View Full Version : Anyone building their own 4x10's?

Wayne Mumford
13-Feb-1998, 02:03
Just wondering if anyone has built their own 4x10 cameras and would be interested in sharing their technique and approach? I have an old 8x10 in parts- the bellows is in very good shape and thought I might be able to use with an 4x1 0 rebuild in some way. Any comments, suggestions, direction would be welcome.

Britt Leckman
16-Feb-1998, 09:56
Wayne, Convertng an 8x10 to 4x10 is no problem, if you have some basic woodworking skil ls. Especially if your bellows are in good shape. A while back, I converted an old Kodak 8x10 flatbed camera to both 4"x10" and 6x 17cm formats by building a set of new ground glass backs. I am currently convert ing a pair of Calumet "405" 4x5 view cameras to 4"x10" and 7"x17" panoramics, w ith full movements. The trickiest part of the project is the film holders. You can buy new 4x10 holders from KB Canham, but I understand that they are really expensive. I have found that I can convert certain wooden graflex 8x10 holders to 4x10 by spliting them down the middle then trimming and glueing. Same thing goes for converting 5x7 holders (easier to find, less $$) to 6x17cm which uses c ut lengths of 120 roll film, or split 5x7 sheet film. I'd be happy to give you a hand in you project. I find both 4x10 and 6x17 quite exciting formats to work with.


Ron Shaw
17-Feb-1998, 20:13
Why not just shoot 8 x 10 and print (or crop) the portion you wish?

Wayne Firth
18-Feb-1998, 15:21
The reason for not using an 8x10 and cropping is that a 4x10 camera is so much smaller and more portable. Try to find a copy of Jay Dusard's book, "Open Countr y". He describes how he built a simple box camera which he calls a "brick."

The stumbling block is the holder. Dusard was given some x-ray holders. Holders are available for a price. But if you are like me the challenge of a project lik e this is doing it on the cheap.

I have considered cutting up and rebuilding 8x10 holders. This doesn't look eas y because the old holders are built so well. I will probably give in and buy a Lotus holder (about $100) and build a camera around it.

If you can come up with a helical lens mount you could build a box camera with e asy focusing. I will probably mount an old graflex bellows on the front of the box so that I can use different lenses.

I intend to use mainly a 90mm SA which will cover about 8-1/2 inches by 4 with s quare corners. If you don't mind the ends rounded you will get a little more. L ook at the page in the current Calumet fine art catalog shot by Jay Dusard, he l eft the ends round. Using a lens that you already have is cheaper than any 8x10 wide angle that you don't own.

I hope this gives you some ideas.


16-Nov-2004, 13:00
how incented the camera?
the first person invented the camera?