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Thread: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

  1. #1

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    DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Had some free time on my hands, and some scrap materials in the shop...so I hobbled together a 4x5 Point & Shoot.

    Built around the Schneider 120mm/5.6 MC lens, it offers a 179mm image circle which adequately covers 4x5. The camera body is made from teak, and some mahogany.

    Total weight is 750 grams.

    Just completed field testing...seems to work just fine although pics at f/5.6 are soft (not unexpected).

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Old-world craftsmanship, as they say. I'm impressed by anyone who can glue two pieces of wood together and make it work; your skills are stardom in my book.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/156933346@N07/

  3. #3

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    There is a rangefinder but I don't see a focusing helicoid?
    What is the brand of the viewfinder?

  4. #4

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Looks great! Congrats!

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Yes, very nice!
    Tin Can

  6. #6

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard_L View Post
    There is a rangefinder but I don't see a focusing helicoid?
    What is the brand of the viewfinder?
    The viewfinder is made by Voigtlander.

    The camera is fixed at infinity. The rangefinder is used to confirm near-field which can be as close as 4-meters depending on f-stop.

  7. #7
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Beautiful! My 5x7 P&S is ugly in comparison.

  8. #8

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Hello Trog, Lovely camera and good on you for making it. I also made a point and shoot 5 x 4, the original intention was to hand hold it but over time I have looked to the tripod more and more. 65mm f8 Super Angulon with a helicoid. I wanted to upgrade to a f5.6 but the back element is too big for the helicoid and I could not find another. Made mine in the 1980's and even shot a few jobs with it. I have a viewfinder but never use it.Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by Besom View Post
    Hello Trog, Lovely camera and good on you for making it. I also made a point and shoot 5 x 4, the original intention was to hand hold it but over time I have looked to the tripod more and more. 65mm f8 Super Angulon with a helicoid. I wanted to upgrade to a f5.6 but the back element is too big for the helicoid and I could not find another. Made mine in the 1980's and even shot a few jobs with it. I have a viewfinder but never use it.Click image for larger version. 

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    I like your design choices. After a few field shoots with my camera, I'm leaning towards another build focused on a wider angle lens. I had hoped that my DIY would be a good choice for street photography. I had antipated that the 120mm would allow me to capture reasonable shots at a distance without influencing the subjects.

    However I'm finding that the camera (being rather unusual) is still attracting unwanted attention.

    And without a helicoid, my best shots have been realized at f/16 (DOF 9M-inf) ... which on a sunny day calls for a shutter speed of 1/60. A challenge for hand held shooting. Moving to f/8 isn't as desirable as near field focus moves up to 15-meters.

    Of course a helicoid solves all these issues, at the expense of a marginally larger camera.

    Perhaps I should adjust my lens position to its hyperfocal position? Does anyone know what spacing is required to achieve hyperfocal at say f/8? Or can this location only be accurately determined via testing?

  10. #10

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    Re: DIY 4x5 Point and Shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by trog View Post
    I had hoped that my DIY would be a good choice for street photography. I had antipated that the 120mm would allow me to capture reasonable shots at a distance without influencing the subjects.

    However I'm finding that the camera (being rather unusual) is still attracting unwanted attention.

    And without a helicoid, my best shots have been realized at f/16 (DOF 9M-inf) ... which on a sunny day calls for a shutter speed of 1/60. A challenge for hand held shooting.
    If you're talking about "street photography" as that term is usually understood, there are black and white films available in 4x5 that will yield a shutter speed that is plenty fast enough, and one would normally use zone focusing. Also, there are important practitioners of street photography, such as Bruce Davidson, who reject the approach of catching subjects unawares.

    As a focal length, 120mm should work well. Just looking at Ilford and Kodak, there's one 4x5 film stock rated ISO 320 (Tri-X), and two rated at ISO 400 (HP5+ and T-Max). For that kind of photography, I wouldn't hesitate to push any of them a stop, in some circumstances two stops.

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