Author Topic: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder  (Read 4509 times)

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rotarysmp

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The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« on: January 26, 2014, 10:33:37 AM »
About a month ago I bought a 110A. I am going to convert it into a 4x5 rangefinder Bryon style. If you don't mind, I'd like to record the process here. Unfortunately there are a million other house projects, repairs, hobbies etc which also need to get done so this one will probably take me a couple of years.

It started here http://www.filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=6787.0

Since the shutter wasn't closing on the speeds slower than 1/60th, and the lens was mouldy, I made a tool and pulled the lens off the shutter.

Unfotunately, I can't get the front lens element off the second group. They should screw apart, but I bent my lens spanner points trying, and guess the mould in there just wan't to stay with me. I got the rest out. The coatings are damaged, but that was to be expected.

The shutter didn't need disassembly. Just flood it in benzin overnight did the trick. Now all speeds are working properly again.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:36:40 AM by rotarysmp »
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Mark

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 11:22:04 AM »
In the meantime, it would be good to learn how to use the 4x5 I made years ago...

This is AGFA APX100, expired in 2002, although it has always been in the freezer. I am wondering whether my kids once opened the box to see if there was something interesting inside, as it is heavily fogged.

The photo is underexposed badly. I metered for 100asa, and added a stop for the yellow filter on the lens, but then developed in Microdol stock solution, which I read reduces film speed by a stop.

Has anyone tried Lucky brand 4x5 film? You can get it from Taiwan via Ebay, and seems about 1/2 the price of Kodak. As long as I am low down on the learning curve, it would be nice to use cheap materials.

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Mark

Kayos

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 01:37:42 PM »
Looks an interesting project

Is the mangled bit of metal your lens spanner?

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 06:02:11 PM »

 - Is the mangled bit of metal your lens spanner?

Yep. On the lathe I turned the step and relieved the front to clear the glass. I chopped the slot free hand on the table saw with a carbide wood blade. Not pretty, but good enough for a single use tool.
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Mark

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 08:24:20 PM »
I got a 900 with holy bellows, so it can donate it's range finder to convert the 110a to a 110b. I also decided to convert the 900 chassis to a pack film camera. I was given a Mamiya polaroid back, so it will be mated with the 900 chassis.

Every one else puts the film back hinge on the left hand side, and the film slot on the right. I thought I could make it about an inch more compact by reversing that. Probably a bad idea which might make the Frankenoid an ergononic disaster, but we'll see.

So far I just milled off the rear light seal, and some clearance for the polaroid back closing clip.

Regards,
Mark
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 08:30:57 PM by rotarysmp »
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rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 08:25:14 PM »
 ... and then milled up some alloy angle to giver a cleaner look, and more surface area to light seal against. These have been bonded in position with 10 year expired 3m epoxy structural filler, which doesn't want to cure. I have already cooked it in the oven for about an hour at 70°c. Looks like I might have to scrape it all back out and use some fresh expoxy and flox.

I also chopped down the back door to fit.
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Mark

Francois

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 09:34:34 PM »
It's nice to have a vertical mill for stuff like that.

BTW, Epoxy is one of those things that when it goes bad, it really goes bad. That's why I always make a test before using some really old stuff.
Francois

Film is the vinyl record of photography.

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 12:57:24 PM »
Hi Francois,

This is just an old Deckel G1L engraver I rescued rom the scrap dealer for €20, with a Sherline spindle. Works great for light work like this. Having a lathe and mill is not essential for hacking a pack film back on, but I can at least pretend it'll be better "quality" of fit in finish.

The dumb thing was that I used some of this epoxy a couple of months ago, and it also didn't cure, but i convinced myself that I'd stuffed up the mixture ratio  :-\
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Mark

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 03:23:15 PM »
I dug that soft blue epoxy out, and made up a mix of casting epoxy, laser printer toner and sawdust. This is not as good a microballoons, as it doesn't flow, but worked well enough. I also tempered it at 70°c and it went nice and hard.

I couldn't quite get it flat and level in the vise, but was too lazy to make up a jig with adusting screws to do it properly. Still milled down close enough to flat for this job. There are four (of 8 ) of the existing mount screws for the polaroid back which I can reuse for mount it.

Next thing is going to be making up a new lens board. I'd like to be able to trigger the shutter with the 900's existing trigger levers. Need to see if that is feasible.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 05:55:13 PM by rotarysmp »
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rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2014, 06:28:38 AM »
I got started on the new front standard yesterday.

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Mark

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 09:52:29 PM »
Today I finished the machining of the front standard.

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Mark

Cadha13

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2014, 08:30:45 AM »
That work on your 900 makes mine look like a hack job.

All I had was an angle grinder and a drill to convert mine to packfilm. A bit of JB Weld to reset the infinity focus on the camera.

I have auto and manual exposure on my 900, kind of a lofty packfilm dream I had. 

I love converting rollfilm cameras to packfilm. Next project would be the original Pathfinder 110 to packfilm.

Nice work and can't wait to see the images from it.


Skorj

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2015, 01:44:05 PM »
Woah... To start that nekkid aluminum finish nearly gave me a camera-desire emergency. To finish, my conversion is a definite hack-job. How did it finish up? I'd be tempted to brush all that metal like a Halliburton. Sweet!

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2015, 08:06:43 PM »
Finished? One of my projects? Nahhh.

No project  of mine gets finished in only 17 months.except the bathroom I did since last September, but that doesn't count as I had swmbo swinging the whip.

I decided I need to finished the CNC mill to make some camera bits, but decided to finish the Deckel mill BT30 spindle head to make some parts for the CNC mill, then decided I need to CNC the Boley lathe to cut some threads I need for the mill head, then I should finish the bender which is in its fifth year of production, or fix the gearbox on the the Do-all....

I promise to post pic when I next make progress on the Polaroid.
Mark
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Mark

Francois

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2015, 09:34:15 PM »
Comparing anything to a bathroom reno is not fair. I don't know too many people who can live an entire month without a toilet... unless they take pleasure in fertilizing the neighbor's flowers  :o
Francois

Film is the vinyl record of photography.

Volker

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2015, 11:39:22 AM »
slightly OT, but I know what you mean :-)
To live 3 1/2 weeks with a toilet in the center of the hallway can be quite funny, especially when someone opens the door to the apartment ...

Francois

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2015, 02:39:49 PM »
Yikes!
Francois

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jojonas~

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2015, 05:42:45 AM »
that's airy -fresh! :D
/jonas

rotarysmp

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Re: The excruciatingly slow metamorphosis of a Pathfinder
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2015, 07:08:05 PM »
Luckily we already had two toilets with doors and walls and one bathroom, also with a door and walls. I was just adding a second bathroom.
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Mark