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  1. #1

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    Constructing a 10x8 camera - Stanford style?

    Has anyone here constructed a foamboard pinhole camera à la Stanford (http://pinhole.stanford.edu/foamcore.html) ?

    I've long wanted to do some 10x8 pinhole work, and I've finally acquired a couple of 10x8 backs at not-too-excessive a price, so I now need to make a camera on which to mount them.

    I have nothing remotely approaching a workshop, so am limited to what I can build on my kitchen worktop with the most basic tools - in essence, an Xacto knife and a steel ruler. The Stanford approach has the merits of requiring only the tools I have and inexpensive materials, plus it has step-by-step instructions that it appears even an oaf such as myself could follow.

    SO ... the question is simply, is there any reason why I should not be able to simply scale up the Stanford dimensions (for a 5x4 camera) up by a factor of 2 to build myself a 10x8?

  2. #2
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Actually, the article you link to already has film back dimensions for 5x7 and 8x10 versions. So I would think it should scale up nicely. The pinhole will presumably scale up also and the calculators around the Internet can handle that.

    I have more or less scaled up from 4x5 to 8x10, although the actual construction details are different. My 4x5 is pretty similar to that foamcore camera, but made with plywood and some reinforcing framing.. The 8x10 is fancier, but I have a fair accumulation of woodworking tools. For me, the camera building is almost as interesting as the photographic results!
    Last edited by DWThomas; 03-01-2014 at 04:22 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: More complete info

  3. #3

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    thanks.

    Yep, I assumed that as they had bothered to put the 10x8 dimensions for the back, it would be OK ... but you never know, this LF stuff can be a bit voodoo so I thought I'd ask

    I've been shooting lots of rolls in my Zero45+Horseman 6x7 back, which has produced some marvellous results, but really what I want to do is make big contacts,though I'll start with paper negs.

    Off at a small tangent and off topic for this particular subforum, but just tonight I found a blog page where someone describes building a lensed (and focusable but without bellows) 10x8 out of foamcore too ... this has Given Me Ideas ... with a barrel lens it could be possible to go 10x8 for <£100 and the darkslides would be the biggest part of that cost ...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    thanks.

    Yep, I assumed that as they had bothered to put the 10x8 dimensions for the back, it would be OK ... but you never know, this LF stuff can be a bit voodoo so I thought I'd ask

    I've been shooting lots of rolls in my Zero45+Horseman 6x7 back, which has produced some marvellous results, but really what I want to do is make big contacts,though I'll start with paper negs.

    Off at a small tangent and off topic for this particular subforum, but just tonight I found a blog page where someone describes building a lensed (and focusable but without bellows) 10x8 out of foamcore too ... this has Given Me Ideas ... with a barrel lens it could be possible to go 10x8 for <£100 and the darkslides would be the biggest part of that cost ...



    lots of fun to be had making cameras

    hope ypurs is cheap as dirt and a blast to use!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    a one-shot camera where I load a piece of printing paper in the darkroom and have one shot. I want each 8x10 to be a original, not a neg.
    If I can find the patience to experiment properly once I have the big pinhole camera together, I'm going to have a go at reversal processing the paper negatives. The process is the same as doing film reversal, but I can imagine needing a bit of planning and a lot of trays for the different stages. Much easier when just pouring chemicals in and out of a tank ...

    The blog post about making a foamboard lensed 10x8 is here by the way http://grahamvasey.wordpress.com/201...y-10x8-camera/. He seems to have been posting on APUG at one time, but not for a few years now.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    lots of fun to be had making cameras
    I might change my name to Miroslav ...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    and the darkslides would be the biggest part of that cost ...
    I was going to do an 8X10 version of this camera, but decided to go for the 4X5 when I found some 4X5 film holders for under $5 each. They are wooden, but since I'm doing paper negs, as long as they are light tight it will be OK.

  7. #7
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdeeh View Post
    Has anyone here constructed a foamboard pinhole camera à la Stanford (http://pinhole.stanford.edu/foamcore.html) ?
    Yes. My son and I built the 4x5 from these plans some years ago. He made a very simple pinhole (literally) in a piece of aluminum foil. It worked very well and made beautiful photos. I could probably dig up a few examples if you're interested.

  8. #8
    winger's Avatar
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    I did one sorta similar last year for the same reason. I didn't find the Stanford instructions, so I made mine kinda by feel (and with lots of tape and glue). It worked ok, but wasn't very sturdy so I haven't used it much. It's still in the PA house, but if I can find a picture of it or with it, I'll post back. I had a thread on here about it, so there might be a photo of it in there, but I'm not sure.

  9. #9

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    Thank you everyone for your enthusiastic and encouraging responses.

    The DDSes arrived today, and I had failed to visualise properly just how big the damn things are (yes, yes, I know there's a clue in the name "10x8", but that just means a sheet of paper to me ... )

    So I've doubled my order of foamboard, and I think I'm going to need a bigger roll of duct-tape ...

  10. #10

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    Well ... all done. Not very elegant (well, a bit rough round the edges tbh), but perfectly functional

    In the end I found the Stanford instruction sheet only partly useful. It seemed easier just to start by taking one of the DDS and build the rest around it.

    Took me about 2 hours including tea breaks and wouldn't have taken that long had I not made a basic error of measurement and had to find a way to rescue myself from it. Or had less tea maybe.

    Almost the trickiest bit was making the "groove" in the backplate.

    It's surprisingly rigid (although I did end up adding an extra layer of foam board as part of my rescue tactic, so that probably helps), very light, but also slightly off-balance once the DDS is in - needs a bit of extra weight at the front to sort out the moment.

    The bungees to hold the DDS in tight are made from scrunchies tied together, and the pinhole from a can of Dr. Pepper someone had thrown over my garden wall.

    Pinhole is ~0.57mm (measured with an enlarger), focal length is ~150mm, so ~f/260.

    The next mod will be to epoxy a couple of 3/8" nuts to pieces of board, made flush with more foam board and glued to bottom and side, so I can use a tripod.

    It's enormous. I can't imagine walking down the street with it under my arm ...

    Here's a pic of the beast, plus the first negative I got out of it (on MGIV RC, EI6, developed in paRodinal 1:50) - scanned and inverted. I'll get round to trying to print it next week.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20140312_1125-P3122576-1.jpg   20140312_1122-P_10x8-Pinhole-paperneg-Rodinal-1200-001-1.jpg  
    Last edited by pdeeh; 03-12-2014 at 03:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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