Building a 20×24 camera – Part 1

As a collaboration with my good friend and fellow photographer Piotr Stopniak, we’re building a 20″ x 24″ ultra large format view camera for my next big photo project. Piotr is a Cgi/3d artist, and he was able to put together a 3d model of our design. It was a great way of nutting out what ideas were going to work and what wasn’t, and to make sure that everything would fit together properly when we go to make the final camera (provided we cut everything to spec). The idea was to make a working 20×24 camera that was simple, easy to build and relatively light. We didn’t need movements other than focus, so that helped to keep the design simple.

The front and back standards are to be made from pine frames with plywood sides, with the back standard deep enough to hold the film holder and something to hold the film holder in tightly. The main bellows are to be made from matte black foam-core cardboard, and will be able to extend and contract by using a simple box within a box design, where one box is ever so slightly bigger than the other. A simple loose material bellows will also cover the seam of the two boxes to eliminate any potential light leaks.

A rail system (similar to the box system for the bellows) will be employed to allow the camera to focus, by using PVC pipes, one inside the other and clamped to the base of each standard.

The ground glass will be a removable wooden frame with a frosted perspex sheet to allow focus.

We have a nice Fujinon-C 600mm lens to go on the front, and a very nice 20×24 film holder to go in the camera as made by Sandy King at S&S Film Holders. (Thanks Sandy!)

Here are some screenshots of the model of the camera.

 Camera Wireframe

Camera Wireframe

 Back standard and front plate

Back standard and front plate

 Film holder in wireframe back standard

Film holder in wireframe back standard

 Front standard and film holder

Front standard and film holder

See more here!

Some encouragement and inspiration for this project can be found here, here and here.