Today I joined the club...
I exposed my first 7x17" negative!
I came home from work and it was a real joy: not only did the Packard shutter I was offered by a friendly fellow APUG'er arrive (thank you, Bart!), but also a box of 7x17 sheets, ordered through Frankie, were there.
I could not wait, unpacked the box and ran to the darkroom to load a sheet.
Loading a 7x17 holder is no more pain than loading a 5x7 sheet. Lucky me
I got out in the garden and exposed the Forte 200 for 7 seconds at f64 with the APO Georgon 300.
Ran back up and souped the negative in my old brew (read: Rodinal 1:200).
Stand development has the advantage that you can enjoy a full meal and with a full stomach I could stop, fix and wash the negative.
Having exposed the sheet with my homebuilt camera and filmholder, I was really tensed to see if any light leaks showed up after testing with paper negatives.
(drum rolls now...)
Woohoo! No light leaks and tack sharp on the spot where I focussed. A lot of leaves on the trees have movement, but with an exposure of 7 seconds, that's normal, I think.
I still have to pay some learning money (read: burn some sheets) but it feels great with that contact print laying beside me on the desk.
Thank you all for getting me into this!
Congratulations!! (So where is the image post?)
The image is not worth posting or it must be that you are interested in the view that I have from my backyard?
Originally Posted by Robert Hall
Congratulations! Sounds like your hard work is paying off.
real happy for you argus.
congrats on the new wallet thinner.
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next step is 20x40 ?
New toys make boys happy.
A hobby may cost money, my wife says...
(i am glad she thinks this way).
Very Very good, It's a lot of work but worth while. I bet you have it set up in the living room so you can look at it and figure out what you will change on your next one! Do you have a rough idea of the cost of the build? I built one camera, a 4x5, including bellows. What would you change if you built the camera again?
Best Regard and happy shooting,
No, it's not in the living room but neatly packed, I would not want our cats to sharpen their nails on the bellows ;-)
first of all, I'm goint to make a new bellows. I did a remake of the bellows for my 5x7 this week in skai (moleskine, kind of imitation leather but not textured) that is more compact and aesthetically better. The weight is a bit higher, but that's not really a pain.
I'll decide lateron if I will ever build a new specimen. All depends on how many downsides I might discover on it.
I am quite happy with the individual left and right focussing possibilities on the rear standard, it's got the feel of a geared swing.
About the cost: I'm not sure but I think that in the end, some 300/400 Euro on raw materials got spent on the camera, trashed pieces and try-outs not included so the actual cost in development is at least 50% higher.
I didn't keep the bills, so this is an estimation of the costs I can recall:
- wood: less that 100 Euro
- aluminium preformed profiles for the mechanisms: 50 Euro
- bellows material: 40 Euro on liner and 300g/m2 paper ribs
- spray glue for the bellows: 3 cans of 14 Euro per piece
- groundglass: 8 Euro per piece. I let a local glassmaker make me three pieces; etched, cut to size with clipped corners.
- guide rails: 4 Euro per set (3 sets on the camera)
- various screws and rings: dunno... 30 Euro?
- inox rulers, used for the spings: 12 Euro
- knobs: 32 Euro in total for 25 duroplast knobs on M4 and 5 on M6. I've only used half of those.
- filmholders: 14 Euro for 6 boards (to act as the base) of 4mm thickness, cut to my measurements
- darkslides: depending on the size of aluminium sheets you buy, it goes from 4 up to 7 Euro per piece
When I look back on the project, I can really understand why professional camerabuilders ask $5000 or more for a 7x17" camera and $300 for a double sided filmholder in the format.
It took me 3 months to build it and I didn't even use expensive materials and machinery.
Yes it adds up by the end of the project when you add the time to it. The more options that are added the heavier and more expensive it gets. Rack and Pinons really up the price. I have a huge bellows from a process camera that would make a 20X24 inch camera but how practical is that? I was thinking of cutting it down to the 11X14 size but would I use it that much? I do like the 7X17 size and was even thinking of a 4X10 inch size. I have the 5X7 to make first though. I got the bellows new at a good eBay price so the camera will be built around the bellows. Kind of a backwards approach but what the heck. I recently got a hand knurler so I am going to make my knobs of aluminum tubing, 3/4", 7/8", etc. and Knurl the outside in a diamond pattern. The inside will be filled with a hardwood like ebony or something nice looking. I am going to spring for some rack and pinons and hopefully the project won't get out of control and take too long.