Claytax Pyramidoid 6x6 - a folder conversion

with a set front rise and tilt.


No, this is not R2D2 visiting on the set of Star Gate SG-1.

Removing the lens, usually a simple spanner wrench job, this time was done
by drilling out the pivot points on each side and cutting the bellows.
The retaining ring had become 'welded' from years of oxidation.

Then the elbow joints of the erecting arms are drilled out, making way for access to the hinges of the door. Cutting one side hinge with a Dremel disk, the door can be worked off.

Gently tugging on the bellows will free them from the camera body.

Using Super Sculpey (R) polymer clay, make a pyramid with the base the same size as the front opening.

Put the pyramid in the freezer for ten minutes then take it out and bake it for 15min at 275 Degrees F.

Using neddle nose pliers, remove the springs on the erecting arms. Epoxy the the arms to the camera body to keep them from swinging free and rattling. Do not remove them as that will leave holes to both film spindle chambers - and it's a whole lot of work for nothing. I find JB Kwik better than JB Weld (same company) as it sets in 4 minutes. So, only mix up enough that you can use up in 4 minutes, but let it set for about 10 minutes.

This clay is not opaque. After the pyramid is cooked and cooled, paint the inside of it black and the outside any color you want.

When the paint is dry, mix some epoxy and glue it to the front of the camera and put a bead of epoxy all around it. After that is set, epoxy the joining of the pyramid to the camera body from the inside also. Then drill a hole in the topside of the pyramid for the pinhole to fit behind. I found that I had to work the bit to carve out enough of a "countersink" so that the pinhole could be seen from the top corners of the camera's film frame. I found that after gluing the pinhole I had to use a Dremel routing tool to carefully remove more clay around the hole so that the pinhole would light all four corners of the film frame. Simply hold the camera up to the light to see if all four corners are "lit" by light coming through the pinhole. Coat the contersinked area (which now works like a 'lens' hood) with India ink.

The pyramid distorted a bit when being baked and is too small to lend itself well to snap on shutter cap or a sliding door. I decided to use self adhesive protective pads from the local dollar store. These pads are usually for putting on the bottoms of vases, clocks and the like to keep furniture from being scratched.

Now why in the world would a pinhole be put in such an odd spot at such an angle? In this case is gives about 2cm of front rise - which is handy for not wasting the bottom half of the negative when doing wide angle shots when you want the film plane to be vertical and to avoid or minimize perspective problems. The tilt is around 45 degrees and since Scheimpflug doesn't apply, this moves the center of the illumination circle down so it helps the corners from vignetting.

Here it is at the bottom of the stairs –

Capturing this image –

All these images were made with the cameras back being vertical.

And this is from sitting on the floor-

Sitting in the sink.

Works outdoors too. Here it is sitting on the ground, and the error in the developing tank turned out interesting.

On the floor in my cube while I’m working.

Next time, if I revisit this idea, would be to make one of 30mm effective focal length. The pyramid would have to sit about another inch down inside the camera body. Try it! Have fun pinholin’!