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  1. #1
    aaronmichael's Avatar
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    8x10 Camera Question

    Hello All!

    Haven't posted in a long time, it's nice to be back for some opinions. I made a pinhole camera over the weekend out of some plywood I had at home. It was designed to fit a piece of 4x6 photo paper in order to be cut down to 4x5. The camera is an improvement over my previous camera designed for a 4x5 paper negative. On my previous camera, the back swung out through a hinge and then i taped the piece of paper to the back of the camera (the part that swung out). It's a nice method but there were light leaks like crazy from the back (because of my bad construction) and I hated having to deal with taping the paper to the back and then I had to use a black back to cover the back.

    My new camera uses a lid system that pulls off through a knob on the top. The lid fits pretty snugly into the frame and the inside perimeter is lined with 1/4 inch (roughly) wood to catch any light leaking in. I have two thin pieces of wood on the back on either side that sit very close to the back of the camera and the paper slides in between the piece on either side and the back of the camera. I found this to be so much easier than dealing with tape and I don't have any light leaks.

    I had forgotten how unsatisfying a 4x5 paper negative is, I want to up to 8x10. I realize I could use film but I like developing by inspection and using paper negatives (cheap and fun). I have a homemade 8x10 wooden camera but it uses the same system as my first 4x5 camera (back swings out) and because of a faulty design, a half an inch on the top and the bottom are blocked from light so the negative ends up being 7x10. My question is, how do I, with the limited materials and budget, create an 8x10 camera that will carry a full 8x10 sheet of paper without cropping any of the photo off? I can afford to use the slide in design with the new 4x5 camera because I can just cut my paper to 4x6. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    You could use an 8x10 film holder.

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Actually, 7x10 sounds like a nice negative size!

    But if you could find a old wood 8x10 negative (or plate) holder for a low price, then you could construct a simple camera around the holder. I have seem 4x5 backs held on with rubber bands -- 8x10 might need pretty hefty rubber bands! An old plate holder would be nice -- use a low-tack double-sided tape to hold the paper in. The plate holder, unlike film holders, does not have the side channels that crops a little on the sides on the negative. But if you come across a cheap film holder, go for it!

    Take a look at these --especially the 8x10, the view of the back. One of the possibilities.

    http://www.pinholecamera.com/prices.html
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  4. #4
    SMBooth's Avatar
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    Try using foam core thats a cheap and easy building material.

  5. #5
    aaronmichael's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the replies. Building it around a film holder would be an easy option. And actually, 7x10 is a nice negative size - hahah. However, I still find myself yearning for a larger negative. Now I'm thinking though that even a full 8x10 sheet isn't going to satisfy that need. I might just end up building a camera around a 11x14 negative or a 10x14 would be an awesome size to accentuate the horizontal format. I've thought about just switching to 4x5 film for pinholes but then you lose the long exposure fun of it, developing by inspection, and the challenge of paper negatives.

  6. #6
    aaronmichael's Avatar
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    Ummm - decided to go bigger (11x14) and then I talked to some of my photo friends and got convinced to build a 16x20 camera! Don't know how that happened. Just finished drawing up some plans...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    you could get an empty 500 sheet paper box and use that.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome



 

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