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Month: April 2016


Where do you get your materials and parts for these projects?  The sources for specific parts and materials are listed within the posts. I don’t keep up with these so if a link is dead I won’t have other sources.

Where do you get material for bellows?  Thorlabs BK-5 is decent for bag bellows if doubled up. For pleated bellows,  I don’t know of any suitable materials that are currently available (at least for the style that I like- thin and flexible enough for small folding cameras).  I bought my last set of custom pleated bellows from ECBuyonline2008 (Ebay). Their prices are reasonable, and they make them infinitely better than I ever did. CustomBellows.Co.UK is also a reputable manufacturer.

WTF, the material you used did not work for my project.   I often use materials outside of their intended purpose, and small variations in the manufacturing process might have an impact on the quality that made it suitable for that use. Garolite XX is a good example of this. I use it for darkslides in film holders, but as far as I know the product is not specifically made to be opaque. It’s always a good idea to test materials to make sure they are suitable.

Will you send me some plans? Other than some rough sketches I don’t have any. I don’t enjoy drafting so I rarely make formal drawings.

Will you at least provide some measurements? No, relaying accurate measurements is not a trivial task. Anyway, measurements are pretty much useless without a formal drawing.

Why do you publish this DIY blog if you won’t provide more details? The entries on this site are project diaries, not how-to articles. I write these to help me remember how and why I did something in case I ever want to attempt an improved version.  The diary-style format on this blog is useful for this, but it’s pretty limited as a teaching resource.

Will you make me a camera, film holders, Jobo motor base, etc? No, most of these projects are very time consuming, and my shop isn’t set up for production runs. There would be no way to arrive at a price that was both fair to me and reasonable to you.

Will you do custom manufacturing or repair work?   No, there are far more qualified shops that are already providing these services.

I don’t have any power tools, is there any way to make a large format camera/ film holder/ etc. from basic hand tools? Of course! Large format photo gear is really pretty straightforward stuff.  Designs can vary enough to accommodate almost any skill set or tool kit. A pin hole camera can be made from a shoe box,  a film holder from poster board and tape, etc. Highly refined work with very close tolerances can be achieved in both wood and metal with good quality hand tools.  Only you get to decide what’s possible in your circumstances.

What paper do you use for _____  process?  I buy paper in bulk, so I have some pretty old stock and won’t know which current batches are suitable for which processes. The last batch of paper I bought was in 2015.  For current info ask around the alt-printing forums.

 To ask a specific question not covered above, send me a message here.