It’s finally happened, a monster has been born.
Here’s a quick recap of where this came from ….
I had a brainstorm, or to be more PC: a ‘thought shower’, about using a flatbed scanner as a recording medium so I scanned through the back of a couple of 5×4 cameras with interesting results, enough to make it seem possible.
The Graphic View
The Crown Graphic
This gave way to this fugly monster:
The only problem was, all I was able to get out of the large monster was a series of badly captured mush.
It was fun and exciting to construct something so badly and beastly.
The scanner was an HP Photosmart all-in-one or jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, it isn’t great and can’t do transparencies.
I was mostly using 5×4 lenses like my Dallmeyer ƒ4.5 enlarger lens and the Schneider Krueznach Xenar, 135mm ƒ4.5 but primarily stuck with the Dallmeyer.
I couldn’t figure out how it went so wrong after the first 5×4 scans were so good.
To read more about this early escapade check out my previous post: Large Format Mediums.
I was still initially thinking primarily of the scanner bed but starting to believe in perhaps making an 8×10 film/paper camera.
I tweeted out that I was looking for an 8×10 lens but not sure what I was looking at, Mat Marrash kindly replied and we had a chat about lenses and he very kindly offered to have a look.
He pointed out a lens that, ahem, was clearly marked as able to cover 8×10 and that it looked like a good deal; a Carl Zeiss 500mm Jena lens.
Bara-bing, it got snapped up immediately costing £150 including delivery.
Look at that thing sitting next to the Dallmeyer enlarger lens!
That’s the largest lens I’ve seen other than on telescopes; a pint of glass.
I didn’t hang around, it was rammed into the fugly frame I’d made earlier but scans still looked really bad. So bad I don’t have any saved!
It still didn’t look right so I decided to attempt to make an 8×10 ground glass using glass from an Ikea picture frame. This is where the fun really began.
I started with a bit of steel wool and Morrison’s own Cream Cleanser, a cleaning product for bathrooms etc. because it had a creamy consistency and I thought might help promote scratching, but only under hip-hop supervision.
It didn’t work so I opted for the sandpaper, now we’re talking! I realised that this was leaning closer to the Silicon Carbide I’d been reading about on forums like apug.org.
Like the camera I was about to make – it looked like shit but it worked.
I had’t been this excited for quite some time; now to test it.
I had a large empty box lying around after Anna’s birthday party that carried a Hello Kitty piñata, it was immediately sacrificed for the cause.
I used the other bit of board as extra support because the lens was so big and heavy.
Placing that glass against the 8×10 cut out shape on the rear was magical. Seeing the imprint of our utility room on the glass blew my mind and I thought to myself:
I can bloody well do this, I can make a real camera!
Return of the Scanner: this time I decided to tape the ground glass to the scanner bed to see if having that receptive medium close to the scanner glass will make a difference.
It did and the preview scan said it all.
It’s grainy, or rather ‘scratchy’, but it’s there.