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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Turn your cell phone into a cute film scanner

I would always want to do a cute gadget like this, to turn cell phone into a negative scanner. Not expecting to get good quality images, but at least it do open the chance letting old negatives share on the web.

What I dreaming of, is to open a small cafe, with this gadget on every table, so customers can sit chatting, and scan their negatives, kill some time and bring back some memories.

And since they had release APP for scanning, no need to worry how to get proper profiles of different films to turn a negative image back to a positive image, I think we can build our own scanner for cell phone, for negatives other than 35 mm format. That is just a combination of lightbox and a fixed height support only, no big deal, I want to digitize and file my 120 and 4x5 format negatives.

Buy the iPhone and Android Film Scanner at the Photojojo Store!

For sale one 110A Polaroid converted 3x4 instant film camera

I don't remember when I got it, and no idea who made the conversion, but this 110A converted 3x4 instant film camera is well made, RF mechanism was replace with 900 viewfinder, so rangefinder and viewfinder were combined into one, like a 110B, but body is a 110A. It equips with built-in Ysarex 127/4.7 lens, and has Polaroid 3x4 instant film holder attached, a typical conversion as can be seen in auction market.

Front side of body keeps original leatherette, and I replaced the back and holder covering. 

I took off the RF part, housing got putty-ed and re-spray paint, RF mechanism were cleaned and calibrated all over, re-aligned the overlay images, and replaced the cold shoe into a Byron version, so you can do off camera flashing, like last post shows.

Bellows seems in good shape, I added one soft rubber press on shutter trigger, to improve the stability.

Lens and shutter in good shape also, infinity stop in secure position, no Velcro positioning trick, guaranteed.

Operation is smooth and pleased to handle, I will include one neoprene protecting bag.

Asking for US$480, worldwide shipping fee included.

If you are interested in this beauty, please write me to

Thank you.


(12/06) Booked, thank you very much.
(12/07) Sold.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cold foot? make it hot!

Street snaps need flash sometimes, for that you can add a flash hot shoe adapter on Byron, and connect flash with a pc cord, there you go, cold shoe now is hot, ready for light on your subject.

Does anyone know how to connect large format lens with a wireless remote control flash system? That pc plug seems not popular on most recent wireless system........

(12/05 add...)
Really stupid am I, just found out that stack up remote controller on top of the adapter, then I got off camera flash, that simple!!

Hey! looks what I found!!

I love that thumb up!! Thumb up!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Restored a Polaroid conversion

This is a Polaroid 110B converted into a 4x5 format fixed lens camera, converted by someone else, not me. The one that famous handsome US actor Bard owned, and everyone loves 4x5 would definitily loves to have one too.

Client sent it to me, asking to replace the focus knob that seems cool but awkward to manipulate, and get rid of those decorations to "make it looks like a normal camera".

I didn't know what those decoration for at the first sight, till I took off those decoration plate. Oh, there is one hole at the RF housing, beneath the decoration plate, cracked.

That explain something.

And the viewing window, converted into a round shape, claimed that improves viewing, I compared this with original viewing window, can not tell any difference, so I figured that must be my own problem, I am dull in some area, especially this.

I thought maybe I can learn something on this, I turned up the housing, to see how the view window were converted, then I found out that it was made by very sophisticated skillful hand, obviously, which beyond my ability and guts and I don't dare to copy, no mention to sell it out.

The RF housing was cut off at the end, to match the cutting body, so obviously there will be a cutting phase to compensate, that need some putty. Many converted Polaroids I had seen, were all get exposy putty with enough amount, to ensure that fragile end will hold the job.

But not this one, I thought the builder must be following kind of "lighter the better" philosophy, no matter how easy the housing cracks at that part, that was not his problem.

Managed to bring this cracking housing back to normal, the result is somewhat OK to me. Oh, and I replaced the cold shoe, hope it could be as good as the original one, that sticks with sponge tape onto camera body, so bold mind and so creative that I never think of.

Replacing focus knob is an easy job, but I do admire that original converted knob, so pretty, so unique, and so hard to use.

And the infinity stop, I replaced that Velcro version conversion has, for I still can not solve the secrets that fix lens with Velcro and sponge tape. I took off the Velcro, bring back into the original one from Polaroid, and added a steel plate to ensure the fix position. When replacing this part, I made the i.stop calibration, found that must be my calibration procedure has something to improve, for my calibration result did not agree with it, hope my client can live with my error.

Well, these were some thoughts while I did the job, and I think best to keep myself in Byron area, only function counts, deco is not my dish...... 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Xenotar 105 1:3 lens

Found one long forgotten lens in my camera chamber, this Xenotar 105/3 was BIN in xbay several years ago, at time I was charmed by Xenotar, any auction listed Xenotar would makes me click the page. 

This was listed by a gentleman from Germany, just front and rear element, no barrel, no shutter, as is, but in nearly brand new condition. I checked the web and found nothing on this lens, no the dimension of the thread, or any example photo made by it, but the hell, I grabbed it anyway.

Planned to adapt it onto a custom 6x9 or 6x12 camera, maybe the image circle is not enough for 6x12, then how about 6x11 or 6x10.5? I have some old six-20 cameras, there are in wider format, some frames measured at about 11cm at width, I thought that may be a good candidate for a pano folder.

But then I forgot it, since I don't know where to find a suitable barrel/ shutter for it, and that silver rim looks like a fly sauce won't let go, so I wrapped it and stored it deep in my dry box.

Today I took it out, unscrewed 3 tiny screws at side of front element, and helped by some gadget, finally I took off the sauce.
 glass is purely beautiful, thick and glued together, crystal clear, without any color, (meaning no coating??}
And then I measured the dimension of the thread, about 38mm in dimension for this part, but the front most glass which separated from this thick part is much larger, you can see them at lower left of the image below.

I did not take off the rear element, but manged to measure the dimension of thread, about 35mm. 
Well, does it mean now I can find a way to make it adapting onto some shutter, right? right? right!!!

Anyone has experience of this lens?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Xenotar 150 Gowlandflex on Nick

Only Xenotar 150/2.8 makes such bokeh. speechless...
I leave the original file (more than 40MB) here, you can download it to see pixel by pixel..... 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

SL66 test shots with Hektor and Schacht R Travenon 135mm (cont.)

Stanley sent another scanned images to me, all from SL66 with vintage lenses mentioned about, though I don't know which lens made them, they do show very impressive quality, as more than 50 y/o lens.

I bought 2 135mm lenses yesterday, a CZJ MC 135/3.5, another one is Schacht R 135/3.5, thought I should be able to get rid of the barrels, to mount them onto SL66, will get them later, so you could see if that works.

A type Byron front standard has spring lock and level now

A type Byron takes #0 shutter lenses, for they appeal tiny and easy to carry for hiking. Lens board sized in little bit bigger than #0 shutter, not big square lens board makes A type Byron great candidate for travel and street snaps.

Now A type gets a new spring lock for front standard, providing better lock mechanism, and with a level at left side of  the sliding lock, makes it much easier to replace lenses for user who has bigger hands, or in gloves in winter days.

Oh there is one thing to mention, that clients ask if there any Linhof adapter lens board for Byron A, B type lens board, the answer is YES, there will be, give me some time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SL66 test shots with Hektor and Schacht R Travenon 135mm

It is early morning, wake up and hurry to check if Stanley send files, YES! they are coming!

"hoho, I just sent you some files in seperate email...they are by Leica 135mm 4.5 and Schacht R Travenon 135mm 4.5 in Kodak Ektar 100 RDP III still not finish by the lab yet..."

"all my film will be scanned by a hasselblad imacon scanner...." once he told me in a mail.

Here I made the link from my cloud drive, so you can enjoy all the detail.

Now I am gonna check what is that Schacht R Travenon lens, it is total stranger to me.......