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Thread: foamcore sliding box

  1. #1
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    foamcore sliding box

    This week I've been making single channel film holders like Ray Heath described:

    http://www.f295.org/main/showthread....lder-need-idea

    Also a ground glass holder. All the critical dimensions that affect the focus are governed by the thickness of the MDF rather than any cuts I've made, so the surface of the ground glass is exactly in the same plane as my paper negatives and calotypes will be ( +/- paper thickness... ) My design is slightly different from Rays: in the channel I put a paper, followed by a window mat followed by the darkslide ( the paper is taped to the window mat, then inserted ). So the window mat serves not only to define the frame on the paper, but also to keep the darkslide away so that it does not rub. It also keeps the paper pressed firmly against the back of the holder, so that it does not move within the channel and its position is well defined. The channel is 1/8th inch wide, and I was a little skeptical, but his idea of using velcro is awesome. I've shined a high power flashlight along the slit and no light is getting through. Inexpensive, easy and simple. The part of the camera that has the slot for the holders is also built from MDF, to provide sturdiness and a good snug fit. The holder dimension could accommodate an 8.5x11 paper, but the two I've built so far are made for 8x10 or 7x11 paper with a 6x10 or 5.3x9 window. The window is defined by the window mat, so these two holders could use any size up to 6x10. The ground glass is a piece of picture frame glass covered neatly with scotch tape and with permanent marker lines framing the sizes I intend to use.

    Tonight I built the sliding box around these and attached my new Wollensak Velostigmat lens that I'm really excited about. It was really fun to see the image on the ground glass. All that's left is to make the darkslides, a little more work making sure all the seams are light tight, a little paint, and it will be ready to try! I was afraid the focus would be too stiff, but I think it is okay.

    I'm very excited about making calotypes and paper negatives in this new camera.
    Pictures coming soon!
    Last edited by Ned.Lewis; 02-02-2014 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added link
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  2. #2
    This sounds like a very elegant design, can't wait to see your results.

    Myself, I'd like to find a better lens that covers 8x10, preferably with a working leaf shutter, without spending lots of money. Keep dreaming, eh?

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  3. #3
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Hi Joe,

    Making and seeing my first calotypes pushed me to splurge and buy a real 8x10 lens. The only bad thing is that this beautiful old lens is on a camera made from foamcore and MDF... it deserves a beautiful handmade wooden camera, but I don't have the tools or skills to provide that! This is what I got:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...mm-f5-6-a.html

    No shutter, so it will need to be stopped down pretty far to use the "hat trick" for normal paper negatives. Then opened up most of the way to keep calotype exposures under 5 minutes!

    I finished everything last night and will head out today to try some tests with regular paper negatives. If it all works, I might try for a calotype tomorrow.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=Ned.Lewis;127774]Hi Joe,

    The only bad thing is that this beautiful old lens is on a camera made from foamcore and MDF... it deserves a beautiful handmade wooden camera, but I don't have the tools or skills to provide that! This is what I got:

    Well, I've got one of those not so lovely 8x10 wooden cameras and you will be happy that yours doesn't weigh 14 pounds! Looks to be a great lens you got there. Can't wait to see pics of your camera, holders and photos shot with same. BTW there is no link in your first post. Jim

  5. #5
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Hi Jim

    You are right I need to put a link to the thread where Ray described his holders. I think the pictures of the holders disappeared from his post when the site moved to the new software, but the descriptions are still readable. OK I found it:

    http://www.f295.org/main/showthread....lder-need-idea

    You are right my camera is bulky but not heavy! I won't hesitate to carry it even a couple miles from my car. Am thinking about some kind of cloth knapsack, which would be very convenient if it had a way to carry my tripod too!

    I got a paper negative yesterday and it looks pretty good. There are some kinks to work out, especially with the holders. Also my black foamcore sliding box gets harder and harder to slide when it gets warm in the sun! I think all the "issues" have easy fixes, but they are going to need fixing for the camera to be useful. I'll get some pictures of the camera and results here soon, also the things I bumped into, which are the most valuable in case anyone else goes this route.

    I sensitized a calotype late last night, so it is ready to use today, but will depend on the weather ... I won't complain that it's raining, we can use it. If we get any sun break at all, I'll go out and give it a try!

    Oh, here's a tip! When I looked at the paper negative, there is a funny looking line on it. I puzzled about it but didn't give it much thought. Then last night my wife said "you need a hat that's not see-thru..." and I said, "huh, what? This hat isn't see through..." but she's right there are some little "vent holes" in the hat and the line on the negative was made during my "hat trick"... so don't grab just any random baseball hat to wear if you're going to use it with your camera! Probably something that Indiana Jones would wear will be more fitting!

    Edit: here's the first paper neg from the camera:
    http://www.f295.org/main/showthread....ts-Tomales-Bay

    Also it occurred to me that I should mention if you work with MDF you should wear a dust mask at the very least. I have a good one and also made the cuts outside in the backyard. MDF has a resin-based binder and you don't want to breath the dust from it. Otherwise it is very easy to work with and has nice smooth surfaces and stays very flat.
    Last edited by Ned.Lewis; 02-02-2014 at 04:58 PM.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  6. #6
    G'day Ned

    Nice work, great to see my ideas were of some benefit to another creative soul.

    Can't wait to see your results.

    Ray
    "The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself", Edward Steichen, in Arthur Rothstein 1986, 19.

  7. #7
    500+ Posts Ned.Lewis's Avatar
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    Hi Ray! Glad to see you here, I was wondering if you were around. Thanks very much for inspiring me.
    Some photos: Ipernity
    ( pinholes and solargraphs mixed in among the rest)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ned.Lewis View Post
    Hi Ray! Glad to see you here, I was wondering if you were around. Thanks very much for inspiring me.
    I don't get on here as much as I'd like. Most of my spare time has been taken up with my obsession of building more cameras. I've built two since October.

    The problem really is that I can't design. I just make them up as I go. Then when I get to the final stages I start second guessing. Like is the size what I really want? Maybe I should have made a revolving back? Or shorter focal length? Or longer?

    Anyway the latest started as a 5x7 revolving back to suit standard DDSs. When finished I thought, wow, that's a big camera I could nearly make a home made 8x8 film holder to fit. So I did, and then because I could a 5x4 reducing back.

    The other one I made before Xmas started out being a 4x10 for home made holders and now also fits 5x10 and 5x8.

    Now, too many cameras and not enough time to shoot.
    "The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself", Edward Steichen, in Arthur Rothstein 1986, 19.

  9. #9
    Ray, you should share with us these recent camera projects. We could always use more inspiration.

    ~Joe
    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
    My Writing Blog: Joe Van Cleave's Blog
    My Pinhole Blog: Obscure Camera
    Visit my F295 Gallery

  10. #10
    Thank you Joe

    I'm humbled that you could possibly draw inspiration from my work.

    I've just discovered your other works in the mislabeled , "A Series of Meaningless Photographs". Beautiful, eclectic and stimulating.
    "The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself", Edward Steichen, in Arthur Rothstein 1986, 19.

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