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  1. #1

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    Building an 8x10 fixed box - opinion/advice needed

    Hello friends,
    I have in my mind a weekend project of building a simple plywood box-y camera to be used with some 8x10 (well, in fact they are 18x24cm) fidelity holders and I need some opinions/advice.
    One possibility is to make it a pinhole box - which would be the simplest thing and I could just "scale up" a 5x7 pinhole camera I've built before. But what IF I wanted a lens. I've got a 120mm lens that might just cover the desired format, although I use this lens on my other cameras frequently. Or I have a 240mm G claron in a strange big (thick) barrel that I am not using at all - would that be a better fit? Would it be possible to make a point-and-shoot box with this lens?
    What would be your choice?
    Any advice/opinion would be welcome.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    A point and shoot box is a possibility and not too difficult to build. I have buily a couple in the past including 4x10 and 8x10. Both had focusing mounts made from threaded sewer pipe connections and threaded cap in which the lenses were mounted.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  3. #3

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    That's an interesting idea.. I thought originally to make it fixed focus and I think I'll stay at that since all the pipes I have at hand from the recent reconstruction are just to be squeezed one into the other and there are no threads...

  4. #4
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    You also might consider buying an older lens with a rack-and-pinion focusing mechanism. You should be able to pick up a projection triplet fairly inexpensively and a Petzval would set you back more.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz View Post
    You also might consider buying an older lens with a rack-and-pinion focusing mechanism. You should be able to pick up a projection triplet fairly inexpensively and a Petzval would set you back more.
    Bless me, I've already got a chunky triplet (some 10-12" perhaps) that I've completely forgot about.. I'm not sure about the coverage, but we'll see - the only problem might be the tripod mounting - the lens is very heavy and it could be difficult to actually balance a light camera and a lens that heavy sticking in front of it..

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnielvis View Post
    I made a few out of cardboard boxes---they work great---I'd make a simple cardboard fixed focus box WITH a lens---I just built one last night--11x14 box camera with a lens--I use REGULAR camera backs though for these--I use a deardorff back for the 8x10 box camera--I tape it to the box--it provides the support for the cardboard--the cardboard is lightweight and VERY strong when supported with the wood--and you can make it with no sawdust or tape!!!!!

    it works superbly--I recommend cardboard--they are light light light -- PARTICULARLY for larger formats--the cardboard provides an amazing strength to weight ratio--just make sure that the cardboard "box" is supported by rigid plate at rear (wood/metal camera back or other frame/plate) and front (rigid lensboard--or wooden front lensboard mount).

    you can make one for infinity focus for a longer lens and then switch focal lenghs for closer focus--that is better than focusing--sure you can't do fine tune focus, but, for taking around and not caring about it--it's great!

    these are my favorite cameras these days....

    OH_--BE SURE TO put some blackout fabric or foam on the inside!!!!!! wood or cardboard WILL reflect and flare--I used navy blue corduroy on the one last night....works better then bellows--super blackout in there!
    Thanks for all suggestions John! Actually a solid front and some wooden structure covered with cardboard might do the trick.. The most difficult part would be the back - perhaps I'll try to find one - but while looking at all those odd backs from old wooden cameras I am always worried whether they would accept modern plastic film holders..

    As for the black out - I have some black velvet somewhere, but when making pinholes I used to just spray the inside with a matte black spray paint.

  7. #7

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    I have a 121mm Super Angulon lens which just about covers 10 x 8 and has lots of depth of field at f45, so I built a fixed-focus 10 x 8 camera for it. The whole thing is very light being made mainly out of very thin plywood. It has a ground glass screen for focussing. The glass is held in a wooden frame that has the same dimensions as a 10 x 8 film holder, and is clamped in place with woden strips. You remove it and replaceit with the film holder to take a picture.
    I use the lens on my 5 x 4 camera, so it too is removeable, on its regular lens board.
    Works very well.

    Alan

  8. #8
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"



 

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