Konstruktor advice

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cliveh, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Happy Christmas all APUGers. One of my Christmas presents was a Konstruktor camera. I haven’t built it yet, but wondered if anyone can give any advice about making? Also, I have a Leitz bayonet to screw adaptor ring which I have never used and I was wondering if I could modify the build of the Konstruktor camera to include this, and thus use my f3.5 Elmar with it?
     
  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Rather than butcher a Leitz bayonet to LTM adaptor, look for a LTM lens flange online. It ought to be cheaper than the value of anything branded Leitz.
     
  3. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Use a craft knife, like X-Acto, to separate the parts from the matrix. Not from experience with this specific kit, just generally good "model-making" practice.
     
  4. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I wondered if I could fit it without having to butcher it and Bill thanks for the craft knife tip.
     
  5. alienmeatsack

    alienmeatsack Member

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    Building the Konstructor is very easy, assuming your instructions that came with it are correct. Mine were printed out of order and I had to get proper ones online.

    It goes together pretty easily. As Bill said, use a knife to remove parts to make sure they are cleany removed, file off rough edges, etc.

    What I suggest is that you've you've assembled it, you take it apart and put it back together again once or twice, that seems to "loosen up" the parts a bit. I had to use some silicon lube on a few moving parts to make it work well. And I took a fine grit nail file and very gently sanded many of the parts edges so they moved smoother.

    My experience with it... The viewfinder can be dim and difficult to focus, but once you learn the zones, you can hand focus without too much effort or using the viewfinder. Film advance can be flaky and the sprockets that advance the film will eat thinner based films, so try to stick to thicker ones. It does help a little if you gently file the advance sprockets teeth edges to take off any sharp edges. And the lube above helps inside on plastic against plastic moving parts in the film advance and take up area. When taking, make sure your finger isn't in the way of the mirror release when you hit the shutter or you'll hold it up and the exposure will be off. I struggle with that every time since I hold it and my hand always end up on that mirror release switch. The film counter dial is useless, it just spins on its own, so you will want to try and keep your head wrapped around what frame you are on, when advancing noting the amount of turn per shot and listening for the "click" that the sprocket inside makes when it's reached the next frame. Since the advance system doesn't always stop when it should, you can easily pass 2-4 exposures before you snap a shot again if you don't.

    I found that you can make it much more fun by holding filters, diopters etc against the lens when snapping shots. And that the exposure system on it is much more forgiving then most of the Lomography cameras. To me the shots from it are way nicer and brighter then with the Holga.

    I really like the pics it takes and I want to try and use the lens on something else with a more reliable advance. I had fun putting it together, then rebuilding to "clean up and fix" the quirks.
     
  6. alienmeatsack

    alienmeatsack Member

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    I don't know if we are allowed to link outside of this site. So this may not work. Here's a pretty useful conversation on Flickr about the film advance issues and some of the workarounds and hints/tips for the issue if you wish to look at them. They may help with your assembly and use of the Konstructor.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/konstruktor/discuss/72157638631411153/
     
  7. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Thank you Alienmeatsack, that information is very useful. Do you know where would I get silicon lube?
     
  8. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Cliveh,

    I found something funny , silicon lubes used as condom lubes and you can buy from apotheke I guess.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Condom lubes are water based and will dry out quickly, hence not a good thing for your project. Using silicon lube in a condom might have some unintended medical consequences.
     
  10. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Actually, many new modern intimate lubricants are indeed silicone-based. They're thinner and slicker than water-based lubes, and resist drying out. I don't know enough about machinery to know if they could replace machine oil or such, but I've used them before to lubricate external parts, like lens mounts, to ensure they don't jam up.
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If you're near a dive shop you can buy silicon grease used for lubricating regulator o-rings.
    ZipSlip is the brand I am familiar with.
    (It's pharmacuetical grade, so you may find multiple uses for it:whistling:)

    The flange distance for your Elmar is probably not compatible with the camera unless you heavily mod the mirror box.

    IDK, but assuming the common M39 enlarger lens mount is the same as the Leica threads, an enlarger lens board, or even a bubble case like for an El-Nikor might be a good source for the threaded mount, if you want to avoid harming your M adapter.
     
  12. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    Umm... at the risk of TMI, I'll second Terry's post, lol. As for latex, it is the petroleum-based lubricants that are contra-indicated.

    I'm assuming that cost and ease of acquisition is important because it is a kit kamera. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to purchase a lubricant specifically for camera repair/service.

    I'm not sure how a "personal" silicon-based lubricant will hold up in other applications. I don't think they are designed for longevity. Perhaps a visit to an auto parts store may be better for more durable lubes. Lithium grease (typically used for brake calipers, among other things) are very good and do last, but I don't know how good that would be for a camera.
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Thanks, I hadn't thought about using a bubble case.
     
  14. pen s

    pen s Member

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    The shutter drum opening in that camera limits the aperture of any lens adapted to it. It is a tiny, trapezoid shape. Therefore you will not get to use apertures larger than f8 or f11 on an adapted 50mm Elmar. You can set the aperture to a larger value but the small opening will effectively limit it.

    When I first saw it had a removeable lens I hoped the shutter would be a single speed + B version of an Exa 1 drum shutter built out of plastic. But alas when it arrived it was apparent that the design of the shutter would severly limit hacking other lenses to use on the camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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  16. alienmeatsack

    alienmeatsack Member

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    I got my small tube of silicon lubricant at at Lowes/Home Depot for a few dollars. I use it when I need to lube parts of cameras or other things that are sensitive and I want proper lube to do the job right. It works nicely for the Konstructor.

    You can also just file and polish the plastic parts that interact to make their movement more smoooth if you aren't comfortable putting lube in the camera. But FWIW, the places I am talking about lubing are not areas that are ever going to see the film or get near the film itself. Aka the gears inside the top that control the film advance, the film take up spool and the sprocket gear at that advances the film itself.

    Also, on a non-lube related Konstruktor note, if you are experiencing issues with the sprocket wheel tearing up film that filing the ends of it down and smoothing them just a tad helps. Not too much that they won't catch in the film and pull it along, mind you. I went over all the parts of mine with a nail file and some polishing fine grit sandpaper to smooth it out which helped.