Mechanical and optics help needed for camera tinker project Answered
Some time ago I acquired a beautiful old bellows plate camera, quite closely resembling the top one on this page. Mostly I try to use old cameras with the film they're designed for, but plate photography is going a bit to far for my tastes. Therefore I set out to convert the camera to a digital one.
Something like the SVP FS1700 seems perfect for turning into an improvised digital back, but I think I'll need something to look through and focus as well. I've made a quick sketch of what I think would be a good construction, it can be seen at http://www.incarnations.nl/temp/camera.jpg. (1) and (2) are mirrors, projecting the image on the ground glass plate in the camera to the viewfinder on top. When the camera has been aimed and focussed, mirror (1) can be flipped down, allowing the scanner (3) to take the picture.
I'm a kinda decent tinkerer, but I've got no experience with lenses, mirrors and the like. A couple of questions I'd like to have answered:
1) Does this have any chance of actually working?
2) What would be the best way to determine the proper placing and angle of the mirrors?
3) The distance between the scanner and the glass plate might cause some focus problems. Could this be worked around with lenses or an extra ground glass plate, or will this cause more trouble than it's worth?
4) As an added bonus I'd like to add split-images focus to the viewfinder, but I have no clue how this works. It can't be as easy as just buying the prism/glass and inserting it into the viewfinder, right?
Any help or advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated!