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staft
03-10-2006, 11:31 PM
hey large format people, i need to come up with some way to support my big, bulky scanner camera. i have had light pinholes rip out epoxied-in-place bushings, so i don't see that as a solution. any way to make a big support plate stable on a tripod? is my 1/4" screw ok, or does it need to be 3/8?

Marv
03-11-2006, 07:32 AM
They make a "bushing" that is threaded on the inside for 1/4 or 3/8 and has aggressive wood screw threads on the out side. One end has a slot for a flat blade screw driver and the other is flat. You drill a hole and screw them in.

The other is a threaded tube that has a flange on one end. Some have stakes that drive in the wood, some have holes in the flange for screws. If you put them in with the flange opposite the tripod head the flange acts as a large washer and prevents pulling out. The tubes are sometimes a little short and you need to countersink the hole to accomidate the flange.

With these you would literally have to break the base of the camera to get them to pull through. Any good hardware store or wood working supply has them.

If your tripod has a 3/8 screw I would opt for the larger size. An ounce of prevention don't you know.....

staft
03-11-2006, 07:42 AM
thanks, marv- the ones i have pulled out were the agressively-toothed variety, but it didn't occur to me to put it on the inside. doh!

do i need a larger-than-normal plate on the tripod, too?

Marv
03-11-2006, 09:19 AM
When I went to 8X10 I did get a different head that has a bigger plate. I used a Bogen 3050 and didn't have any problems but I wanted something a bit more substantial and went to a 3057. The 3057 has about a 4X4 plate.

The 3050 plate works with the 3057 so I didn't have to replate all my cameras but I have the larger plate on the 8X10. I guess it's your call.

Nice avatar by the way!!!!!!!

Jim Jones
03-11-2006, 10:10 AM
They make a "bushing" that is threaded on the inside for 1/4 or 3/8 and has aggressive wood screw threads on the out side. One end has a slot for a flat blade screw driver and the other is flat. You drill a hole and screw them in.

The other is a threaded tube that has a flange on one end. Some have stakes that drive in the wood, some have holes in the flange for screws. If you put them in with the flange opposite the tripod head the flange acts as a large washer and prevents pulling out. The tubes are sometimes a little short and you need to countersink the hole to accomidate the flange.

With these you would literally have to break the base of the camera to get them to pull through. Any good hardware store or wood working supply has them.

If your tripod has a 3/8 screw I would opt for the larger size. An ounce of prevention don't you know.....

The flanged bushings are known as T-nuts. The other bushings, with the agressive wood threads, hold better when epoxied as well as screwed in place. I routinely use a 5x7 flatbed camera held on the 3" diameter top of my Tiltall tripod with a 1/4" screw. If a tripod has too small a top surface to support the camera, one can make an adaptor of plywood with a T-nut to hold it to the tripod and a hole and screw for attaching the camera. I wouldn't trust quick detachable plates for this use.

earlj
03-11-2006, 12:20 PM
Steven:

Joe VanCleave posted a discussion of large camera tripods in the f295 Camera Making forum:

http://f295.f295.org/uploads/Blah.pl?b-cm/m-1131944890/

He has some elegant designs that he constructed himself.

staft
03-11-2006, 02:34 PM
wonderful link, earl- how did this one get by me? joe has inspired me to approach this from the ground up- lighter is better, especially when you already have a 3' camera and laptop!

Tom Persinger
03-11-2006, 03:13 PM
how about a shelf on the bottom (between the three legs) to hold the laptop?

staft
03-11-2006, 10:40 PM
exactly what i was thinking, tom- maybe a dark cloth integrated over the screen somehow. or a hermetically sealed, sandproof radiation containment shield so i can go back to the beach...

JoeVanCleave
03-11-2006, 10:56 PM
I was just gonna look up my "Tripods, Tripods, Tripods" link and repost it, but thanks to Earl for finding it.

Just a brief update on the tripods in that post. My 5x8 format aluminum box camera proved to be very light. Great for carrying it around, but vulnerable to the wind. And the bottom plate of the camera is rather flimsy, so the camera would shake in the kinds of wind one encounters when doing landscape shooting in the American southwest (like right now, for instance).

So I've begun an "upgrade" to the aluminum boxcam (with pictures still pending). But a brief description. I attached a 3/4" thick sheet of plywood to the camera bottom, using 8/32 hardware. This rectangle of plywood is hinged, using a brass door hinge, to another identical sheet of plywood, which has an epoxied 1/4-20 blind nut, for attachment to a tripod. The bottom plate attaches to a tripod, and the camera is permanently attached to the hinged top plate.

These two hinged plates allow the camera to be tilted up and down. My homemade tripods allow "some" lateral and fore/aft tilting, by adjusting the legs, but its mainly designed to permit adjusting of the legs so the head is level. This new tilt feature expands the usefullness of my tripod design, while maintaining the light weight.

I've fashioned two aluminum support strips, with adjustment holes and removable pins, to the sides of the wooden plates, permitting the hinged plates to be locked into one of a dozen or so tilt positions.

As I indicated earlier, I'll post images of the new setup when completed.

The tall, wooden tripod used with the 5x8 boxcam will elevate the pinhole to a height > 6' off the ground, and the tripod weighs in much less than my Bogen.

Obviously, one wouldn't want to cart this rig through an airport, but for road trips, it works just fine, and'll fit into most any vehicle.

JoeVanCleave
03-12-2006, 07:27 PM
Okay, here's the basic improved baseplate system for my aluminum box camera.

I realize that this is a pinhole camera, and this ain't the pinhole forum. But this mounting plate technique should be useful for mounting any box camera - glass or otherwise - to a tripod.

This view shows the two hinged plates on the bottom in their level position. The bottom-most plate has the 1/4-20 blind nut for tripod mounting. The upper plate is securely bolted to the bottom of the box cam. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00612b_4713.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00612b_4713.jpg)

JoeVanCleave
03-12-2006, 07:31 PM
And this shot shows how the tilting mechanism works. I'm currently using cotter pins to secure the adjustable support strap. I may modify this with 8-32 blind nuts installed in the edge of the plywood, and use 8-32 thumb screws, for a more secure mount.

You may also have noticed that the front of the camera now has a brass support plate to secure the shutter release rod to the front of the camera. The previous method used JB-Weld epoxy, which actually didn't hold all that well - probably because the aluminum was too smooth. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00614a_8645.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00614a_8645.jpg)

JoeVanCleave
03-12-2006, 08:43 PM
Steve, specific to your need to mount your bulky scanner camera to a tripod, here's some closeup detail of my 6' tall, homebuilt rig.

This shot shows the hardware that connects the 1x2 spruce legs to the top plate. Angle brackets and thumb screws provide an adjustable leg tension. The tripod bolt is a threaded rod, mounted to a custom-turned wooden knob. The large washer is there to keep the bolt from falling out the hole in the top plate. I could have gotten fancy and used a counter-sunk retainer nut in the top plate, but this was simpler.

Not shown is the cable-loop system that keeps the legs from splaying out, and also allows the head to be levelled to uneven ground.

The bottom of the legs have metal angle brackets mounted on the bottom corner as a way to keep the wood from getting torn up on rough terrain. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00616a_2002.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00616a_2002.jpg)

JoeVanCleave
03-12-2006, 08:45 PM
And here's a view of the top plate, with protruding mounting bolt.

If you build your own tripod, use a top plate large enough to provide adequate support to the scanner camera. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00617a_6893.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00617a_6893.jpg)

staft
03-13-2006, 10:04 AM
joe, this is FANTASTIC! thanks for the details- you have clearly thought about this at length, and your solutions are elegant. i have been thinking along the lines of recycling some electrical conduit, but this makes me rethink yet again.

the shutter on your pinhole- is there a detail posted somewhere? if there is, i will dig it up- it looks interesting, too.

are those the levels normally suspended from string?

JoeVanCleave
03-13-2006, 10:59 PM
Steve:

Yes, the two yellow levels are inexpensive, plastic string-suspended levels. I trimmed off the string suspension tabs with a hobby knife & glued them to the tripod head.

Here's a detail of the front shutter. The shutter housing is a piece of aluminum flashing, folded around to form a "flat tube", then epoxied to the front. A 1/4" hole punch is used to make the holes in both front and back sides of this housing.

The shutter itself is another piece of flashing that fits snuggly inside the housing. Glued to it is a green metal actuating rod, which passes up through a brass support tube. The top of the actuating rod is an acorn nut, which also functions as a viewing dot on the top of the camera.

The brass bracket behind the brass support tube is mounted to the front of the camera with 4 tiny machine screws. The brass support rod is soldered to this bracket in two spots.

This shutter operates very smoothly. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00619a_6733.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00619a_6733.jpg)

JoeVanCleave
03-13-2006, 11:01 PM
And here's another shot of the shutter, this time its opened. It stays opened without falling, yet operates smoothly both directions.

The length of the shutter itself, in relation to the distance from the top of the shutter housing to the bottom of the brass bracket, is set so you can't accidentally pull it up too high and remove it from the housing. Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00624a_1358.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/dsc00624a_1358.jpg)

Jim Jones
03-15-2006, 12:02 AM
Here is a variation of Joe Van Cleve's tripod tilt head that I made years ago for view camera use. It is quite similar to the classic tilt heads of a century ago, updated to use common hardware store items. The side brackets are taken from lid braces. The wing nuts that maintain the tilt angle are on threaded rods that are epoxied into threaded holes in the 3/4 inch plywood bottom plate. Two T-Nuts are mounted in the bottom plate to provide two different balance points when mounted on the tripod. The hole between them provides clearance for the camera mounting screw. A full length piano hinge provides maximum rigidity. The 3/4 inch plywood top plate is extended to provide support for an old flat bed view camera.

A 1.5" diameter fender washer inletted flush and epoxied into the top of the top plate supports any size camera base. Another fender washer screwed into the bottom of the top plate, and a lock nut on the camera mounting screw, keeps the screw from dropping out of the top plate.

Excuse the unfinished appearance of the tilt head. I made it merely to use, with no thought of anyone ever looking at it. It does work well.
Attached files http://f295.f295.org/uploads/tilthd03_9634.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/tilthd03_9634.jpg) http://f295.f295.org/uploads/tilthd04_5203.jpg (http://f295.f295.org/uploads/tilthd04_5203.jpg)

LiquidLight
04-06-2006, 05:53 PM
woow!
joe, that is one good looking tripod.