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DIY large format

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by brian_parker, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Does anyone have a source of information for home construction of 5"x4" large format cameras? I have lots of hardwood and woodworking kit in my garage and would love to try my hand at making one myself.
    I know there is a kit you can buy for about £150, but I would like to spend that money on a lens.
    Thanks in anticipation
  2. wesforee

    wesforee Well-Known Member

  3. Thanks for that Matt
    I emailed this guy some time ago but have not yet had a response from him.
  4. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

  5. downfader

    downfader Well-Known Member

    As I've said before it is something that I wish to try. I also have a shed full of wood working tools. The basics would be quite easy to work out, such as lens board, back and the rail.. its the 5x4 film holder back that will pose the most problems and I can imagine it would be easier to just buy a cheap international one and fit your camera around that.

    You also have to have a secure tripod mount! Then if you want tilt, movements, etc that will pose more problems as they have to remain centered.

    Anyway, I've got to say that I wish anyone luck in trying this out. :D
  6. Thank you Richard
    I had a reply this morning from Jon Grepstad who has written "Building a large format camera". It retails for 30 Euros including postage, which I think is reasonable, but I will explore the links you have kindly supplied.
  7. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Hi Brian,

    €30 does sound reasonable. To save you searching the links here's a direct link to pdf plans for an 8x10 monorail.

    8x10 Monorail

    Richard :cool:
  8. Thanks Richard
    10" x 8"! Now that sounds really exciting but I bet it makes you think a great deal before you press the shutter. Can you still get the film?
  9. downfader

    downfader Well-Known Member

    Oh god yes! Will cost you extra obviously. Ilford still do 10x8 in delta 100 as far as I remember (they keep a list of available sizes/formats on their website ;))

    Also try Retro Photographic, they do mono it has to be said, but they do stock the larger formats :D
  10. Col. Hogan

    Col. Hogan Well-Known Member

    And if you wanted to go even bigger, you could. Ilford is making/cutting the larger films at least once (maybe twice) per year. I just ordered a lot of 5x12 inch HP5+ from them earlier this year. So it means a bit of advance planning, but can be done. View Camera Magazine had a two-part article recently where a fellow made a vertical 8x20 inch camera and a vertical 4x10 camera both for his wife, IIRC. Here's a link to his site:
    Vertical Banquet Camera project

    It's interesting to read through both parts of the article and look at all the pictures.
  11. jongrep

    jongrep New Member

    Please note that my book Building a Large Format Camera can now be downloaded free of charge from my new website: http://jongrepstad.com/

    Jon Grepstad
  12. jongrep

    jongrep New Member

  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Filmholders: yes, buy them ready made.

    But why piddle around with 4x5 inch? A 5x7 (same holders as half plate and 13x18cm) gives gorgeous contact prints and is my favourite by a long stretch -- and I have sheet-film cameras from 6x9cm to 12x15 inches. From what I can see, Jon's site will tell you almost all that you need to know. You can have bellows made to order by Custom Bellows, Birmingham, http://www.custombellows.co.uk/ .

    Another idea: buy a wrecked/scrapper wooden camera and "reverse engineer" it.

    You might also find the following of interest:

    http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps large.html (overview of the large formats available)

    http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps how loading cut film.html (film holders)



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