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  1. #1
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    Mod'ing a Polaroid EE100's flashcube port to a hotshoe or PC port connection

    (Hey everyone,

    Just took delivery of a nice "EE100" bellows polaroid camera from the local camera show.

    like this one here(not mine, but identical):



    Going through it I've found it has pinholes, although I had a "happy accident" if you can call it that(below)...



    I'm interested in modifying the flashcube port to a hotshoe. Or even a female pc sync port, so I could plug in any pc-cable'd flash. Any ideas? I'm not the handiest person with electronics or wiring, so I thought I'd consult the experts

    thanks

    -Dan


  2. #2
    xya
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    just tested with an old useless pack 80 camera. I suppose the flashcube sockets are similar. it seems to be easy. there are two contacts at the base of the flashcube socket, towards the front, where the ready to fire flash would sit. they close when the shutter opens (and so fire the flash). there have to be batteries in the camera, if not, it doesn't work. if you get youself an extension cable for flash, you would have a female plug socket. just cut it off with a bit of the cable and solder it to the contacts. just 2 points of soldering, that's it. then scotch the cable to the camera and there you are.
    Last edited by xya; 03-15-2012 at 07:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I would guess that the flashcubes would be synched differently than X-synch, but do not know for sure.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #4

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    The synch for a flashcube would be "F" synch, you need "X" synch for an electronic flash. If the camera uses Magicubes, there is no electric synch, Magicubes are set off by a mechanical trigger.

  5. #5
    xya
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    it uses flashcubes, not magicubes. bulb flash is f-sync indeed, and it wouldn't work with an ordinary mechanical shutter. but obviously the electronic shutter of the polaroid opens immediately, so it catches the electronic flash. marty kuhn did quite some research on his wonderful site

    http://www.rwhirled.com/landlist/how2-packflash.htm

    which is a "must" for polaroid owners. it worked well with the older pack film cameras. afaik they changed the cocking system of the shutter with the newer cameras, but they kept the electronics mainly. we only will know for sure if somebody tries and reports back to this page.

  6. #6
    BobD's Avatar
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    The way to convert it to electronic flash is to sell it and buy a ProPack with attached electronic flash.

  7. #7
    Sethasaurus's Avatar
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    Just got hold of an EE100 today. Of course, I had to pull it apart and modify it straight away!
    Here's what I did:

    Disassembly:
    With camera closed:
    Open back cover and remove batteries. Unscrew battery contacts. This should release the bellows from the front panel.

    With camera open:
    Unclip plastic front cover (one clip, either side).
    Remove 2 screws on bottom of front shutter/lens housing.
    Swivel mechanism so that you can remove the 4 screws from the back panel. The shutter/lens assembly (front case and back panel attached) can now be removed.
    The back panel will come off. Be careful that the shutter spring cover does not come loose. Mine did not spring off unexpectedly, but you will need to remove this if you do the cable release mod.

    Cable release mod:
    I have a flash bracket with a cable release fitted but the centre pin on the release cable was not long enough to trip the shutter. It was moving it about 75% of the way.
    To fix this, I glued in a small piece of plastic (approx 6mm dia x 6mm long), tapered to fit the existing shutter release (inside the camera).

    PC socket mod:
    My little Sunpak flash gives a good output, is not huge in size and also has a pc cable.
    I recycled a pc socket from an old camera part I had for this one. Drilling a small hole (about 8mm from the left side) into the top of the case, right next to the flashcube socket (there is only a small spot to fit it in here).
    Then I Connected the PC socket to the contacts inside - this is easy to figure out:
    If you trip the mechanism while the front cover is off, you'll see the flash contacts closing as the shutter opens. You may need to take some 1200 grit sandpaper and clean up the contacts as they can be quite corroded.
    I soldered onto one of the flashcube socket contacts and onto the (brass) terminal that the large battery contact screws into.

    Sorry that I did not take pics as I was doing this, but it is a fairly straightforward operation, as long as you use some nice thin wire and route it so that it does not interfere with the other internals.

    Faulty focus?
    One other problem that people have also complained about when they get these cameras is that the focus is off. I'm glad I checked mine out completely as I noticed the front lens had become detached from the ring. You can pull off the range ring, then the front ring that holds the front lens element. I glued mine back in with a few (very small!) drops of epoxy. I wouldn't recommend cyano (super-glue), as it tends to react with plastic (this is a plastic lens).

    OK, all this was completed about 2 hours ago and I have not yet calibrated my focus or taken any shots at all (at 1AM). I expect it to work fine with the flash (which fires when I trip the shutter). The shutter appears to be working fine with a couple of new batteries.
    (If you are getting black pics, it's likely the shutter is not opening&closing. The circuit inside takes care of the exposure and needs power to function).

    OK I hope that helps anybody. I couldn't find much info about using electronic flash. The flash should be firing as the shutter opens and I expect that the internal circuit should compensate for the light level (if you place your finger over the sensor in the center of the dark/light knob you can see the long shutter time easily).

    Looking forward to some pics tomorrow! Also I'll try my hand at recovering the negs too. I expect the '75' setting will be just enough over-exposure to give good results).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Sethasaurus; 01-02-2014 at 07:35 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: adding pics

  8. #8
    Sethasaurus's Avatar
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    Here are a few pics of the mechanism. I thought again about the shutter and contacts arrangement and I have made another modification:

    There are 3 leaves in the shutter: #1 closes the flash contacts, #2 opens the shutter, and #3 (held closed by a solenoid) is released after the sensor circuit has been exposed to enough light.

    I cut a small piece from the first leaf which prevents it from closing the contacts. The next leaf opens the shutter and also closes the contacts, so I believe this will be the correct timing for an electronic flash (X-sync?).
    (Ignore the sloppy soldering job! I did this in the early hours..)

    Mechanism at rest:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    First leaf about to make contact:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Modified first leaf:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    No test shots yet as I need to find my piece of ground glass to calibrate the focus.

  9. #9

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    Seth, Good info!

  10. #10
    Sethasaurus's Avatar
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    Thanks 2bits.

    I think manual focus may put people off a little (especially since you can also get the other rangefinder cameras cheap enough). Of course, if you end up with out-of-focus pics all the time, then that is going to disappoint anyone, but it is an easy fix.

    Here's my third test shot (the first was too dark without a flash, in low lighting at night. The second was out of focus until I made an adjustment).
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can reclaim the negs easily from FP-100C film:
    I trimmed it and taped it down (black side up), then poured a little bleach on the surface and left it for 1 minute.
    The bleach washed off easily, so it's a nice quick process. I found masking tape is not good enough, but brown packing tape seals the edges pretty well.
    Also, if you dry the negs while still taped down, they stay flat.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Sorry these are a bit poor quality, but my scanner is out of commission, so I'm using a phonecam to get a pic of a pic).

    I think I just need to tweak my focus a little more and test it with a landscape pic..

    As well as taking some slide film in my old rolleicord, this camera is going to be my 'friend-maker' at the land speed racing at Bonneville this year. I'm going to take shots of people with their machines and give them the instant pics.
    I figure there will be a lot of light and my pics may be a little overexposed, but that's ok - I'll get better negs!
    Last edited by Sethasaurus; 01-09-2014 at 09:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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