View Full Version : Elegant Film Back and Glass Designs

1-Apr-2010, 00:23
Hi All,

I'm in the process of designing (in AutoCAD) my first 4x5 camera and wanted to know if there are any elegant solutions to engineering back end of the cameras. I will be using standard film holders from a collection of Graflex film holders I have. I have my own ground glass which I will cut to size as need (two pieces of 6" x 8" currently ground to jpn 800 grit water stone).

The desired resulting camera is a folding field camera similar to link four below.

What I am looking for are pictures of or designs for an elegant solution to exchange film and glass holders.

So far I've amassed a few links from builders:

Not sure how this one will work out. It seems just like a simple frame simulating the carrier that rests on a shelf inside the main box.

The springs are interesting but I'm unable to determine how it all fits together.

Simple. The same engineering principle as the first. Doesn't look any better.

Be-a-utiful. Much of the camera design will reflect Mr Kirby's engineering. However, he shows nothing regarding film holders and glass holders.

If anyone has pictures or links showning good design for camera backs (film holder holders and glass holders), I would very much like them to be shared.


1-Apr-2010, 00:44
Hello James, my name is also James, and I like building cameras :)

A couple of months ago I built a 4x5 camera from scratch, I didn't really know what to do with the back either, and it took a couple of revisions but what I ended up with works well.


There are some photos there that show how the back works. Its held on by rare earth magnets in each corner, this was easier than slides and clips for me. I used cut up hacksaw blades for the linear springs (its hard to get spring steel over here) and screwed small pivoting fittings to them. These pivot on screws that go through the perspex ground glass holder. This method works well and allows a great variation in film holder thickness (like from a normal one to a graflex one). If you want CAD models or better renderings or pictures then I can probably sort you out something.