Home-made 4x5 Cameras
A very small number of our members delight in making their own cameras. Ed Warner is one of this select group. The first camera he showed was a 4x5 SLR made from fine mahogany cut and hand planed by Ed to the desired thickness. The mirror is flipped up with a lever. Ed used a small magnet inside the camera to hold the mirror up for the exposure.
He modified a film holder to make a ground glass used to accurately position the adjustable back for exact focus. To aid in focussing, Ed mounted a simple lens and rubber shade in a small wooden block which fits onto the viewing hood.
The most expensive part of the camera is the lens with its built-in shutter. Other mechanical components came from Ed's junk box - the remains of various cameras and other instruments beyond repair.
Having some wood left over, Ed made a companion 4x5 box camera following the traditional design and positioning of the shutter release and viewfinder.
These cameras are both working examples of Ed's care and fine eye for construction projects.
ABOUT THE IMAGES. Click on any image and in a few seconds you will see an enlarged view in a separate window. The images were taken with a Nikon 990 digital camera and modified as required in Photoshop. All images are © 2001 by the Photographic Historical Society of Canada and may be used if the source is mentioned.