Large Format, Paper Negative, DIY Camera Project

Discussion in 'Competitions, Themes & Blogs' started by Pete Askew, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    In response to Hamish's DIY camera challenge I decided to build a simple large format camera, similar in design to some of the early 19th century designs. I'd thought first of making it out of wood but with sheet plastic material I can do it in the studio without making too much mess. I was planning on calling it a Brown Boxy but unfortunately I could only find black, red or yellow plastic. Here are a few 'during construction' shots to record progress.

    So, given that the deadline is approaching fast, yesterday evening I made a start on my DIY camera. On Saturday, after reviewing the materials available locally, I bought a couple of sheets of low density (actually fine 'blown'), black plastic sheet (15 Euros) from a DIY store here in Potsdam (guttagliss hobbycolor - Gutta international). So far all of the joints have been cemented using adhesive but I might tape some with black 'Gaffa' tape as well in case the joints leak light. The lens was originally intended to be an old reprographics camera lens I've had lying around for years but I recently bought a pre-1920 Hicro Hess-Ives Corp. 250 mm f1:8, large format lens on German eBay from Poland (3.50 Euros!) and that will be easier to fit as it has a collar intended for a wooden panel (and a shutter!). The rest of the design specification is obviously still top-secret at present as there are industrial spies everywhere these days!! ;)

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    And, now with the lens mounted and the test focus screen made from the finest tissue paper from a shoe box and a bit of glass from an old picture frame. Focused through the window into the courtyard.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    ... sorry Pete, had to move this in to its own thread as I feel it deserves one ...
    Perhaps you could re-title the thread more appropriately!
    I have started mk1 too

    Looks very interesting ... and works!
    How are you going to hold the film?
     
  4. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks Hamish. I intend to make both a screen holder and a film holder from the same material. Tedious to cut the frames but not too difficult (still have most of my fingers!). I need to improve the focus 'mechanism' though as it is difficult to slide the lens 'frame' in and out of the main body. I have just reinforced the bottom panel and made a tripod mount so that might make it easier.
     
  5. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    I'm liking this but now my plans have to be totally altered :p
     
  6. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    I think you may have rumbled my intended recording medium Kev!! :)
     
  7. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    I can't be too positive about that Pete, on paper it sounds good though :)
     
  8. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    All I've got to do now is find a lens that'll cover 20x24" - and buy a ton more plastic!! ;)
     
  9. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    I'm looking forward to seeing the results, I have a semi Fisheye that I would like to use but has no shutter so I'd need to manufacture something, this is what is putting it all on hold atm
     
  10. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    What about a Brownie-style flip across job Kev?
     
  11. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    yes Pete that's what I was thinking, I may need to cannibalise something though
     
  12. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    I will probably have the opposite problem as the slowest speed on the shutter is 1 second and I will probably either have to use T or fire it multiple times.
     
  13. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    I have an old folding six 20 that I chopped up for a pinhole, still have all the bits, so may have a look at that, but won't be easy.. hope hamish isn't planning on an early end date :D
     
  14. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    14th May I think.

    I need to get a move on as I'm away this weekend and only in Potsdam one more weekend after that. And it's probably not going to be too portable!!
     
  15. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    This isn't going top go well me thinks....HAMISH!!!!!!!!!! :D
     
  16. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    No pressure Kev but mine might even be operational this evening!! ;) Just the 'film' holder left to make!! :)
     
  17. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Do you remember how far over the cheap as chips challenge ran?
    expect similar ... ... ...
     
  18. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    And fresh from the production plant but without having its final clean and cosmetic touch-up:

    [​IMG]

    With viewing screen (without translucent layer:

    [​IMG]

    And a tantalising glimpse of the 'film' holder:

    [​IMG]

    More to follow!
     
  19. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    That is looking suitably awesome Pete!
    what could we rename this thread to that is more fitting to this camera design ... id like to make it into an article see...
     
  20. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    Impressed Pete Good build :)
     

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