The old way

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by BobbyR, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. BobbyR

    BobbyR Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,262
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Minn.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    IS-IS there anyone, or place out there who will still put a motor drive on a camera that was not originally.

    OBVIOSULY-price is not a big part of the equation, but neither is it irrelevant.


    Bobby
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,516
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've never heard of cameras being converted to take a motor drive, anyway nowadays it would be far cheaper just to buy a spare body that accepts a motor drive.

    Ian
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    3,979
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bobby, do you have a motor drive and no body that will accept it?
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,412
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    At one time there was a custom shop in NYC, I think Marty Forschner?? that did all sorts of modifications to cameras for working photographers, generally for the photo journalism industry. He is deceased. I don't think camera mods were ever widespread.
     
  5. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    What camera are you attempting to modify?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    That was Marty Forscher's Professional Camera Repair, which closed several years ago. Noah Schwarz worked in his shop and has a lot of their documentation, and might be able to do something. You can look him up on photo.net.

    That said, this would be major surgery, and I can't imagine what would justify it. If it's because you want to use a certain lens on a camera for which there is no motor drive, for instance, it would be easier to modify the lens to another camera mount. Maybe if you had a camera system with a very extensive and expensive set of lenses that already took a motor drive, but you wanted a faster motor drive from some other system, and if money were no object, that could be a reason to try to adapt motor drives across systems.
     
  7. BobbyR

    BobbyR Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,262
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Minn.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have a Spotmatic II, my first camera, that for decades I have wanted to put a m. drive on.
    I knew of PCR for decades but just never got around to sending it in for reasons of money or other priorities.

    A loooong shot, is I have an Almaz, Russian camera coming which already has the drive connection in the body, but Lomo never released the motor drives.
    NOT real important, but I am trying to pickup the loose ends that stopped me from never getting around to doing it with the Pentax when it was simple--barring cost.

    Now that PCR iis gone, I was hoping there might be one place left that still did such work.
    Is Marty dead, I read in a google search, that (in htat photo.net, I think, thread some one saw him at a recent camera show)

    I contacted John Uske, who used to work for him about possible do-all shops (not with this task in particular) and I though as there is a goodly deal of info at this site, though it is organized kind-of like leaves on a windy day, I would see what the pros here might have.
    Bobby
    PS--Century (Schneider) contacted me that they still work on the Century lens if the work is possible, and they have parts for them not listed on the site.
     
  8. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,412
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I may be hallucinating, but wasn't there actually a REAL motor drive version of the Spotmatic? If so, why would you want to modify a non-motordrive model at considerable expense?
     
  9. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,344
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    Alaska
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Pentax made a motor drive for the Spotmatic, and I see them occasionally on Ebay. Eric Hendrickson (pentaxs.com)worked for Pentax for years, and now operates and independent repair shop specializing in older models. He has repaired several of my older Spotmatics, and does excellent work. Try emailing him for advice.
     
  10. BobbyR

    BobbyR Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,262
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Minn.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    There is not sarcasm intended here but A: because it can be done; B: I have acquired a loathing for thumbing a drive lever( and I am a person who will choose a manual tranny in a car over an auto); C: because I have always wanted to have it done.

    Yes there were several Pentax Spotmatic M.D. cameras on ebay during the past months, but I DO NOT want an entirely new camera.

    I know enough of the process, that this is one of the simplest ones to have done.
    Now the Almaz that is a horse of a different colour.
    Bobby
     
  11. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

    Messages:
    2,412
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Van Buren, A
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    So, if you could find a real Pentax Spotmatic motor drive (without camera) and a replacement bottom plate for the motor-drive camera, you could probably have the basis to pay a technician to attempt the mod.
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,055
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not rememberin' real clear here but as I recollect the motor wasn't separate from th' body in that particular instance. Soooo ifn' my memories are keerect, ya'll may have to pick up a MD body t' get th' motor. Or not, it is my memory after all.
     
  13. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

    Messages:
    974
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Pentax Motor Modification

    In 1984 I bought a Konica FT-1. The FT-1 came with a combination split image/microprism focusing aid in its screen. This screen was not useful for macro work or with slower zoom or telephoto lenses. I brought the camera to Professional Camera Repair and asked them to remove the focusing screen and replace it with a Nikon E screen. This was a grid type screen made for the FE.FM series cameras. PCR did not like working on cameras like Konicas. In addition to paying for the screen I had to sign a release stating that if the camera was broken by the surgery, PCR would not be responsible. The work cost more than the camera body itself but was done expertly. I still have this camera and I have enjoyed using it for many years. When the modification was about 20 years old I had the camera completely overhauled by Greg Weber. If I'm lucky I'll get another 20 years if use out of it. At the time I had the modification done I already had many Konica and Konica mount lenses.

    If I had to make the same modification today I might not do it. The other 35mm cameras I have today with interchangeabe screens include two Canon F-1bodies, two Minolta X-700 bodies, A Nikon N2020 and a Mamiya NC1000S. It would be interesting to modify a Spotmatic and maybe have the only such camera but while a motor model is already available it doesn't seem worthwhile.
     
  14. BobbyR

    BobbyR Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,262
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Minn.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    NO all the Pentax Spotmatics and the ES models had removable motor drives, and at least from the Spotmatic, each new version had a motor drive model.

    I finally sent off an inquiry to the Pentax specialist, so I will see what he says.
    Bobby
     
  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    3,979
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bobby, are you sure? I ask because I spent some time in the spring of 1970 deciding which SLR system to buy into and unless my memory has failed badly -- this is possible -- the Spotmatics I handled then had no provision for motor drive and Pentax didn't offer even a power thumb. In fact, I don't think that any line of SLRs offered the simple power thumb you want.

    You should reconsider whether having your right thumb amputated is a good idea. You might need it for other purposes than advancing film. You might even have to use it for that.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,516
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bobby, I think Dan and John are right. The only motor drive screw mount Pentax's were specials with the drive permanently fixed to the body, definitely not detachable.

    Ian
     
  17. domaz

    domaz Member

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I actually thought about converting a Koni Omega back to have a motor drive (because the back was having advance problems). The circuit would be fairly simple if you are familiar with stepper motor control. The hard part is actually finding a place to cram the electronics, stepper motor and additional batteries into any camera you convert.
     
  18. BobbyR

    BobbyR Restricted Access

    Messages:
    1,262
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Minn.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    http://www.aohc.it/slr02e.htm

    http://www.aohc.it/selart11e.htm

    This is as much as I found easily.

    The motor drive versions had the dedicated camera base-plate that said motor drive.
    This was the part that PCR would obtain,or create when they modified a non-drive version.
    When I bought my camera, they said they would have to special order the motor drive version and I was impatient, and very, very ignorant.
    Bobby
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,516
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, you're right Bobby, I'd forgotten. These motor drive Pentax's were only available as a complete camera - motor drive & body, you never saw the motor drive body or the motor drive separately.

    Ian
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,055
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oooh man, wrong again, how will I ever live with myself.
    In my defense, In 30 yrs or better in the photo retail world I've only seen one of the spots with a motor & it was such an awkward beast I didn't bother futzing with it.
     
  21. paul ewins

    paul ewins Subscriber

    Messages:
    418
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Bobby, one issue you are going to have is getting a motordrive that aligns properly with the baseplate of the Spotmatic. If you can get an original Spotmatic MD then you are probably OK, but anything else is going to be a real problem. The distance between the tripod mount hole and the drive connection has to be the same for it all to connect properly.

    FWIW, Pacific Rim Camera (http://www.pacificrimcamera.com) have an ESII drive listed in their catalog at $195. For another $250 you could get a 250 shot back too. You would still need the battery pack though. I would expect all of the Spotmatic era MD units to be the same size and probably the KX MD and K2DMD units as well, but all of these are collectibles so will be expensive.