Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New enlarger light box arrived

Recently I bought a color light box mixer for my Saunders/LPL enlarger, which is set in a multi-grade light box now.

New light box is in brand new style, but since it is set for 4x5 copier (!!), three color mixers wheel are in up-side-down for their digits, but that doesn't make reading difficult.

For that up-side-down reason, the price for this new box is incredible cheap, less than $100, and at street price this will cost you more than $500.

My darkroom was deserted for many years due to moving new house, and no time to plan a new darkroom, but this winter I should be able to re-open it.

For collecting dark brown glass bottles for storing solutions, I now rush to drink a lot of beers. :)

New light box is on the platform, beneath the old one.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Modify Fujifilm Quickchange holder for Byron

Fuji QuickChange film holder is rare in these days. It is a 4x5 film holder that holds 8 negatives in cassette, so you can make quick snaps without replacing holders, comparing to Grafmatic 1268 with 6 neg, Fuji holds two more.

Quick Change holder is not in ISO standard type, it has no lid around it for sliding lock to keep it in place, like most common 4x5 camera back does, so to get it on Byron back, I need to make a little modification.

 Holder side needs to be cut as what white line shows, to leave space for Byron back clamp to hold.
Grafmatic holder and Quick Change holder, QC has modified, you can see the groove at side has extended.
Sliding lock has block the end of the holder, it needs to cut the tip to make way for holder.

And rotating lock needs to cut an angle to securely lock the hinge at the end of holder.

Now Fuji Quick Change is on Byron!

Improve cam grinding process

Years ago I announced and made X type Byron, that is a camera dedicated to Xenotar 150/2.8, for people who wants to make portrait in 4x5, with this wonderful lens, which brings beautiful bokeh images. 

Not through the ground glass, but by rangefinder, to focus and framing, to capture natural moment of the model with Xenotar 150/2.8, that is what people dreaming of, which is also why X type is so special.

But after two X cameras were made, I stopped and had to face one obvious problem: RF is not match with the lens.

Before X type was made, cam for the lens was made by measured, plotting, then monitored grinding under microscope, in a try and error manner.

Here is some plotting of the lens characteristic curves , and here, and here.

Xenotar 150 has a big 2.8 aperture, and the way cam get ground is not good enough for such shallow range of focus range for this lens, I suffered to this problem for many days, months, stopped taking orders, trying to solve the problem, then I designed a way to make perfect cam for this lens, this took me year and a half.

It took about one year or so, maybe longer, but now I finally get the tip, and in confidence that I can make perfect match cam for Xenotar 150/2.8 on Byron, and the cam for any other lens too!

So Suwen, if you read this, I am on your X, you will have it before X'mas.