the added advantage of it being rotatable.


    Steve.
    Schneider very kindly put all the figures on their website
    65mm 5.6 - http://www.schneideroptics.com/info/.../5.6-65mm.html
    65mm f8 - http://www.schneideroptics.com/info/...ta/8-65mm.html

    So 170mm image circle on the 5.6 and 155mm on the F8 (Although note that the 170mm on the 5.6 is at f22 and the 155mm on the f8 is at f16. I assume thats the "sweet spot" for each lens). There are calculations for available shift there too.

    That's based on Schneider's figures, which I'm lead to believe tend to be conservative. IE I have >45mm of shift onto "prime real estate", and I'll probably get coverage at a reduced resolution beyond that.

    One thing that has been pointed out is i might get light falloff - anybody care to comment on this being an issue?

    Need to have a look at a back and work out how I'm going to stick it on. Think that might suit a camera fair

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