View Full Version : Build a studio camera from an Argyle 18 process camera

18-Jan-2020, 19:01
I just got an Argyle 18 process camera and want to modify it to a 14x17 or 16x20 ULF Camera. Has anyone here done this before? Thanks!

Gary Beasley
18-Jan-2020, 19:32
Wow,been decades since Ive seen one of those. They are very light weight which should be a plus for portability. Hardest part is going to be building a back for it you can put a standard style filmholder on.

Tin Can
19-Jan-2020, 06:48
David your image is not working


I want to see many pictures from all angles of this find...Please!

I have a very heavy 11X14 Levy Process camera and have made a few nondestructive mods to it, including simple DIY single side film holder, I will try to find my LFPF posts about that today

Tin Can
19-Jan-2020, 08:20
Levy Process camera 11x14 DIY film holder mod 2013 (https://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?104102-Levy-Process-camera-11x14-DIY-film-holder-mod)

I still have the Levy and DIY Film holder which I am now using in a one shot pinhole camera

Long thread here, started in 2013, extension box with big lens and ring flash experiments


My Levy is exactly 16X20 on outside rear dimensions, more when you share more David!

19-Jan-2020, 12:53

19-Jan-2020, 12:55

19-Jan-2020, 12:59
Randy: yours looks very nice! I bought this camera for a Computar 210mm F9 lens and also want to convert it to a 16x20 camera. Inside dimensions of rear standard is 16x20. I am not sure how I can convert it and need read your posts more. Please share your ideas and experience. Thanks! David

Tin Can
19-Jan-2020, 13:44
Ok, now I see. I also see my Levy and your Argyle share one part. The black spring steel on top of the rear standard, both hold the back shut!

What are the outer and inner dimensions of the back? How long are your bellows? From lens board to rear of box.

On mine you can see I installed a spare C1 8X10 GG frame for testing. Just so happens my camera back is exactly 16X20" and I used an off the shelf artist frame to mount it on.

This exact thing bought in store. (https://www.dickblick.com/items/13681-1620/) I cut a hole and reinforced the inside. Added thread serts for the C1 back. Painted inside black

Additionally a 14X17 medical DDS is also 16X20" OD, making conversion to 14X17 easier.

I won't go bigger as 14X17 X-Ray is the right price and works for me. Real 16X20 film and holders become $$$.

The Levy has perfect heavy duty thick leather bellows. I can use another Blick frame to make an extension back for it, make a swing away GG and simply clamp the Medical holder to it.

Then perhaps put it on a hand pulled trailer for my Historical Village shots 2 miles away.

I think I just talked myself into doing that!

19-Jan-2020, 14:26
Bellows =35”
Outer dimensions =17.5x21.5”
Inner dimensions =17x21”

I may be able to buy a 16x20” or a 14x17” back and manage to install it on the rear standard (?).

19-Jan-2020, 14:37
I'll be watching this. I have a 14x14 ish process camera awaiting conversion to some sort of cart-based camera.
I managed to score 2 - 11x14 film holders for a steal at the antique store a while back and recently found a lens that will work - and that i could afford.
I'll need to build a back, but otherwise have all the parts and the tools.
Just need to find the time to devote to it...

19-Jan-2020, 16:28
Haha, you put a lot of pressure on me now:o. After I read randy’s Posts and I plan to buy a used 16x20 or 14x17 camera back. I will install a wood frame in the existing rear standard and hook the 16x20 or 14x17 back on the frame. Hopefully it will work. Not sure how long it will take me to find a used camera back.

I'll be watching this.

Tin Can
19-Jan-2020, 17:22
I have written before to consider this sequence of events and actual purchases

Decide on the film and format

Then find film holders first!

Make the back to match, not impossible or pay Richard Ritter

last buy a lens, there are plenty

35" of bellows and extension is not much...

19-Jan-2020, 22:02
Interesting, I got one of those earlier this year which was built as horizontal and converted it to portrait. Been thinking about getting or making a film holder but so far have just been using the vaccum back which with x-ray film is a bit inconvenient but works. The Sears table saw which has casters is the current base hopefully not for too long.
My Wollensak Raptor 330 from the 8X10 covers 11X14 and per the catalogue will also do 16X20.
I'll be interested in following along to see how you're project goes.
I don't think that these will be good field cameras, even with pack horses and bearers. (S).

Oh yes had to make a top hat to do head and shoulders.

20-Jan-2020, 07:12
Yes, need find a film holder first. The 35" bellows is not very long. Maybe I should build a box to extend the rear standard.

I have written before to consider this sequence of events and actual purchases

Decide on the film and format

Then find film holders first!

20-Jan-2020, 07:15
The one I have is portrait orientation.

Interesting, I got one of those earlier this year which was built as horizontal and converted it to portrait.

21-Jan-2020, 05:29
I also have one of these...