I've always wanted to play with a view camera... They are unfortunately a rather obscure and high end piece of equipment. So I've been ignoring the problem. Its not like I have any shortage of toys... :-)

However, my friend Dan managed to procure a proper lens, and a set of bellows sufficient for an 8x10 negative.

The frame is made from 1 inch aluminum angle. The rail is two pieces of 3/4 inch aluminum angle. The lens board is a 1/8 inch thick aluminum plate. Yes, its diamond plate, it was just too wrong, it had to be done. The lens cover / shutter is a piece of aluminum foil (custom formed. :-). (OK, I admit it, it was the last part I needed before I could actualy take a picture, I was in a hurry...)

The film holder is a sandwich of another piece of diamond plate (1/8 inch thick), and three layers of 1/16 inch thick aluminum. The middle thin layer is the dark slide. The film is then pinched between the 1/8 inch thick plate and the first thin layer. The entire assembly is held together with four bolts and wing nuts. The electrical tape on the edges is an attempt to address light leaks.

The film holder is then held onto the camera back with another four wing nuts which thread onto bolts extending from the frame.

Everything is sized to take 8x10 film, however the top and bottom will be cropped by about 1/2 inch, due to the size of the bellows.

So, how do the pictures look?

These were taken on 5x7 poly-contrast 2 paper, processed in D19 (I didn't have any dektol) and rapid fixer. I believe the contrast problems are caused by the incorrect processing. The first one was a 5 second exposure, the second one 20. The negatives were scanned, then flopped and inverted with the gimp. The camera has some serious light leaks. The focusing plate, which consists of a 1/8 inch thick piece of sanded Plexiglas, is also insufficiently diffuse.

I have fabricated an aperture. Its a cardboard disk two inches in diameter which fits just inside the lens's barrel. It looks about right squinting at the focusing glass, but I have not yet been able to try it with film. I want to address the light leaks, and paint the inside black before blowing another batch of chemistry.