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  1. #1

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    Build Your Boredom Away!

    At my school, I'm part of our yearbook class. The position I hold is "Go-To Guy". I take care all the technical problems (other people make! ). Anyways, one of my duties is to make sure our editors finish sections so I can send them to the press. This involves quite a bit of waiting. So much waiting that I started building a 4x5 camera with the materials I could find in our graphics room. I started it yesterday, and it's almost done!

    The body is made from the box of an IC enlarger timer, the film cartridge carrier (?) is made from a fuji film box, the bellows are just hockey tape and black paper, and the focusing rails were made with a length of wood and some rubber bands.

    As for lenses, my graphics teacher has saved two Konica Hexanon GRII's. A 150mm and a 210mm. I chose the 150 as cardboard cannot support the beastly 210! Unfortunately this means there's no real option for a shutter. The Konica's are great lenses (super SHARP!), but they were made for enlarging. I've thought of making a basic focal plane shutter as there is more than enough room in the camera for it.

    The only things I have left to do is some minor light-proofing and cut the back out of the fuji box so I can add some ground glass.

    Finally, here's some pics! What do you think?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0503.jpg   IMG_0504.jpg   IMG_0507.jpg   IMG_0508.jpg   IMG_0509.jpg  


  2. #2
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Its beautiful.

    Stop down to the max, use a slow enough film or paper negatives, and you can use a hat (or lens cap) for a shutter.

    Mark the sticks with distance markings and you can use the thing for, er, snap shots.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  3. #3

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    Thank you!
    Yeah, paper negatives, that's a good idea.
    And I suppose if I use a hat, they'd be called "hat-shots". haha!

  4. #4

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    Hockey tape in the graphic arts lab. Nice. You guys really are bored...and it must be COLD in there!

    Nice camera!
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  5. #5

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    cool, in several ways. As a teacher I am in a constant battle with my students to be original, to create, to think on their own. I was feeling like it was a lost cause.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #6

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    The word "awesome" doesn't express the awesomeness of this camera

    Seriously, this is great and very inspiring. Do you mind, if I steal the focussing mechanism for my own project? The simplicity is great and it allows for some front swing too, when it's done right.
    I also like the back. I always had problems with a mechanism to hold the film holder. Sure, building a spring back is not that difficult, but I also like to limit myself to materials that I already have around: cardboard, glue, various kinds of tape, rubber bands and some random lenses.
    How are the bellows holding up? I guess, they're more stiff than usual bellows, but can they be folded and extended without anything breaking?

    As for the exposure: You could try to build a guillotine shutter, using either gravity or rubber bands to get the necessary speed. They're similar to a focal plane shutter, as you can vary the exposure by different slit sizes while speed stays the same but they're usually mounted in front of the lens. Wood is a better material, but smooth cardboard (several layers to make it heavy enough) could work too. Calculating the shutter speed with a gravity-powered shutter is pretty easy, but with rubber bands or springs, you'd probably need to guess and test by the good old "trial and error".

  7. #7
    nhemann's Avatar
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    I'm with moki on this one - fantastic piece of work. I have done cigar box guitars before and this just put a serious bit of serious inspiration in my head...be sure to show how you do the grond glass. I'll be watching closely! I love well engineered lo-fi!
    "There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"

    My flickr and (gasp!) dpug photos - take a look if you like.

  8. #8
    George Nova Scotia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Hockey tape in the graphic arts lab. Nice. You guys really are bored...and it must be COLD in there!

    Nice camera!
    It's Canada, what else would he use!!!

  9. #9

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    If your teacher doesn't give you an "A", he's nuts. Very inspiring, imaginative and neatly done. Have fun with it!

    Peter Gomena

  10. #10

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    Haha, we have everything from a small press to 10 enlargers in our graphics room. Our teacher is a crazy old French-Canadian from NB, so of course we're going to have hockey tape! He thought thinks it's hilarious and it's because he's nuts that I'll get an "A"!

    @Mark, yeah, I look at the younger grades and can see their lack of creativity. But the ones who really like working with photography will find there own way and promote their own creativity.

    @Moki, thanks! Go ahead and use the focusing mechanism. That was actually the biggest problem. I had no idea what to use to focus this camera. Then, I had kind of an "Aha!" moment and quickly rigged this up. Now, I glued the cardboard lens support to the wooden pieces that attach to the rails. What you may want to do is make the lens support more rigid, that way you can drill holes in it and attach the wooden support with screws. That way if you drill more then one hole in the wooden support, then you can move the lens up and down and thus have vertical shift! The bellows are a bit stiff, and a little fragile, but they work well.
    Hmmm, I never thought of a guillotine shutter, that's an excellent idea! I'm sure I can rig something up with rubber bands and other various materials in our graphics room. As for shutter calibration, I read somewhere that you can attach a photo-diode to the mic port of a pc. Then place the diode behind the shutter and record the amount of light that passes the diode as sound. Then just measure the length of the sound with Audacity.

    @George, duct tape!!! Remember the Red Green Show?!

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