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Making a non-reflex camera reflex


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#1 dd3stp233

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 01:24 AM

Does anyone have any ideas on what would be the most inexpensive way to convert a non-reflex 35mm movie camera to have reflex viewin? Or has anyone ever seen a m42 pentax lens mounted lens that had a dog leg reflex? Thanks
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#2 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 10:02 PM

some of the very early conversions of Mitchells were done by using a pelicle instead of a rotating mirror. A pelicle is a very thin half silvered mirror. These conversions were less expensive but had the disadvantage of cutting the light to the film. Once a cameraman told me that he prefered that conversion as it didn't have "that annoying flicker." In any case to convert a camera you need a very good machinist and or someone who has done the conversion to your particular camera. There are so many great reflex cameras available why would you want to make a conversion now?
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#3 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 08:30 AM

Such a conversion would be a VERY difficult project. It would mean to more or less build a new camera. I'm sure you're better off (financially and technically) buying a IIC or something like that.
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#4 dd3stp233

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 10:01 PM

The project that I'm working doesn't have a budget to buy or rent another camera. In fact the camera that I want to make reflex is half home built. Made from an old modified Devry mechanism and using a an Abel traffic camera body, I added an m42 Pentax lens mount. It is now a 35mm full frame 4 perf. time lapse camera which operates on a spring wind. I wanted a spring wind because I have to carry it in a backpack to remote places that have no electricity and be light wieght. The easiest way to make it reflex would be to find an m42 pentax mount lens that is reflex like many Som Berthoit lens made for c and d mounts. Has anyone seen such a lens for a 35mm camera in any mount? I could always change the lens mount on the camera, if I could find a lens like that.

Edited by dd3stp233, 12 December 2005 - 10:02 PM.

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#5 Mitch Gross

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:00 PM

I do not believe such a lens exists for 35mm, and I don't think any dogleg lenses were that good anyway. How precise do you need your frames? Perhaps you could rig a parallax finder such as in an old Eyemo. It sounds like that's what you've ended up creating anyway.
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#6 Herb Montes

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 02:16 PM

The project that I'm working doesn't have a budget to buy or rent another camera. In fact the camera that I want to make reflex is half home built. Made from an old modified Devry mechanism and using a an Abel traffic camera body, I added an m42 Pentax lens mount. It is now a 35mm full frame 4 perf. time lapse camera which operates on a spring wind. I wanted a spring wind because I have to carry it in a backpack to remote places that have no electricity and be light wieght. The easiest way to make it reflex would be to find an m42 pentax mount lens that is reflex like many Som Berthoit lens made for c and d mounts. Has anyone seen such a lens for a 35mm camera in any mount? I could always change the lens mount on the camera, if I could find a lens like that.


You may want to look at this camera I acquired recently. It has a DeVry mechansism and built by a company in New York. The lens mount is on a rackover plate. This allows me to focus the lens accurately but for filming it uses the top mounted non-reflex finder.

http://www.houston.q...nt/cine35mm.htm
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#7 Stephen Williams

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 03:07 PM

some of the very early conversions of Mitchells were done by using a pelicle instead of a rotating mirror. A pelicle is a very thin half silvered mirror. These conversions were less expensive but had the disadvantage of cutting the light to the film. Once a cameraman told me that he prefered that conversion as it didn't have "that annoying flicker." In any case to convert a camera you need a very good machinist and or someone who has done the conversion to your particular camera. There are so many great reflex cameras available why would you want to make a conversion now?


Hi,

I often use both types of Fries Conversions.
The pelicule version remains light tight for stop motion, & retains the variable shutter. Downside is the viewfinder is darker and because of the pelicule no PL lenses can be fitted. Most cameraman will prefer the spinning mirror version, as its more normal to use. A bit like an Arri III but with dual pin registration.

Stephen
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#8 dd3stp233

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 01:26 AM

The rack over lens option may work out the best. I have a bunch viewfinders and parts from some other cameras that I could use to make it out of. Mainly just need it for focusing and not for viewing while filming. Some of the lenses that I have are not marked for focusing such as a 16mm to 35mm blow-up lens so I could use the camera for DIY optical printing applications. Thanks for the ideas.
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#9 Nate Downes

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 02:32 PM

I have 3 of the same mechanisms, and made my own rackover system due to simplicity. However, I did measure out for using a prism'd system, using a prism available from edwards scientific. I just found the rackover system the simplest method of handling it. I used the Minolta MD mount for my setup due to the sharpness of the lenses.

Then again, one of my mechanisms I'm further modifying to run an external magazine, I'll post pictures if it works out, run and hide if not. 8)

I did come up with one option for a mirrored reflex system, however. I took an old SLR mirror and mounted it to the shutter, while not as good as a true mirrored shutter, it kinda worked, at least for framing the shot and making sure I'm lined up while shooting. It was too cumbersome for real work, however, so I abandoned the idea after 2 tests.
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#10 Dickson Sorensen

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Posted 14 December 2005 - 03:16 PM

However, I did measure out for using a prism'd system, using a prism available from edwards scientific.

Do you mean Edmund Scientific? I understand that the company split a few years ago and is now two companies. Edmund Scientific and Edmund Optics. Edmund Optics supplying optics to the industry.
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#11 Nate Downes

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 12:48 AM

Do you mean Edmund Scientific? I understand that the company split a few years ago and is now two companies. Edmund Scientific and Edmund Optics. Edmund Optics supplying optics to the industry.


Right, them! (I need more sleep, don't mind me)
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