I got a Polaroid 110B in superb conditions

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Fulvio, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    Hello,

    I just received today from UK a beautiful Polaroid 110B. Looks almost new, the viewfinders are very clean and the rangefinder appears to work properly. Mounts an Ysarex 127mm and prontor svs shutter works very fine.

    I'm not familiar with this camera but I want to modify it to fit 4x5" film holders!

    I got an extra polaroid back for practice work (one of those backs made for graflex cameras; the back is identical to the 110B back).

    First totally silly question: I opened the camera and I understood the knob on the front allows focusing. But the lens doesn't move very much. The bellows and the rails should allow much more movement. I guess once opened the camera one has to set the lens in position. How?

    cheers from Italy
     
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  2. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    ok, I figured that out... but I'm not sure it's the right way of doing it... Do I have simply to pull the lens assembly? Then it just stops where the fixed infinity stops are...
     
  3. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    here are some pictures of the extra back...

    I wonder if I can use a portion of it to make the 4x5" insert (to widen the back of the 110B to the 4x5" format). The two backs are perfectly symmetrical.

    I don't have plans to put a 4x5" graflock back on the top as I don't have one and prices on ebay went too expensive (nearly 100$ when you can purchase a whole Graflex for 200-300).

    But I have this idea of using two springs designed for furniture doors. I will just saw them and attach to the finished back to press the holder tightly to the camera.

    I would like some help, I never did such conversion and I'm scared to ruin such beautiful camera...
     
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  4. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    Another close up of the extra back
     
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  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have one of these which I hope to convert to 5x4 too. When I get round to it I may post some pictures.

    They can easily be converted to 120 roll film too. I have done one of the lesser models - a 160. There are some details here: http://www.f295.org/DIYforum/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl/Blah.pl?b-misEquip/m-1146826169/

    There is a picture near the top then some details a bit further down.

    And some pictures taken with it here: http://www.f295.org/DIYforum/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl/Blah.pl?m-1147097093/

    Steve.
     
  6. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    nice job and nice pictures too! This camera is indeed great. I wonder why they didn't make any more of them, that is more large compact rangefinders...

    but I want full 4x5". I already shoot 6x9 with an old zeiss junkie. I like large format but even with a relative small graflex folding camera it takes much time. Mine is a Super Graphic without a working rangefinder, so I have to use ground glass to focus and compose the picture and that makes things as long as any other view camera. Even on the best Crown Graphics, the rangefinder isn't as good as this one I found on such Polaroid! This camera modified to 4x5" would really kick ass for travel and people photography.
     
  7. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    I disassembled the 4x5 spacer in the other polaroid back

    If fits perfectly the 110B inner back. I really have to use this for making the new 4x5 spacer.

    Before going any further and hacking the 110B I would like to hear the opinion of some expert who went thought into this already
     
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  8. robert e

    robert e Member

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  9. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    That conversion is probably fairly priced, but way too expensive for my pockets. I paid 130£ including shipping for this camera and I'm not going to invest more money on it.

    I don't think the conversion is an hard task, I just need some hints. In fact when I'll finish I could make a PDF and put that on the internet to help the community in return.

    I also have the CD from Jones, but it contains just random pictures (many already posted over the internet), no actual instructions. You can get some ideas from it. For example, I need to understand how thick the spacer should be. The CD doesn't make that very clear... 19mm, 21mm, 24mm... 1/2 inch... I have some clue on how to adjust the infinity focus, but no sure instructions.
     
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  10. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    update

    ok... the back was disassembled and the polaroid assembly removed

    Funny, now I have two backs :smile:
    the graflex/polaroid back is identical to the one of the 110B (see pictures)

    I got this spacer from that back, which has one aperture for 4x5" and it's flat on one side, so I could use this for making the spacer between the old focusing plane to the new one to fit 4x5 holders.

    It's thickness is about 4cm, too tall! Should I cut it down as much as close tot he camera hinged door? (the one on the right in the picture).

    I'm going to use the standard ysarex 127mm lens for this project. Where should be the new focusing plane?
     
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  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Fulvio,
    The polaroid/Graflex back is to use Polaroid roll film on the Graflex, not to convert it to 4X5. This film has been discontinued many years ago.
    If you're going to pursue this you're going to need a 4X5 back to add to the 110. What you're doiing right now is converting from a roll film back, to a roll film Polaroid back ie they both use the same film. With the added 4CM extension you'll have a close focusing camera with no film available for it.
     
  12. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    maybe there was some confusion - take a look at the pictures

    I don't want to put the polaroid back over the polaroid camera... I just want to use an insert I found inside the polaroid back to make a 4x5 back for the polaroid camera

    One ending of this insert looks like a 4x5" film holder and has a 4x5" window in it. The other window has a window large to fit the old discontinued polaroid rollfilm.

    It looks like a spacer and it's flat on the 4x5" side, so I can have a graflex back fitted or similar solution. You should be able to see it in the pictures.

    To fit the camera with a new 4x5" back I need an extension from the existing focusing plane to 4x5" and make room for 4x5" holders; I thought this insert might do it.

    this picture is explanatory

    http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=7039&d=1172250992

    I think I need to cut the camera's back at this point.
     
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  13. greyhoundman

    greyhoundman Member

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    You might want to check my June entry of my blog. I did a 4X5 conversion on a 250. But I think some of the ideas may help you.
     
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  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Fulvio
    You don't need an extension to fit a 4X5 back. The 110b has sufficient space to accept a 4X5 holder once modified.
    You will need to get the film plane to where the film was in the beginning. Or change focal length of the lens to compensate for the additonal 4CM, or change the position of the original lens to focus on the relocated film plane.
    The section you're looking at onthe Graflex adapter is simply a darkslide so you could install/remove the back on a 4X5 camera without fogging film.
     
  16. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    sorry extension wasn't the right word, forgive my English please

    what I meant is a spacer between the actual focusing plane and the new back...

    I need to figure out how far the new focusing plane has to be to have a 4x5" image projected
     
  17. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    it's coming...

    ok, I trashed the idea of using that metal piece
    and thanks to a very good friend :smile: I got something now...

    of course it's not finished yet (on the left what you see it's not rust, but adhesive leftovers after I removed the leatherette... I removed the ugly red button; I will cover that up with the leatherette from the back rear door)

    stay tuned for further updates

    and oh... I have ONE camera and TWO backs... know what? I'll convert both backs and maybe I'll put one for sale once both will be finished and tested...
     
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  18. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    Do a search for DIWAN on the Photo.net site. He has posted pictures of his conversion. Very much like what you have done already.
     
  19. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    almost finished...
     
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  20. greyhoundman

    greyhoundman Member

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    4X5 folding RF camera. Just a hair over twp pounds loaded.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    Project finished - camera converted!

    The 110B was converted and rangefinder adjusted to new infinity spot.

    I actually converted TWO backs - a spare one which I think I'll put for sale on ebay (starting price 50 €, a little more than material cost). They both fit my 110B, but of course I only need one :smile:

    The back I will keep for myself is the one pictured in the attached images and it is slightly bigger on the bottom because of a large tripod mount I placed there. Also, it works as a vertical grip for me... The system weighs exactly 2 kg (including camera body, converted back, one double sided film holder). Like a modern DSLR + lens... Cameras such as the Pentax 67 are heavier by comparison.

    My back takes 4x5 single/double film loaders, Polaroid 545 backs, slip-in rollfilm holders and I likely Grafmatic backs as well (I don't have any, just my guess).

    Rangefinder works ok. Anyway I soon realized that one needs to close down to f8 with this camera, being f5,6-6,7 the limit . I wouldn't go below 1/60 speed either. As a large format lens I guess this lens will perform better around f11-f16.

    I didn't notice any light leaks. I sealed the inside of the camera with black foam and epoxy (I used a lot of epoxy in this project).
     
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  22. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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    first image taken
     
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  23. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    Yikes. I wish I would have seen this thread sooner, but this is the first time that I have visited this subforum. It is pretty easy to make a straight conversion. First take off the back and the plate around the opening to the bellows and you can get rid of these (this saves an enormous amount of weight). Use an old 405 type polaroid back (these can be had for pennies on ebay. Look for one that fits a Bronica or similar medium format camera) Take out the insides of the Polaroid back. The back should fit snugly into the guide rails on the body. Attach a graflock type back to the Polaroid back (after cutting out the back of the Polaroid back obviously). Attach everything with screws (2 or 3mm machine screws work great) and seal up all the leaks you can find. Reset the lens on the standard so it agrees with infinity and Voila! you have a conversion. It should only take a few hours if you preplan everything that you need. By doing it this way you get a lightweight camera. There is obviously more to it than this, but anyone with common sense and a little mechanical aptitude can figure out the rest.

    Patrick
     
  24. Buster6X6

    Buster6X6 Member

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  25. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    No, that is a 4x5 to a Polaroid roll film back. Avoid those. One like this-
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Bronica-Polaroid-Film-Back-S-SQ-AI-SQ-SQ-A-SQ-B-Mint_W0QQitemZ140092530842QQcategoryZ3350QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    These will work fine since Polaroid made all of these backs from the same original one type. You just need to take off the adapter that they added for whatever system they were adapting it to. Bronica is the best one to get because no one uses Bronica anymore so they go for cheap. You could also use Hasselblad as well.

    Patrick
     
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  26. Fulvio

    Fulvio Member

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