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Thread: FYI - 4x5 camera kit from CameraBellows.com

  1. #1

    FYI - 4x5 camera kit from CameraBellows.com

    See the link and reponse here:

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00EZJH&tag=

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    1,203

    FYI - 4x5 camera kit from CameraBellows.com

    Has anyone heard a release date for this thing. I thought it might be kind of fun to put this sucker together & find a couple of cheap lenses.....great for a disposable 4x5.

  3. #3

    FYI - 4x5 camera kit from CameraBellows.com

    Hi guys,

    I reported on this camera last year even before Photokina was closed (http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/499700.html).

    Camera Bellows says that the camera should be out within a couple months. That probably means spring, if my guess is right.

    Very nice little kit-camera. Cheap, too.

  4. #4
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    FYI - 4x5 camera kit from CameraBellows.com

    FWIW, I received an Aletta (already built, ready to use) in today's UPS delivery.

    I can see its shortcoming instantly, even with no previous monorail experience -- the tilts and rises are on the same locks, so you can't easily change one without affecting the other; same with swings and shifts (and there's no sense in the long rise slot for the back, since the "neutral" position is about as low as it can go before hitting the rear swing/shift locking knob). It does lock down pretty well, and the friction focus isn't as difficult to use as it seemed it would be, but I can see the standard frames (1x1 inch oak sticks) flexing when I lock down (especially in front); too much clearance. The bellows is too long for a 135 mm lens, but the rail is too short to make full use of the bellows (which would probably extend more than 400 mm), with a maximum extension on the rail of just over 300 mm (though I can very easily make a longer rail if I want one).

    But that's the beauty of the Aletta, or any other kit camera -- if I don't like the way something works, I can make a new part to replace it, and do it with the relatively primitive woodworking tools I already own, plus some pre-cut dimension hardwood from the local home improvement store. Hole in the front standard too small for a recessed lens board? Dismount it, open it out with a coping saw, hole saw, or even a sharp chisel, recoat the black, and get on with the recessed lens board. Want geared focus? The book that came with the camera has the information on making geared focus, and I can use the camera with the original friction focus while I work on the upgrade, except for an hour or so to switch everything over when the new parts are finished.

    However, what I wanted to suggest, relative to this discussion, is that I could also completely duplicate the Aletta as it now stands for about $50 in hardware and material, not counting the bellows (and making a bellows is said to be inexpensive, too) -- and this is a full-movements monorail, not a simple box or fixed-focus 4x5.

    Now, how can I separate the shifts and rises from the swings and tilts? Hmmm...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    FYI - 4x5 camera kit from CameraBellows.com

    'Now, how can I separate the shifts and rises from the swings and tilts? Hmmm...'

    Donald -- Add friction to the rise adjustment (with fibre washers or the like), but still allow the front board to tilt freely. Thus, half a turn (for instance) loosens the tilt without removing the friction holding the rise adjustment in place. However, tilt will be independant of rise, but not vice-versa.

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