Friday, July 31, 2009

First feedback of testing

The first feedbacks of Byron camera field testing was collected, camera will add some features, and some modifications.

1. a cable release holder will be added at left hand side. Yes that is Polaroid 11oB's weakness, that sliding-shutter release button is the main cause for vibration, and my personal opinion, since 110B was designed for instant film, no enlargement needed, so it is bearable for such minor fuzzy.

And now we are making it a normal 4x5 camera, steadiness is an important fact to consider, to avoid any further vibration when press the shutter, a cable release is needed.

The second reason for cable release is that besides 127/4.7 lens that 110B built in, we will use other lenses, and these lenses will mount on normal #0 shutter, no long-leg release as Prontor has, meaning they all need a cable release.

So why not? a cable release holder can solve two problems.

2. I am thinking to make the left hand chamber bigger in space, to hold the cable release when not in use.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

cable release holder

Some one suggested to add a cable release holder, for left hand, that is a good idea, will make it, and thanks for suggestion.

Multi infinity stop and distance scale

I want to turn Polaroid 11oB into Byron, a camera with lens exchanging capability, but 110B was designed to use one fixed lens, meaning it was equipped with one infinity stop only, and since the strut that keeps front stand in right angled was design movable ( when flat bed folded), but need it fixed in position when front stand stop at infinity, this is another challenge for more than one lens.

original design combined infinity stop and strut fixed functions beautifully in one piece of metal plate, but if I want to mount other lenses than 127mm, I had to create other stops for them, and keep strut fixed.

You see that metal plate for infinity stop and strut fixed, was two screws on oval holes, leaving spaces to fine tune the infinity stop, when satisfied, dead-set with two rivets in front of the plate, to keep it in place while camera through out its life of service.

Now concludes the challenge I faced here:

1. Multi-infinity stop requirement.
2. Strut fixed to keep front stand right angled, moved when folded.
3. Ensure the infinity stops dead-sitting in their positions for long round.

If I can't solve these challenges, it will be meaningless for lens exchanging capability.

The solutions?

Lucky, I made it.

Image above shows the strut fixer, there were a pair of support, with a round knob in front, which can turn around, to allow/keep the stent moved, by turning the knob. And the pair of supports have another important function-- to enhance front stand parallel to the focal plane, keep it from swing.

but the circular knob, still has space to improve, make it even better, so it is a temporary design.

And about the multi-stop and ensuring fixed position, here is the answer. Now my prototype Byron is equipped with 127/4.7 and 90/6.8 lens, so there will be two infinity stop needed.

A rectangular plate, drilled with two holes, screwed on the flat bed, leaving no spaces of fine tunning, and infinity stop was precisely measured for each lens, then engraved a small gap, allowing front stand to stop at the place infinity stop should be.

Image above shows there are two infinity stop, one for 127/4.7, and one for 90/6.8.

Besides the distance scale for 127 lens, a new scale is pasted at right side, so when 90/6.8 lens is in use, you can estimate the object distance and quickly set, shoot (with a viewfinder mounted in cold shoe). Or you can use rangefinder to focus, then take the readout as reference, set it on 90/6.8 scale, to make precise focus.

How about it? Am I making a wonderful multi-lens exchange system?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Infinity stop

Just tested infinity stop on Byron, now I am sure that Schneider Apo Symmar 150/5.6 can not be used, just missed a little bit, about 2mm less for infinity, what a pity!

Really wanna use 150mm lens, maybe tailor made a special lens board for it, 2 or 3 mm extruded make it work.

So choose lenses from 135mm and downward, 150mm is out!

personal record...

127/4.7- 19S---32.7mm

plus 0.5mm each for center of infinity stopper gap

Friday, July 24, 2009

Graflex/Graflok system in one!

It is really challenging to incorporate Graflex and Graflok system into one, and in a dimension like this. For not to alter the outlook too much, I need to move mechanism to right/left side, instead up/down as usual.

There are a pair of clamps on the right side, they are linked each other, push one and the other will move at same time, but in another direction.

The clamp got tooth on 6mm position, will hold Graflok film holder firmly.

And the left side has two parts, a pair bayonets and a platen. Bayonets are at the top and bottom, sliding out for Graflok system, sliding back to give way for two side dark slide holders; Platen is in the middle, inserted at left for giving way for Graflok, and inserted at right to use as Graflex system.

This picture below shows in Graflok status, bayonet is sliding out, ready to hold the ditch of the film holder; you can see the platen is inserted on left side.

And if we slide bayonet back, and take off the platen......

And re-insert the platen from right side, Graflok/ Graflex system switch is finished! It is just so easy! picture below you can see that upper bayonet is not yet sliding back, and under bayonet is sliding back already.

I have to say, this is the most proud part of conversion, even more than lens changing system!

You can compare it with other system, this one is really easy to switch between flex/lok, no screws, no springs, no parts parted...., just sliding two bayonet and a inserting platen change its way, really easy!

And now let us check how are they doing their job!

Graflok- Fuji PA-45 instant film holder
You can see that I cut a corner to accommodate the holder, this is the only instant holder can be used on this camera, no polaroid back, what a pity!

Graflok- Grafmatic 6 film holder
When Grafmatic holder is locked, the camera back is looking really good! looks like it is born to hold this back, man I love this!

Graflok- Graflex 120 film holder
I hope I can test some 6x12 film holder later, to see if they are fitted.

And for Graflex, two sided dark slide holder in brand name "Elite" works great on this camera, because it has faint gaps on side, clamps on right can hold them firmly. For other brand name holder, if they don't have faint gaps on side, then you can paste a small piece of tape who has faint gap, then they are working well on this camera too.

But hold it, this back provides not only good functions on holders, there is also a very important advantage.....

The platen can help keeping the dark slide also!!

I know many of you did not aware how important it is, let me take you to a scenario of snap shooting.....

You are on the street, with Byron in hand, and two sided dark slide holder in the back. Now you find something to snap, you unfold the camera, cock shutter, make focus, then pull the trigger?

No, you have to pull out the dark slide!

where are you going to do with this slide? no spare hand for it, you have to put it somewhere. Without my platen's help, you have to put it some place, maybe in you bag, but that is what disaster begin.

People sometimes forgot to pull out the dark slide, that waste a good snap; but if you have made a good snap, and forget to pull back the slide while changing side of holder, that waste not only a film, but also a great snap!

Even thought, people still sometimes forget to pull back the slide. I do, too. It is not my fault, nothing to remind me to pull it back!

Now you know how important that platen can hold the slide! It can prevent you forgetting to pull back the slide when changing side, because it is just in front of you and the holder, you are forced to pull it back, then you can changing side.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The outlook of the Byron

I tried hard to keep the camera in it's original outlook.

The results are outstanding, as you can see, if you did not notice it, you would not tell any difference from original. Actually, I made it grow taller a little bit.

because the standard film holder for 4x5 will take 120mm minimum in height, but the body got only 115mm exclude rangefinder head, that brought us in big trouble!

One common way to solve it, is to ignore it, just add a Graflex film back outside the body, or other film back systems. That make things simple, and life easier, but the camera body looks chubby, and spoil the style and outlook completely.

It's fine to a homemade camera project.

But I am a product designer, I hope to carry a camera that I dream of, not only in good function, but also in great form!

So I went on a totally different way, to keep the form, and to make it function. took me four years, but I made it quite successfully!

I make it grow higher a little bit, just enough space for standard film holders, and for graflok/graflex mechanism.

in front view, you can see that I eliminate something, the vertical support, a tripod socket, and the handle on side. I like to keep form in simple and clean style.

In top view, a standard cold shoe is mounted, for accessories like flash, viewfinders....

The bottom shows the tripod socket is move into the centerline of camera, to keep camera balance when in use.

And here comes the biggest different: the back.

My Byron's back is simple, only a hole there.

But the hole is in standard 120x95mm size, and light trap designed not only on the velvet pasted, and side border, and the track rail the back plate implant into, absolutely light tight proof!

Many other converted cameras, will not show you how thick the back will be when in use in pictures, because that is really thick, too thick to keep eyes get closed to view window!

Now look mine Byron, with two side dark slide holder.

From byron

With Fuji PA-45 instant film holder!
From byron

With Grafmatic 6 film holder!

From byron

With Graphlex 6x7 film holder!

From byron

And here is the Big Brother with other kids....

From byron
My Byron is born!

From byron

Will post more images later.

What you see in the picture is Byron and his companions, the lenses showed are:


left column:
Rodenstock Ysarex 127/4.7
Carl Zeiss Tessar 12cm/4.5
Schneider Symmar 100/5.6

next column:
Schneider Super Angulon 90/8
Schneider Angulon 90/6.8

These lenses are what I have and suit for Bryon, two lenses in red color means they can stay in the body when folded, others need to be taken off, but by the help of interchangeable system, now you are free of choosing lenses, as long as they are:

1. in #0 shutter, or smaller size.
2. focal length no more than 135mm

Film holders

Two sided dark slide film holder (brand name: Elite)
Graflex 120 film holder for 4x5 back
Grafmatic 6 film holder
Fuji PA-45 instant holder (in the middle)
home made Ground Glass holder (in Orange color)

only the one above in blue color is in Graflex holder system, others take Graflok system to hold the holder.

beside those, an electronic flash and a cable release.

And, my new born Byron!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

engrave new aperture scale

I bought two old lenses from eBay, one is a Schneider SA 120/6.8 in compur shutter, but the aperture scale is not fitted, seller marked it on a sticker; another one is a Schneider Angulon 90/6.8 in Plaubel barrel, without shutter, meaning I have to find a shutter to replace if I want to use it on my Byron.

I bought a Prontor-Press shutter for 90/6.8, a bargain, but without any aperture scale engraved on it, I had to do it myself.

The solution is simple, take 90/6.8 as example, first thing I need to do is to mark the exact opening size of aperture on Prontor-Press compared with Plaubel barrel, with help of a digital caliper, I measure the opening size of iris of Plaubel, then find the same opening on Press, mark it, from 6.8 till 32

Then take a picture of the shutter, place the image into a graphic program (I use CorelDRAW!) as template, scale it into exact size, then trace those dots you mark, I use tiny triangle, much easier to see in dark environment.

Now place aperture digits align the center of the circle, rotate them till they are at the place should be. If the digits are too closed, change the color.

Reverse the color, that makes it easier to see in dim light.

Same way to draw a scale for 120/6.8.

Then export it into a 200ppi image, saved in a SD memory card, go to a photo shop near by, print it as a 4x6 photo print, when you get the print, cut the scale, paste it to the shutter.

The world is functioning again!

Friday, July 10, 2009

the logo for knob

How do you like this logo? I planned to replace that "110B" plate on focus knob.

or you prefer this one?

feel like I am doing Lucky Strike...

or this?....

J66 peel off

Peel off a J66 today, looks it is a good candidate for wide angle 4x5 shooter, I got a Schneider SA 65/8 lens and a helical mount, but the mount made in China is too big for it, I was surprised this lens was so tiny, the shutter is a #00!

J66 did not have flat bed, a perfect super wide angle buddy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009