Henri Melaanvuo

Henri Melaanvuo in Finland has built a monorail camera inspired by my design:






Henri Melaanvu writes in an email:

«Here are a few pics of the “almost ready” camera. It has been wood-ready for six months or so, but I only found time to finish it a couple of days ago. It’s still missing a few bolts and knobs but it can be used anyway. I’m (hopefully) going to replace the wing nuts with aluminium wheels, once I find suitable ones or get access to a lathe. Also I might replace the rear standard because it does not currently allow tilt in landscape mode. That was a decision I made in the building phase, but I’m not sure anymore it was a good one … Maybe I will just build another camera … Or get one second-hand as large format cameras are going really cheap now.

The camera is built of ash wood and aluminium, mostly from pieces I had lying around. Wooden parts were stained black and a few layers of beeswax was applied. Dark stain brings the grain of ash wood out nicely. I bought a Nikkor lens before I started to build the camera and got an Arca-Swiss lens board with it, so I based all the measurements on the lens board. I later found used Arca-Swiss bellows to go with the board. The rear standard has simple geared movement. I first built it without, but after trying focusing I decided to rebuild the rear block and installed a spur gear in it and a brass rack into the rail. The ground glass holder has a really simple design, there are two thin spring leafs pressing the ground glass frame down. Bulky but it works.

I need to get a new tripod head as the camera is far too large (although not that heavy) for the heads I have for 35 mm and medium format gear.

And, yes, I need to remove the Arca-Swiss logo from the lens board 🙂

Thanks again for the book, it was a great source of inspiration.»

20 September 2008