Kodak 3a conversion to 120 panoramic?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Mark Fisher, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I just bought a 3a with the intent to convert it to a panoramic camera. After cleaning the lens inside and out, everything worked as it should (well, the bellows is shot, but I can deal with that). I'm wondering whether anyone else has experience with this conversion. The spool adapters seem pretty straightforward, but I wish I had a couple of 616 reels. The thing that is making me think a bit is the best way to fabricate the film gate and the pressure plate. There doesn't seem to be a lot of room between the existing film rails and the back already.

    Any thoughts or experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks -- Mark
     
  2. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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  3. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    I jury-rigged mine, making a simple mask out of aluminum flashing that had been cut from a roll (the "memory" curve acts like an additional flattener, keeping the film flat against the pressure plate.) For the rollers, I hot glued some fiber washers onto the one 116 reel I did have, centering the film take-up. At the other end, I cut a plastic 120 reel into two parts and placed them, cut side out, into the film recess. They press fit pretty easily. the space between them is just sized right for 120 film.

    Advancing the film is a bit of a guessing game. I went through a sacrificial roll with the back off the camera and found that, if I center the start arrow of each new roll before I close the camera, I can advance 6 half-turns to the first exposure, 6 again to the next, 5 and 5 for the next two and 4 to the last. It's rough, but it works.

    Here's a (thoroughly uninteresting) example taken the day after I rebuilt the thing.
     

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  4. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Nice. The foam rubber idea was the one I was thinking of doing...seems simple and I like simple. I really like the scavenged 120 parts, though. A friend just gave me an really crappy Billy Record that would make the ideal donor camera...I think I'd need to send her a nice Pt print with the new camera when I'm done!. I think I'll just use the existing lens for now, though. It is in good shape and I'm planning to use it for contact printing amyway......then on the other hand, 90mm might be nice...(-:

    Thanks to both of you -- Mark