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Thread: 5x8 Camera Build

  1. #51

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Thanks, Gord! Thanks, John! I very much appreciate your feedback. John, yes, break out the tools and get to work, then post your work and keep the inspiration going!

  2. #52

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Here are a few pictures to show the final touches. Hopefully, my next post will show this camera in the field in Canyonlands!

    First picture shows where I pulled the unnecessary second lock and patched in a piece of the iron-on mahogany edge banding.

    Second shows the C-clip retainer that keeps the front standard bolt in place when the camera is closed.

    Third hopefully shows how the rail patch is more or less hidden at the back of the camera.

    Fourth shows the new flathead screws holding the hinges. You can also just make out the scratch from the rail screws on the bottom of the spring back. That scratch went all the way across the rear frame. It bothered me, though I considered leaving it as a reminder to myself to NOT pull the rail back. But I decided I hated the mar on this new camera, so I sanded all the way down to the wood and refinished the whole bottom of the rear frame. Again, this is another advantage of a DIY build, you can disassemble, make changes, and reassemble since you know how everything is put together.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20240222_112931410.jpg   IMG_20240222_113027770.jpg   IMG_20240222_121121008.jpg   IMG_20240222_121359335.jpg  

  3. #53

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Two more....

    First shows how the front standard now fits nicely within the rail when folded down.

    Second shows the camera all finished and ready for its close-up.

    With my 7x11 camera, I mount the front standard on the rear of the extension rail unless I am using a lens longer than 12". I'll have to see where the break point is for this camera. The outside dimensions are 7 1/2" x 9 1/4", so I would guess with lenses longer than 10" I will use the front rail mount.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20240222_121240632.jpg   IMG_20240222_121112112.jpg  

  4. #54

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Visiting some old friends...
    and field testing a new one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20240224_073534838_HDR.jpg   IMG_20240224_090347632_HDR.jpg   IMG_20240224_090305325_HDR.jpg  

  5. #55

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    Mar 2005
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    Newbury, Vermont
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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Having done a bit of photography in the desert southwest with my 5x7 (but as one who has never quite warmed up to "ultra wide" formats) - I can just look at your photos of your camera in that landscape and - that extra inch...suddenly seems perfect!

    Edit: I do have a question about how you are cutting down your (8x10) film - my concern being that, as I'm pretty much a die-hard tray processor...I'd worry about raised ridges (from cutting) on the films causing scratches to adjacent films during shuffling. Do you notice that your cut films have such ridges?

  6. #56

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    I typically load each film separately in a dip and dunk. But no, I don't feel any different in the cut edge versus the originally cut edges. I use a Rotatrim to cut the film, and it seems to do a really good job.

  7. #57

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Yes...a Rotatrim would make a very smooth cut. While I don't happen to own one of these cutters...my wife does have a fabric cutter which works on the same principle - which she uses with a straightedge, along with a "self-healing" rubber mat under the material which she cuts. Could work for film?

  8. #58

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    Possibly, but I think you will need to make a jig to cut film with just a straight edge in the dark.

  9. #59

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    I took the camera out for a field test a week and a half ago and came home with a short list of minor issues. The #2 1/4" screw holding the right angle stud to the keeper rail pulled loose, so I replaced it with a 1/2" #2 screw. It seems to be holding very firmly now but I will see how it performs the next time I'm out and about.

    I also noted some instability in the front standard, which I traced to the 1/32" strip I put under the keeper rail. It created a slight gap between the rail and the keeper rail on the left side (the side w/o the lock). I put several more coats of polyurethane on the left side of the rail and that has reduced the slop. Again, I will see how this works in the field, but if I need to add a couple of more coats, that's an easy fix. In hindsight, I used the two 1/32 strips under the keeper rail as a "fix" for not doing that on my earlier 7x11 build. On the 7x11, I had to sand the movable rail's sides to prevent binding. I thought raising the keeper rails by 1/32 would "fix" that problem. It did, but 1/32 turned out to be too much.

    Before my trip, I did a flashlight test in my darkroom to check for light leaks around the rear of the camera and filmholder and also around the lens board and frame. The back of the camera was fine, but the only way I could eliminate leaks around the lens board was to install felt on the inside of the lens board frame and extend the felt 1/8" over the lens board opening. I cut 1/4" wide strips and 1/8" wide strips. I coated the inside 1/8" of the lens board frame with contact cement and let it sit for 15 minutes before installing the 1/4" strips, which I overlapped 1/8" with the lens board opening, adhesive side to the front. Then I applied the 1/8" strips adhesive-to-adhesive, i.e.. felt to the front to provide a nice, felt lighttrap. This means light has to traverse two, rather than one, 90 degree turns to enter the camera around the lens board. Not happening. I think I started this with my 4x10 handheld camera build. I now do it on all my cameras, just like I use adhesive felt on the film holder surrounds on all my camera backs. I rarely have light leaks anymore.

    I also added polycoating to the inside of the routed slots, something I skipped in my rush to assemble the camera, and I waxed the sides of the lens board frame (actually, just the excess bellows material, which I folded down the sides from the top corners) so it slides easier for front rise/fall.

    Other than these issues, the camera performed beautifully.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20240305_055944029.jpg   IMG_20240305_055953788.jpg   IMG_20240305_060001601.jpg  
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 5-Mar-2024 at 20:01.

  10. #60

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    Re: 5x8 Camera Build

    After completing the minor repairs/improvements, I started working on a 4x5 reducing back.

    My Honey gave me a miniature table saw for Valentine's. It works well for small jobs like this reducing back. This mini saw is only meant for soft woods like balsa and basswood, but it cut 3/8" mahogany!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20240302_140154438.jpg   IMG_20240302_140200377.jpg   IMG_20240302_173151361.jpg   IMG_20240302_173234203.jpg  
    Last edited by Michael Roberts; 5-Mar-2024 at 06:12.

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