Anyone ever used/seen a Coleman Datronic?
I had the pleasure of seeing a Coleman Datronic recently.
If you have no idea what one is, here is what it looks like:
You load 100 feet of 70mm, 35mm film in it and it takes, tons of pictures. It was used often used by portrait photographers who photographed students for the annual school photographs.
What a beauty!
Now that is a trip down Memory Lane. 40 years ago I used to use one of these things. Mine was a Beattie Coleman "Split 70" meaning that the long dimension of the negative was the width of the 70mm film and that, in portrait orientation, the film magazine would be rotated 90 degrees from the one shown in the picture. The thing was a real workhorse. I ran a heck of a lot of 100 foot rolls through that thing and never had a problem.
Enumclaw WA USA
It must have taken a while to process a 100 foot roll? How did you do it?
I also have a long roll school portrait camera. At least yours has a detachable magazine. Mine has to be loaded in a changing bag.
It shoots 35mm film stock edge to edge, and prefers unperforated stock.
I have yet to shoot anything with it, although it is all set up ready to go. I even have the little strings tied off to length for it's two different focussing distances.
Mine has had the guts ripped out of the between the lens shutter, and instead uses an electrically released shutter that is synched to the electronic fash terminal tripping.
This shutter is cam driven to be reset. The cam action also releases the pressure plate and advances the film.
I am toying with adding some mechanical modification to put a dimple or some other tactile mark manually after about 42 exposures, and then take no pictures a few frames either side of making this mark.
Then when the time came to process the long roll in small tanks the mark on the film could be felt, and used as an index to cut the long roll at the right place. Then the short piece of film could be mounted onto reels for conventional small tank processing.
I also have an adjustable 16/35mm daylight rewind tank that can be used to process 100' lengths of film. It was originally developed for use with movie film. That is an option for me to develop the whole 100' of film if it were b&w. I don't think trying to pull off 100' of c-41 in a manually cranked rewind tank is going to turn out too well.
my real name, imagine that.
On a reel. Takes no longer than 35mm, just needs more chemicals and bigger tanks.
Originally Posted by zsas
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Very similar to the Beatty 70mm long roll portrait camera I used while in the employ of Olan Mills Inc.
I too have the good pleasure of owning a Datronic Coleman 93400 that's setup for 35mm film. It came with 2 100' 35mm magazines; Coleman systems model C-55, type 93324-2. Lenses are both JML Optical Ind. f/4.5 135mm. I had to make the cable that goes between camera and magazines using 2 Molex Jones plugs, one male and the other female (Mouser part number: 38331-8006 and 38331-5606). Used a 6-wire cable with one wire not utilized/needed. Fuses are BUSS AGC 3 for camera circuit, and BUSS AGC 1 for magazine circuit (I'm going on the stated amp ratings of the relay inside the camera, and the rating noted on the magazine cover).
The warning on the camera states that the camera will not work without the data card..., the card closes a switch when inserted to complete power circuit to camera. On mine, another toggle switch had been installed in parallel that can be flipped on in-leu of not using a card. The card in nothing more then a typed, or hand written card that is actually photographed along with the portrait and the image from the card is placed under the image from the taking lens on the film. This is accomplished via tube light, lens and mirror designed for this purpose. So, with our without a card installed, the camera will function properly is you have one of these toggle switching installed.
The top viewing lens in reversed inside it's mount when the camera is stored, and needs to be remounted so the viewing lens in facing outward in order to focus the camera properly, and returned to the inward mounting when the camera needs to be stored in its carrying case.
Focus in accomplished by turning the knob on the side of the camera that extends and retracts the front housing and bellows while looking through the frosted glass view screen. Mine has a piece of plastic tapped to it that denotes the "Top of the Hair" at the bottom, and other marks above to help framing (Note: The image is upside down when viewed on the viewing glass.) I'm guessing that the guide is to insure proper subject placement above the area on the negative used for the data from the data card. I'm thinking of removing this device in order to expose the whole negative. Other ideas are to change the back so I can use instant film, but just an idea for now.
The magazine can be rotated to either portrait or landscape. In landscape, it looks like no area is used by the data card projection, so the whole negative is used.
After making the cable that runs from camera to magazine and plugging in the longer power cord to power, I pressed the corded remote shutter button. (Note: The short "power cord" is for flash triggering and not for power!) The camera made a sound, so I pressed it again, and nothing. Upon inspection, I found the shutter was sticking and I had blown one of the fuses. After searching the garage, I found a fuse that was a 5 amp and put that in (don't do this as it caused me problems with with the remote switch, by partially melting its internal contacts. I cleaned them up and it works, but I need to replace the momentary switch now for it to be right. The shutter sticking was causing higher then expected amp draw, and so when I pressed the button again, it complained and stopped working... so I learned, press it once and wait, don't press it repeatedly, and wait for the magazine to stop winding (In my case, I didn't have any film, so I left the cover off and simply turned the wheel inside the can that triggers the motor to stop winding... oh, and be sure to turn it in the right direction! About half a turn and the magazine motor stops, and the camera is read to take another picture... BUT, not mine... I needed to clean up the shutter before any more testing.
Here is the main reason I'm writing this long winded post... Cleaning the shutter could have got off to a better start if I had not tried to clean it while it was still mounted in the camera! Please, please take the the front lens housing out and disconnect the power plug that attached to it by pulling in apart (don't unscrew the top part of the plug, it pulls apart and can go back on only one way with the pins lined up). There are 3 long screws, 2 at top corners and one at the bottom center. You'll also need to loosed the allen set screw in a small piece that attaches to an outside lever thingy in order for the shutter assembly to come fully away from the lens holder.
Once you have the two plates apart, you'll find a very simply shutter assembly of exactly 2 shutter blades. Here is what I want to stress. I put lighter fluid on mine while it was still in the camera and tried to clean and free it up by working open and closed... DON'T DO THAT! When I realized I had made things even more sticky, I was forced to take the assembly apart. When I got it apart, I found that I had scrapped all the carbon off of the one shutter blade that interacts with a magnet. I cleaned up everything with a paper towel and lighter fluid and simply reversed/flipped over the two shutter blades so that between them, and on the towards the magnet, there was plenty of good carbon on them to keep them freely moving. Put the assembly back together and it's snapping keenly with no sign of sticking now.
Camera is back together, but I'm waiting to get the proper fuses, and a new momentary switch to test it again... I'm sure it will work just fine right now, just want to complete the job before firing it up again.
When I'm done, I'll need to figure out what my shutter speed is??? There is a dial numbered 1-5 and I'm not sure if it's for data card brightness, or shutter speed selection???
I do also have an idea that I can trigger the shutter manually via a cable, and as such, the camera can be used without needing electricity, but I would not be using the magazines, but rather instant film, or 120mm film on a film back...
I know this thing is ancient, but I got it for $7.00 and I'm guessing the lenses are pretty good, and I can modify it anyway I want... just have to be a studio camera of some sort or another???
If anyone needs more info, like a wiring diagram, pics, or help with getting one to work, I know this one pretty good and can trace out the wiring if need and draw it up if needed.