Friday, February 26, 2010

US$39,000 for Xenotar 2.8/150, is that real?

Just sold on xBay, can you believe that? I think it must be made in gold!
Ah, today I learned a new word "fishy"

FISHY FISHY, Fishy very much!

270 Tele Arton Project

Received a beautiful 5.5/270mm Tele Arton lens, from USA, bought by German Bear, he wants his second Byron on this lens. Well, It is funny to see such a tele lens on Byron, should not need too much modification for it, on Schneider website the data says this lens got "Flange Focal Distance 152mm", almost same distance as 150mm lenses, so there should be no need for a special version Byron for it.But the focus cam is troublesome! and I think this is not feasible for hand held shooting, Bear loves to shoot steam locomotive. He can wait the train goes by, standing in snow for 3 hour, crazy bear! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fuji Quickload holder and Bubble level

This is contributed by NY Walter Garcia, a Byron owner, who is so creative, modified Fuji Quickload film holder for Byron and added a bubble level on camera body, here is what he wrote to me about Fuji Quickload:
Attached are photos of my modification for Fuji Quick Load holder. After cutting the two small notches the fit is good. I will expose some film with this in the next few days If weather is good. It is not difficult to do but it must be done carefully and slowly. I do not have small measuring device to see exact measurement in mm. I think you can do this if you get one of these holders. They are easy to find and not so expensive. To disassemble you must remove 6 small screws circled in image #01. 
Then carefully take apart two half. 
Be careful with roller it has two small springs that like to jump out. Also pressure plate likes to fall out. The other images show where cut must be made to fit with Byron locks. Let me know what you think.' 

Well, I think it is just marvelous! To a traveler with Byron, LF and light weighted, slim and easy to carry is the most concerned, and Fuji Quickload is a very good idea for people on the road, I always been asked about if Byron takes Fuji Quickload or Kodak Readyload or not, but I never got a chance to try it.
Is there a Ready Load holder and willing to let me try? It seems easy to modify on Quickload, should be not hard on others.
(01/03 add)
Walter kindly sent me images of Quickload on the back of Byron, to completely demonstrate how it looks when in use, thanks, man!
Looks like it is Angulon 6.8/90mm lens at work!!! That's the reason for lens interchangeable system!!

Then the other creative idea from Walter, a bubble level!
Here is something I added to Byron. Small detail but could be useful for fast leveling on tripod. I had saved this from broken plastic tripod someone gave me. Let me know what you think about this.
After reading the mail, I hurried to the shop nearby to find the bubble, I want one too!
Asked if I can post his mail to my blog, here is what he replied.
'You are welcome to use any of the images and information for the blog. Since there are not many Byron yet, all owners are like small family and welcome to share any ideas.'
Indeed, sharing ideas makes the community grow and keep in health!
Let's share our ideas!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Year of the Tiger, Year of Emily

Vacation is over, 9 days of release, finally.
I really don't wanna back to normal life, hot spring spa, fresh sea food, hot pot, beef noodles, sushi, walks under the tree alley of the cherry blossoms, and all over the ground also...........
Well, but there are lots of works to do!

First of this year, Xenotar version Byron had to go by the end of March! Jeff had been waited too long, special sized bellows needs new blue print, lens board mechanism needs new parts......

Then the sister of Byron, Emily, project for converting J66 into a 4x5 snapper for wide angle lens. New plates arrived and waited for drills, should be available at the end of June.

So before that, new batch of conversion will start at the end of this month, four on line, and another three is on the way.

Oh, right, be reminded, I should upgrade my " Something you should know about Byron"  into version 2.0

And there will be v1.0 about "Emily" too.

Happy New Year of Tiger!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

To Better Fit Regular Double Dark Slide Film Holders on Byron Back System

Rules are made to be violated. I am happy to said that, since I break another rule I set before, it means the limits are less, options are wider.
Byron has its own back system, differs from International Standard Back System or Graflok Back System, because I want it to keep simple and slim as possible.
Since it did not follow industrial standard, there are some limits for those standard film holder to be mounted on.
I received feedback from my dear client Raymond, who are not satisfied when using regular double dark slide film holders: "The tabs holding the film holder do not close completely when a film holder is inserted.  The tension is insufficient to keep the film holder snuggly against the camera and I am concerned that there will be a light leak.  Is this how it is supposed to work?  It seems you are trying to make the tabs work with all types of backs but have compromised the operation when used with a regular film holder.  I think it should be the other way around - it should work perfectly with the film holder and compromises should be made when using the other backs."  
What my main purpose on developing Byron camera is for hand-held, street snap 4x5 rangecoupled, so those holders who can carry as many films as possible are prior listed, Grafmatic 6 films, 120 roll films, instant film packs, to name a few, and they are all in Graflok standard, thus Byron Back System was guided for Graflok standard. Two clamps on both up and beneath side hold Graflok film holders very well, you can see operations on my YouTube video.
Trying to design a system perfectly fit both for Graflok and Graflex systems, but failed, so I had to compromise the regular double dark slide film holders, what clamps hold are only the tiny ditches on side of the holders, not very securely held. In the picture below you can see that clamps do not grip the holder by "bite in" the holder, but just hold the side by the tension.
For this I set the limits on "Something you should know about Byron", regular double dark slide holders, only allow those holders who has ditches on side, like brand Fidelity series, or Lisco holders; and those holders who has no ditches on side are off the list, like TOYO holders.
Though clamps do not "bite in" the holder, I am not so worry, since when hand-held, your left hand holds the camera, thumb naturally press the back , providing good support of the holder, to keep it from falling.
But how about when not hand-holding, on tripod, there is no hand to press the back, will it be secure to hold? That must be concerned by many clients who are experienced LF camera users, but seldom hand-held snaps on 4x5, like what Raymond said.
For this, three options to clients to choose.

1. Keep It that Way.
If you use Fedelity or Lisco holders, with faint ditches on side, and would like to hand-held snaps, you don't need to do any change, just use the holders. When you mount the holders, your left hand thumb will provide enough press to keep the holder, and the dark slide you insert into the blocking plate (see pic, above), provides another security to keep it.

2. Make Ditches for Bite-In
If you are good at machine, and happen have tools, you can make ditches on side of the holders, let clamps grip the holders by "Bite-In",  it is the best solution I can get now, but you need tools to do it. The ditch is 1.5mm wide, 20mm long, and 1.5mm in depth.

Here I use TOYO holders, whose sides are without ditches, but with these ditches I made, they are feasible for Byron now, holders is securely hold.
(23/02 add)
People asked about the precised position of the ditches, so here it is
Help by a lathe machine and a 1.5mm drill, make 2 ditches each side. The most important dimesion is 6.8mm, center of the ditch, just for clamp to grip.

3. The Velcro Way
I  know that ditches way is difficult for average people, so there is an easy way, what we want to prepare are velcro tape,  a pair of scissor, and file.
File both side of holder, to make room for velcro tape, you can compare original holder and the one who has been filed.
Then cut the proper size of velcro tape (hook side), paste it on both sides of holder, now we provide very good "Bite-In" zone for clamps!
For comparing the "Bite-In", we list three ways in a row, you can choose an option you like. Now, the DD slide holders are not limited anymore, any holder allowed on Byron!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I moved my house

Sorry for no new update these days, I just moved to a new place, I can own a big room for Byron works.
And for those who concerned, 30 new 150mm cams just arrived, waiting for test, I decided not to grind the 127mm cam into a 150 one,  feeling that will be risky on precision.

My internet will be connected tomorrow, if telephone company do keep the promise.

Till then, see ya!