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Thread: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

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    Introducing FrankenKamera VI!



    Using the front standard of my Toyo VX23D medium-format view camera, I have created a pancake-type, tech camera offering rear rise / fall movements.

    It will be dedicated to doing infrared photography using my DIY-modified, full-spectrum Samsung NX500 and collection of vintage Contax / Yashica lenses, almost all of which perform very well behind a 720 nm filter.

    The bare camera weighs 1 lb., 9.6 oz, which is a bit more than I had hoped, but still makes it the lightest camera of this type of which I'm aware.

    It provides a 28 mm range of rear rise / fall movement, split into 18 mm of rise and 10 mm of fall. This should be plenty for my purposes, as well as the sizes of the image circles projected by the C/Y lenses.

    Best of all, everything I've done is completely reversible and I can break this camera down and reassemble my VX23D in its original configuration in around 20 minutes whenever the occasion requires.

    Here are a couple of photos of holiday lights I took down the street from my house during one of my shakedown outings:





    P.S.: I have also created a companion camera using the VX23D's rear standard and am now in the process of implementing Phase Two, wherein in I am updating it so I can mount my Contax N and Contax 645 lenses and use them with my A7R body ... stay tuned!
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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    Presumably, tilting/panning has to be made with the tripod legs (?)
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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    .
    My friend, your 'light box' is looking great--nice bland background and very even light...some natural and some 5K bulbs?

    The camera looks excellent.

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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
    .
    My friend, your 'light box' is looking great--nice bland background and very even light...some natural and some 5K bulbs?

    The camera looks excellent.
    Hah! I didn't use the lightbox for this photo. The background is actually the textured wall by the front door (after I removed the photo that was hanging there) and the light comes from two 18x24 pieces of white foamcore board bouncing the sunlight coming through the open front door onto the camera.

    As for the camera, thanks for the kind words!

    This morning, I'm dialing-in the Sony E-mount camera mount panel that uses the rotating mount from a Cambo Actus to change its orientation ... pretty slick, if I do say so myself. This means I will now be able to swap between the NX500 for IR photography and my A7R for visible-light photography simply by swapping the camera mount panels, with no other adjustments required!

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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugleone View Post
    Presumably, tilting/panning has to be made with the tripod legs (?)
    This camera won't readily accommodate tilting or panning movements.

    Which is fine, because for the type of photography I will be doing with it almost exclusively -- urban and suburban street and alley scenes, photographed late at night using long exposures at base ISO -- neither tilting nor panning will be needed, just rise and fall movements to tweak the compositions and correct for keystoning.

    And on those rare occasions when they are needed, I have other FrankenKameras I can use instead.

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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    Now with an A7R camera mount panel, which means I can swap between my A7R and NX500 bodies by simply swapping camera mount panels ... no other adjustments required!



    One nifty trick with this camera mount panel is that I incorporated the rotating camera mount bracket from a Cambo Actus. This means I can change the orientation of the camera body by simply pushing a lever and rotating the body 90 degrees, hence eliminate the risk of dropping it that always exists when one has to rotate the complete camera mount panel instead. While the bracket isn't inexpensive ($219 plus a $79 camera mount ring) and -- gasp! -- adds ~.6 ounces of weight, I already had it on hand and have no other use for it in mind, so why not?

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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    Quote Originally Posted by Audii-Dudii View Post
    Now with an A7R camera mount panel, which means I can swap between my A7R and NX500 bodies by simply swapping camera mount panels ... no other adjustments required!



    One nifty trick with this camera mount panel is that I incorporated the rotating camera mount bracket from a Cambo Actus. This means I can change the orientation of the camera body by simply pushing a lever and rotating the body 90 degrees, hence eliminate the risk of dropping it that always exists when one has to rotate the complete camera mount panel instead. While the bracket isn't inexpensive ($219 plus a $79 camera mount ring) and -- gasp! -- adds ~.6 ounces of weight, I already had it on hand and have no other use for it in mind, so why not?
    What's the "gizmo" with the HDMI slot attached to the camera? Thanks.

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    Re: Introducing FrankenKamera VI!

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyPtak View Post
    What's the "gizmo" with the HDMI slot attached to the camera? Thanks.
    It's a combination HDMI cable adapter / security device for connecting an HDMI cable to the camera:



    The adapter portion allows the Type A HDMI cables used by the monitor to be connected to the Type D HDMI connector built into the camera and the security device mechanically locks the adapter in place, preventing the camera from being damaged should the cable ever be bumped.

    It also minimizes the amount of wear that accrues to the connector built into the camera as a result of cables being plugged and unplugged frequently, as this is a common failure point and requires the main circuit board to be replaced when it breaks or wears out. Instead, the wear now occurs at the adapter, which can be easily and inexpensively replaced should it ever be necessary.

    This particular product was made by Lockport, but the A7R version has been discontinued, presumably due to lack of demand now that the camera is six years old. Used ones do turn up on eBay occasionally, though.

    Anyway, because I use an external HDMI monitor with the A7R for my nighttime photography (because its larger, brighter screen makes composing and focusing in the dark much, much easier), I added the Lockport device as an insurance policy of sorts.

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