Monday, November 23, 2009

So much investment in the place you won't notice........

For making Byron an interchangeable lenses camera, many modifications need to be done. Bellows as example, is a must. None of other 110B conversions replace bellows as I do, besides simplified the jobs, I think that they don't provide lens interchanging ability is another reason.
Front standard need to be drilled into 48mm in dia.

To maximize the size that lens could be directly mounted on the front standard, I need to re-design the bellows, and the front plate of bellows, for those modern lenses always are big-rear element in size, compares to those vintage lenses, whose rear are tiny. Original bellows front plate has a diameter 36mm hole, just the size for #0 shutter thread, that is fine for those lenses with tiny rear element, like Ysarex 4.7/127. But when a modern lens is mounted, their rear element are bigger than 36mm, you need to screw off the rear, mount the shutter with front element, then screw back the rear, I call this in-direct lens mount.
Original bellow front plate hole is 36mm in dia.

Well, if I am not picky, or trying to keep the conversion simple, I can leave the bellows as it is, so I don't have to replace the bellows, and certainly no need to re-design the bellows front plate.
But it will be a pain in the ass for my clients, if they try to use any modern lenses. Apo Symmar 5.6/150, as example, got a 46mm in diameter on rear element, so each time a Byron owner use it, he needs to in-direct mount it on. Screw off the rear, mount, screw back......Just think that scenario, especially on street, or in field!! That drives me nut!

 new plate on top of the old one, 48mm vs. 36mm
48mm in diameter, this is the maximun size I can get from new design bellows and front plate, for a modern lens to directly mount on. only 12mm add, compare to it was, but at least some modern lenses can be directly mount on the front standard, and that is the limit I can push for Byron.
Apo Symmar 5.6/150 can directly mount by new plate.

I myself made bellows, so bellows won't be a problem, it is the bellows plate that bothers me! It is used to fix bellows front end to front standard.
A tiny steel plate, very thin, with some holes on it, that's it. But when I asked my mechanist to make some for me, they answered "NO"!
Why? it should be an easy and simple job, just cut into the plate and drill some holes, what's the big deal?
The big deal is, it is too thin for handmade, it can be made only by pressing machine, and pressing needs molds. All needs are three molds, not one.
And molds cost money.
If it is in economical scale, says we are going to produce 50,000 pieces, molds cost is nothing, easily share into each piece.
But what I need for this, 500 pieces the most, I doubt myself even if I can make 200 Byron in my whole life. So the cost for molds became expensive, and also to each plate.
To invest, or not to invest?
You know the answer, but you won't is just a tiny plate hide behind the front standard...

(24/11 Add...)
Then there are some particular screws, needed for Byron. Lens board needs two screws, the smaller one for fixing the lens, and the bigger one for locking the board, as you can see in the image below, the bigger one was later replaced by black ones outside the rim, considering the reflection of surface in bllows. They all are not industrial standard size, meaning? Special Order.
Not only lens board needs special screws, also does the sliding lock.
These screws are not hard to make, to the screw factory, actually they can make any screw just you draw it on the paper, the problem is the quantity.

Here are the conversations after I send the drawing to the factory, the salesman called me:
"Hi, I saw your drawing, would you tell me your company is?....."
"Well, I don't have a company, I just want to order some screws for my old camera."
"OK, no problem, how many screws do you want?"
"200 kilo gram?"
"No, 200 pieces"
click, the line is off.

Then I become smarter.
"Yes, I am in R&D department of my company, we need some screws for pilot run, you make 500 sample to me first!"
"We will made 500 pieces for you to test run, could you tell me the quantity for following order?"
click, I hung up the phone.

Factory told me, whenever they start the machine, at least 5000 screws made in first minute, so often they refer the quantity in weight, not pieces. Finally, I beg my friend who works in a famous computer company, as a mechanical engineer, use his connection to FORCE screw factory made these screw for me.

The cost? I'd rather not to think about it.

Byron is so accumulated by many un-noticeable improvements, bringing it into a 4x5 rangefolder of excellent, of my proud.

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