This an old "Reisekamera" (field camera) built by L.G. Kleffel
(Berlin) in the end of the nineteenth century.
It is a flat-bed camera with limited adjustment capabilities.
I have restaurated it and use it for architecture, landscape and sometimes for close-ups and portraits.
For transportation the bed is folded up to the back such that the ground glass is protected*, then
the whole unit is like a small wooden suitcase.
(* A feature some modern field cameras are lacking...)
This camera supports film sizes of 13x18cm (5x7 inches), 18x24cm (approx. 8x10 inches)
and 24x30cm (a little smaller than 11x14 inches).
With reduction frames all smaller formats are usable too.
This is my home-built view
camera, a monorail
construction with full adjustment capability.
It is rock solid, but not too heavy to be carried around.
(The GIF image shows the original version of "formicula". Here is a more recent JPEG picture of my "formicula 2" camera,
with an improved monorail and an improved 3D-tripod-head.)
New: Here is a brand new (2001) view of my newest improvement, a camera back in the "international" compatible style, and in
the 8x10' US size.
New: Now I do provide drawings of my camera design in GIF and PDF format.
I also have a short discussion of some design decisions.
My bath served as my darkroom for film processing. There were the large development trays
and the microcomputer used as a programmable timer.
The working room of our flat served as the "dry" darkroom were I made
the copies and (sometimes) enlargements.
New New New!!! Finally (June 1999), about five years later than expected, I have
my real darkroom.
I really enjoy to just having it available anytime. :-) :-) :-)
You will see my darkroom if you follow the "Next" link at my navigation bar (at the bottom of this page)
or you can jump directly from here to my darkroom page, but then don't forget to return to this page ;-)
I am sorry: Until now (2001) there is no practicable way to get the quality of large-format images over the net. Reasons:
In fact, good 35mm SLR quality is much more than what can be displayed on the best computer screens anyway...
so I provide some 35mm conversions of my large slides on my photo gallery page.
NEW: I no have put midrange quality scans of my images into my new LF gallery.
You find it from the links in my photographic index page.
Large-format photography can be the most expensive way of photographing. The good news is,
it can be really cheap too. It depends on how much one is willing to do him/herself.
Until I had my first finished picture ready, I spent about 120$ for the material of the camera,
200$ for the tripod, 10$ for the trays and some $ for my first film pack
and photographic paper. One of my first lenses was from an overhead projector.
This already yielded excellent results.
OK, admitted, it was from an upper-class overhead model, consisting of three optical elements, i.e. a triplet.
Later I added some more expensive parts, like professional lenses (made by Rodenstock) with shutter, and a light meter (by Gossen).
The large-format slides do not need projection. I put each slide into a
frame made from strong paper (carton) and store these in an aluminium suitcase.
For viewing one can simply hold a framed slide against a bright light source,
preferably daylight. Or I hang several of those framed slides in front of a window, which is covered with a
diffusing foil for better lighting:
This looks best when the sun is shining, allthough each kind of daylight induces its own kind of impressions...
1 visitors since 7th Oct 2002.