Monday, August 30, 2010

Tominon 105 on a FujiFilm Instax 210

Aha!  What have we here? Possibly an important upgrade to the one and only camera that takes the incredibly sharp, fast and colorful Instax Wide film made by Fujifilm?

The Instax does not exactly lend itself well to an easy modification, and has a lot of parts, so I opted to simply graft this self-cocking Old Pol scope camera lens and shutter on the front after removing the plastic optic and native shutter - they come out with a few screws. But, the internal baffling I fear may vignette the image.  Also, the lens to film plane distance isn't that easy to control. There may be light leaks. The hot melt glue that holds that wooden Graflex black tripod mount won't fall off, though.

Results: Nothing to show from it. This lens is too long, and the internal baffles are in the way. I will have to find a smaller lens that can be recessed into the tube/snout of the 210.  Looks nice though.

32 comments:

moominsean said...

yeah i've been thinking about a way to produce sx-70 results with instax film!

Inward Studio said...

Please god make this work! I need one of these.

Bob Crowley said...

The Instax film is superb - if you can get a decent image focused upon it. The gizmo inside the Instax is pretty complicated plastic and it has been hard to get a glass lens in there with a shutter. This is my second attempt - the first one failed in a hail of loose parts.

Maximg4040 said...

oh and it is so pretty!

Bob Crowley said...

Isn't it though? All we need is a smaller diameter version of the same thing seen here, with about a 90mm focal length.

Any ideas? The trouble is that if I pull out the complex rotating inside "snoot" mechanism, the entire gear train stops working, including the film rollers. and the mechanism is incredibly complex.

A simple solution is a smaller lens/shutter than fits into the snoot, yet can be controlled from the front. Nothing except the old lens shutters from old Kodak folders I see are small enough, and these are usually simple meniscus lenses, but they at least allow T and B.

Maximg4040 said...

http://www.nwmangum.com/Kodak/index.html

I have one of these lying about somewhere, you think it could work? also when the 120 back is taken off a pack of fuji instax mini fits nicely on the back of the bellows, any room for modification here do you think?

Maximg4040 said...

also just read this on an advert on the side of your page

"The bulky Polaroid camera - like bell bottom jeans and leg warmers - has (thankfully) been relegated to the trash heap of embarrassing fashion faux pas..."

glad to see the target adverts get the gist of the blog ha

Bob Crowley said...

If not that, then Lady Gaga. Soon Lady Starlight will whip out an SX-70. A Warhol revival is brewing anyway. Those are news pickups from the various services, keyword "polaroid". Around Boston, the word "polaroid" means something obsolete and in the past.

I never did get the Lomography Instax half size back, though it is probably a great thing. But I have become fixated on the wide Instax. I am sure much could be done with the Instax mini.

The Instax wide is such great film, and it is infuriating there is only one camera that uses it. It's not a terrible camera, but it has a very limited lens and shutter.

apspositive said...

http://community.livejournal.com/ru_instant/ is a instax 100 with xenotar 2.8/80, I now works with black borders.. Lenses have potential 112mm image circle.(Now is some over 98)

Bob Crowley said...

I plan to hack another one of these, to see if I can at least get it on a 4x5, but I won't be able to have a ground glass if I do that. It is really a shame this camera is so hard to mod.

RA Friedman said...

Couple of ideas, I've been throwing around in my brain.

1. If it can go on a Graflock, it could go on a Graflex SLR. The focus screen is adjustable via shims to compensate for variations of the lens to film plane difference.

2. Put it on a Crown or Speed Grafic (maybe even a baby 2x3 model) and adjust the rangefinder so it focuses.

3. Zone focusing by guess and a rangefinder.

I really want someone to get this to work! I regularly use a 3x4 Graflex that has been adapted to take a Graflock back and who know how much longer Fuji is going to keep on making peel-apart of any kind.

Bob Crowley said...

RA

The mechanism in the Instax camera is bulky and gets in the way of the film plane and holder. Removing it leaves the film eject mechanism inoperative.

The Instax Wide film is excellent, but it seems doomed to just this one camera until someone invests in a suitable back. I would suggest you contact the people who made the instax mini back, and see if you can get them to produce one for the Instax wide. Or maybe there is another camera maker who will work on this. I'd like to, but I don't have the time.

If the front was wide open, and the back still operated, it would be great. But, once you remove the front mechanism, you expose about 45 gears (no kidding) and they need the front to work. I have two carcasses - failures - here to prove it.

Sorry

RA Friedman said...

Bob: Thanks this is good info. to have. I'm going to see what the year brings, especially relative to the 3000 speed Fuji peel-apart film. Also, using two Graflex cameras pretty regularly, they are starting to show their age with new problems cropping up more often. Seriously thinking about alternatives.

Best,

RA

Bob Crowley said...

Nikon d700 and a 24mm f1.4? Seriously, the Grafexes are fine if you don't mind tinkering with them a bit. There has been a lot of interest lately, I have several, and maybe I will put up some pictures of them.

Meanwhile, the problem is the cost of tooling for the project. Everything else is ok though.

RA Friedman said...

I've managed so far to keep the Graflex cameras working with the help of one of the last two repair people in the US who specialize, but they are becoming less and less reliable with use.

Cheers,

RA
Tsirkus Fotografika

RA Friedman said...

Re: Tominion--What about a 101mm Ektar from a Mini-Speed Graphic?

RA

Ryan said...

Have you tried to modify the existing shutter so you can override it and have a bulb type setting? My first attempt ended up with the parts strewn about and missing.

Bob Crowley said...

I have tried many things, all resulting in the same you experienced...

However! I see the OLD Instax 100 has a detachable front section! Very interesting! Now to find one in the US.

I see demand for a competent Instax camera. Just a simple box would do if we could get it under control. Right now it is like a two year old.

Ryan said...

I am pretty convinced I can open and close the shutter with a secondary power source. I have removed the solenoid from my broken instax 200 and it can be activated with a AA battery, though the a 9V is much snappier. I ordered a second instax and I will keep you posted with any developments. I think I can get to the end of the flexstrip (where it connects to the solenoid) through the front of the retractable lens barrel. I jammed the barrel on my last instax so when I went in through the front there was not enough slack in the flexstrip to fiddle around in there and I ended up tearing it.

Bob Crowley said...

There is not much space but I think you can reach it in place as the solder tabs seem to be visible.

Having external shutter control will be a quantum leap, so go for it, and let us know.

That snout mechanism is a nightmare. The two microswitches have to be actuated in sequence for the camera to fire, so if you remove "the turret" it's a dead camera with no way to make the film eject go....or is there. Someone!

Bob Crowley said...

I shot that picture of the instax with a Nikon coolpix, in case you were wondering where all the grainy sand came from. It has twice the megapixels as my Fuji Finepix that is far superior IQ. Just sayin'.

Ryan said...

"That snout mechanism is a nightmare. The two microswitches have to be actuated in sequence for the camera to fire, so if you remove "the turret" it's a dead camera with no way to make the film eject go....or is there. Someone!"

-I had the same thing happen to me!

Keith Farrar said...

I realize it has been a long time since last post but has there been any progress with mounting a lens with shutter to an instax 210. When extended the snoot is about 100mm from film plane so I want to mount a 105mm 120 folder lens at the end of the snoot and then trim out the inside. This lens may work because they have front cell focusing and I could set infinity by using ground glass on film plane. Can the removal of the original lens be done without affecting the lens snoot extending and closing? Thanks for any help.

Bob Crowley said...

I'm busy trying to make film for the future while Fuji is going the other way. It would have been nice and I would have purchased a decent camera for the wide film, if they made one. Meanwhile it has been pretty easy to load it into a regular 4x5 film holder and then shoot and transfer back into the cartridge.

On the matter of front cell focus, yes, that seems very logical and one that I think will work, if you can get it to work and not somehow cause the camera to stop functioning. Tobias Feltus has had more luck that I have with the Instax. It is just too complex and poorly designed for me to spend any more time on, but I wish someone would.

Just bought more Instax wide last week, in fact. Great stuff. Keep trying.

Keith Farrar said...

Thanks for the response. I have a dead Instax 210 I have been taking apart and examining and will study it more. I have read some of Tobias' info and know that I need to learn more about the electronics in order to do what I'd like to do with the 210. Yet I do find the idea of taking the film and loading into 4x5 back exciting. I think I will try that. Thanks again.

Bob Crowley said...

Keith
Yes the load and unload is actually very easy once you do it for the first time. I use the infrared chamber which makes it even easier. The chamber can be built from a backup camera, a cardboard box, and changing bag for under $50.

Keith Farrar said...

Bob,
Please give me more info on an infrared chamber. Are you saying that the film can be handled under infrared light without fogging? Thanks for your time answering my questions.

Keith Farrar said...

I figured out a way to see my loading Instax film into a 4x5 film holder. I used the nightvision function on a Sony video cam. Took some getting used to , but worked great. My main problem now is developing the Instax film. I am having bad results with the rolling pin. My exposures are good but I cannot get the right pressure with the rolling pin for even development.

e318cc02-8f62-11e2-9e4c-000bcdcb2996 said...

I've been loading them one sheet at a time in a Polaroid 545. I just tape the film with the pod toward the rollers on a piece of tough paper. Made a darkslide out of another piece of heavy paper (cardstock from a pack of old Cibichrome so its light tight). Shoot it like a 405. only problem is if I want to take a pack of film, I have to load 10 545's, awkward and heavy. but it works great and it's fun. could be done easily in a film changing bag as well.

jimmistrat said...

Hi photogeeks.... I hated the way the fuji 210 was so limiting in low light situations.... that damn flash!!! I was sitting around my place thinkin about this blog.... looked up on my shelf & there sat an old 620 Voigtlander camera from 1930s. The kind that folds opnen with a bellows.The film size seemed very much like the instax wide film. Also ... the bellows length was close to the length of the lens on the 210 when turned on. So, here is what i did.... went on ebay & found a 210 that was busted for $20. That way I could mess around with it & see how it worked... & not have to sacrifice my other one if it didn't work. took the lens barrel of this 210 & gutted it!!! EVERYTHING had to come out. With the barrel off & gutted I filed the lens opening... Where the automatic lens cover was... to fit the Voigtlander's lens. This old lens it limiting in shutter speeds ... & I have to guess at the focus... But at least I can be more creative with shots. The Voigtlander's lens is a self cocking lens... with a cable release socket on it. That makes it very easy to do multiple exposures & such. Works great. After I turn on the camera ... lens comes out as usual... take the shot with the shutter on the old lens... then I hit the shutter button the fuji & the shot ejects just as it should... :) I will post pictures of my monster as soon as I can. Just wanted to give you all something to think about....

Bob Crowley said...

That's nice but I have not seen one actual photo from anyone who got a full frame with a different lens on this camera yet.

jimmistrat said...

Here is a link to some pictures of my stuff... Thanks, Jim.
http://jimwieland.com/blog.html