Heavy modification

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by cameracrack, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Just sitting here wondering, if any has ever taken many different camera parts and created one really great camera.
    This is something that I have been thinking about doing for a long time but haven't had the time to try.
    Show off your mutants if you've done it :)
  2. No, can't say that I've ever given it much thought. Sounds like a good project for someone who doesn't have a life.
    I keep busy most of the time just using the fine cameras that have already been created.
  3. Here is a guy in France that built an SLR from scratch: http://www.collection-appareils.fr/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=6946&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
  4. Here is my "GatorBox" Alligator skin box camera that uses Baco Hollywood 2x3 film holders, ground glass focus or front scale focus on f6.3 Kodak Anastigmat in Kodex shutter, pistol grip with cable release, and Kodak folding 2x3 viewfinder..
  5. Here is a picture taken with the "GatorBox"
  6. Cliff, the LF cameras that you assemble are a legend, and a labour of love. Goodonya!
  7. Here is my highly modified Polaroid Automatic 250. It is modified to use Graflex Grafmatic 6 sheet holders, or standard Graflex type 5 holders. And also has a power switch for the shutter with a rechargeable Canon NB-1LH battery pack. Make a great automatic 2x3, just focus using the great Zeiss rangefinder and shoot.
  8. I like sheet film since I can just take one or two shots or a dozen if I want, and not have to wait till I have taken a whole roll to process them. For color I usually just clip 120 roll film to fit the holders, so I can use about any emulsion that is out there. Here is another shot with the GatorBox.
  9. Here is another great mod for that true classic look. It is a Kodak flash unit that was gutted and then I took a small strobe unit from a little plastic camera and mounted it inside so that it flashes through the bulb socket. I still need to re-paint the bell since most of the silvering has worn off. And then I'm going to hot glue a clear christmas ornament bulb over the socket hole to look like a flash bulb. You can see the green ready light in the one shot. I haven't tried it yet and don't know how well the flash will cover but it sure is bright enough to trigger a remote, if I really wanted to use it for real.
  10. It looks pretty good on the Busch Pressman too.
  11. Cool! Love the flash, and 'Gatorbox'. What can I say about the Polaroid? Does it take good pictures?
    I will build my own 4x5 someday, from scratch, out of exotic woods, but I might use some shiny brass knobs or whatever I can scrounge from an old one if I can pick one up cheap. However, that flash is giving me some other ideas. I certainly have enough little flashes and busted cameras lying around that I could hack a Brownie kit and put a proper lens and working flash on it.
  12. "Just sitting here wondering, if any has ever taken many different camera parts and created one really great camera."
    Camera parts, no. Cameras, yes. 2x3 Century Graphic in front, 2x3 Speed Graphic behind, coupler based on a 2x3 film pack adapter between. Two rails to keep the two cameras' optical axes aligned.
  13. Camera parts, sort of. Cameras, yes. 2x3 Graflex RB Series B body attached to a 2x3 Cambo SC lensboard attached to a (yes!) 2x3 Cambo standard and the rest of the SC. Baby Bertha.
    Baby is still teething -- the Graflex' shutter has problems I haven't solved yet -- and there are stability problems to solve too. Slowly, slowly making progress. Don't really need to use the Graflex shutter for timed exposures, the rig also has a front shutter.
  14. I haven't done this, but this is the one I love most
  15. There's a forum contributor Minh who modifies polaroids, 116 and 616 cameras for 120 film or . He's done some great work. It might not be radical enough for some, but his machining skills are excellent and these otherwise orphans, are really usable. Often they are made to simulate a panorama effect with a wider field lens on a smaller format. I've also seen an adaptation of the Graflex XL. http://bigcamera.com/articles/GraflexXLMods.htm The possibilities are endless but my skill level is pretty low!
  16. I have done this with an Ikonta 6x9 when the klio shutter died, I replaced the shutter with a prontor-s and a fine coated Schneider Radionar which has been absolutely great and a preferred vacation folder.
  17. LOL! I can just imagine some of the members on here doing it a la Tuco from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!
  18. Son of a thousand fathers! (Tuco reference)
    The sight of these Frankencameras makes me shutter. :)
  19. Haven't really done any modifications yet, but I do have an old Polaroid that I'd like to convert (can't recall the model at the moment.) As it is, I can slightly trim a piece of 4x5 sheet film and expose a single shot at a time.
    Cliff- the GatorBox is pure genius. Maybe I'll make my old Instamatic 124 into a "GatorMatic" ;-)
    Speaking of modifications, I have a surplus Wollensak 44mm f2.8 lens with unmarked shutter speeds (looks like it would fit a Bolsey Jubilee) that I would like to build into a camera of some sort. I also have a couple of small RF/VF cameras with non-working shutters (a C35V and a Minolta Hi-Matic F) Maybe I could graft that Wollensak lens/shutter onto one of them?
  20. Mike, this will be my version of the "Gator-matic".Marry a 2x2 Graflex roll back with a polaroid square shooter lens and automatic shutter. I just need to make a housing with a graflock back and a battery compartment in the side for the two AA batteries, and stick a viewfinder on top.. The self contained shutter assembly will simply screw to the front. This will make an zone focus auto exposure 2x2 on 120. Now that should be handy!
  21. I'm also planning on making another camera using two of these shutters to make an auto exposure stereo on 4x5 sheet film. Both shutters will be controlled from one cell so both exposures match. Wow, an auto exposure medium format stereo camera, now that should be handy!
  22. I have to say I don't agree Stuart. I think it's great and a wonderful project for anyone who has the passion. I think that it shows great skill and patience.
    Cliff, all of you cameras are amazing with some truly beautiful results from them. I really like the idea of converting a Polaroid to use sheet film. Care to share how you did it? Your future camera plans sound really interesting and I would love to see the results.
    You all gave some great links and I can't wait to get to all of them.
  23. Liana, I have several other home made cameras, but they are scratch built and not from parts like these. You asked how I did the Polaroid mod, and it is too lengthy than just to say take the back off and replace it with a spring back. I think I made up photos and directions on how to do it, a long time ago, but nobody was interested in making a 2x3. Everyone wanted to make a 4x5, but you can't get full coverage on a 4x5 anyway. The 2x3 is perfect and it uses part of the original back cover plate so it looks very finished. Also the motion used in cycling the film in the grafmatic holders is very much like pulling the tabs on the original Polaroid. It really is a nice camera and makes beautiful 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 or 6x9 negatives. The problem is that it takes a lot of machining. You even have to cut the frame and re position the locking notch on the front strut since the focal plane is shifted back somewhat. I even modified the front lens housing to accept a hood and filters but didn't show that in the pictures above. Overall, It's not an easy mod. If someone was really interested in how I did it, I would have to tear it all apart and take new pictures, and I don't really want to do that at this point. I think the square shooter lens and shutter is the way to go for a quick and easy 2x3 automatic.
  24. Oh no, don't do that. I guess when I get my hands on one I'll just have to experiment on my own! Thanks for taking the time to describe what you did.

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