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Category: peripherals

“Studio” “Stand”

Having a small house in a rainy climate, I spend a lot of my time indoors rearranging furniture to take photos. A tripod can be a major hassle in a small space, both for the size of the leg footprint as well as the tedium and awkwardness of adjusting the camera height. Taking the photo above required a ladder, a chair, two tripod legs on the countertop, and one wedged against a cabinet. I looked around online at the studio stands available and saw that even the cheapest full-range stands were ~$1000. Even if I could find one used, most are still way too big for for my house, and I’m not sure if I’d even like using one. I made a mock up from some locally available parts and some stuff I had laying around. Continue » “Studio” “Stand”

Tripod remodel

Old tripod with (even more) updated hardware

Finally having a metal lathe is great, 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

“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

Darkroom sink

yikes

Yikes

9/15/16. I  need a new sink. I made this one about 12 years ago and used polyester resin, which as it turned out never really bonded with the plywood substrate. It’s started to crack and flake badly. The finish on the sink was never really even substandard- the resin went on like molasses reclaimed from a sandy bog. At least I tinted it black, which helped mute the ugliness a bit. But for the past two years I’ve had to trowel on silicone caulk to help make it last just a little longer. I can’t stand another year of this. The weather’s turning cool so need to get started on a new one. This will probably be the most tediously detailed diary that I’ve posted here. I have no memory of how I (mis)made the last one, and if I ever have to repair this new version, the details may help to isolate what I’ve done wrong.

Continue » Darkroom sink