LargeFormat 4x5 Camera Build

#lhl #photography #largeformat #FourByFive #diy #camerabuild #experimental

I recently began building my own Large Format Camera – a 4x5 nominally. Initially to use with Paper Negatives, but potentially also with sheet film if it proves to be worthwhile.

Initially I had toyed with the idea of using a magnifying glass lens – technically a Bi-Convex lens, but finding one of sufficient quality ( I didn't want use my heirloom glass) was proving a problem..! I then found a chap in Mid-Wales, UK who built telescopes and after a couple of emails I bought a 50mm dia ACHROMATIC Doublet from him with a focal length of approx 176mm and f/3.3. This duly arrived a couple of days ago.

The main build uses 5mm paper-backed craft foamboard and 700gm weight card (both black). I have made the rear standard and will make the front standard along with the bed from scrap pieces of local Larch I have. The bellows will either be made from folded card or I may make them from blackout cloth stiffened with card.

As usual this build is mostly worked out in my head. I'm not very good at putting a detailed plan together, my head space works best from trial & error..!

The Negative Holder is hinged at the bottom with a Duck-Tape hinge. This will have a velvet ribbon light-seal inside around the edges of the 4x5 negative area. There is also a triple layer card Darkslide. I doubt it will all be 100% light tight. The negative holder slides into a grooved slot on the back of the rear standard and is interchangeable with a viewing screen made from Architects Draughting Paper.

Here are a few images of progress so far:

Negative Holder

With Darkslide

Rear Standard

Negative Holder partially inserted

Lens Board and Lens Barrel

Rear/Internal of Lens Board and Barrel

Test image projected onto paper, showing rough coverage at 180mm

I will continue to post images to my album.

I will also continue to document the build here.