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Thread: 14x20 camera build

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    14x20 camera build

    Because I don't have enough DIY projects going on...

    I offered to make a ULF camera for a fellow photographer a few years back. He accepted my offer. Time passed. There were discussions about needs and wants for the camera. There were design issues and problems to be worked out. Mission creep ensued. Day job greatly interfered with time available. Then I quit my day job. Finally, earlier this year, after working out the design issues, I made myself a 7x11 camera, both for myself and as a prototype for the bigger camera I promised to make. https://www.largeformatphotography.i...=1#post1495465

    I titled this thread 14x20 because that seemed the most accurate. The more complicated explanation is it will be a 20x20 camera, essentially capable of 16x20 with a reversible back. Of course, this will make possible 14x20, 12x20, 8x20, and since my friend currently only has 14x17 film holders, the initial back will be a 14x17. I think he has plans to do 20x20 wet plate in the future. With what holders, I have no idea (nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy).

    I began with four 3/8" thick mahogany planks (roughly 6 x 47") a friend who is a pro woodworker gave me plus eight pieces of 1/4 x 3 x 24" mahogany craft wood.

    A couple of years ago, I chopped up two of the planks and glued them up to make the camera base.

    This week I chopped and ripped the remaining wood needed for the camera rear frame (22 1/2 x 22 1/2"), the front rail, sides for the base, keeper rails (to hold the front rail in place), and the front standard.

    The design I am planning will be mostly the same as the 7x11 I made earlier this year. It will be an easier build because this camera will not need a rear extension to be capable of 40" of bellows extension. It will be a more difficult build because it will be such a big mother.

    I've got a family weekend coming up so won't get back to this project until next week.

    Next step is some more chopping and then routing slots in the rear frame sides, the front L-R standards, and front standard base.

    My wife and I are planning an extended fall trip beginning in less than four weeks, so it will be close whether or not I can finish this in September...or November (or later, given the history of this project).

    I'm reminded of the late Douglas Adams' quote: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_9938.jpg   IMG_9940.jpg   IMG_9943.jpg  
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 31-Aug-2019 at 03:02.

  2. #2
    Moderator
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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    Say 14x20 and people will immediately think "Kenro Izu".

    Happy building! < thumbs-up emoticon >

  3. #3

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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    I'm putting the finishing touches on two 24 x 24 wet plate cameras that will allow up to 20 x 20 plates to be made. I made a video, actually two parts, of the process including the first plates that I will post on YT later in September. It was a fun project but a lot of work. Good luck with yours.

  4. #4

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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    Wow, Chris, are you making the holders, too? If not, where are you getting them?

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    chris_4622, years ago showed me one of his DIY cameras with his DIY film holders.

    Very impressive quality.

    I await his Sept YT post eagerly.



    Quote Originally Posted by chris_4622 View Post
    I'm putting the finishing touches on two 24 x 24 wet plate cameras that will allow up to 20 x 20 plates to be made. I made a video, actually two parts, of the process including the first plates that I will post on YT later in September. It was a fun project but a lot of work. Good luck with yours.
    sin eater

  6. #6
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    Michael, enjoy the build. Looks like an awesome project, especially with the multiple formats. I have a 14x17-20x24 that I built some time ago. It will do 20x24 but horizontal only. It was a bit heavy for me to haul around. It is for sale if anyone is interested. Someone could build some backs and have a nice system. I built a lightweight 21lbs. 14x17 to replace it.

    I'm working on a new 8x10 project and hope to be able to post some images soon. I'm excited about this one and I may offer to build one for someone if they like it. Take your time on this build there is a lot to consider with all of the different formats. Most of all enjoy!!

  7. #7

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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Roberts View Post
    Wow, Chris, are you making the holders, too? If not, where are you getting them?
    They are plate holders not film holders, a different animal. Film holders are much more work and time. There are two backs for each of the cameras, one for the focusing screen and the other will hold the plate.

  8. #8

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    Re: 14x20 camera build

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    chris_4622, years ago showed me one of his DIY cameras with his DIY film holders.

    Very impressive quality.

    I await his Sept YT post eagerly.
    I'll be sure to put it in the Announcement section.

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