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  1. #1
    joseph
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    New Lightweight Camera System




    Iíd like to introduce a design for a new lightweight multiple format field camera system; you can find out about it at www.carboncameras.com. Iíve written rather too much about it there, but in short-

    The camera is in development, and the tooling for the production prototype is being made. I have no projections for when the prototype might be completed...

    The camera uses a new lightweight bag loading film holder, and shoots regular and panoramic formats without any special reducing back. Itís been designed for those who might like to travel more than a few feet from the trunk of the car, carrying more than a few loaded sheets of film. This one doesn't take regular film holders, it doesn't have a traditional back, athough there might be a variant that does, sometime in the future...

    The camera has no need for focusing scales, and hence there is no need to emerge from under the cloth to check those scales for depth of field calculations. Focusing is achieved by moving the rear standard, not the front standard, and the camera is quick and intuitive to set up and operate.

    There is provision for the control of front tilt and swing from behind the camera back - itís an option, of course, and it may prove useful to those shooting larger formats with longer lenses, although the front movements can still be set in the usual way, by getting out and taking a walk around the camera.

    The camera is modular and can be produced in a range of sizes that might sound unusual- 8x12, 11x17, 14x20, among others, but each of these sizes refers to an aggregate size- 11x14 and 7x17 might be more appropriate film sizes to use in the C1117, for example. The first production prototype will be the C812, which will be able to shoot 8x10, 5x12, 6x12, and 8x12.

    I would be grateful if any factual inaccuracies on the website could be identified, as I would not like those to persist. Differences of opinion are welcomed too, though respectfully, we may have to continue to differ. This camera is the product of a singular vision, and the committee approach to design may have led to unacceptable compromises.

    Any feedback on the design would be appreciated. However, this is a very complex project, if it is to be done well, and although a huge amount of time, money, and energy has been invested into getting it this far, it might simply be a bad idea, and there may come a point where it goes no further. Upwards of 7 billion people already consider this camera to be a bad idea, so if you must post to tell me that, well, thank you in advance.

    If a much smaller number of people could see the benefit of a very lightweight field camera system, where a lot of the weight is saved from the film holders and tripod, in addition to the camera, then that information might be more useful. This new camera design is something of a novelty; itís an actual original design, and not just another copy of an American Classic. If there is to be a new generation of large format photographers, perhaps this one could be for them...

    It has taken a very long time to get this far, and itís going to take more time to move this project further forward. When I have something more to show, and after I have had time to test, I would like other photographers to get hands on experience of the camera. If youíre not too far from NYC, perhaps it might be possible to arrange this. Please get in touch. If and when I take the camera further afield, Iíll announce it Ö

    This is not an offer for sale, it is not a Kickstarter announcement. However, if this project is going to amount to anything other than a footnote in the history of large format film photography, then at some point I may need to broaden the conversation to include those topics. I must admit that I would have no idea of how to make a kickstarter project out of such a potentially high value item as this anyway; the price point is beyond the sweet spot for online crowdfunding. But that conversation is not for now. There are no prices, no offers of availability, and as such, I believe Iím not breaking any site guidelines here. Just to make sure, Iíve contacted the moderators already to run this post by them.

    Thank you for reading. I hope some of you might find the camera interesting enough to share around...

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    Looks great! Interesting design. Good luck with the development!
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #3
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    Looks great! Interesting design. Good luck with the development!
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 70:
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  4. #4

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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    I'd hit that
    best of luck.

  5. #5

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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    Have you looked at Richard Ritter's camera? Already in production, price is fair.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    I really want to see the new 'Bag Mag'. That's really exciting!

    Everything looks good from here and on your site.

    I don't think anybody here an can honestly complain about anybody that actually improves camera designs and makes it happen.

    Keep on keepin on!
    2022

  7. #7

    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    Yes, innovative new design is always a good idea. The market is small, but best of luck!

  8. #8

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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    This is a SUPER COOL design with many innovative features.
    My 2 cents:
    The site has WAY too much text, and in tiny font, many paragraphs and is very hard to impossible to understand whats it all about, the videos are good but do little to help this problem.
    The bagmag idea is cool, but seems like:
    1. you are forcing the shooter to carry the max size of the camera with him which for someone shooting something smaller then the max would be more then he would have in DDS holders. While these holders are cool looking, they seem to be every bit as expensive as an exotic size holder might be. Combined with the size issue above, i am not sure why this is an advantage for someone schlepping around ULF.
    2. Inserting that Bagman seems to need lots of force on the rear standard, and sure to cause some movement (?), or so it seems from the video, though i guess thats something that use and experience might overcome. I guess very large holders have that problem just as much.

    How much will this cost? How many will be made, and how long will the wait be? Are lens boards standardized?

    If the GG is removable, how accurate is its positioning? I am sure that with CF its easy to make it so it is very accurate, but just asking.

    On a side note - the CF looks amazing, and the finish is incredible, well done!

  9. #9
    joseph
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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    Thank you to all who commented- I wasn't sure how this was going to be received, since there were quite a few new things all going on in one place here.

    Quote Originally Posted by koh303 View Post
    ... The bagmag idea is cool, but seems like:
    1. you are forcing the shooter to carry the max size of the camera with him which for someone shooting something smaller then the max would be more then he would have in DDS holders. While these holders are cool looking, they seem to be every bit as expensive as an exotic size holder might be. Combined with the size issue above, i am not sure why this is an advantage for someone schlepping around ULF.

    Thanks for your detailed response- I don't think I indicated a price for anything, other than imagining the holders to be no more expensive than a fairly priced used ULF holder. The obvious advantage, I suppose, would be the ability to maximise the performance of your lens set over a panoramic format and a regular format, without having to carry two different camera and film holder systems. I'm not forcing anyone to do anything, this would only make sense to those who would ordinarily be put off using different formats because of the need to carry two different sets of much heavier holders, along with two different cameras. Or, shoot a smaller panoramic format using cut down holders...

    Quote Originally Posted by koh303 View Post
    2. Inserting that Bagman seems to need lots of force on the rear standard, and sure to cause some movement (?), or so it seems from the video, though i guess thats something that use and experience might overcome. I guess very large holders have that problem just as much.

    How much will this cost? How many will be made, and how long will the wait be? Are lens boards standardized?

    If the GG is removable, how accurate is its positioning? I am sure that with CF its easy to make it so it is very accurate, but just asking.

    On a side note - the CF looks amazing, and the finish is incredible, well done!
    I think I might have mentioned that the camera in the videos was the original prototype, built to prove the concept of the film holder system. The new system is based on that, but is completely different in every detail. If I was to make a video of me inserting a standard 8x10 film holder into a standard 8x10 camera, with bail back, on a lightweight tripod system, then I'm sure there would be some movement involved there too. I suppose, in my experience, it's probably more important that the camera remains locked off in relation to itself and to the tripod, than if the tripod were to lift a leg during loading.

    Yes, the focusing screen is removable, though there is not much need to do that in normal use. Its positioning is accurate enough, it's accuracy is a function of the flatness of the screen, since the holders and screen share the same bearing surfaces. Although as I've already mentioned, the new system is the same design, but will be detailed differently to improve accuracy, and I can't answer that question properly until the camera is built.

    I don't know how many will be made, I suppose the number is directly proportional to the amount of people who think the camera is a good idea, and are willing to accept the price point as being justified. I don't know how much it will cost, until I get an idea of how repeatable it is in production. I can't imagine the numbers will be anything more than very small cottage industry sized, or maybe none at all.

    Lens boards will be proportional to the camera size, and I plan to use Sinar, Arca 171, Century 9", and maybe even a Technika board, if there is a demand for a really light weight camera. There should be a certain amount of mixing and matching possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by neil poulsen View Post
    A little over 6 lbs. Pretty decent for an 8x12. I gather that an 8x10 would be a little less.

    The spec says 30mm of rise. But from the photo, it seems like it should be able to rise more than that?
    That 30mm rise is with the back in the vertical position- the rendering shows the lens centered on a landscape format, where more rise would be available. I think 80mm. Please bear in mind that these numbers are estimated, until I have something I can actually measure...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    Looks very interesting. Your film holder system seems something like a large Readyload concept, but reloadable and capable of accepting different sizes. So far so good. However, what is the sleeve made of and how do you keep it from accumulating (as well as depositing on the emulsion) dust? Is the fabric electrically conductive? Do you incorporate a means to dissipate charge, or does the carbon fiber "carrier" serve that function?

    Ignore all those complaining about your Web site. Anyone involved in ULF film photography ought to be willing to thoroughly investigate its pages for what's contained in all their nooks and crannies.

    Personally, I'm not in your current target market, since ULF becomes less attractive as I age, even considering your weight-reducing camera and holder approach. However, assuming all the development bugs get worked out, I'd definitely be interested in a dedicated whole plate version with reversible back. Now that would be attractive!

    The fabrics used on the original prototype were nylon, and along with the grounding properties of the holder in the camera, in use, static charge was not a problem. The bag design is perhaps less susceptible to trapping dust than a holder which can be completely opened, since the bag always encloses its space. I really haven't had much of a problem with dust, perhaps less of a problem than I had with a standard holder.

    A smaller camera might be possible, though I haven't thought much about going as small as 4x5. A whole plate could be used on the 8x12, as well as 8x10, which would sit on the same platform. I have also considered a dedicated 7x17, and that could easily be made work for whole plate size too. the camera does shoot vertically, however, the back and bellows are removed as a unit, rotated, then re-attached. This is one way in which the overall size of the back can be minimised compared to a square reversible back.

    A couple of you have mentioned age, and none of us are getting younger. The camera has been designed to be easy to use, not only in its dramatic weight reduction, but also in the rather generously sized controls, which allow the camera to be locked off even by those with reduced grip.

    Although this has been posted in the new ULF section, one of the main formats this camera has been designed for, 8x10, is not ULF at a all...

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment-

  10. #10
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: New Lightweight Camera System

    I missed this part the first time at the site.

    It truly is a Bag Mag.

    http://www.carboncameras.com/Loading_Film.html
    2022

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