Plastic 4x5, P&S

Discussion in 'Film Cameras' started by dan swiger, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. dan swiger

    dan swiger Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2017
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    Bay Area, CA
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    This started out looking for a way to have lighter kit when hiking & "forcing" me to shoot with one lens once in a while. I noticed a few plastic 4x5 like bodies on Ebay. One was a camera setup for an electron microscope that used 4x5 film holders. Not sure why the didn't just use polaroid but certainly gave more flexibility & availability using sheet film. I did buy it off Ebay for $100, but it needs some work to suite a lens board setup. It really wasn't suited to carving up for my 90mm. After success with my next purchase, will construct an appropriate adapter/space for my 150 & 210mm lenses.

    Last year spotted another DIY Ebay deal. This was a purpose built of engineered plastics, pinhole camera setup. Here is the link

    I didn't buy the full setup. The seller does allow for separating out. I chose just the body & got it for around $130. The link shown is for the same seller. When I asked for just the body, the seller said to order the whole thing, paying full amount, then he would refund me the difference. I hesitated, then went ahead.
    The refund was posted in less than a day!

    I also purchased this helicoid/lensboard to give some room for focusing

    Since the body, lens board placement suited and infinity focused 60mm, I had to add a spacer of about 1/2 inch to get the same result for a 90mm. I did the math & test setups before fabricating. We have a Tap Plastics store in San Jose. I bought plastics & paid them to cut the hole. I had them make two pieces just for sure. While the adapter is removable, this is pretty much a fixed lens & focus setup. I bought the pieces in March 2017 & took it to Yosemite in June. Did some light leak checks. I planed to do some test shots but just went for it in Yosemite. I used it again in December with excellent results.

    The "kit" started with did come with a ground glass the was held in place the same way the film holders are. But the ground glass media was very myopic. I then bought some real Kodak GG on Ebay & that was the fix. I modified a film holder to stick it in, making sure it was on the "film plane.

    Below are pictures of it.

    IMG_4356.JPG IMG_4357.JPG

    At just over 2 Lbs with the 90mm, it gives me a light kit that includes a Sekonic light meter & of course some film. All packs nice in a Lowe Pro sling bag. I've gone on a few 2-4 mi hikes with it no problem.
    I think the total investment is about $300
    AlanLichty likes this.
  2. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jul 19, 2017
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    Hey Dan, what a fun project you have here. One of the great things about film is you can build your own film camera, no one is doing that with digital that I know of.

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