This camera was designed and this book was written after I looked in vain for a text describing the construction of a large format camera that could be completed by the average amateur fabricator. This camera is truly simple to construct and can be fabricated with readily available materials that can be purchased locally in most cases. For materials that cannot be purchased locally I have included a supplier page that includes addresses and email links. This Frame and Bellows, in 4x5 format, can be expanded and reduced in size to accommodate
various formats by reducing or enlarging the component measurements to match the requirement of any given film holder or lens. Just remember to keep the "SCALE" of the components equal to the change in size.
(If you enlarge beyond 4x5, go to the next size up in the aluminum channel(1" inch) to keep rigidity within reason, and add additional thickness to all wood components that contact the metal portion of the frame to retain accuracy of fit.)
The lens board can be drilled for pinhole photography or can be bored to accept any lens that will fit. The metal plate lens board is large enough to accept electronic or manual lenses removed from old POLAROID and outdated roll film cameras. The camera back film holder retainer can also be salvaged from outdated or otherwise unusable cameras. The idea is to experiment and have fun with large format without going deeply in debt!
The BELLOWS CONSTRUCTION section, I believe, will be of interest to anyone that has wished to design and build their own camera but has been delayed at the cost of custom built bellows. The entire text is referenced to individual photographs of each step that will lead the constructor to the end product without difficulty.
The FRAME CONSTRUCTION section presents the builder with a camera frame that is fully and easily adjustable using friction locks. This frame can be modified in its dimensions to include all formats that the builder wishes to utilize.
The CAMERA COMPLETION and FOCUSING GLASS CONSTRUCTION section provides the builder with the final camera assembly information and the tecnique of constructing a focusing glass that can be easily modified to match any film holder that the builder wishes to utilize.
The PARTS LIST and SUPPLIER LINKS section can be utilized for obtaining materials that cannot be purchased locally. The Darkroom Cloth used for the bellows covering is often hard to obtain and is one of the more valuable mailorder purchases.
The DRAWING INDEX has 10 complete drawings (Not to scale!) that include all phases of fabrication of each component. The drawings enhance the text and the photographs with dimensions and tips for the fabricator.
The PRINTABLE DOCUMENT and PHOTO INDEX section contains 66 black and white photographs of the construction process from beginning to completion of the camera and the entire text that can be printed if desired. These photos and documents are provided to enhance the text and provide the builder with another source of reference.
Also included is the entire text of PINHOLE PHOTOGRAPHY a GUIDEBOOK FOR TEACHERS written by N.C.Dvoracek as a .pdf file.
The APPENDIX contains three areas to be explored. The Pinhole Calculations area contains pinhole sizing and exposure data. The Lens Specification area contains lens specs for 47mm-305mm commonly available large format lenses. The Film Holder Specifications area contains a table of current design data for 2 x 3 - 14 x 17- inch film holders.