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Thread: New 8x10 camera build

  1. #1
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    New 8x10 camera build

    I have a question for all of the DYI photographers out there. Some of you know that I have built three ULF cameras. I've decided to build a fourth. My workhorse 8x10 Seneca Improved is getting tired so I decided that it is time to build a repalacement. I'm designing it around the Chamonix as I like the design and every camera I have built has been a different design. Well I guess I should get to the point...... Can someone who has an 8x10 Chamonix measure the height of the front standard for me? That is it for now. Maybe more questions as they come up and I'll post some pictures of the build as I go. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    Sorry, I don't have a Chamonix. Nonetheless, I'm going to be following your progress with great interest! May it go smoothly!
    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    I thought you had a girlfriend to keep you busy...

  4. #4
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    I do, but she is in Timor Leste teaching English at the University and she is gone for 10 MONTHS!!! I have to do something to keep myself busy!!

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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    Don't know if this will help, but you can get some sense of scale in this Youtube Video... six minutes of setup and takedown for the Chamonix 8X10....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOjJTnuZUdY

  6. #6

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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    These images


    show the Phillips Compact II upon which Chamonix based its 8x10. I strongly suggest that, unlike Chamonix, you copy the handle too. Also, my recommendation is to source bellows from these folks:


    Adhesive or some other component used in the Chamonix bellows exudes a strong odor which, even after airing for many months, failed to dissipate. I reluctantly returned my Chamonix wholeplate camera to Hugo when unable to stand the smell. Lack of a handle is something I would have lived with, although not happy about it.

  7. #7

    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuzano View Post
    Don't know if this will help, but you can get some sense of scale in this Youtube Video... six minutes of setup and takedown for the Chamonix 8X10....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOjJTnuZUdY
    Just be sure to mute the "musical" track that accompanies this. I could make a better musical track with fart noises.

  8. #8
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    Thanks, for the info everyone. I ordered my bellows from Custom Bellows for my 14x17 so I am familiar with their outstanding quality. I've looked at the 8x10 on the Chamonix site as well as the Phillips. I have plenty of experience building cameras and as alway appreciate any help or advice. I hope someone comes through with the measurement. Just want to confirm what I think to be right. Thanks.

  9. #9

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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    The aluminum front standard "U" on my Compact II (s/n 344 from about 1998) is made from three pieces, just like the one in images on this site I linked to above. The only differences I can see are that, on mine, the uprights taper very slightly at their top inch, whereas those pictured are rectangular, and the bottom horizontal piece on mine has top "chamfers" in front of and behind the slot, while the one pictured is fully rectangular. Dick made running changes over the years, but I think these basic dimensions are the same. In this case, I suspect he beefed up the front slightly to accommodate larger/heavier lenses. That probably also contributed to the Compact II's weight gain in later production. I've occasionally used lenses heavier than 2 pounds with no issues and am glad to have an earlier, lighter camera version.

    Front-back depth of all three aluminum pieces is 1-1/4 inches. Height of the upright pieces is 9-3/4 inches; they're 1/8 inch thick. Width of the bottom, horizontal piece into which the upright pieces are screwed is exactly 7 inches. It's 1/2 inch thick. The slot cut in it is 5-1/2 inches long. All these measurements were made with a steel rule and should be very accurate.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Sal Santamaura; 11-Jan-2013 at 10:10. Reason: Added thicknesses and note on mearuing device used.

  10. #10
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: New 8x10 camera build

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    The aluminum front standard "U" on my Compact II (s/n 344 from about 1998) is made from three pieces, just like the one in images on this site I linked to above. The only differences I can see are that, on mine, the uprights taper very slightly at their top inch, whereas those pictured are rectangular, and the bottom horizontal piece on mine has top "chamfers" in front of and behind the slot, while the one pictured is fully rectangular. Dick made running changes over the years, but I think these basic dimensions are the same. In this case, I suspect he beefed up the front slightly to accommodate larger/heavier lenses. That probably also contributed to the Compact II's weight gain in later production. I've occasionally used lenses heavier than 2 pounds with no issues and am glad to have an earlier, lighter camera version.

    Front-back depth of all three aluminum pieces is 1-1/4 inches. Height of the upright pieces is 9-3/4 inches. Width of the bottom, horizontal piece into which the upright pieces are screwed is exactly 7 inches. The slot cut in it is 5-1/2 inches long.

    Hope this helps!
    Sal, thank you so very much for the exact information I need. I really appreciate it. Dick made amazing cameras and this is why I want to build my own version. Not anywhere as good but it will be functional none the less. Again, thanks.

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