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Thread: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

  1. #1

    6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    I’ve been off the forums for a long while and am starting to get back into things so figured this might be a nice way to jump back in and say hi. Below you’ll find my recently completed 6x10 expansion back for Deardorff 4x5 Special. The back scales up the format to 6x10 which I became excited about as a sort of mini-12x20. Initially, I was just going to mask the film gate of my 8x10 to get the 6x10 format, but that would be too easy. Besides, even with the expansion back, this camera is much smaller and lighter than my 8x10 Deardorff so it’s definitely a success from a portability standpoint relative to the format. The back collapses down for storage and travel and takes just a minute extra to setup. I still have some final touches to complete but I’m pretty happy with how this turned out and I’m looking forward to using it for some of my paper negative and direct positive work.

    Detailed write up on the project and more images.






    Francesco Fragomeni
    Fragomeni.art

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    Very nice!
    image

  3. #3

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    Re: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Very nice!
    Agreed, but where in the world did you find 6x10 holders? Did you have them custom made or are they vintage?

  4. #4

    Re: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Roberts View Post
    Agreed, but where in the world did you find 6x10 holders? Did you have them custom made or are they vintage?
    Honestly, got lucky. When I was starting to think about the project and found the spring back, there were a few matching holders that were clearly all from the same kit (all numbered in sequence with the same sticker numbering system). It seems like they were split up among sellers on eBay for some reason (or a seller in Japan is selling from multiple accounts for some reason). So it’s pretty great that I’ve ended up with holders manufactured for the specific spring back I used.
    Francesco Fragomeni
    Fragomeni.art

  5. #5

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    Re: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    That is very lucky indeed. I was also interested in 6x10, but ended up going the 7x11 route b/c I believed I could find holders more readily.

    I have also been playing with the idea for a folding expansion back for years but have not yet experimented. My thought had been to have all four folding sides on either the frame that attaches to the camera back or on the spring back (sort of like the folding ground glass hood on a Speed Graphic) and then a separate frame that the open end of these four foldable sides would fit into and attach to the rear camera frame. But I haven't worked out how to attach the open sides to this camera-side frame quickly and easily in the field in a light-tight manner.

    I'm intrigued by your technique. As I understand it, you have top/bottom folding sides on the spring back frame and left/right folding sides on the camera-side frame. Correct?

    How do you fit these together without leaks? Seems like a remarkable achievement. I can't work this out from the pics in your blog link. If you can comment or show more pics to demonstrate, that would be great!

  6. #6

    Re: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    I'm intrigued by your technique. As I understand it, you have top/bottom folding sides on the spring back frame and left/right folding sides on the camera-side frame. Correct?
    Yes, correct. I played with a few configurations in concept, including having four sides attached to either the camera-side frame or the spring back frame. Honestly, I don't think it would make any huge difference. I just arrived at my configuration as a natural progression and it's what kind of organically made sense at the time. All of my builds are like little meditations for me. I work and build as I go and whatever comes out is it -- I don't work from plans and only ever have a rough idea of the end goal. Everything takes longer that way but I'm not actually ever setting out to make any exact thing. I'm just playing with a concept and seeing how it develops itself. I don't know if that makes sense but that's how I arrived at the folding side configuration. It wasn't any kind of preliminary design concept. I think a design similar to the folding ground glass that you described would work similarly as long as you're working with trapezoidal sides and not square (joining trapezoidal sides being more stable than square). On mine, each side opens up to slightly more than 90 degrees from the frame they are on. They get kind of tight at the extent of that angle because of tension at the fabric take holding them to their frames. Once each side is extended and their edges butt up against each other, it's the force of each side wanting to pull back toward the 90 degree/ closed position that causes everything to seat and hold itself together. I will try to make a video of set up as I work on it a bit more.

    How do you fit these together without leaks?
    The fitment is tight altogether and the joints meet up decently flush so that minimizes the areas where light is getting through but a design like this will never me light tight by itself so I'm working on adding fabric light seals at the corners/edges that open into place along with the sides -- they would each be attached to one side and open into the corner of the adjoining edge. My feeling is that the loose side may end up velcro-ing into place. I expect to have that worked out the next time I get a chance to work on the camera.
    Francesco Fragomeni
    Fragomeni.art

  7. #7

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    Re: 6x10 Collapsible Expansion Back for Deardorff 4x5 Special (mini-banquet format)

    Thanks Francesco. I totally get the work-it-out-as-you-go-along MO.

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