Modifying 3A

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Annie, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Is there a simple way to modify a 3A poscard format folder to take 120 film? I only have one of the 122 spools so I am wondering about using some kind of adapter for holding the 120 spool... or is there another method that is used for this kind of thing?

    Cheers, Annie
     
  2. DBP

    DBP Member

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    I haven't gotten around to doing it, but the plan I have long had was to create some extensions from 120 spools to fit on each end of the feeder spool, then use the 122 spool for takeup. Not sure how to handle the paper marking, though.
     
  3. dmax

    dmax Member

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    I'm about halfway done with plans to modify my own 3A to take 120 rolls. I am in the process of fabricating two sets of extensions for both source and takeup spools. You have to relocate the brass bands attached to the camera back to align with the new 120 size to provide pressure to the paper backing of a 120 roll. A new film counter window has to be drilled in the center of the wood back, and the red plastic relocated in it. Any red material of the proper density will work by the way. The old window is then covered up permanently. I glued a piece of black plastic over the old window in my 3A. I have completely stripped the 3A of all its leather, firstly because mine was really ratty, and secondly, I like the look and feel of the bare wood. Makes working with the modifications much easier too. For my prototyping needs, I am setting the new window to count at the 6x6 mark of the backing paper. The location of the new film counter window is roughly an inch higher than the old window, and another inch to the right (centered on the middle line of the camera back.) By using only odd numbers and skipping frame counts, I am able to fit two regular 6x6 frames onto the 5 1/2" long dimension of the film. This is somewhat wasteful of film, but it a good workaround for determining the placement of frames. I'm still trying to work out some problems with the correct materials for the film chambers, but I think I'll get to finally shoot some test images pretty soon. That is, if my other half-dozen tinkering projects don't get in the way. My current bench project - designing a lightweight (street rig) 6x9 camera with focusing helical around a 65 Super Angulon - is simply driving me nuts, and being obsessive-compulsive about these things, I'll probably go at it until I have a working prototype in my hands. Then I can turn to the 3A.
     
  4. Annie

    Annie Member

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    I had thought that I would just cut down an old dark slide and use it as an insert to act as a pressure plate to keep the film flat that way I could leave the springs as they are... just need to figure out how to make supports for the feed reel as I can use the 122 reel for take-up.... I did notice however that the plastic containers for 35mm cassetts have the same diameter as the 122 reel... may try those for a prototype for a booster seat for the reel... let me know how your adaptations go.

    Cheers and thanks... Annie
     
  5. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I always thought that extensions could be made from wood dowel and easily slotted on the ends with a pen knife or small carving chisel. Some epoxy would insure secure contact. If 122 reels aren't normal dowel dimensions, try a hole saw and your choice of material and thickness.
     
  6. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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  7. Annie

    Annie Member

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    Paul...

    Wonderful!! A big thanks to you for taking the time to make your conversion process available, your web page was exactly what I was hoping to find. It is great to know that the Angulon will fit... panorama was what I had in mind for my 3A. Looking at the photos I see what you mean about the brass for the film gate... it obviously the best thing to do.

    Thanks again! ...Annie
     
  8. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    Pau; has a good setup. I did one a little different. The takeup spool uses spaces and the supply spool has one of the agfa folding holders. I found that the supply spool got bound up at the last couple of frames using spacers. I just cut the whole end off an old agfa folder and epoxied it in there. It fit good and didn't require any new screw holes. The takeup spool works fine with spacers.

    For a pressure plate i just attached a strip of foam to the back door. It's thick foam like the kind used for mirror bumpers.

    The "autographic" window is covered with rubylith. I can use that to see the film numbers. I just use every other middle number. I get some overlap but the usable image is 6x12.

    The lens is a WA 90mm optar.
     
  9. Ed Workman

    Ed Workman Member

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    You can easily make spacers with minimum tools and materials.
    My first try was a 116 folder extended to make 2''x9'' negs-lots of carpentry and Elmer's. I let the keyed windup thingy go in to the 120 spool and made spacers for the other end, the hard way. That gave me a permaent lens "rise" that actually worked pretty well to cut out useless foreground, but it also led to framing errors. I incorporated a Caltar 115mm for the wide view.
    On my next try I made spacers for the key side by cutting up 120 plastic spools and adding plastic strip and/or rod, as necessary. I used a 'razor' saw for cutting, a little sandpaper for adjusting and plastic cement. All available at the hobby store for less than $10, maybe less than $5.
    OOPs make that $10 cuz you'll need at least one new rail to support the film. My pressureplate is a thin sheet of wood.
    And lastly, I tried using the little red window but it had faded so I made a new "window" out of a piece of toothbrush handle. I kept it covered by black tape except for winding and never had lightleak problems but it was too hard to see the dots arrows and numbers I had calibrated for the places to stop on the backing. I now just count the winds to get to each of the three frames per roll.
    Go for it!
    Ed