Archive for the 'Antique' Category

Argus Pinhole Modification

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I don’t have a tutorial for this one, but I thought I would share with you the pinhole modification I made to my Argus. I already had the lens stripped away from my homemade tilt-shift lens experiment and realized that the small leftover body would make a nice pinhole camera. All I really had to do was attach my homemade pinhole shutter (remember the one made out of a floppy disk and a ballpoint pen?) which I modded to work with a cable release. Now I have a pretty decent pinhole camera that I can trigger with the cable rather than adding camera shake with a more traditional shutter mechanism (black tape). It isn’t my most beautiful camera, but it is small and it works! Here are some pictures of it:

Front of the camera with the shutter release cable: argus_pinhole_front.jpg

The back with the film loaded: argus_pinhole_back_closed.jpg

The back of the camera opened up: argus_pinhole_back.jpg

Here are the current auctions on Ebay for “Argus Cameras” that you might be interested in:

Agfa Chief 120 Film Conversion

Friday, March 9th, 2007


The Agfa Chief is an old metal box camera that takes 6×9 medium format negatives. I have watched other 6×9 cameras, the Agfa Clack, on Ebay in the past but it seems like they go for way more than they are worth. Needless to say I was pleasently surprised by the Agfa Chief and happy to add it to my collection. I couldn’t find much information about it, but the model I own was in good enough shape to motivate me to try and use it. With a couple very minor hacks I had the camera modified so it could shoot 120 film. If you ever come accross one of these at a thrift store I encourage you to pick it up because unlike some “bargain cameras” the Agfa Chief actually has plenty of life left. Here is what you need to know if you are going to convert it to a working camera…


Iskra Medium Format Camera

Friday, November 25th, 2005


I have wanted a medium format folding camera for a long time now, so my birthday was the perfect excuse to make this dream a reality. After some internet research and watching the Ebay auctions, I finally decided on the Iskra that I purchased from Jurgen Kreckel. Jurgen has a great reputation for restoring old folding cameras. His Ebay auctions are mini history lessons, and his website ( a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about this genre of cameras. When buying a camera this old, it is nice to be able to trust the seller and have confidence that you are getting a completely usable camera.


Polaroid 95a 120 Film Conversion With Legos

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005


The Polaroid 95a Land camera was manufactured from 1954-1957. It is a beautiful camera, and it is a shame that they don’t make film for it anymore. When my friend gave me this camera, I knew I had to modify it somehow to make it usable. I came close to modifying it so I could use it with my Polaroid 545 back, but I couldn’t bring myself to hack off the back of this camera. So, I decided to convert the Polaroid 95a to accept medium format 120 film. A quick measurement showed that I should be able to get a 6×10 image on 120 film. Here are the instructions for how to modify a Polaroid 95a to a usable 6×10 medium format camera. Oh, and I fabricated most of the new camera assembly out of Legos.


Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex 1a

Monday, April 11th, 2005


As far as I can tell, my camera is the Ikoflex 1a model made between the 1930’s and 1950’s. When it was in production, it was competing with the infamous Rollei’s, but it was never as popular. Although it was mechanically competitive with the Rolleicord, it is thought that it’s lack of popularity was due to it’s less stylized and more “function over form” approach.


Agfa Isola

Sunday, April 10th, 2005


The Agfa Isola is a medium format camera that could easily fall into the toy camera category. However, unlike the Diana clones and the Holga, the Agfa Isola has several features that set it apart. It has a glass lens and a plastic and metal body. For a camera made from 1957 – 1963, it has a modern look to it thanks to the silver metal of the lens.