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Thread: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

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    Member Lee Love's Avatar
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    Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Does anyone have any experience with a DIY 8x10 or the discontinued Hobo by Gordon Mark & Dick Sullivan ?

    I am looking for a simple low cost 8x10 to shoot Polaroids and these look like an interesting project that I might be able to build.




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    Super Duper
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    What polariods? Are there 8X10 polaroids being produced by anyone? if so I'm hugely interested!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    I've been wanting a simple box 8x10 for some time now but didn't get interested until after the Hobo was out of print. There are a few other options, but they (IMO) seem overpriced for what they are - so instead I've been looking for a classic 8x10 field camera. I've also been considering an 8x10 pinhole.

    I really don't need movements, I just want to contact print those big negs!
    ---
    Ken

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Jay Bender makes a 4x5 pinhole kit that looks nice: http://www.jaybender.com/BPH/pincam.htm

    I built one of his 4x5 cameras several years ago. It was fun to build, and the resulting camera is beautiful, but I wouldn't recommend it for regular use; movements and focus are all friction controlled, so it's hard to get things very precise.

    He makes 8x10 kits as well. http://www.jaybender.com/BPH/8x10.htm

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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Bender no longer manufactures or sells his kits. There's a note on the front page of the website that he's left the site up for historical interest, but that the cameras are no longer available.

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    Subscriber Member Shelby Frisch's Avatar
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Here's a shot of an 8x10 Hobo. I purchased it a number of years ago, but got side tracked with other issues. I am now trying set up a way to process negatives and get out and use it. Its a rather clever design, there is a removable translucent plastic viewing frame which goes on the back. This is to initially set up the focusing distance. If the focus is set up correctly, roughly everything from 8ft to infinity will be in focus at f16 (I'm not sure about the 8 ft). This will depend on the circle of confusion that you're willing to put up with.

    The 4 screws on the front are used to adjust the focus. Between the lens board and camera is a thick gasket that is compressed by tightening the 4 screws, which changes the focus. Once the focus is set, the focusing back is removed and a film holder can be attached. This camera is set up for the 120 mm f8 Nikkor SW lens. Viewing is done by through the door viewer that is mounted on the top. There is also a level on the top. In my opinion, the craftsmanship is really nice.

    If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to take measurements and more shots for you.

    Shelby
    Last edited by Shelby Frisch; 8th December 2011 at 13:10. Reason: I messed up and tried to put in a smile incorrectly.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Frisch View Post
    If the focus is set up correctly, roughly everything from 8ft to infinity will be in focus at f16 (I'm not sure about the 8 ft). This will depend on the circle of confusion that you're willing to put up with.
    That might be OK for contact prints but as soon as you bring the loupe out or drum scan you'll realize that a f/16 the focus plane is still just a plane. So yes, the CoC really matters.

    One way to think about it is to look at the actual diameter of the aperture. 120 mm / 16 = 7.5 mm. In 35 mm terms that would correspond to perhaps a 16 mm lens at f/2. Focus at infinity and objects at 8 ft will look sharp if you don't look too closely.

    Merklinger's articles about focusing the view camera are good reading.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Subscriber Member Shelby Frisch's Avatar
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post

    Merklinger's articles about focusing the view camera are good reading.
    Lars,
    Thank you for these good references and comments. Now all I need to do is get my film processor working again.
    Shelby

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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Frisch View Post
    If anyone is interested, I'd be happy to take measurements and more shots for you.

    Shelby
    Yes, please! I have a feeling that if I want an affordable 8x10 I'll have to build it myself - any information would be useful. I'd prefer only making new mistakes...
    ---
    Ken

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyDuty View Post
    Yes, please! I have a feeling that if I want an affordable 8x10 I'll have to build it myself - any information would be useful. I'd prefer only making new mistakes...
    I wonder what the appropriate ambition level would be. A pinhole wouldn't require focusing so that would simplify things a lot. Otherwise shooting at f/64 and focusing roughly at infinity would work too - not too much diffraction for contact prints. Once you want the ability to focus, the construction gets complicated.

    Maybe start by looking for a lens?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Subscriber Member Shelby Frisch's Avatar
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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyDuty View Post
    Yes, please! I have a feeling that if I want an affordable 8x10 I'll have to build it myself - any information would be useful. I'd prefer only making new mistakes...


    Here are a few shots of my Hobo. I don't have the focusing frame that fits into the film holder location. I've put it away somewhere, but I'll try to find it and take a shot of it too. The back on the Hobo is interesting, it frames the film holder on 3 sides and keeps the holder in place with 4 mirror clips which rotate out of the way when you want to remove the back.

    The external dimensions are 11 3/4"x10 5/8"x3" for the largest part,
    then 7"x7" by 3/4" for the middle part, and 5 3/4" x5 3/4"x 1 1/2".
    These are rough measurements,and what you might use will depend on the back and what lens you might choose.

    I haven't done anything with this format in over 20 years, but I rarely get rid of any camera gear that I've purchased. I even found an old 4x5 box camera I cobbled together with a used back and lens from about 30 years ago. I'm trying to get a way to process negatives again, I have a Jobo processor, but no really good place to use it very much without potentially causing a domestic problem.

    I hope this helps and if I can be of assistance, please feel free to pm me.

    Shelby

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    Re: Hobo like 8x10 Cameras

    Thank you! This will help me decide how to proceed.
    ---
    Ken

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