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  1. #31
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    I've been playing with the 3A Folding Poket Kodak with a B&L Zeiss Tessar lens in a Koilos shutter I recently got by finding a quick and dirty way to get it to do 120. I cut one 120 spindle in pieces (plastic variety) and reversed the end sections after drilling a hole in the cut end so that the pin from the camera body would center and hold it steady. This left just enough room in the middle for a new roll of 120. I use the 122 take up roll.

    Aluminum flashing, cut to the size of the original film channel, acts as a mask for the film and holds it fairly tightly against the pressure plate. I used flashing that had been stored in a large roll, giving it an arc in the middle -cut the hole in the center to just under 6x12 and smoothed all edges before painting it all black.

    I taped the red window and sacrificed a roll of film to figure out how many turns of the film advance would give me proper spacing on a 120 roll. I came to the conclusion that, once I had the first section in place (16 half-turns from having the double arrow just at the beginning of the film channel and closing the back) I had to advance 6 half turns after the first exposure, 6 after the second and 5 after the third and fourth, giving me 5 exposures on one roll. Unload in the darkroom.

    Not perfect, but it seems to work. I've only shot 1 roll and those were underexposed (never tried the lens and shutter before) but I think it has promise. The film shifts a bit if it's not lined up perfectly at first, so some guides on the take-up reel are in order... hose washers? I'll keep trying.

    God, the time we spend making old things work again! My students look at me funny when I get all excited about a camera near 100 years old that turns out pictures they think are inferior to the ones they snap in digital. "Why don't you just stitch digital images together in Photoshop if you want a panoramic picture, Mr. Morange?"

    Ah, but that's why I get paid. If they weren't ignorant, I'd be out of a job.

  2. #32
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Whitey, if you don't mind making a reversible modification to your 122 spool, you could split a 120 spool, hollow the center to fit the 122 core, and hot glue it in place on the 122 core (carefully aligning the slots so you can still load the film). This would still need to be unloaded in the darkroom (because of the cuts in the 120 flange) but would keep everything well aligned.

    If an irreversible modification will work for you, you can cut the 122 spool, drill holes in the ends of the 120 to fit them, and glue the 122 ends into the 120 to make the combination the correct length and the 120 centered. I've recently done this with a 116 and it worked pretty well. As a bonus, you don't have to unload in the darkroom (though you can only shoot one roll on an outing, unless you modify more than one 120 spool).

    You could also cut the 122 spool, make keys to fit the 120 drive slot, and glue or solder them into the ends of the 122 core, and have an adapter that will allow you to reload in the field just like you would with any other 120 camera. This is the most versatile, and the one I'd choose for my own use if I'd thought of it before making the above modification (I might still do it -- I used hot glue, so I can disassemble the unit I made with a little care).

    BTW, with 6x12, if you drill a 3/8" hole in the camera back and pressure plate, centered from side to side and 3 cm from the takeup end of your frame mask, you'll be able to use only the odd numbers on the 6x6 framing track and get 6 exposures per roll. Drill 3 cm from the supply end instead, if you'd rather, and then use only the even numbers. You shouldn't even need the red filter, but you can glue some Rubylith or similar material over the inside of the hole if you prefer.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  3. #33
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Thanks Donald. I had thought of most of those options but went with the "quick and dirty" fix because A: I have a limited attention span and usually do this stuff while I'm talking to kids in an art studio, B: My darkroom is literally feet from my desk, so unloading in the dark-closet is no big deal and C: I can't really see me making a full time user from this camera. I have also made some spacers out of Sculpy (spelling?) - an oven-hardened polymer clay. I cast the end slots of an old, metal 620 roller in plaster, made a mold from that negative and then fashioned some spacers that took the smaller pins and tabs of the cameras that needed the spacers (for 616, if I remember correctly.) The same could be done here. If the spacer has a female end that fits the camera and a male end to fit 120, no extra fiddling is necessary.

    I have been the recipient of many great old cameras and lenses in the last two years (a few really interesting junkers as well - I just spent much of the evening taking an old Rapid Rectilinear off a Kodak Ball Bearing shutter just to see if I could get the thing cleaned up and working again. I did- sort of.) The one thing I promise myself on getting each of the cameras is that I will try my darndest to get at least one good image more out of each one. It's a fun challenge but I have more cameras than I have time. Planning for retirement?

    One that still has me stymied is a Kodak #5 Cartridge camera, circa 1898. 7 in. wide roll film. I don't have the plate adapter that was available for it and I haven't had time to fabricate anything yet. A nice problem, as they say.

    And while I imagine I have you here.. Your 1000 post was mentioned the other day. What has astounded me in you posting is not the quantity, but the quality. You are a wonderful source of good natured help, and I thank you for it.

  4. #34
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Wow, I hadn't even noticed I was hitting 1000. No wonder my typing fingers are stiff...

    Can't really help you with the #5 Cartridge -- I presume 5x7 sheet film won't help you because the film gate is too wide; perhaps seven inch wide ULF film (7x11, I think), or cut down a strip of 9 inch aerial film and make backing out of black plastic sheet or black construction paper?

    I'm going ahead with the third option conversion on my 616 -- after two rolls, I decided it was more of a pain to have to leave the camera empty until I loaded the film into a tank than it would be to redo the conversion. The wonders of hot glue -- it comes off metal pretty readily and very cleanly, even though it holds pretty well until you intentionally abuse it. So I've got the 616 spool halves loose again, and am now working on a method of making a core for then that will fit and drive a 120 spool and hold up better than the folded brass strips I tried to use with cut-off 120 spool ends (without spending money I don't have). My Target Six-16, converted to pinhole, probably *will* be a regular user, because it works so well (and it's far too ugly -- converted by someone else -- to call a "collectible").
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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