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  1. #1
    McFortner's Avatar
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    Adding a hotshoe

    What would I have to do to add a hot shoe to an older camera, such as my Brownie Reflex Synchro or my Pony IV? I know they both were made for flashbulbs, so the timing would have to be set back to work better with an electronic flash, but I would think the mechanics of this would not be too hard. Has anybody out there done this before?

    Michael

  2. #2
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have done it with an older camera with a copal shutter that previuosly was timed for flash bulbs. . In the copal I had there was a little arm that was pushed in to make the electrical contact for the flash. I re-shaped the arm (gently with tooth picks and a pair of tweezers- it is small) so that it was actuated a bit later by the movement of the tripping cam as it whooshes by when the shutter is tripped. I temporarily took off one end of the main spring so that I could manually cycle the shutter to try to get the flash contacts to close at the instant that the shutter blades fully openned. I then re-assembled the shutter and stuck the lens with shutter (still separate from the camera) though a hole I made in the middle of the piece of foam core. The battery powered flash unit was temporarily taped to the front of the foam core.

    I verified the timing by watching for what I thought I saw was full brightness when the shutter tripped and set off the electronic flash. I finessed the final adjustment with a Minolta IIIF flash meter I own. I metered the reflected light of the flash as it fired and bounced onto a white wall about 2m in front of the test set up. The first reading with the meter, which had the incident dome removed and a flat piece of white margarine tub lid taped over the sensor, was taken in front of the foam core shiled. Say it metered the flash in this configuration and said f/8. I then would set the aperture to f/8, and meter thoigh the lens to see if the flash meter said f/1 for the same flash exposure. The first time it called for f/0.7, so I re-tweaked to close the contact a bit later and cleaned the contacts as well. I git lucky on the next try, and it read f/1.
    my real name, imagine that.

  3. #3
    McFortner's Avatar
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    With the Reflex Synchro, it looks like a very tight fit in there and I don't think I'll be able to add a hot shoe to it. I think I'll have to find a flash for the Synchro and use it as an adapter for a modern flash. The good news is when I connected wires to the flash terminal on the Synchro to a electronic flash aimed at the lens, the entire aperture was lit up.

    With the Pony IV, I'll have to tear it down to see what I can do. I'm not sure if I can replace the cold shoe with a hot shoe or not. And even if I do have the clearance inside, can the timing be adjusted to work with a modern flash?

    Michael

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    The other option, if you are willing to live with something less than beautiful in exchange for functional, is to take an accessory hot shoe, and use modeling clay to make the adapter to fit it to the camera, and route the PC cord into the socket on the camera.

    I use 'Fimo' clay for such uses. it has minimal shrinkage, dries in a day or two without needing to be fired, and is quite strong in compression. In areas where tension is encountered, I tend to slather slow set hot glue over the clay, and shape it down with a spatula or a wetted finger to shape it to cover the clay substrate. My most recent project was to take a vignette box and mate it to an uncoated LF lens by making a 'donut' of the right dimensions. Once dry, the clay can be shaved with an xacto type knife, and sanded to get the precise fit. Knowing that it shrinks a bit on drying, I have learned to make the required bit a little over sized, and then shave and sand it as required for a precise fit once it is dry.
    my real name, imagine that.

  5. #5
    McFortner's Avatar
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    The big problem with the Synchro is the front is a separate piece from the other 3 sides. Trying to cram in enough flexible wire to let you take the camera apart for repairs while not jamming the film mechanism is difficult. I just can't figure out a way to do it where it will work.

    Michael



 

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