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Down on the Farm Camera Salvage

making pin hole cameras

or - Intercept that piece of junk on the way to the landfill, son, before it gets away!

Rooster Pic "Barnyard Guardian" (c) Carrie Cserr Used with permission.

The story is told by only one dominant side - - -

(To be read in the voice similar to that of 'Foghorn Leghorn' that is.) ->_>_>_>_>_>_>

It took me three tries on ebay, three times I tell ya before I finally won a parts camera. Two previous wins, one an "as-is" and another "parts only", wound up to be working cameras that I didn't have the heart to put under the chisel and saw.

People could get into trouble sellin sumpthin as junk - then havin the gall to ship quality merchandise! I feel I've been baited and switched! You hear what I'm tellin ya boy?

But finally got this here junker for ya. The lens is a hopeless case of fungus rot and the shutter jammed up with corrosion. But the film transport looks good. An Agfa/Ansco 120 Viking that shot 6x9 when it'd seen better days. Now it's lower than a snake full of buckshot. But we're gonna put part of it back to work. No more loafin for this puppy.

So, off with the lens.
Always use goggles around this stuff son.
A spanner wrench is the appropriate tool here boy -
but a sharp pair of needle nose pliers will work when ya'll in a jam.

After the lens is off, a small drill into the center of the 'elbows' will free the door so it may be opened wide. This gives access to cut on the end of the hinge with a dremel tool disk and remove the door.

Any of this filterin' through that little red ball cap of yours boy?

Throw the lens in the trash son.

No no no! Not the door! We're gonna use that to mix the Eepoxee. Makes a nice tray - mixing bowl that is.

Off to the local crafts store and much to my surprise a 3x4 hinged box straight off the shelf from China for $3 looks like a good fit. Are you payin attention?

Mark the center of the top and bottom of the box by using a straight edge corner to corner. Bore an inch and 3/8 hole. I did on both top and bottom so I have one extra. They are different thickness and I have a choice of focal length. The small one looks to be good for about an equivalent 50mm focal length. What you sayin?? Like a 20mm wide angle lens on one of those iddy biddy 35mm jobs??!! Now I dont want to see you messin with any of that 35mm weanie camera stuff any more there boy - time ya growed up to use the big stuff. Whaddya mean you wanna own a Leica someday? Lose that idea son! A least think Mamiya 7 if not Linhof! You're settin your sites too low! Ya got your whole life ahead of ya! Ya Gotta Think BIG!!

Paint the inside of the box with India Ink. It dries flat, not glossy, flat that is. Dont do nothin till I get back. Gotta check on a dog.

Now what ya go and paint the outside of the box for!? Well I guess it won't do no harm as you got the high gloss on the outside and the flat inside. Just pay attention when I'm talkin to ya. I'm not talkin just to hear myself think out loud! Ya sposed to paint that side later. Now don't go gettin all blurry eyed on me. Go get yourself a soda out of the film fridge. Anything that you like that's in a can boy. Don't even touch the bottle with the cork.

Okay. Now here's the tricky sticky part. Glue. Eepoxee. Ya dont want any of this stuff getting in your feathers boy. J.B. Weld. Stuff takes a day to dry good but it's so good ya can use it on cracked engine heads and some stillery parts. No, forget that super stuff - aint no good here son - dries too fast - not gooey at all - let's the light through. Quit arguing with me boy.

Mix a little equal amounts from each tube and Slop a glop on the front edge of the bellows and use a toothpic to cover the edges where the box contacts the camera body.

Use these two clothes pins to hold the bellows hole to the inside of the box - line 'em up boy. Yeah I know the box moved on the camera body just line it up again. Now, leave the back open and hang it on the edge of the shelf so it can breathe - hole side up. That's right.

Don't back talk me son, the bellows stay in cuz cutting them out is unnecessary work. Besides, if they have pinholes it makes no never mind since they's in a dark box too. Insurance boy, double endemnity, two barriers, only light getting to the film is goin to be though the main pinhole.

Now look at ya! Ya done got some glue in your feathers! What's your ma gonna think of me? Here, let me help ya son - special solvent. Soap and water and a towel work but dont have any here in the work shed.

Now come back in 6 hours and we'll put a large bead of Weld all the way around the box and camera junction - where the box meets the camera that is.

Meanwhile, Don't tell your ma about my knowin how clothes pins work. I don't do laundry! And say nothing about my big brown jug of 'glue remover' either or that I pour lots of it in my soda. Now. Go way. I got work to do!

6 + 24 hours later -

Took care of the dog. Now where is that boy?

Where you been? Okay son take it off the shelf and remove the clothes pins. Now this is when ya sposed to mask off everythin and paint the outside of the box. Go get the black paint again.

WHAT? All gone!? Well what do we have? No no no! Not Hasselblad yellow!! Number one - this is a boy camera and number two - we want to attract chicks not bees - get pics not get stung that is. The dark green stuff? yeah. Close enough for barnyard work!

Where did you get that pinhole son!? That's one of those laser jobs - world class! I'm mighty proud of your choice. You surprise me young man. I didn't expect that from you. Do you get an allowance or what?

(That boy is likely to surprise me with a Goerz Artar some day and I will be beside myself, probably suffer a cardiac arrest.)

Let's glue it and a step up ring to the front and use a snap-on cap for a shutter. There -let it dry and we is all done ready to shoot film. Now on the inside side, mix a teaspoon of Elmers with 4 drops of India Ink and paint the mount from hole edge to stainless. This coating will act as an additional light barrier and strengthen the pinhole mount.

Let's see here - 52mm divided by .3mm equals? 1 and bring down the 2 and carry the left over no that's not how it .... Whaddya say boy? 173 & 1 third!????. Well hog gravy and chittlins! They almost ALWAYS come out to be funny numbers! Seldom any nice round ones, son. Well boy, I'm calling it f/180. After all, what's a silly tenth of an f/stop between friends? I've got old shutters way off I say way off more than that! Even chrome films aint that cranky!

Now, here's a roll of film. Delta 400. Shoot it and see if it works. What the heck, three more boy for being smart enough to get the Laser hole. Might as well shoot film like it's goin out of style cuz it probably will be out of style by time you get my age. Don't shoot that other film till we see that this roll comes out okay, no fog from leaks, okay that is.

Use this here tripod or else set it on somethin firm because we're way above f/16 here and like it says in the English version of that old Chinese camera manual - "Beware. Not close too very much down F stop. Blur dragon live there". - wisdom from the far east boy - for people using lenses not wanting dragon magic. Pay attention. Pinholin is a way of seeing the blur dragon's spell. Patient slow exposures and she will work her magic in your shots. Why, you could fall in love!

Back already? well there's the tanks, the reels, the 3 bottles, thermometer and you're all set. Oh and about tank-tops, eh, tank lids that is, use the black one cuz it don't leak solution upside down. You remember how to do this son? Turn the light off this time! You're on your own with the B&W negs this time boy. See ya in a little while. Now what's that fool cat up to?





Ya done good boy. Go shoot more film.





Let's see how the color film worked and then go build something else.







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