View Full Version : How to do 4x5 copy work a la the Afghan Box Camera with a Sinar

6-May-2015, 13:00
Since I'm planning to shoot paper negatives, I've been doing some research on the Afghan Box Camera [1]. If you're not familiar with it, it's a primitive LF box camera with a built-in darkroom for shooting and immediately developing paper prints.

You can watch the video (which is quite fascinating) for the details, but essentially it entails shooting a paper negative, developing it inside the camera, then placing the negative on a flip-up copy stand and shooting another paper negative to obtain the positive. It's also called a "Cuban Polaroid" since these cameras are used by street photographers in Cuba, India, and other places where they can offer a real photographic print portrait for very little money.

I downloaded the PDF on the box camera design and am working on one now. But truth be told I'd really rather just have a way to develop the paper negatives on-site in say a special dark box or bag with a small viewport in it (like the one in the Afghan Box Camera). The problem with the existing tents is that they assume total darkness for changing film. But I need a variation on that that has a red filtered window in it so I can see the print developing.

Once I get the paper negative, I need to do a simple reproduction on it and I've seen references to just getting an extra front standard and putting it on the end of the extension rail to use as a very accurate holder. I'm not sure I need to spend that much money for a negative holder so I'm planning on creating a wooden version first that I can simply clamp to the rail with a grip clamp.

All this to ask: has anyone done copy work on a monorail by affixing the work to copy either to a standard or other holder on the monorail? I'm curious about reproduction ratios and whether I need more rail extension. If I use a 180mm lens, will I need another 180mm or 360mm of extension to reproduce a 4x5 negative 1:1? I also have a 127mm Ektar that needs repair that I'll eventually get fixed and start using. I wonder if this will work better as it would require less rail extension but I don't know about distortion with that focal length (is there any with this lens?).

[1] - http://www.afghanboxcamera.com/

Randy Moe
6-May-2015, 13:20
Look up 120 year old copy cameras, which were all made of wood, very simple yet ingenious.


But there are many more