Houghton Butchery or Kiipix Killing?

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by steve_gallimore|1, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. I've been wanting more from my Instax for a while now and Fuji don't appear interested in providing.

    I recently aquired a Tomy Kiipix for a sensible price. For those unaware, the Kiipix is an entirely manual, mechanical, Instax processor, designed to take a photo of a mobile phone screen (or, I suppose, anything you could position in front of it's simple lens). A few painless minutes with a screwdriver (nothing was broken) removed all the excess hardware, leaving me with what is essentially an Instax mini film back.

    My original plan was to attempt to fit this to my Ensign Selfix 820 6x9 folder, in a non-destructive, reversible fashion, but that doesn't look possible, there's just too much hardware sticking out of the film plane side of the Kiipix and the Instax film plane is some 3.4mm inside the front surface of the back and there isn't enough room in the 6x9 frame to accomodate it all.

    Which is a crying shame as otherwise it would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, it even looks like it would have been possible to adapt the Selfix wind knob...


    So now I'm looking for ideas...

    Do I butcher the Ensign? I don't think there's enough meat in the film rails to do so easily or accurately.

    Look for something bigger? I'd still like to keep it portable if possible, so the ideal candidate would be something like a press camera or other 5x4 folder. A lens somewhere between 100-200mm would probably be about right, the finished project is a portrait camera.

    Or, I have access to a CNC woodworking machine and a 3D printer (my day job is a CNC operator/programmer), I could fairly easily knock something up that could couple the Kiipix to a suitable lens, would need to have an integrated shutter though.

    So, ideas? Suggestions for a suitable donor camera?

    Ideally, my budget is zero, though to be realistic, we'll say I'd like to keep it under 100€.

    I think I'd like an lens of around f4 (my Instax wide is f14, I want better...), shutter needs a reasonable range of speeds (Instax is ISO 800) and a filter ring would be a benefit to be able to use ND filters.
  2. If you look at this guy's Twitter feed (e.g. https://twitter.com/simplyoxford/status/1270470235003502592?s=20) you'll see some experiments about using Instax Wide outside of an Instax camera, by putting it into an old film-pack cartridge and thence into a camera. Several technical issues to solve.

    See also his Experiments with Instax Wide on Flickr around here.

    The Kiipix is an interesting starting point ...
  3. Thanks for the links, I'm trying to keep my instant, well, instant, hence why I went with the Kiipix rather than shooting in 5x4 film holders (plus I don't have any).

    The more I think on it, the more I like the idea of building it myself. My CNC is accurate down to +/- 0.03mm, which should be good enough (if that seems poor, maybe I should point out that it has a 3.5 x 1.3 metre table, it's a big machine for this kind of work!). I can design and make a body easily enough, in tropical hardwood (and cover it in hot pink leatherette, naturally).

    The hard part is going to be finding a suitable lens and shutter combination, cheap. It needs to have a focus helicoid, so that rules out LF lenses. Either the whole front assembly from a folder, or, has there ever been a leaf shutter that could be adapted to, say, M42 lenses?

    I reckon a 135mm lens for a 35mm camera will probably cover the Instax frame?

    Hasselblad is too far out of my price range and too fiddly to adapt.


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