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Thread: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

  1. #1

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    4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    My wife and I took a trip last month to Yosemite NP and to Pt. Reyes National Seashore. I really enjoyed hiking with my stripped down Crown Graphic 4x5. I took 17 holders and shot all but one sheet of film, mostly hand-held. While I enjoyed using the 4x5, I really prefer printing using larger film. So that got me thinking about 4x10....

    The criteria I thought about were: light weight and portability, ability to shoot hand-held, ability to use regular 8x10 film holders instead of rarer and more expensive 4x10 holders, and ability to use on a tripod. If possible, options to use more than one lens. I considered pros and cons of adding movements, and decided to start with a simple point 'n shoot with no movements; if that proves too limiting, then I can build a front standard with rise/fall, tilt and shift later.

    The design then is for a funky, asymmetrical box camera that has a rear frame and spring back for a horizontal 8x10 but with only a 4x10 (roughly) box on front. This will allow using an internal 4x10 splitter to shoot two 4x10 images on a single 8x10 sheet of film (something I've done a lot of for over a decade with traditional 8x10 field cameras). The technique is to reverse the spring back and reposition the internal 4x10 splitter between shots.

    My plan is to have three lens board extenders that can be interchanged on the front of the camera: one for a 121mm Super Angulon, one for a 159mm Wollensak ExWA, and one for a 240mm G-Claron, all lenses I currently have.

    Each lens will be fixed focused at infinity since I plan to use this exclusively for landscapes. I will add a wire viewfinder for composing when shooting hand held, and the back will have a ground glass for composing when on a tripod.

    I'm hoping to keep the camera weight under 3lbs, maybe as low as 2lbs, without lens or film holder.

    Should be fun!

    First pic shows $50 of basswood and cherry craft wood ready to be turned into a 4x10 camera.

    Next three pics show the frame of the camera made of 1/2 x 1/2 basswood. I plan to cover this frame with 1/8" cherry. You can see a couple of small sections of cherry glued to the front. This front will have a 7" wide opening so the (eventual) 240mm G Claron can cover the 10" wide film without vignetting....

    The rear has 1/4 x 1/4 basswood glued to the outside to make a rabbet light trap for the spring back....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_9381.JPG   IMG_9385.JPG   IMG_9384.JPG   IMG_9388.JPG  
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 30-Jul-2019 at 08:42.

  2. #2

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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    A little more progress on Day 1:

    It looks rough now, but I'll get it sanded down and finished nicely after the basic cutting and gluing is done.

    Only weighs 11oz so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_9389.JPG   IMG_9390.JPG   IMG_9391.JPG   IMG_9394.JPG  
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 30-Jul-2019 at 12:49.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    Cool and clever!
    sin eater

  4. #4

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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    Thanks, Randy!

  5. #5

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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    My expectation is the 159mm Wolly will be my primary lens for this camera, so I will need 6 1/4" from aperture to gg/film plane.

    The main 4x10 body is roughly 11 1/2 x 6 x 3". I'm thinking that if I can design this right, I might be able to make the camera more compact and easier to transport by (1) reversing 159mm lensboard on the extended lens board frame and then (2) reversing the extended lens board frame (a smaller box about 7x5x3") so that it "nests" inside the main camera body . This would allow me to keep the lens on the camera, protect the lens, and make the front, detachable extended lens board box less susceptible to an inadvertent, damaging bump when traveling.

    I'm planning to put a carry handle on one side and a tripod socket under the main box. I'll put the 1/4-20 x 1/2" tripod socket in a 2x2x3/4” block of wood that will also give me something to grip to support the camera when shooting by hand.
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 28-Aug-2019 at 04:50.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    It get's better!

    Please document as closely as you can. I may copy!

    I really like this idea. I wanted a 4X10 but settled for medium format 6X17cm which is OK to enlarge, but not good for contact prints.

    I also prefer building with basswood slabs and not getting nuts making custom furniture.

    My brother lost his marbles making custom furniture for 'those' people.

    Now where is my Hobby saw...

    The really great thing about your design is ONE holder will make 4 images!
    sin eater

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    If you are building it with the focus fixed at infinity how would you control total DOF? It runs, for the shots you want, ⅓ rd towards the camera from the point you focus on to ⅓ rd away from that point. Regardless of aperture. So by using fixed focus you lose half of your total possible DOF.

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    Point, Bob!
    sin eater

  9. #9

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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    Bob, excellent point. Forgive my imprecision. I shouldn't have said the focus will be "fixed at infinity."

    In actuality, the hyperfocal distance for the 159mm lens will be set at 31.44 feet. With a circle of confusion of 0.0067, and stopped down to f16 for hand held, that will give me depth of field of 15.7 feet to infinity (5.6 feet to infinity at f45 on a tripod).

    The panorama format will also help here with DOF since, compared to 8x10, the bottom half of the composition will be "missing," so it will be easier to be in focus at the bottom of the 4x10 composition, relative to 8x10, when including the horizon.

  10. #10

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    Re: 4x10 Point 'n Shoot Camera Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    It get's better!

    The really great thing about your design is ONE holder will make 4 images!
    Yeah, I've been thinking two holders would not be too heavy to carry around--8 photos!

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