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Thread: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

  1. #21
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Hello Marco Lucifora,

    Before you get too far into this please read the threads here and Photo Dot Net about these conversions going back as far as maybe 2002. trhere was a good bit of drama amid claioms, patents and threatened law suits. Please use the search function and read a while first.

    I have never owned one of these cameras, but I have handled a few. It is my opinion (and it is just an opinion) that the Byron cameras are the most thurough and comprehensive re-build out there at a realistic price point. Check the Byron videos on YouTube.

    As far as how large the market is: Years ago there were threats of court action over patent infringement. Nothing ever came to court. If there was any real money to be made in this it would have come to a court fight. If there was a real commercial market out there, someone would be making folding rangefinders in 4x5 from scratch in China.

    with respect for all, cheers.
    Last edited by Drew Bedo; 3-Apr-2012 at 10:40. Reason: Punctuation, spelling, syatax and content
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com


    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #22

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Patent!! so funny.

    I actually stirred up that sh1tstorm once myself:

    http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00D4gM

    What happened to that guy? He always seemed to be riding the edge.

    I remember seeing one of his cameras covered in cowhide or snakeskin in a photo magazine for $25k

    Seriously, how many people ended up buying his cameras?

  3. #23

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Quote Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
    Haha, thanks, I needed some entertainment while I'm waiting for CD's to burn!
    Bryan
    My blog about shooting film in south GA:
    valdostafilm.blogspot.com

  4. #24
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Sully: As someone involved with collecting photographical items , I view your question is not rhetorical. I never see these cameras offered as a used unit. Either they never change hands or they are discarded?

    The number made—and sold—is worth knowing.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com


    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  5. #25

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    So, today i've finally sent the files to produce the very first prototype of this 4x5 back ....
    And this is how it should look ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards ...

  6. #26

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    #1: I really would not go into any trouble yourself in trying to patent this thing. You are going to make absolutely no money off this. Not trying to be rude. It's true. There are 5 guys ahead of you who have tons of experience, one has created a whole crazy camera system. Plus a million hobbyists. And one certifiable lunatic, who claims to actually hold a patent anyway.

    #2: I'm not sure why you are concerned with not-modifying the original camera. These are not particularly collectible cameras, there are plenty around in original condition (with the original useless lights and accessories). It's not like they are a rarity.

    #3: All that said, I would be totally psyched if you made a 3d printing pattern for a back that would replace the entire hinged portion of the original back and put it in the public domain. So then people could print them out and mount them on cameras themselves. If you believe me on #1, and it looks like you have some good design skills, you'd be doing everyone a service.

    #4: to me, the real challenge is making the Polaroid 900 into a useable camera. It has the 110b viewfinder, but an extremely crappy lens. If you put together a kit of a 3D printed back and a machined, replacement lensboard (and maybe a new rangefinder cam), something that wasn't too terribly challenging to put together, I'd definitely buy one. For...$250. That's about it. There are other options out there but to me the prices are too high.

  7. #27

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Bedo View Post
    Sully: As someone involved with collecting photographical items , I view your question is not rhetorical. I never see these cameras offered as a used unit. Either they never change hands or they are discarded?

    The number made—and sold—is worth knowing.
    Good question Drew. My only thought is that it seems like you'd either have to be really rich to own one, since they were prohibitively expensive. So...maybe no one needed to sell their old ones. And perhaps he supplied them to the pros he features on his site for free? One forum member has one here, very nice guy.

  8. #28
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Sully: I am unclear on how one could print outt trheir own film back.

    Ml_psel: Ok, I understand that this part would go onto the back of the Polaroid 110 body. What goes onto that part, a film holder, a grafmatic, or a ground glass?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com


    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  9. #29

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    The problem I have seen with any of the conversions, is that there are used cameras available at a small fraction of the price that are far and away more useful. For what the "better" conversions cost, you can buy a nice Linhof ST IV or V.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  10. #30

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    Re: POLAROID 4x5 Conversion !! A new project !!

    Drew, you know about 3d printing, yes?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

    If someone made a design for a back that would replace the entire back on a Polaroid 900, it would eliminate (what appears to me to be) the hassle of fitting an existing 4x5 back to the original hinged back. So...pop out the pins, replace the old back with the new back. It would also allow you to design the new back to maybe stay a bit further from the viewfinder...I've only handled one conversion, but it seems like the back really cramps the viewfinder area.

    Also it would eliminate a lot of metal.

    One thing with these cameras...I don't think they need a ground glass. I would be into a back that was just open. You could have a slip in ground glass like a film holder if you needed it. If I'm going to put a camera on a tripod and focus with the ground glass, it's not going to be this camera.

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