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  1. #1

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    New 8 x 20 camera - am I insane???

    Well, I've finally done it. After months of planning, designing, researching, and now material shopping, I've finally started the construction of my new 8 x 20 camera. This forum has been a terrific source of information and since i'm not the first to try this, I figure maybe I can also make it work. Many thanks to all those who have contributed to this forum in the past to give me the confidence to try.

    I've taken on first what I consider the most difficult task - making the film holders. I figure that if I can get one made and it is light tight, the rest of the work will seem easy. So, for the last two days, I've been cutting out all the little pieces to go in the holder and am just about ready to start assembling it. Then the big test - will it keep the sun out?

    After that comes the camera. This is where I may be crazy. Not wanting to limit myself to only horizontal images, I've come up with a design that theoretically allows the camera body and bellows to detach from the front and rear supports and be able to rotate it all to accommodate both formats. Time will tell if it will work or not. Has anyone else ever tried this before?

    This "project" also seems that it will take some time to complete, so this is definitely not a two week effort. Hopefully, I'll be done in a few months. One thing that is already a benefit - it was a good excuse to get a new bandsaw and planer for my workshop (at least that is what I told my wife).

    If any/many are interested, I'll take lots of photos and periodically post my progress (and lessons learned).

  2. #2

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    Good luck to you. This is a pretty intensive endeavor. I know that others have done this. So who is to say that you can't?
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  3. #3
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    I'd love to see the progress reports especially if a visual diary is posted too.

    Joe

  4. #4
    roteague's Avatar
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    Good luck to you, I'm looking forward to seeing your results.

    BTW, you are crazy. You can't get Velvia for that thing!!
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #5
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Count me in. I too have been toying with the idea of building a camera. I'd love to watch and learn.

    Best of luck,

    Bill

    PS. I think we are all insane.

  6. #6
    metod's Avatar
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    Dan, a lot of encouragements on your project. I remember how excited I was when I started just like you do now. And you are making even your own film holders! I’ll be glad to check from time to time on your progress. Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Dozer
    If any/many are interested, I'll take lots of photos and periodically post my progress (and lessons learned).
    Dan,

    Please do!

    Frank

  8. #8

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    Dan,
    I wish you well in jumping into the world of camera building. If you want to get a good look at the job you have ahead of you, check out the work of J.B. Harlin. J.B. built 8x20 and 4x10 vertical cameras last year. Here is a link to the progress of the projects from design to completion http://jbhphoto.com/vcam/vcams.htm
    J.B. also presented an outstanding program on camera building at the View Camera Magazine: Large Format Photo Conference last month in Rockford, IL. Really beautiful cameras. They are art piece in their own right.
    Good luck with your project.
    Walker Edmonson

  9. #9

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    Dan,

    you're not insane. I just finished a 7x17" including filmholders and it is very rewarding to make pictures with a camera you built yourself.

    Greetings,
    Geert

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    We're all a little crazy around here. Welcome to the loony bin!
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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