Making a Ground Glass

The sound of glass breaking whilst your back is turned on your camera is never a good feeling. On a trip to Petrified Forest National Park that is exactly what I heard as I was trying to pack up my gear from an image I had just taken. When I turned around my camera was tipped over with several pieces of what was my ground glass lying next to it. I couldn't believe that I had just broken my ground glass on day 3 of a 5 day trip! Luckily, I still had a chunk of intact ground glass that I could move around to check if my image was in focus.



The flexibility of large format cameras in terms of accessories keeps me creative and fresh without the need to purchase new camera systems. My Zone VI Studios, Inc. large format camera came with a bail-lever type film back that was permanently attached and could not accommodate other film sizes other than 4x5in. So, I decided to make a new film back and attach the Graflex Graflok (International) back that would enable me to attach adapters that allow me to shoot 120 roll-film. This expands the capability of my Zone VI Studios, Inc. large format camera beyond the 4x5 ratio but still enables me to use view camera movements. Check out my video on how this Graflex Graflok back works and what kinds of adapters I attach to it.


Saving Space: Lens Board Adapter

In June of 2015, I purchased my 8x10 Zone VI Studios, Inc. large format camera and noticed a problem that needed a solution. My 4x5 Zone VI Studios, Inc. large format camera uses 4x4 in. lens boards while my 8x10 Zone VI Studios, Inc. large format camera uses 5.5 in. lens boards. What to do?


the 8x10 experiment

The beauty of large format cameras is how innately simple they are, in my humble opinion. Large format cameras are basically a collapsible light tight box with a lens attached. This simplicity of the large format camera lends itself to creative modifications to the camera that are inexpensive and fun to experiment with. I've been shooting with a Zone Vi 4x5 large format camera since 2009 and I've absolutely enjoyed it. When I was shopping for a large format camera, I debated between my current 4x5 field-box camera and an 8x10 Deardroff. My decision to purchase the 4x5 large format camera has always left me wondering what it would be like to shoot the 8x10 large format camera.