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Thread: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

  1. #1

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    Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Hey everyone,

    Hope all are well.

    I'm just thinking about 8x10 cameras in SLR or TLR.

    Which do you people think would be easier to fabricate?

    I'm just bored in lock down and am dreaming of when I have a studio.

    Thanks for reading this!
    Be well everyone!

    Cheers,
    Kevin H.

  2. #2

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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Ah. Dreamer dreaming dreamily. Looks much like a troll trolling trollishly. How's your budget?

    Don't even consider making an SLR.

    Making a two lens 8x10 camera is a matter of stacking two 8x10 view cameras, making sure that their film planes are in register, linking their focusing mechanisms, ...

    But consider carefully whether you need reflex viewing or whether an inline viewer will do. Remember that with reflex viewing you'll be looking down into a mirror box and probably standing on a ladder, or from the side into a mirror box. In either case, the viewing ground glass will have to be in register with the film plane, the mirror will have to be positioned precisely and you'll need a front surface mirror. Oh, yes, You'll need viewing lens and taking lens very well matched on focal length. Getting two such may be difficult.

    In-line viewing is easier to set up and might be usable by a person of normal height standing behind the camera.

    When I was very young my parents took me and my sibs to portrait studios that used 4x5 cameras. The photographer (always a man) focused and composed through the lens (not a lot of either, the camera was on a stand or tripod, was basically prefocused and there were marks for us to stand on), closed the shutter, cocked it, inserted a film holder, pulled the dark slide and then fired the shutter when he liked what he saw. Why can't you do that?

  3. #3

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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    I would go for the TLR too. Was my first thought. But if you could build a reflex viewer for 8x10, the ones that are available for 4x5, aren’t you almost there where you want to be? The Chamonix reflex viewer seems quite simple to build https://www.chamonixviewcamera.com/a...es/viewfinders

  4. #4
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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Don't even consider making an SLR.
    If one is willing to give up the requirement of moving the mirror automatically as part of the shutter release action, and is willing instead to flip the mirror out of the way manually and then make the exposure separately, it becomes a closer call as far as mechanical complexity.

    Whether that makes sense depends on what problem one is trying to solve by going to a reflex design.

  5. #5

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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    If one is willing to give up the requirement of moving the mirror automatically as part of the shutter release action, and is willing instead to flip the mirror out of the way manually and then make the exposure separately, it becomes a closer call as far as mechanical complexity.

    Whether that makes sense depends on what problem one is trying to solve by going to a reflex design.
    Oren, your suggestion indeed avoids some mechanical complexity and precision machining but I suspect it isn't consistent with the OP's goal. I believe, perhaps in error, that Kevin wants an SLR or TLR is to be able to see the subject's expression etc. at the moment of exposure when shooting portraits in a studio. Your suggestion's time lag between the time the exposure process is started and the time the shutter fires seems longer than he wants.

  6. #6

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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Wow, thank so much for all the wonderful replies!

    Thank Dan for your long reply.
    Okay, "tlr" is the way to go.
    Yep, I would like to critically focus and see the subject's expression.

    Thanks Otto.f, is there anyway to use a reflex viewer in portrait orientation but not looking from the side.
    Or would looking side be better when the camera is high off the ground (no ladder needed).

    Thanks Oren, I was wondering about this while going to bed.
    It would be a pretty involved process if I had a manual mirror lift.
    Henry Suryo who has an 8x10 focal plane shutter said a TLR would be easier with a long lens.
    I wonder if big portrait lenses will not work with a TLR design for some reason.

    Thanks everyone!
    Hope you all have a great weekend

  7. #7

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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    If this is for studio work, wouldn't a parallax-corrected viewfinder do as good a job? Or do you mean to correct critical focus right up until the shutter trips?

  8. #8
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    If one is willing to give up the requirement of moving the mirror automatically as part of the shutter release action, and is willing instead to flip the mirror out of the way manually and then make the exposure separately, it becomes a closer call as far as mechanical complexity.

    Whether that makes sense depends on what problem one is trying to solve by going to a reflex design.

    The cost of the 13” diagonal roof prism required to cover 8” x 10” would feed my teenagers McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries every day for approximately 25 years.
    Newly made large format dry plates available! Look:
    https://www.pictoriographica.com

  9. #9
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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    The cost of the 13” diagonal roof prism required to cover 8” x 10” would feed my teenagers McDonald’s cheeseburgers and fries every day for approximately 25 years.
    Don't need a diagonal roof prism. Look down on the viewing glass on top of the camera, as with a Graflex.

  10. #10
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    Re: Which would be easier to build - 8x10 SLR or TLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Oren, your suggestion indeed avoids some mechanical complexity and precision machining but I suspect it isn't consistent with the OP's goal. I believe, perhaps in error, that Kevin wants an SLR or TLR is to be able to see the subject's expression etc. at the moment of exposure when shooting portraits in a studio. Your suggestion's time lag between the time the exposure process is started and the time the shutter fires seems longer than he wants.
    Understood - was just exploring the concept space, as it were. Seeing the subject's expression at the moment of exposure was my own motivation for purchasing a Gowlandflex, as the Graflexes I've owned still have a fairly long lag, if not quite so long as inserting a film holder in a standard view camera. I've owned different vintages of the 4x5 Gowlandflex in the past, currently have a 5x7.

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