View Full Version : Is the need to build stuff a sickness?

12-08-2014, 03:46 PM
As I was constructing my 11X14 camera (see"on the verge" lens based cameras thread on this forum) which was being built for shooting negatives for carbon printing,something I've wanted to try for a long time. My thoughts were returning to a newly found appreciation for in-camera paper negatives and wondering if carbon prints could somehow be made from paper negatives.The idea of making a copy setup for enlarging the paper negatives onto carbon tissue avoiding lengthy exposures needed to contact print the tissue (and bypassing the paper texture as well). This is where the"sickness"part comes in,if I could enlarge the paper negatives onto carbon tissue why build an 11X14 camera? Sometimes I amaze myself!! Immediately measurements and sketches started flowing and searching through my accumulation of stuff followed,culminating in scoring a pair of 400 watt metal halide lamps and the build is underway.I'm writing this as a cry for help...LOL!
I've been told this can't work and it seems being told this is adding fuel to my desire to produce just that (maybe a symptom of the "sickness"),
anyhow I'll post the results,good or bad when the build and tests are complete.Meanwhile if you have any ideas for the build or a"cure",please let me know

12-08-2014, 06:36 PM
The build is the cure.


12-08-2014, 08:29 PM

Just to make sure I understand, I think you are going to try to build a reflective UV enlarger?!

Wow, that would be wild if it works. The lens will need to focus UV.... maybe find focus by trial and error on small bits of photopaper? I'm thinking you won't want to use a normal enlarging lens, but something uncoated and maybe pretty simple, the fewer elements the less UV would be blocked. Do you remember that Edmonds Scientific pdf I linked to about the optical projectors? It has a collection simple lens designs...

Be careful about your eyes!

12-09-2014, 10:33 AM
Joe, I hope you are right.
Ned,you are right,but I think it will be more of a copy camera type gadget than an enlarger as the negative and lights will be open and the unexposed carbon tissue will be enclosed.The lamps were used to illuminate a gymnasium type room originally and produce some heat,with the longish exposure times I wanted them in the open where some cooling air might flow past them(not enclosed in my tiny darkroom),toward that end the whole device will back up to the door way of the darkroom .My original attempt will be using a 15"uncoated process lens and if that doesn't work move on to a different lens( remember my normal method is to use what I have on hand first before buying anything,"frugal"/cheap).Actually Joe running out of stuff in storage might just be the"cure",LOL!
Thanks for the comments and please make suggestions as they might occur to you(need all the help I can get)....

Jimmy G
12-15-2014, 08:33 AM
The build is the cure! well said Joe... Some people just have the need to "create"...that energy must be expended.

12-16-2014, 12:43 PM
I just salvaged a rear projection TV and now have a large first surface mirror needed for this build.As an added bonus I now also have a 60" Fresnel lens and the neatest little projector(am wondering what other mischief I might get into),guess it might never end LOL!(It really might be an illness!).Anyway back to business,the main structure is awaiting the copy board and light installation.

01-03-2015, 02:10 PM
Been thinking about what you said about focus of UV and wonder if the difference in wave length of blue light and UVA( approximately 50 or so nm )will be a problem. I really didn't think about it at the outset of this build.Guess time will tell.

01-04-2015, 02:17 AM
I have no experience at all, but I remember reading about people doing UV photography having some difficulty focusing. Also in the early days of photography, when lenses allowed more UV through, and the calotypes were more sensitive to UV than to blue light, they had to adjust for "chemical focus" sometimes called "actnic focus". So they would focus the camera and then make a small adjustment so that the UV was in focus. Without the adjustment, the results were slightly out of focus. You may encounter the same thing.

My guess is that your lens will block some UV, but since it is uncoated it will probably work! I have a book here that tells how to make the adjustment for actnic focus... I'll try to dig it out tomorrow and see what it says.

Jim Jones
01-07-2015, 02:04 PM
Don, the need to invent or improvise things, especially impossible things, isn't a sickness: it is the source much of civilization's progress.

01-07-2015, 11:05 PM
My art has been wrapped in process forever. Silk screen printing, mosaics, silver gelatin photographs, and now my pinhole obsession (and its camera building tendencies) has combined with alt-process printing. Sometimes I think that it means that I am making images that most people don't want to work hard enough to do, but mostly I think that I like to engage my hands, my eyes, and my brain in complex problems that result in something that tickles my visual cortex. I don't think that this is a disease (I will play my cancer survivor card here.)