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Thread: tripod for LF camera?

  1. #11

    tripod for LF camera?

    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

  2. #12

    tripod for LF camera?

    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

  3. #13

    tripod for LF camera?

    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

  4. #14

    tripod for LF camera?

    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

  5. #15

    tripod for LF camera?

    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?

  6. #16

    tripod for LF camera?


    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

  7. #17

    tripod for LF camera?

    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

  8. #18

    tripod for LF camera?

    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

  9. #19

    tripod for LF camera?

    joe, that is one good looking tripod.

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