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12-12-2009, 01:06 PM   #1
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DIY camera parts

What is a good source for DIY camera (wooden box) parts using medium to large format films, other than photography specific equipment (=expensive).

I'm particularly interested in shutters and lenses.

Is there any pervert way of making DIY a fast shutter?
I'm thinking of two rotating discs where one (1) has a slit and the other (2) one has a window.
When "idle" (2) is obstructing the light path.
For exposure (1) is being rotated at a constant speed. (2) Is moved to position where window is passing light to film.
Each revolution of (1) can be monitored. When a certain count of revolutions is achieved (1) engages with (2) moving the window away from the path of light. (1) and (2) are instantly stopped.

Probably very similar to horizontal running cloth shutters, only made simpler because no need of back and forth movement and instant acceleration.
Exposure would be determined by the times slit moves over window, slit width and rotation speed.


Last edited by ytterbium; 12-12-2009 at 01:16 PM.
12-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
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I just remembered that most P&S cameras uses lens based shutters. Do you think they could be used in a DIY MF cam?

I'd probably need as large as i can find (so most likely film P&S), so that it doesn't vignette or make f/22 camera.
Well as i'm looking into this, it seems that HOLGA uses disk shutter ... probably not the best source for shutter (expensive because of hype but really low quality).
Judging from the interior picture, this one may have too small shutter, and it is square:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Barclaycard-35mm-Manual-Film-Camera-29mm-Lens_W0QQitem...item5881263b9b

What do you think?
12-13-2009, 09:13 AM   #3
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The most "DIY camera part" I've made is a battery cover for the Pentax 6x7... the holder-cover was missing (I bought it that way) so wit a smal piece of wood and a screw I did my self a cover... :P now the battery doesn't fall off
12-13-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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I think you'd have an easier time cannibalizing a lens/shutter from some older camera: an old Polaroid land camera might be a good choice, there: they can often still be found cheaply cause the film hasn't been made in a generation, but there were many.

If you want to go really low-rent, try any old plastic type instant camera: they're made to cover a wider 'film' area to begin with.

12-23-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Had a look at the polaroids, they are pretty expensive. Probably because of the well known name. As much as i could find they have very customized mechanics - very linked to the camera body, and the quality is low.

Just got my box camera.. well a bit differenty story. It may be crappy, but it has the potential. and this one was only 2 pounds (~3$).
You can have look at the shutter:
Coronet ambassador - a set on Flickr

And even if the lens is uncoated single element, it is capable of covering 6x9 frame and the performance can be improved by small pinhole (f16..f22) aperture and curved film plane.
What i like about it, that there is no release threshold, you must force the lever over.
You simply slide the lever with constant speed and force, while at some moment you hear the shutter triggering. Only the lever travel is a bit long.



I wonder if the shutter release can be improved by some automatic, timed release system, for more steady shots.

Last edited by ytterbium; 12-23-2009 at 09:19 AM.
12-23-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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What shutter speed are you looking to achieve?
12-23-2009, 09:59 AM   #7
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Probably not much, but trying as best as i can.

More important is the reliability, vibration and complexity. As long as it can be achieved with small apertures, slow speeds are fine unless you start to get diffraction.

I believe the values could be in the range of 5 seconds to 1/60 (at best).

Currently im thinking of disk design with adjustable slit width and constant disk speed. Discs would be in constant rotation (is this a good idea vibration wise), with larger slits not covering each other. On shutter release the pre-set width would be set for one revolution of both discs, after which both discs would misalign again.
Id like to go with non rotating disc (single revolution and return - like with cloth shutters), but im afraid i would not be able to achieve constant rotation speed in such configuration.

Nothing more specific yet. Im just beginning to experiment with medium format. Probably a landscape camera.
12-23-2009, 10:13 AM   #8
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There is a forum on the APUG site ( Camera Building, Repairs & Modification - APUG ) that deals with fixing, modifying and building cameras. Try posting there; some of the guys over there are camera repair people (I think). While you are there, look at the thread where people post pictures and info about cameras they have built; these things are amazing.

12-23-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Looks like you've found something a bit fun.

I was looking at a favorite Ebay seller's store in recent weeks, during a bout of insomnia, and saw that he had just the perfect things: some lens/shutter units from some old system I've forgotten the name of: the only catch is, he's moving, and it was too late (At least till mid-January) for you to do anything about it. They were cheap, too. Came in a few focal lengths, were all self-contained, and just the right shape to make your own box or bellows cam.

If you haven't got it sorted by then, I can PM you the seller, but I just looked and he's only got a couple things up right now.
12-23-2009, 12:13 PM   #10
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Thanks for advice. And the site Peter provided is a good source aswell.

Thinking about various cameras, i started to think how thin a film slr (rangefinders i believe are more expensive) can be stripped down, while keeping the shutter functional and intact.
But i think such shutter can be used only up to sync speed. Otherwise the slit may work as weird moving aperture and produce unknown effects.

Probably depends on the shutter (like loth shutter have quite large drumms at each side and supporting mechanics), but if i recall correctly an electronics vertical travel shutter module was pretty slim. I wonder how you control such unit. Does it have supply+protocol or simple power=open, no power=closed.
12-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
What is a good source for DIY camera (wooden box) parts using medium to large format films, other than photography specific equipment (=expensive).

I'm particularly interested in shutters and lenses.

Is there any pervert way of making DIY a fast shutter?
I'm thinking of two rotating discs where one (1) has a slit and the other (2) one has a window.
When "idle" (2) is obstructing the light path.
For exposure (1) is being rotated at a constant speed. (2) Is moved to position where window is passing light to film.
Each revolution of (1) can be monitored. When a certain count of revolutions is achieved (1) engages with (2) moving the window away from the path of light. (1) and (2) are instantly stopped.

Probably very similar to horizontal running cloth shutters, only made simpler because no need of back and forth movement and instant acceleration.
Exposure would be determined by the times slit moves over window, slit width and rotation speed.
That sounds complicated. The cheapest and easiest to make shutter for a Large Format camera is the" HAT". Has been in use for generations. Use slow film and stop down the lens to f/45 and you have plenty of time to withdraw a hat from the lens and put it back on. Whether it takes 1s or 1.2s is not really important.

A more sophisticated item is a "Packard shutter". It is a simple, "pneumatic" driven iris shutter, which you can put in front of a lens or build into the front standard. The shutter is triggered (open and close) via a rubber ball. You can set it to either a fixed shutter speed (app. 1/10s - 1/20s depending on your personal hand agility...) or open and close it with separate squeezes of the ball.

Packard shutters are very robust and universal and quite cheap. There is even a company, that makes them new.

Ben
12-23-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
Thanks for advice. And the site Peter provided is a good source aswell.

Thinking about various cameras, i started to think how thin a film slr (rangefinders i believe are more expensive) can be stripped down, while keeping the shutter functional and intact.
But i think such shutter can be used only up to sync speed. Otherwise the slit may work as weird moving aperture and produce unknown effects.

Probably depends on the shutter (like loth shutter have quite large drumms at each side and supporting mechanics), but if i recall correctly an electronics vertical travel shutter module was pretty slim. I wonder how you control such unit. Does it have supply+protocol or simple power=open, no power=closed.
the leaf shutters of 35mm cameras are simply too small to be used with MF or LF lenses. Usually the leaf shutter would be mounted inside the lens, near the aperture. It must open to the diameter of the fully open aperture, otherwise you would loose some f-stops... If you mount a too small shutter in front of the lens, you will have also a loss in f-stops and if you mount it behind the lens, you will have severe vignetting.

Ben
12-24-2009, 03:52 AM   #13
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I was talking about SLR's - this means focal plane shutters, but mounted somewhere near the lens for MF use - probably vertical running blade, because of the reasons already explained.

But i migh have a look at those packard type shutter. Had seen them in some trigered DSLR applications (like insect photography), but never red anything in detail.
12-24-2009, 08:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I was talking about SLR's - this means focal plane shutters, but mounted somewhere near the lens for MF use - probably vertical running blade, because of the reasons already explained.

But i migh have a look at those packard type shutter. Had seen them in some trigered DSLR applications (like insect photography), but never red anything in detail.
Sorry, I do not find the term "SLR" in your initial post.

Your best option would be a Graflex Speedgraphic camera from the 1930s or later. These have the only readily available and cheap shutter, covering 4x5 LF. It is indeed a focal plane shutter, which gives you speeds up to 1/1000s. You can use the complete camera (a press camera with movements of the front standard) or simply scavenge the shutter assembly.

Ben
12-24-2009, 01:50 PM   #15
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nono... i dont mean to use it at film plane. Otherwise it migh just be more economical to get a real shutter.

Im thinking of something like this:
canon 20 d shutter assembly camera spare parts exporters importers delhi
Placed just behind the lens, and other externally servicable parts. Something like in the image attached.

But what makes me wonder is how a slit placed near aperturewould affect image rendering. I'm thinking it would produce an effect like this:
Have Fun with Aperture Shapes! on Lomography
Only with even smaller slits some diffraction effects might kick in as well.
If so only speeds up to flash sync (fully open) could be used.

This is cheap:
http://cgi.ebay.com/PENTACON-SLR-PRAKTICA-CAMERA-SPARE-PART-SHUTTER-NEW-NR_W...item35a5409622
But pretty bulky. Probably i could find a film camera with fully electronic shutter (means slim) and something else broken, cheaper.

And MERRY CHRISTMAS!
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Last edited by ytterbium; 12-24-2009 at 02:05 PM.
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