Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New cam

Finally, new cam for Goerz Dagor 111mm lens is ready, adjust the RF tomorrow, then it can fly to NY.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Play with mirror is fun!

This set is going to France, with a modified Fuji PA-145 holder.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Imperial/ Metric system

New distance scale compared with original ones, font size is bigger for reading, and in Imperial system as well as Metric system upon client's request.

Revised in 4 versions, and re-arranged colors, font size and locations, distance scales are re-designed in whole new looks. Every version of output is different from what I saw on monitor, that took me many hours to adapt with, time wasted between output lab and my studio.

Left two are from original, notice that one in meters, very very few, most 110B I encountered are in feet.
Right four are covered by new distance scales, different scales for different prime lenses, they are more clear reading, and the scale is unified to focal plane, no more confused "Feet to lens".
So do the un-coupled lenses, accompanied by distance scales engraved red line mark, and infinity stop engraves, Byron is capable of with 3 interchanging lenses.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tele Arton Project un-coupled

Have been tried 5 cam for this lens, but the result was not good, I think that 110B range finder has its limit, for such a long focal length, we need a laser diode range finder for it!!

And the rail movement on 110B, only allow the lens focus from infinity to about 4meter, no reason to keep the project, leave the lens to GG panel.

A notification to PA-45 holder users...

Last time German Bear wrote me complaining about using the PA-45 holder, here is what he wrote:
"Problem: Polaroid back welded with Byron. If I use a Polaroid holder, it's easy to connect with the Byron, but how to get off? Once I did, after I want to change to Grafmatic but Polaroid holder didn't move a millimeter from the Byron. He was like welded, I pull and pull and at the end only with force I could get off.
Solution: ?? Why it's so hard to get off? Can you do something?"
What he refers is a Fuji PA-45 instant film holder.

He sent me the holder, and I mount it to my Byron, that is really tight, like he said, welded with camera back, no way to shake or move. that is good for mounting, then I unmounted it, IT WELD! Just like Byron is equipped with a PA-45 back permanently!

That is really weired, so I forced to take it off, at the moment I fully understood what Bear were feeing, standing on the street, with friends who are watching.....and that stupid Byron just grab the holder won't let go! Bad dog! Bad dog! Let go!!

Took a break and had a cup of tea, I remounted the holder, this time, with my own PA-45 holder.

Funny thing is, my holder is easily unmounted, and even it allow little space when mounted, totally different with the one from Bear.

I compared with two holders carefully, be honest, found nothing different, they should be all the same, but why two holders acts so much diverse?

Then I checked the edges, found out that when mounting, one holder is very much bump at the side of back, another one won't. The one that bumps will cause the holder tightly mount, and there is no space for it to unmount.

Could that be versions of PA-45 holder? a little different on edge exists between versions.
Since Bear's holder needs a little space for unmount, then let it be some space! I filed both edges, make a small ditch, that keeps little spaces between holder and back.
Now Bear's holder is mount/unmount as easy as mine, that should solve the problems.
To all my clients who are planning to use Fuji PA-45/Polaroid 550 instant film holder, if your holder "welded" on the back, please do as what I did, filed both side with a small ditch.

Friday, April 16, 2010

a little more improvement

Exchanged opinions with German bear last night, he would like to have Ysarex 4.7/127mm lens a lens shade, but since the lens does not have filter threads, he asked me if I know any shade available for it.
I remember reading a post, a Chinese lives in Canada ever glued a step-up ring on lens, then he can use filters/shade in front of Ysarex.
I think this is not bad idea, a little more improvement makes Byron better, I can do this as basic conversion, so I went to find the ring this afternoon.
49-52 step-up ring is almost perfect fit for the lens, but the inner diameter of ring is 46.0mm, and the outer diameter of the lens is 46.5mm, that I need to visit my mechanist to do some work.

Lathe the inner diameter into 46.5, step-up ring is tightly fit on the lens. Inner circle is shinny silver due to the lathe work.
And then I squeezed to fit the ring, no any glue needed, it is just so tight, you will need to use a philip screwdriver to take it off.
It looks neat and pretty, with this ring we can install any 52mm filter on, and of course a 52mm lens shade. With ring on the lens, it safely stay in the camera body when fold.
To all my clients who are waiting for their Byron home, I am very sorry for delaying this conversion batch, for some caused by my finger injury, and some by my mechanist who was busy on other company's case. To make up the drag, I will install this step-up ring on Ysarex 4.7/127 to each Byron, unless you write to me, say "no!"

Another improvement is to unify distance scales. 
Byron is a conversion turning a fixed lens camera into an interchangeable lens system, besides one prime lens is range coupled with range finder, other lenses planning to use must have their distance scale for un-coupled focus.

But Polaroid designed distance scale in a merely weired way, distance scale original on 110B is not engraved in between object and focal plane, which is a common way to do, instead, they measured distance between objects and lens. Two system differ on the length of camera body, that is about 8inches.

For object locates far away, say 20 feet, 8 inches makes no difference for both two scale, but if object is near, maybe 5feet away, then 8 inches means a big focus error.

I was reminded by Raymond, a Byron client, he wrote me one day said that the distance scale is not right, I followed what told and found out the same situation. Then I finally found that all lenses I measured and set are based on focal plane, but distance scale on 110B is based on lens tip, that caused errors.

And original distance scale misguided people, makes us thought that 127mm lens can focus as near as 3 feet, but to focal plane, actually 3.5 feet.
So I redesigned the scale, remeasured and remarked it, image on top is what original distance scale shows and what it measured, below is what new scale shows and it measured. 
New scale has bigger numeric numbers, to help people like me, in the middle age, weak eye sighted. And in colors for more clearly display.
Not only scale in feet, also there is version in meters, reminded by a French client, some people get used to use metric system.  
Again, please let me know if you prefer to use metric system, or I will use imperial system.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

class April 10 is graduated

Half of them are way to Europe, half to USA, first thing next week...
Dragged by finger wounded, by this batch brings me a lot of inspirations.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quality is the most important thing...

I like to do things in quality.
There always people writes me about the conversion cost, that brings me an idea, why not I sell DIY kit to buyers, and then let them do all the conversion, saves my time, and their money!
But recently when I did my conversion batch, the idea vanished.
The reason, conversion steps need experiences, and skills accumulated by try and errors.
If DIY kit did not provide enough parts for new hands to do things right, what then? buy another spare parts? bear the not-so-good quality for the rest of camera life?
For example, paste the velvet on the back.
You can see that there are total 12 screw holes around frame opening, that is for fixing the bellows, we will paste three stripe of velvet, to cover the holes, and to as light trap. (fixing the bellows needs another skill)
As you can see that two of them have been pasted, the last one is going to paste on.
But I say it is unqualified on Byron.
I will re-paste the middle velvet, as you can see there is one tiny gap at under side. To a new hand, pasting velvet is not easy at all. I reckon myself a handy man, but I practice this paste step for about 40 times, then I eventually know how to do it right, so how many should I prepare in DIY kit?
Or will you tolerate imperfection, try to ignore it every time you load/unload the film holder, since it did not affect the operation?
But what if some parts do affect the quality of operation, and you got only one chance to make it right? what about bellows?
What about the RF housing? It took me about 13 main steps to modify.
Such as shown here, from left to right are housing for 110A, 110B, and modified 110B for Byron, I added a eyecap attachment at the eye window,
And at the right lower part of housing, some putty is needed to fill, an opening left for clamps..., a lot of sanding and then putting again.....

Then at the end of housing, a dented corner, for accommodating PA-45 holder, then thanks to Walter, I add a bubble level hole.
All these finished, two to three layers of spray paint is needed, before that, maybe a base paint is needed, and even finer sanding......
Do these job suitable for DIY? maybe yes for skillful hand, but for new hands....
I am afraid that the quality of Byron is no way to maintain if DIY kit released......
And, to all my dearest clients, if you are waiting for your lovely Byron home, please forgive me if there is a little schedule behind, that always be some steps I feel not good enough, and take days re-made or re-adjust, I can't let them out in such an unqualified condition, maybe you are not aware, but I am.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some useful information for camera DIY

DIY Custom Camera Bellows Kit
This is cool!
Though not my way of bellows making, but it is good for starter.

Camera Bellows Outer Cover Fabric
It is too thick to me, but should be very good material for size larger than 4x5.....
(11/04 add) there is going to provide a much thinner material, when Sorin solved the lightproof problem and cost problem. In my opinion, as long as you let buyers aware that 3 layers of bellows construction is 100% lightproof is enough, no need for additional treatments, that will increase thickness.

Fine Grain DIY Ground Glass Kit
and this one shows you how to grind your own ground glass, amazing!