Archive for the 'Medium Format' Category

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…


Lego Camera Update

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

LegoCameraV2.gif I haven’t built any new cameras lately, but I have been shooting about a roll a week with my Lego camera. I have been tweaking the design and modifying things and I think I finally have a camera that I am pretty happy with. You can read about the original Lego camera design here. Here is a description of some of the improvements I have made:


Lego Camera With Mindstorms

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

There has been another Lego camera sighting, but this time the camera comes equipped with Mindstorms! For those of you who don’t know, Mindstorms are Lego robotics kits. It is kind of hard to tell what the robotic parts actually do on this camera, but I assume it controls the shutter. It would be really impressive if it advanced the film as well. Could that be true? I am not real confident that I translated the site correctly, but I think the inventor’s name is Markus Thomas. You can view his camera here and one of the photos he took with it here. Congratulations, Markus! Very impressive.

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.


Medium Format Pinhole Lego Camera

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005


After making the Lego conversion of my old Polaroid 95a, I decided to tackle another Lego challenge: a medium format Pinhole Lego Camera. I had several goals for the lego camera:

  1. First, I wanted to make sure that the film advance knob only turned one direction.

  2. Secondly, I wanted to have a film counter in addition to the red window.

  3. And last but not least, it would be nice to have some sort of viewfinder.


Lubitel 166 Universal

Thursday, September 8th, 2005


After being overshadowed in my collection by my Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex 1a, I finally got around to shooting a roll of film on my Lubitel 166 Universal. The Lubitel is the poor man’s twin lens reflex camera. Being made of plastic, it is sometimes lumped into the toy camera category, but it does have a glass lens and other features like several aperatures and shutter speeds. Despite the apparent ability to “control” this camera, I have to admit that this isn’t my favorite machine. Although bright, the screen is really hard to focus. It has a ground circle in the center and a small magnifying glass to help with the task, but the results don’t seem worth the effort. You are almost better off estimating the distance Holga-style. But all-in-all, it is capable of taking pretty sharp photos, and if you are willing to put up with its idiosyncracies, it can be a nice little camera. Here is a link to my Lubitel 166U gallery for your amusement.

Ebay is my favorite place to find deals on great old cameras. Here are the Lubitel 166 Universal cameras on Ebay right now:

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.


3200 Ilford Delta Film

Sunday, July 10th, 2005

My friend Larry sent me some rolls of 3200 Ilford Delta film for me to play with in my Holga. 3200 Speed Film should allow me to shoot with my Holga in low light, if not in near darkness. I am looking forward to the big grain, and high contrast that this high speed film will give me. After I get a few rolls exposed, I will try to outline some tips and suggestions for using 3200 speed film in a Holga.

Ebay is my favorite place to find deals on great old cameras and film. Here are the 3200 film on Ebay right now:

Yashicamat vs. Ikoflex

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

I was in a camera store the other day, and I got to play around with the Yashicamat they had on display. After using my Ikoflex for a while, I was curious to see how the two compared. The obvious benefit of the Yashicamat I was looking at was that it had a light meter. I have read that the construcion of the Yashica isn’t as good as the Ikoflex, but I couldn’t tell from my limited time with it. It may just have been this particular camera, but things seemed a little tight, and tended to stick. The aperture and shutter knobs were more elegantly placed and designed, but they were a little tight and hard to change. Again, it might have just been this camera. It had a crank to advance the film rather than the boring knob of the Ikoflex. Overall, it was a nice camera, and hopefully some day I will get one. In the meantime, I am more than happy with my Ikoflex.

Ebay is my favorite place to find deals on great old cameras. Here are the Yashicamat cameras on Ebay right now:

Cheap Medium Format Photography

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

I used to think that it took a small fortune to take up medium format photography as a hobby. used cameras on B&H and the ads in photo magazines give the impression that shooting medium format takes a minimum investment of $1000. Believe it or not, you can shoot medium format on a budget of less than $100. Your camera won’t say Mamiya or Hasselblad, but you would be surprised how much life their is beneath the extravagant surface of medium format cameras.