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Thread: anyone tried carbon fiber?

  1. #1

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    anyone tried carbon fiber?

    I'm always on the lookout for lighter gear, doesn't have to be smaller. A wooden 4x5 field camera would be lighter then the Wista. But I'm not a woodworker and I'm not a diehard traditionalist. And I'm in a country that isn't renowned for its fine weather. As carbon is used extensively for tripods these days that made me wonder if it would be possible to make something like the Wista but in carbon fiber. The raw materials are not that hard to get. On the other hand I never worked with it. So any feedback is interesting.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

  2. #2

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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    Do a search for Carbon Infinity cameras. VERY nice, VERY expensive and VERY hard to find.

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    Toyo 45CF.
    Keith Pitman

  4. #4
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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    I've only worked in fiberglass on boats for casual projects... My understanding is that carbon fiber's strength-to-weight ratio comes from the ability to remove most of the resin that adds weight, leaving strong carbon fiber with just enough resin to hold it together and provide a smooth surface. This is usually done with vacuum bagging, autoclaves, etc.. Processes that drives up labor costs greatly. If you want CF for the look, just do it.. If you want it for weight savings it gets expensive.

  5. #5
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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpirie View Post
    Do a search for Carbon Infinity cameras. VERY nice, VERY expensive and VERY hard to find.
    ...and it didn't actually save any weight compared to the metal Wistas...

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ll=1#post80994

    OTOH, the Toyo 45CF certainly did...

    http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45CF/45CF.html

    ...compared to the 45A series, though the CF had its share of quality control problems; even with a factory at one's disposal, it's not necessarily straightforward to do CF on the cheap.

  6. #6

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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    True Oren, but i doubt many of them saw active service in the field

  7. #7
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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpirie View Post
    True Oren, but i doubt many of them saw active service in the field
    True! Or anywhere else, for that matter. < g >

  8. #8

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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    ...and it didn't actually save any weight compared to the metal Wistas...

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ll=1#post80994

    OTOH, the Toyo 45CF certainly did...

    http://www.toyoview.com/Products/45CF/45CF.html

    ...compared to the 45A series, though the CF had its share of quality control problems; even with a factory at one's disposal, it's not necessarily straightforward to do CF on the cheap.
    Oren, their factory was essentially one of their garages at their home!

  9. #9
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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Oren, their factory was essentially one of their garages at their home!
    True for the Carbon Infinity, not for the Toyo 45CF, which is what I had in mind in referring to a factory.

  10. #10

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    Re: anyone tried carbon fiber?

    There was a long thread here some years back about the Carbon Infinity; IIRC our former (and much-missed) member Ole Tjugen had one. They were all over the photo magazines when announced, c.1990. Can't remember now how many were actually made, ninety? Fourteen? Some ridiculously low number. But I'll suggest that camera weight is not the most important thing... all your other stuff is still there so the camera body weight savings is a smaller percentage than you might think. @Havoc, I used a 4x5 Tachihara (3.5 pounds) for ten years in Upstate New York, a place well-known for rain and long cold winters, and never had a bit of trouble with it.

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