Nikanon: I built my 8x10 in a few weekends. I set out NOT to make it a perfect piece of furniture, but to make it usable and portable. I used common hardware store components, mixed my hardwoods (oak and mahogany) and folded my own bellows. All in all I probably spent $200.00, and buying an old 8x10 on the auction site would have been hard for that amount.
The camera is a hybrid monorail. My focusing mechanism is a wormgear based on the Chamonix's (I own a 45N-1), but simplified. I decided the front standard was to be fixed and the back move, which eliminates wide angle issues with the rail. I added a stabilization strut to lock the camera after achieving focus, as the track has a little give, and even though it locks down fine now, I'm counting on future wear. I could have added front swing, but since I do mostly landscape work I did not include it. All my hardware is from ACE hardware, including the spirit levels and window lock lensboard retainer and back retainer. The springs are hacksaw blades with the teeth ground off.
If you fold your own bellows (it really is easier than it sounds) do line the corners - there is a set of instructions on the web that is very good except for the suggestion that you can leave them unlined. Use as stiff a cardboard as you can, and as thin a light-tight fabric as you can. I recommend taffetta or fake suede fabric.
It is a pleasure taking out a camera you designed and built yourself! And yes, it works very well, and is as easy to work with as any of my other LF cameras!
These images were taken before the final polyurethane coat went on...
Last edited by ragc; 07-16-2009 at 10:05 PM. Click to view previous post history.