Going to extremes
Recently I decided to use up a load of spare ply my Father had left in the shed. It turned out there was enough to make several 5x4 pinhole cameras and so I made a basic box design and began cutting.
It was a lot easier this time around as I had a proper band saw. The first time I had to cut by hand, using mdf I did manage to make a very wide angle pinhole camera, but it looks very wonky, lol! The new ones are very, very neat. I'm really proud so far as I've come up with lots of little problems that I've solved very easily. I guess it will be harder when I try and make my LF box camera based on an old victorian design I've seen.
Flare is a problem with a pinhole I've noticed. So what I've done is set the pinhole 5mm back - it will be mounted on the inside of the camera. This 5mm gap will also be aided by a big ring I've cut out of the ply and mounted over the original hole. This should act as a kind of hood.... well in theory.
All the commercial, and some of the DIY designs I've seen so far seem to incorporate a slot for your double dark slide (DDS). This I found rules out using my fuji quickloader. Something that really annoys me. So on the new design I've decided to copy the principle of my Cambo SC and have something hold the DDS against the edge of the box. This should allow various 5x4 film formats. I'll use some special strips of foam to black it out.
I've also noticed that composing your shot is difficult. I came up with a simple solution of using a mount of card (as I discussed recently in a couple of other threads I think) with tracing paper stapled to the card. You slot this in place, use a dark cloth or coat to black it out and compose that way. OK its not at all bright like on an LF camera, but it gives you an idea.
Anyway, I posted this up incase it might help anyone. I've been tempted to try and sell two of these cameras once they are done, lol! Pay off the band saw
I made a pinhole lens board for my 4x5 that allows me to use different pinholes with my main camera, but I too found anything other than general composition a problem. I am (this weekend anyway) going to try making a finder similar to the wire finder on my Crown Graphic, but with old mat board I've got laying around. I thought the big frame could slip over the top of the front standard and the small viewing hole could slip over the top of the rear standard. I'm sure you could work out something like this for your cameras as well, but with the frame and viewer hole mounted to the front and rear of the camera. I've no idea how it would compare with your solution, but it might be something to consider.
Thats a pretty cool idea - not too disimilar to the wire finder I once saw on a Blad in a magazine I read. LOL! The one I saw was more like gun sights.
I did wonder how easy it would be to make a disk with two holes on - and a spindle to rotate them. I could have a bigger hole to use as a blurry view and rotate the smaller hole into use when I take the picture. That was the other main idea I had... problem is in cutting the disks though, aligning and stopping light leaks - so I've shelved that idea for a bit, lol!
I have a week off work next week and so might have a play with some wire.
Cutting discs isn't difficult, you can use a hole saw or flycutter in a drill press.
They can be made from hobby plywood anywhere from 1/32" to 1/4" thick.
Use the 1/4" pilot hole to mount the disc & off you go.
Thats what I did on a stand drill. Although I found that my drill (which is the only one I can afford for the time being) isnt powerful enough. I nearly burnt out the motor on the last disc. :o
I did manage to buy very good cutters and mandrel though
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for a finder you can draw a line from each rear top corner to the center of the top of the camera (box) and that works pretty well. with a wire rangefinder, it might take a little experimenting to find the right size (scale?) ... i am not sure about this, but depending on the focal length / perspective of view your wire-finder might be a different size.