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  1. #1

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    Building camera to accept 4x5 film holders?

    Any ideas on how to build a back which accepts 4x5 sheet film holders? I am wanting a more elegant solution than rubber bands, on a back that I can remove and rotate to vertical or horizontal location. My main concern is keeping the camera light-tight where the film holder goes in.I am thinking of using craft felt as a light trap and/or using a piece that clamps on between the ridges. Thanks for your help,

    Justin

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafeharrar View Post
    Any ideas on how to build a back which accepts 4x5 sheet film holders? I am wanting a more elegant solution than rubber bands, on a back that I can remove and rotate to vertical or horizontal location. My main concern is keeping the camera light-tight where the film holder goes in.I am thinking of using craft felt as a light trap and/or using a piece that clamps on between the ridges. Thanks for your help,

    Justin
    I've found black felt to work well for a light trap, doubled and given a little extra (maybe 1/8") room at the doubled edge, so that it forms a good trap. I've done that with cameras made of taped-together mat board, with a slit at the side for the film holder lined with the black felt as described, and it works very well. I have some of those cameras I've used for four or five years and they're still light-tight and work fine, though of rather flimsy construction.

  3. #3
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Back

    This image is a bit difficult to see, but it serves to illustrate a possible solution. The camera is a wooden box type. Aluminum was used to tie the two ends together, then flat spring steel (5/16" band saw blade stock with the teeth ground off) was let into the edges to provide pressure on the film holder. Takes a bit of trial and error to get things right, but it works. Black felt from a sewing store was used to give a good seal with contact cement as the adhesive. tim
    Last edited by noseoil; 09-16-2007 at 08:38 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    rwyoung's Avatar
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    Doesn't quite get your "rotating back" requirement but have you seen how a Graphlock back works? See the shallow "cuts" along the long sides of your film holder? Should be two parallel tracks. The Graphlock back has an upper and lower (or left and right) set of "teeth" that slide into those slots.

    I'm not suggesting you copy this directly but look at how 8banners made one of the 4x5 pinholes. I think you can see what I'm talking about.
    http://www.8banners.com/index.php?op...id=7&Itemid=36
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things! http://rwyoung.wordpress.com

  5. #5
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that the above camera has two inserts for mounting on a tripod. The plate can be screwed into the bottom or the end of the camera for h/v shots. Why not make a simple camera which can sit on one end or the bottom? certainly much easier than a rotating back. KISS, tim

  6. #6
    rwyoung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noseoil View Post
    Forgot to mention that the above camera has two inserts for mounting on a tripod. The plate can be screwed into the bottom or the end of the camera for h/v shots. Why not make a simple camera which can sit on one end or the bottom? certainly much easier than a rotating back. KISS, tim
    Good point! Just get two T-nuts at the hardware store instead of one.

    Back to the Graflexes, those without rotating backs had two threaded holes for tripod mounting, one on bottom, one on the left side.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things! http://rwyoung.wordpress.com

  7. #7

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    Good idea! I may do a little browsing at the Home Depot later today...

  8. #8
    Marv's Avatar
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    You might take a look at the camera making area at f295.org. The folks there have some simple and inovative methods to do 4X5 camera and backs.

  9. #9
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    The current version of the online journal Without Lenses has an article on how to build a 4x5 pinhole camera out of foamcore. www.withoutlenses.com

  10. #10
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    I bought a custom-made yellow-cedar wood pinhole camera that takes regular 4x5 sheet film holders, several years ago from a young photog in Vancouver, BC.
    It's called the Binary Box camera - try Googling it, I may have his contact info somewhere in a mountain of paper at home! It works wonderfully well.

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