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Simple lenses for simple minds.

September 9, 2007

Having a view camera but no lens is no fun at all! First step was to make some lens boards. Easily done with 1/8″ plywood, a straight edge and box cutter. Now I have two choices for a simple home made lens. Pinhole or singlet “landscape”. Just build both. First the singlet landscape lens. A quick look at Edmund Optic (Anchor Optical, their surplus site didn’t have what I needed) scores a 40mm dia by 400mm FL plano-convex lens. This is great, uncoated, but great. And at the cost, I won’t feel bad if something happens during construction. Now off to the hardware store!

A bit of gray PVC pipe from electrical, a few large diameter rubber washers from plumbing and a new can of flat black Krylon. After a little work plus epoxy and latex caulk I have a nice new 400mm F/10 lens. And swirly focus (can you say abberation).

Home-made 8×10 Landscape Lens on Seneca 8×10

Photo paper makes for good film to test a camera. And a good thing because I don’t have stops made for the lens yet so even at F/10, the photo paper is pretty “fast”. Easy to deal with by taping some ND filters to the lensboard behind the lens. Slows my paper down to approximately EI 2.

Stops need to be made, but this will wait until another trip to the hardware store to get some thin tin.  Tin, not brass because I’ve got a scheme for attaching the stop with a magnet.

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