View Full Version : The 20 x 20 wet plate monster

Andrey Donchev
18-Mar-2011, 00:16
Hi all,

I would like to show you some pictures of the new 20 x 20 wet plate camera we, my father and I, have built. They are actually two, but, for now, only one is complete. It is a monster. It stretches to 1.5 m and it weights around 50 kg. It have left/right shift and rise/fall on the front and tilt/swing at the bag. All movements are geared. That's for now, but I'll gladly answer all your questions.




And a lot more here (https://picasaweb.google.com/andrey.donchev/FS_20x20_20110316?feat=directlink).

18-Mar-2011, 02:44
Where do you get bellows and what type of lens?

How long did take?

Can I have it?

David de Gruyl
18-Mar-2011, 04:23
Can I have it?

Me too. It looks amazing. I hope you remembered the plate holders...

Walter Calahan
18-Mar-2011, 05:14
Congratulations. You made a beauty. Wow.

18-Mar-2011, 05:22
Looks like a lot of nice engineering in that camera.

18-Mar-2011, 05:31
how big is your front lens board? for real BIG fast petzvals i would suggest a 12x12 inch lens board. you can go a bit smaller but most of those big petzvals have 9 inch OD flanges. best to have some extra wood on the lens board.

looks great.


18-Mar-2011, 05:41
That is really beautiful, Andrey.
Did you work from plans for that, or did you scale up from a model?
What did you use for hardware? I see what looks like cabinet door hinges, what about the track? The ground glass holders?
I hope we'll see many images from your beautiful country.

E. von Hoegh
18-Mar-2011, 08:06

What lenses will you use??

18-Mar-2011, 17:52

What lenses will you use??

8D :cool: :cool:

Andrey Donchev
19-Mar-2011, 00:31
Hi, I'm sorry I haven't been able to answer more quickly. The bellows where made by Custom Bellows in UK. It took about six mounts to make the plans and build the cameras. All the metal hardware was made especially for the project, nothing is bought ready. The lens board is 11 1/4 square. I don't have a lens suitable for this format. I actually made them just for fun and plan to sell them both.
I plan to make some pictures of the plate holder today and I'll show them immediately.

Thank you very much for all your appreciation!

Daniel Stone
19-Mar-2011, 15:00

Andrey Donchev
20-Mar-2011, 03:41
Some more (https://picasaweb.google.com/andrey.donchev/FS_20x20_20110316?feat=directlink) pictures (of the holder) added.





Andrey Donchev
20-Mar-2011, 03:42
And some more:




Nikola Dulgiarov
20-Mar-2011, 07:39
Andrey, congratulations! It looks amazing! I can only imagine what delight it would be to use this camera.

20-Mar-2011, 12:45
Andrey you've made a really beautiful camera, can't wait to see some results from it. Now I realise what project you were working on when you put your Ebony SW45 up for sale!


22-Mar-2011, 16:41
nice job Andrey :)

23-Mar-2011, 04:32
how big is the lens board?

Steve M Hostetter
24-Mar-2011, 16:09
Andrey, incredible! :) how much you askin?

Andrey Donchev
25-Mar-2011, 09:10
Hi Steve, I haven't chose exact price yet, but this camera is already engaged. When the deal will be finalized I'll tell for how much it has been sold.

25-Mar-2011, 13:30
Wow! Nicely done! Love the photo showing the Hasselblad back - makes it look like a little toy!

How did you go about designing it? Did you use CAD software to draw it up?

Emil Schildt
29-Mar-2011, 12:54
how big is the lens board?

11 1/4" (Post #10)

Beautiful monster!!

alex from holland
30-Mar-2011, 07:37
I am the happy new owner.:D
will pick it up in the coming days.
I have already seen the camera. It's BIG, but it's beauty. :)
perfect handcraft !!

will post some more pictures in the coming days

Monty McCutchen
30-Mar-2011, 13:40

Congratulations! Getting big plates will be addicting I can tell you that from firsthand experience. Hope you get much joy out of it.

Out of curiosity how did you come to the 20 x 20 size instead of 18 x 22 or even my own form of madness 20 x 24? Just wondering the thought process and I look forward to seeing your excellent work BIG!


alex from holland
30-Mar-2011, 22:51
Hi Monty,

i am aware of the addicting "probem" LOL
This camera has been offered to me 6 months ago. At that point Andy started building these camera's.
I love to shoot square also, but with inlays i can go to any size i want.
20 x24 would have been to big. Because of the addiction , maybe that will be the next one LOL


Monty McCutchen
1-Apr-2011, 13:42
Hi Monty,

i am aware of the addicting "probem" LOL
This camera has been offered to me 6 months ago. At that point Andy started building these camera's.
I love to shoot square also, but with inlays i can go to any size i want.
20 x24 would have been to big. Because of the addiction , maybe that will be the next one LOL


First of all there is no such thing as too big!:) You are going to have a blast pouring that big. Your work will shine at that size as it does in all others.

Make sure you start posting images from it soon.



24-Apr-2011, 06:49
Very original :)