About three years ago now, I was experimenting with multiple overlapping images to look at the sea horizon, and discovered that what I really needed was a camera that would take the equivalent of three 35mm frames as one continuous negative.
As there is no such camera on the market, and cropping down a 5x4" negative would have caused its own problems, I built my own camera.
|The first two cameras were constructed mainly from birch ply, as this is easy to work, hardwearing and fairly stable. The very first was built around a Schneider 150mm lens for 5x4" format, with a fixed focus on infinity (I was only planning to take pictures of the far sea horizon).
This combination of lens and film gives a view of about 9 x 41 degrees.
The negative size is 24x112mm (about 1x4.5"), or small enough to fit into a 5x4" enlarger.
|This is the same basic camera, but with a different front half to fit a 90mm Super Angulon lens, giving a view of approx. 15 x 64 degrees.
As I began to use the camera in a wider variety of ways, particularly for night time photography, I developed a stepped focus system for the camera, allowing me to focus on infinity, 11.4m (37'), 8m (26') or 4.2m (14').
|The most recent version of the camera uses rollfilm rather than 35mm, and produces a negative 56 x 240mm.
It is much more cumbersome and slow to use, needing a ground glass screen for composition and focusing, but the larger negative gives so much extra detail and information that I now use it almost exclusively.
The rollfilm camera is usually used with a 210mm lens, giving about the same field of view as a 90mm lens on the smaller camera.