Erratic Frame Spacing on Kodak Stereo Camera

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by holmburgers, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hey y'all,

    So I finally got a roll back from my Kodak Stereo camera. The problem is: frame spacing. I had a hunch that something was going to be amiss when shooting, because sometimes I would advance for what seemed like an eternity and other times much shorter.

    It's a mess, frames are overlapping, some are several inches apart with blank space, I'd say about half were salvagable as stereo pairs.

    First off, is it supposed to line up all the frames in tight succession? Meaning, am I going to have "leap-frogging" frames, where one frame from picture 6 (for example) is between the left and right frames of picture 5, and so forth.

    Anyways, I'd like to get this fixed. If anyone has links to or advice for this problem, let me know.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I'm not familiar with the internal anatomy of the Kodak Stereo, but I've got a camera (Wirgin Stereo) that uses the same format, and I struggled with the same thing on the first couple of rolls. Eventually I realised that there was a little lip on one of the film rails that was supposed to serve as a guide to keep the sprocket holes on their sprocket, and if I tucked the film under that guide as I was supposed to, the frames lined up nicely. You may have something similar.

    Mine puts two frames between each pair: e.g., 10 goes with 13, 11 goes with 8, 12 with 15. Yours is the same frame format and I believe the same lens separation, so it seems like you should get the same thing.
    (The Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodak_Stereo_Camera agrees, with pictures of what a strip looks like.)

    -NT
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Awesome! I'll open her up and take a look, I bet you're right about that. It can't be broken, because it was given to me by a little old lady and it's absolutely mint.

    Thanks for the wiki link.. duh!, I should've checked there first.
     
  4. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    I had a similar problem with a roll in my pentax k1000. Some frames were quite close together and some were a little farther apart than normal. I had two frames overlap. Upon inspection, I found that one of the spaces between the sprocket holes was torn, and I think that might be the source of the problem. I think it was a film problem because I'm using a bulk roll of FP4+ and there was a similar problem right at the leader of the bulk roll (I guess it could be me being a dumbass and loading the film wrong because I think the QC at Ilford is too good for something like that to happen during manufacturing, but I guess it's possible). I'd like to say that that's the only roll that's had that problem, and I've ran film through the camera after that with no issues, so it's gotta be me, a slight quirky malfunction of my camera, or this bulk roll slipped through ilford's QC measures (I'm guessing me or my pentax is the issue)

    I dont know anything about your camera, but if it's 35mm, you might wanna check and see if you have a similar probelm with your film. If you use big name film (ilford and Kodak and fuji), i'd guess user error or a camera problem would be more likely than a film problem like broken sprocket holes
     
  5. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    My Stereo Kodak did the same thing. I found the pressure plate didin't have the spring it used to have, and was allowing the film to slip over the sprockets when the film was wound.

    I re-tensioned the pressure plate (pulled it forwards a bit - this bent the springs back and made the the pressure plate push against the film better) - this seemed to fix 98% of the problem.

    Now I also wind on fairly slowly..This seems to have fixed the problem. I get the occasional very slight (less then 0.2mm) overlap on the odd fame - but this is covered by the slide mount anyway..

    I suspect a prat of the problem is the fact that modern film has a thinner base than classic films such as Kodachrome, and this causes the slipping...

    Also if you do a search on the new you can download a copy of the instruction book

    Have fun

    Andrew
     
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Awesome, thanks!

    I opened mine up and didn't find any kind of groove like suggested above, so the pressure plate idea seems reasonable. I wound the sprocket with my finger and couldn't find any rhyme or reason as to when it decides to click and stop rotating. Same thing with the winding post... sometimes it would stop, but most of the time it would just spin and spin.

    So I'm wondering, if the sprocket just spins, then I don't know if the pressure plate is the culprit. But all bets are off when the back is open, so IDK. Approximately how many turns should it take to advance 1 picture? Maybe I'll load up a dummy roll and see if I get consistent rotations.

    On a lighter note, I'm probably one of the few people shooting negative film in a stereo camera. I'm planning to make flicker gif's and also print some b&w pairs in the darkroom and mount them on stereoscope cards for viewing. Anyone done this?

    Cheers!
     
  7. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I've done some prints for stereo cards---the viewers are pretty common in antique stores---but I've been using that Other Technology since I don't have an enlarger. Never tried the "flicker GIF" thing; for on-screen viewing I can do the parallel-view technique pretty well.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ntenny/tags/stereo/ for the files I use for the card prints. All are from negative film, although I guess I could be shooting E-6 and getting it back unmounted as well.

    -NT
     
  8. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Cool stuff, thanks for sharing. The parallel and x-eye stuff is kinda tricky for me and kinda gives me a headache. I read an older (50's) book about 3D photography and the author thought that viewing 3D pairs was good for your eyes though and after awhile your eye muscles actually adapt and get stronger. Supposedly good for near-sight in the long run.

    But yeah, I think it'd be cool to put those old stereo viewers to good use with some modern images. It's funny though; I took some stereo pictures of stuff around my house and when I viewed them I was like, "ohhh... it's my house, exactly like it always looks!" Haha, I guess you need to find the right subject matter.