speaking of GAS...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Bimjo, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    When I get it, I get it... BIG! :rofl:

    Came yesterday, but nobody was here to sign for it so I had to go to the Post Office this morning to get it. It's the first phase of my winter project (more on that later). I now present "the Tank", a Fuji GX680 medium format (6x8cm) film camera, the name will change as the project progresses.

    1.
    gx680_01.

    2. Full rise, full right swing
    gx680_02.

    3. Full rise, full right swing, full down tilt
    gx680_03.

    4. Full rise, full right swing, full up tilt
    gx680_04.

    5. That's a damn big mirror!
    gx680_05.

    6. A slight size disparity
    gx680_06.

    That tiny thing on the right is my 5N. If I took the viewfinder off I think it would fit inside the bellows fo the GX. ;) Eventually these two will be grafted together. That's the winter project. I was going to get a macro bellows like Ad has, but I figured why not go really large? Anything worth doing and all that.

    For a bit more scale, those of you with an NEX body, take it out and look at the LCD. The negative from the GX is as wide as the NEX LCD and 10mm taller. Juuuusssst a little difference! I'm pretty sure the GX lenses are going to cover the 5N sensor without much difficulty. Even with the movements on the standard. :thumbup:
     
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  2. Vincepad

    Vincepad TalkEmount Regular

    165
    Dec 29, 2013
    LOL. I love shooting my large format cameras (I have two 5x7s and a 4x5 with another 4x5 on the way). I wish that they were more financially viable in my business. They're definitely my favorite cameras to work with. It's all about the lens movements. Your Fuji ought to provide a ton of fun playing with lens movements and fitting better with a digital sensor. I laugh when I think of the Horseman adaptors for DSLRs on a 4x5. A 6x8 with a digital back seems somehow more...appropriate.

    Have fun with the conversion!
     
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  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Thanks Vincepad. I've always been intrigued with view cameras, not so much with film in a view camera. This way I get the best of both. I hope. ;)
     
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  4. Vincepad

    Vincepad TalkEmount Regular

    165
    Dec 29, 2013
    The amount of control you get from a view camera is both liberating and enormously frustrating. It's a fantastic thing to have, and really opens up the creative possibilities. I don't even scratch the surface of what others are capable of, but I do enjoy it tremendously! I'm certain you'll have a blast!
     
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  5. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Oh. Wow. Now that is...something else. The love child from a steamy night with a LF view camera and a MF SLR. That is going to be fun!
     
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  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    We can only hope! :cool:
     
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Impressive! So you'll adapt the NEX-5 to function as a digital back, I guess that'll mean some serious mechanical work. I was lazier in buying a tilt/shift bellows but the GX680 will give much more flexibility in movements. What lens(es) are you planning to use on it? Maybe a hint, the Minolta Auto Macro 100/4 is razor sharp from wide-open up to f/11 and will allow a reasonable amount of tilt/shift without significant image quality deterioration. Today, in fact in a few minutes, I'm going to test the Olympus Auto Macro 135/4.5 on the T/S bellows, got that lens last week.

    Have fun and keep us posted!
     
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  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    :eek:mg::hmmm::laugh1::popcorm2:
     
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  9. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Thanks Ad, it is a big honker. Weighs 7.125 lbs (3.23 kg) as it sits in the pics.

    Grafting the 5N to the back of the GX shouldn't be too difficult (he says straight-faced), the trick is going to be dealing with the mirror. I either have to get a battery for the GX and shoot the 5N in bulb mode, prop the mirror up out of the way, or remove the mirror altogether. Decisions, decisions...

    I'm going to use the original GX lenses, at least to start. May go another direction later, won't know until I get there. Using the 5N as a digital back will limit me to macro work because no matter how I mount the 5N it's going to be farther back than the film plane so it'll never focus to infinity in that configuration.

    It's going to be an interesting journey. It may last longer than just the winter. :)
     
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  10. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I know, huh? Hopefully I'll be doing this :whoo: and not this :dash2:
     
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  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    That's pretty cool.

    Always wanted to own a medium format camera, but never considered that ... thing, to be honest. ;)
     
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  12. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Well, the project has taken a slight turn. Originally I was going to mount the 5N to the back end of the GX680 and use it as a macro rig for awhile. Then I was going to snag another GX680 to get the front standard and put together a mini view camera with full movements. The GX680 alone is capable of +15mm or -12mm rise, 15mm horizontal shift (both ways), ± 15° tilt, and 15° swing (both ways).

    Using two standards I'll be able to get: ± 27mm rise/fall, 30mm horizontal shift (both ways), ± 30° tilt, and 30° swing (both ways). Not up to real view camera standards, but pretty respectable for a home-brewed version. ;)

    So why did I skip the macro only phase? Curosity. Impatience. Mostly curiosity. Saturday afternoon I was doing some measurements and discovered that even using two standards I was not going to be able to reach infinity focus. So, after scratching my head for awhile I decided that I could turn one of the standards backwards. Actually the standard base needs to face the original direction, but the frame needed to be reversed to get the spacing I need for infinity.

    One thing led to another and before I knew it I had the whole camera taken apart. Much more than I needed to, but without a repair manual I was flying blind on the disassembly thing so now I has GX680 parts (for sale BTW :p ) that I don't need. Well, that was going to happen eventually anyway, but I'd hoped that more of the parts would still be attached to each other than they are now. The next one should be much more intact at this point of the process. "Should" being the operative word in that sentence.

    Anyway, here's the result of a couple hours of "tinkering" with the thing.
    gx680_07.

    The stuff on the left is the "extra" parts I no longer need. The stuff in the red box is what I'm keeping and from the top we have: A standard (with frame reversed), a K mount NEX adapter that will mount to a (as yet unmade) camera mounting plate, the rails (which may get extended later- depends on what magnification I can get for macro as-is), the original distance scale for the bellows (not sure if that stays yet), the bellows and the focus screen. The bellows will probably get switched for a bag bellows and the focus screen will probably get a custom mount so I can use it for rough composition/focus and not run the battery down doing it. Gotta have a focusing screen on a view camera, right?

    So, now I need to sell off some gear that's been gathering dust around here to pick up another GX680 and the miscellaneous parts I need to bring this thing to life. Stay tuned, more to come (hopefully sooner than later). ;)
     
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  13. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
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  14. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    Wow this seems like a cool project, cant wait to see the results :D
     
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  15. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I'll be following this, if only for my sheer curiosity to see if you'll end up with something useable :D. If I'd do such a project I'd probably have to draw a red box around all the parts meaning they're ready for the trash bin.
     
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  16. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Okay, Phase 3 has arrived. I picked up another GX680 off eBay and it arrived yesterday. So now I have the basics of my miniFrankenView camera in hand. Unlike the first camera, all I needed off the second was the standard, so it was: disconnect one wire, unscrew two thumbscrews, disconnect the bellows, and crank the standard off the rails.

    Whole thing took about 15 seconds, as opposed to the several hours for the first one. In fairness much of that time was spent reversing the lens mount frame in the standard so the silly thing will actually work. I still need to cut off the back (no longer useful) end of the rails. Then I'll need to pick up a set of rail extensions so I can do closeups. And I'll need to create mounting plates for both ends that will connect to a full length Arca-Swiss mounting rail.

    Lastly I need to make camera mount plates. I was going to make one until I found out the plate isn't square (drat!). My second thought was to make a rotating mount, but honestly my fabrication skills aren't nearly good enough. So, instead I'll make one plate for landscape orientation and one for portrait orientation. No big deal, just have to sacrifice a second some-slr-lens-to-E mount adapter.

    So, here's what it looks like so far:
    1.
    gx680_08.

    2.
    gx680_09.

    3. Since there are no electronics involved there really isn't a front or back to this thing, it'll work either way. I'll probably use the left side shown here as the lens mount because when I turned the frame around in the other standard I lost the spring loaded function on the rise/fall. Since the lenses (original plan is to use GX680 lenses for that huge image circle) will weigh more than the camera I can live without the spring assist on the camera end. The really neat part of this is I could put many different cameras on this beast, all I have to do is make new mount plates for each camera.
    gx680_10.

    4. Full swing opposite directions.
    gx680_11.

    5. Full swing same direction.
    gx680_12.

    6. Full rise on the left, full drop on the right. This will be handy for shooting buildings.
    gx680_13.

    7. The rail sticking out to the right is what I need to cut off. It's where the camera body mounted and no longer serves a purpose. Well, maybe as a carrying handle. I'll have to think about that for a bit. Probably not though, I want to keep the size as small as possible.
    gx680_14.

    Ah, I forgot to shoot tilts and shifts, got the swings & rise/fall, but you get the idea. ;)

    I know you're dying to know what this beast cost. Well, so far I'm into it for $380 for the two cameras. I still need to pick up a bag bellows, some rail extensions, figure out the end plates/mounting rail and the camera mount plates. I figure another $250 should do it. The object was never to save money, the object was to have something fairly unique with interesting capabilities beyond a T/S lens. I'm pretty sure that's what I'll end up with.

    But I'm going to need a porter to tote this puppy around. :laugh1:
     
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  17. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Well, unique it is! Can't wait to see a lens and an E-mount camera on it.
     
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  18. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Jim... YOU ROCK!!! ;)
     
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  19. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Not yet, but I'm workin' on it! ;)
     
  20. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    Excited to see final results! I almost forgot abt this...

    Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk