Lens boards, common sizes for 5x4 and 10x8

Discussion in 'Talk About Techniques' started by Michael Diblicek, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Hi all,

    Just a short question.

    I have over the past year been in the process of collecting various amounts of data from the web, forums, friends, engineers, designers etc concerning the building and production of a 5x4 and 10x8 large format camera. This has taken a lot longer than i anticipated, and i am now in the stage where i will be creating the plans.

    I would like to ask (as i am not in possession of either a 5x4 and 10x8 large format camera at the moment) Could someone give me an idea the most common sizes, if any, and more importantly the thickness for 5x4 and 10x8 lens boards.

    Also what are the the most common hole sizes, (these i know) i just want to know what are the most commonly used

    Copal #0
    Copal #1
    Copal #3
    Copal #3s

    Compur #00
    Compur #0
    Compur #1
    Compur #2
    Compur #3

    Many thanks

    Mike
     
  2. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum. You can get a list of hole sizes from Wikipedia and a list of lens board dimensions for most cameras from SK Grimes.

    The most common sizes that seem to come up are Copal 0 and Copal 1. I think that "Medium and Large Format Photography" by Hicks and Schultz discusses shutter sizes, and they relate (from memory) that they have never come across certain theoretical sizes.
     
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  3. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Hi Stephen,

    Many thanks for getting back, much appreciated, and thanks for the links too.

    What i a more interested in at present is the lens board thickness.

    The 5x4 lens board at 40x40mm. But whats the thickness??

    Many thanks.

    Mike
     
  4. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    The thicknesses surely are on the Sk Grimes site? For example:

    K.B. Canham

    110mm square machined aluminum lens board with approx. a 94mm square plateau on rear with sunk center to reduce weight. Lip thickness 2.7mm. Overall thickness .5.6mm. Radiused corners and one edge is tappered/beveled.


    A Toyo lensboards can be used on a K.B. Canham camera. This is a stock item. Extension tubes can be machined for this board.
     
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  5. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    HI Stephen,

    Ooops sorry i missed that. Apologies

    All the best and thanks for your time.

    Mike
     
  6. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    Easily missed. I almost missed that you were more concerned with thickness than area, and chose the Grimes site because he has a lot of otherwise hard to find data on large format. I'll admit that I only checked a couple of cameras and have assumed that all quote the thickness.
     
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  7. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Hi Stephen,

    Many thanks for your help much appreciated, and the links have been invaluable.

    All the best

    Mike
     
  8. David M

    David M Active Member

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    Most cameras seems to have some sort of accommodation for small variations in thickness. In practice, it seems to me the that the most common sizes for independently produced cameras are Linhof for 5x4 and Sinar for 10x8. I use "0" "1" and "3" sizes.
    Far more important is the size of the film holder.
     
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  9. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Hi David,

    Thank you for chipping in, all info welcome from my point.

    2-3mm seems to be a good starting point at the moment on the thickness, and thanks for the info concerning Linhof and Sinar for common sizes.

    In fact i am designing the cameras around the film holder, as i have had GREAT, GREAT difficulty getting any serious information from Large Format photographers in general on all the major forums concerning dimensions. It would have been easier to get the information on a nuclear bomb than a large format camera, seems to be a bit of a closed shop from my experience in gathering real dimensions, it hasn't put me off at all though, and i'm moving forward, it's just added a lot of extra time, and wasted time to the project.
    And they wondered why film sales were dropping. :) :)

    I've spent a lot of time trawling the internet, libraries, talking to designers and engineers to get to where i am now.

    My intention is to build a 5x4 and a 10x8 model to sell, i will then be publishing all my plans in Pdf format for all those who want to make the same cameras with a CNC router, or by hand if they wish, or they can buy one. :) :)

    I'm working with material suppliers and a designer at the moment to put a prototype together for later this year, with production models in 2018.

    Just a little background info so to speak.

    Once again many thanks for taking the time to respond, i real appreciate that.

    All the best

    Mike
     
  10. David M

    David M Active Member

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    There are ANSI standards for film holders and for the position of the film surface within – the register, I think it's called. If you search the US large format forum, you will find considerable debate on how closely these are followed by different makers.
    I'm sorry, but I've only encountered these in passing, out of curiosity when following my nose through the jungles of the web, so I can't give you proper references.
    Best of luck with the project. Have you come across the Intrepid Camera Company, based in Brighton?
     
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  11. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for the info. Yes i have seen this information concerning the ANSI standards, but not all the information is correct.
    And yes i know about Intrepid cameras in Brighton, a first class project.

    All the best

    Mike
     
  12. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    You might be interested in this thread on another forum. Possibly Mike Walker (who made my camera) could supply some information. There are plans available on the internet (or used to be) for 5x4 cameras which might have relevant information.
     
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  13. David M

    David M Active Member

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    I knew that the standards failed to deal with larger sizes, but I didn't know they were incorrect too. Who can we trust?
    Perhaps a pragmatic solution would be best. Trawl eBay (and similar sites) for used holders from different makers, measure them and construct your own de facto standard.
    In practice, there don't seem to be many critical dimensions. Holders are typically a rather loose fit in the camera, by engineering standards, although both mating surfaces must be flat. Within a coupe of millimetres, overall thickness doesn't seem critical, as the spring back provides a good deal of leeway. The groove to accept the locating ridge is probably fairly critical, but if the opening in the camera back is a little larger than the opening in the holder, its actual size seems reasonably flexible.
    In short, the main requirement is that it should be easy to insert the holder and get it in the right place without too much force or jiggling. Some camera backs have springs so powerful that camera is in danger of moving. (Of course, we don't know if your camera design uses springs at all.)
    The figures I've seem for variation in the film position are often expressed to three decimal places of millimetres, which must be negligible. I suspect that some of the spurious accuracy is generated by converting from sweet old-fashioned fractional Imperial inches to decent international millimetres.
    To establish how much accuracy is needed, it might be useful to conduct a simple experiment.
    Set up a camera and focus on a "typical" three-dimensional subject. Measure exactly the distance between the standards. The actual dimension doesn't matter. (You might measure it by placing a fresh piece of stiff paper on the camera and making two careful scalpel cuts with the blade pressed against some convenient part of the camera). De-focus the camera, walk around for a minute and then repeat a few times. (Keep all the individual strips of paper.) Get other people to do the same, to obtain a spread of individual preferences, qualities of eyesight and skill.
    It is very likely that you will have a set of values that vary slightly from each other and this variation will give some idea of how accurate, in practice, you need to be in placing the ground glass.
    And then there's film bowing...
     
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  14. Keith Haithwaite

    Keith Haithwaite Active Member

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    To ask photographers to freely give of their time and knowledge to further your commercial project and then to castigate them with this sort of comment isn't the best way to cultivate prospective customers in my experience Michael. :rolleyes: But I wish you luck with your project.
     
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  15. David M

    David M Active Member

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  16. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Thankyou Stephen,

    Much appreciated, a lot of really useful information there.

    In fact, for the camera itself, rear standards, front standards, ground glass, film holders, focusing rank and pinion systems and bellows. All this information i have now, and it's just a question of finishing the discussions with someone who will create my plans for 3D, such as auto cad etc, and a couple of suppliers i need to finish with concerning the rack and pinions focusing systems. All this is ok, i just needed some additional information concerning the thickness of the lens boards so thought i would drop by here for the info.

    Many, many thanks for all your help and time.

    Very much appreciated

    Mike
     
  17. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Thanks David, this pops up in a lot of discussions and while a lot of the info is good some of the measurements apparently are not according to lot of forum responses, although i haven't tested them out myself. :)

    All the best

    Mike
     
  18. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    Thanks for that David,

    A lot of info to look at here, but i'll keep that and take this into account during the prototype build later in the year.

    All the very best, and thanks for your time.

    Mike
     
  19. Michael Diblicek

    Michael Diblicek New Member

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    H Keith,

    Many thanks for chipping in.

    To build a 5x4 or 10x8 field camera is pretty easy when you look at it, it's a back standard, a front standard bellows in between and a few metal pieces to hold it all together, the hardest part was the film holder, ground glass, distances equation which when i asked questions on several forums, people came back either ironic responses, sarcasm or both, and i can only speak from my OWN experiences.

    When a child asks for advice do we not give freely without recompense, of course, so you are saying that when you become an adult you cannot have or give free advice, must we pay for this too, if people want money for advice they just need to ask, i for one would willingly pay, it's no skin of my nose.

    I have and will continue to give any advice in photography free to anyone that wants it by email or telephone, or video conferencing sometimes, i do of course hold paid for workshops as well for those that want a hands on education, and it's only normal when there financial outlays to cover on a workshop.

    If i hadn't mentioned it was to build cameras not only for myself, but for commercial reasons, that changes what?? I just wanted to ask those who are in the know or in possession of a 5x4 or 10x8 to pop out to the bureau make a couple of measurements and get back to me, why is that so hard, or difficult?? because i wish to design and sell cameras!!!!!!!

    At 56 years of age i am looking for a new direction and intend to design and build Large Format cameras, for myself and others, to last me into my retirement to give me something to do in the photographic field that i am passionate about.

    These cameras will be for sale to anyone that wishes to buy them.
    The plans that i have created will be taken into a 3D software and made available to all and everyone who wants to download them, just like Jon Grepsted, therefore enabling anyone to have all the information necessary to either look at or build their own, with all the dimensions, all of this free of charge.

    My main goal in starting this project was to get the information out there for whoever wanted it, and from a single source, somewhere people can go to to get the information to build their cameras, and of course build them for me and others, but as i said, if someone wants to build their own from my information, and the information i have gleaned from others then all well and good in my book. I was tired of having to search for hours all over the web for little snippets of information here and there.

    I hope that helps in explaining my position a little better, or not.

    All the very best

    Mike
     
  20. Keith Haithwaite

    Keith Haithwaite Active Member

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    Hi Mike

    Thank you for your explanation but it really was not needed, what you do and how you do it is of no concern to me, I was merely pointing out that there is a right way to go about asking for information and railing against those who were not forthcoming is not the best way to endear yourself in what is a small'ish community of potential customers.

    There are lots of people participating in forums who are restoring and building their own cameras and information pertaining to such seems to be widely available in both forums and on the net. From what I've seen, information and advice has always been freely given, as it has been here, and I cannot think of any other reason why you received such hostile receptions.

    Perhaps if you had mentioned, as you did here, that all the information, designs etc were to be assembled as a single repository of information and freely available to all, then perhaps the responses would have been more positive, who knows! :)

    Anyway, good luck with the project and, being more that a couple of decades older than you, I hope I'm still around to see the finished product.

    All the best

    Keith
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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