Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Make Double Side Slide film holder into Graflok style

Byron camera has a custom back system, accept most of film holder in Graflok (or International Standard back), two clamps at right side and two sliding teeth at left side, ensure film holder to be securely hold.

As a 4x5 format camera, Byron is set as a snap shooter, you can take as many film as possible when subject appears comparing to view or press camera, this camera is dedicated to those film holders who can hold as many films as possible.

To 4x5 sheet films, there are film holders like Grafmatic 1268 6 pack film holder, Fuji Quickchange 8 pack film holder available, and they perfectly match with Byron back system, no need any modification, or just a minor job to do. But for those user who gets used to use Double Side Slide film holder, which needs Graflex back to "sandwich" holder on camera back, which Byron lacks, I proposed some ideas to adapt it on Byron, not very ideal, but works.

Sometimes I need to use DDS film holder, like the situations when I would like to have the negatives developed individually with different solutions or developing time, that is quite normal if you apply Zone System on them, especially if you use developing tube like BTZS tubes, it is very easy to achieve.

Actually I am proud of the function that Byron back holds the pull-out slide when shooting, in the video top above shows that Byron rotating lock holds the slide, not only frees your hand, and best of all, reminds you to slides it back when you finish shooting and ready to flip the holder for another shoot. Think about it, you don't have spare hand to hold it, and there won't be a table besides you to keep the slide, for Byron is operated when you are in mobile status, you are not in a studio!

Ralf sent some DDS holders to me, asking to modify them following the ideas I proposed, to have two ditches at each side, let clamps grab the holder more securely.

I inspected the idea I proposed, and felt that there are space to improve.

Looking the ditches I had to make at side of holder, you will see that clamp bites in the holder, at center high above the bottom, and because both side of holder could be bottom side, two ditches had to be made, to accept the bite.

What clamps really grab the holder is thin leftover that between two ditches, which is thin and in plastic makes it fragile, I am not so confident of it.

That thin layer of plastic, who bear the burden to takes the pressure from clamp, in my calculation, if film holder is 11mm in thickness, would be 0.6mm only, and if holder thickness gets more thicker, it maybe as thin as 0.5 mm.

I thought it should be better in stronger material, best steel, or even better in stainless.

So there goes the new improvement. Images bellow shows a rather big ditch was drilled each side, clamp would bite in the holder without any difficulty, but without a center layer to be pressed, clamps can not tightly hold the holder.

Inserted in a stainless sheet into the center of the ditch, you can see the difference between two ditch style, and original holder without ditch.

Masked putty with carbon fiber sheet at side, so here we have a beautiful DDS film holder ready for Byron.

Now Byron holds DDS film holder very securely, and you can notice clamps completely bites in.

And the last, a slide is pulled out and kept by rotating lock, frees your hand, and reminds you to insert it back before you flip the holder.

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