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  1. #1
    Rock Poper's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Flash sync on a Brownie - any suggestions?

    Hi,

    I was given a Kodak 620 Brownie Pliant some months ago and have come to use it often (easy conversion to 120) - does anyone have any ideas on how to hack into the shutter and get flash sync from it - I foresee two ugly wires poking out awkwardly or something ?

    The shutters work I'm guessing much like a Holga, which has sync - so I can do a comparison mish-mash kinda job hopefully - question is, how do I open the brownie shutter with destroying it ?

    or any other suggestions ? pushed 3200 doesn't cut it for the look I'm after

    cheers as always (;

    Nick

  2. #2
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Effectively, you need to mount a post on the shutter disk, and make electrical connection without affecting the shutter's movement; a leaf spring conductor will contact the shutter post (for X synch) at the earliest point of full shutter opening (with many simple shutters, this will also work for M synch). Run the wires to a convenient connector -- PC socket is nice, but a miniature phono plug is a lot easier to get and wire, and there are synch cords that fit these.

    As you suggest, a look at your Holga's shutter will give you clues, but it can probably be done more simply and more reliably than that. What about a microswitch in/under the release button? When you release the shutter, the switch will close at the critical moment when the release of spring tension lets the shutter release move suddenly. With electronic flash, it'll be easy to adjust this -- just look through the back of the camera to assure you see the full aperture in the reflection of the flash (pointed at a light colored wall, not thorugh the lens into your eye, please).

    Or, better still, get another, slightly newer Brownie with flash synch, make an adapter to connect the flash of your choice, and then if necessary bend the flash synch contacts to produce X instead of M synch.

    When I was in high school, I wired an external synch connection to the test button contacts of a Keystone Everflash 126 camera, connected this to an added synch socket on a Brownie Holiday 127 flash camera, mounted both on a strap mount with tripod screws in sockets I'd added, and used the Keystone as an external flash for the Holiday -- I already had all the bits, so this was much cheaper than buying AG-1 bulbs for the Holiday in 1975...
    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. #3
    Rock Poper's Avatar
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    hmmm, I thought about using the switch itself but ruled it out as it is a rather loose running switch as in it doesn't have any great resistance or release in its motion.. Unless I am mistaken in your description another complication could be that it runs in both directions and the critical point maybe different in each, however I could always just release it with flash then switch flash off and put finger over lens and get the release switch back into the 'correct' position etc...

    ... 'M-sync' thats a new one to me (; http://photonotes.org is good for that sort of thing and I understand what you are saying there now, I'm quite keen to mod this one tho as I'm meant to be busy at uni and the relatively pointless tinkering is relaxing - its going to be connected to a Metz 45CL too ...

    I'll give it a go with the release button, which i'll make all efforts to be non-destructive .

    thanks Donald



 

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