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  1. #1
    pellicle's Avatar
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    replacemnt ground glass

    Hi

    there was once a fellow making ground glass replacements under the name of Satin Snow. I understand that these are now unavailable.

    As a 4x5 photographer myself I have been wondering about a replacement ground glass for my 4x5 (which is a Toho) and began looking about.

    I was also talking with a friend of mine who does laser etching and cutting and asked if he could make one up for me as a one off. Since his gear is computer CNC type stuff it would then of course be no more trouble for him to make thousands of them (after he has made one). Which lead me to wonder if there remains a market of interest for this sort of product.

    So, anyone know if there is any market (world wide) for a ground glass maker?
    Theory: you understand why it should work but it doesn't
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  2. #2
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    It would be a niche market at best. Practice making them until your process is perfected and then produce a few dozen and market them. It will be slow at first and probably won't pick up much so don't expect to make a mint for a long time. But you could become a go to guy in a dying art. Make ground glasses, that is.
    Thank you.
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  3. #3

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    With the article just posted about making ground glasses by Ian Grant I don't see why anyone would bother to buy one. Looks so easy.

  4. #4
    pellicle's Avatar
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    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by domaz View Post
    With the article just posted about making ground glasses by Ian Grant ...
    thanks for pointing that out ... I had not spotted it :-)

    Personally I would give that a go, but after discussing lens adaptors for putting 35mm lenses on another camera (m4/3) and hearing that people were unable to consider simple honing of the adaptor to fine tune the lens I realise that for many anything more complex than applying sticky tape is a daunting engineering task.

    The concept I was exploring with my friend (he's the entrepreneur, I'm just a photographer) was using laser etching to make the viewing brighter (as done by many SLR makers on their screens starting in the 80's).

    :-)
    Theory: you understand why it should work but it doesn't
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    Here theory and practice meet, things don't work and I don't know why
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  5. #5

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    It is very easy to make a ground glass screen and Ian has recently posted instructions.

    I think there would only be a market if your friend could make a screen that was significantly superior to the sort of thing you can make yourself, such as a a Beattie, Maxwell or Boss Screen. I think these have a fresnel lens either cut into them - or sandwiched alongside. Could he cut such a lens? Looking at some of the sites below, they make different screens for different purposes. Either optimised for standard lenses or wide angle, equipped with various grid line patterns and sometimes additional focussing aids. Some screens seem to be camera specific, too, to ensure the registration and fitting matches the previous screen. These makers offer a ground glass screen service, rather than just one screen.

    Personally, as an amateur who likes renovating cameras anyway I am happy to make my own. There will be photographers who need a screen but don't like the DIY route who might buy a pre-made screen at a cheap price, but as the price goes up - they may get very specific and demanding!

    http://www.stabitech.nl/Bosscreen.ht...eenGroundglass
    http://www.mattclara.com/maxwell/
    http://www.brightscreen.com/aboutus.html
    Steve

  6. #6
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    Hi

    thanks for pointing that out ... I had not spotted it :-)

    Personally I would give that a go, but after discussing lens adaptors for putting 35mm lenses on another camera (m4/3) and hearing that people were unable to consider simple honing of the adaptor to fine tune the lens I realise that for many anything more complex than applying sticky tape is a daunting engineering task.

    The concept I was exploring with my friend (he's the entrepreneur, I'm just a photographer) was using laser etching to make the viewing brighter (as done by many SLR makers on their screens starting in the 80's).

    :-)
    I'm sure there is small market for custom laser cut screens but if you look at how the good ones work there's a lot of design, maths and testing gone into them, and there are different requirements for a standard and wide angel screens with larger formats.

    Bill Maxwell must be laser cutting his screens, and presumably has CNC profiles for a variety of screens..

    I'd also guess that someone is already making them for the manufacturers, much in the same way that Camera Bellows (now custom Bellows) have been quietly churning out bellows for almost all the European and US camera manufacturers for years, many million for Kodak alone.

    Ian

  7. #7
    edp
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    It's not difficult or expensive to make ground glass, but the few I've bought have all been made by Steve Hopf and I'm very happy with them.

    http://hopfglass.com/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    I was also talking with a friend of mine who does laser etching and cutting and asked if he could make one up for me as a one off.

    Has he tried this yet? I have a laser cutter/engraver at work and I have tried a few times but with no success. I would be interested in learning about his method.


    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.

  9. #9
    pellicle's Avatar
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    Ian

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    ... and there are different requirements for a standard and wide angel screens with larger formats.
    that is a very good point, and one which I had known but somehow not connected with the idea of interchangability. I am now going to sus out a wide screen for my Toho as when using the 90mm on it in dim rain forests it drives me spakko getting focus.

    thanks :-)
    Theory: you understand why it should work but it doesn't
    Practice: it works but you have no idea how
    Here theory and practice meet, things don't work and I don't know why
    Homepages: here Blog: here

  10. #10
    pellicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Has he tried this yet?
    some quick experiments, but nothing serious. There are some interesting points which we'll need to work though and it may of course prove more challenging than its worth.

    thanks for the thoughts :-)
    Theory: you understand why it should work but it doesn't
    Practice: it works but you have no idea how
    Here theory and practice meet, things don't work and I don't know why
    Homepages: here Blog: here

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