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Category: peripherals

Jobro

I initially wanted to make this Jobo motor base with a direct drive instead of a pulley system, but couldn’t modify the lead screw shaft that came with the motor (or for that matter even couple it to the drum roller shaft) without a lathe. Continue » Jobro

Tripod remodel

Old tripod with updated hardware

Having a metal lathe is pretty sweet, even if it means having to remake all the things I made when I wished I had a lathe. The cobbled together spikes on my tripod is one such thing, made from a mix of plumbing parts and lag bolts, so I made some new ones from .75″ stainless round stock and some off-the-shelf hanger bolts. They weigh about the same as the old arrangement. Continue » Tripod remodel

Gitzo G1570M

I’ve always really liked the idea of this tripod head, but having been designed to support 15+ kilos it’s less than ideal for light weight cameras.  The side tilt is especially resistant to small adjustments,  at least on the versions I’ve had- the friction in the pivot means I go way too far the other way when trying to make small tweaks, and this usually goes back and forth for quite a few cycles before I give up and just adjust the tripod leg to level the head. But I really like the huge platform, the low profile, and the panning base which my Ries head doesn’t have. I’ve bought one of these twice now. Obviously I sold the first one, but after looking around at what else was available for a couple years I finally bought another one and decided to learn to love it. Or take it apart. Continue » Gitzo G1570M

“Shop” “upgrade”

I finally got a mini metal lathe, as well as a new mill. I really wanted a used 10x toolroom lathe, and searched on and off for one for about 4 years now. But after getting realistic about the expense of shipping an industrial lathe from somewhere in the Rust Belt, how worn-out a machine in this class and my price range would probably be, rewiring my shop to use a 3 phase machine, and insulating and heating the shop to protect such an investment,  I finally just bought some new import machines that will run on my shop’s 120v/20A circuits. Continue » “Shop” “upgrade”

Compendium shade

Since these shades are available second-hand pretty cheap, this is a silly thing to make unless you have an oddball front standard. I’d made one years ago for my old 5×7, but it was a little bulky to use for my new camera. After spending the morning trying in vain to find the outside dimensions of the Toyo-View compendium hood I just made one out of materials I had on hand.  Why do retailers list the size of the bloody box it comes in, and not the sizeof the unit itself? I went through the same thing trying to find a low profile cold shoe. Continue » Compendium shade

Car cabinet

I have a Honda Element, which is a pretty good ride for camera trips. I’ve always wanted to build a cabinet in the cargo area to hold gear. What motivated me to do something about it though was the thought of making an extension platform that will allow for taking quick photos right from the tail gate, without a lot of setup/breakdown. Continue » Car cabinet

Ground glass / focusing screen

A ground glass focusing screen is something I usually rush through because when it’s time to make one  I’m usually at the end of a tedious camera build and want to hurry up and use the thing already. But I wanted to take some time and make a decent one- after all this is the one thing I spend the most time looking at on a camera. Usually I don’t bother to seam the edges so the little chips along the cuts refract light into the image area and generally looks pretty crappy, so I spent the time to carefully cut the screen, smooth out the all the edges, and bevel them before getting on with grinding the surface. I did this for a recent Arca Swiss CLA, and it turned out well so made another one for my shop made camera.

grit Continue » Ground glass / focusing screen

Gitzo G1320 center post hack

gifzo

I never really liked Gitzo-styled tripods, but needed an indoor tripod as my homemade one has spiked feet and is usually dirty. The twist legs locks on Gitzos are bad enough, but the center column on some models is especially egregious. I didn’t realize this at the time I bought a used one off Ebay, but it’s impossible to tighten the center lock down enough to keep the column from spinning, or at least it is on the version I have.  Markins has (or used to have) a hub retrofit to replace the the yoke entirely, but decided I would try to modify it before spending an extra $180 on a tripod I wasn’t wild about to begin with.
Continue » Gitzo G1320 center post hack