Instax-Horseman-Graflok Conversion Thread

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by ic-racer, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    This is in the category of one-thing-leads-to-another.

    I put a 3-cell liop in my Rolleiflex 6008i and it worked so well, I put one in my Rollei e36 flash. Now that the flash works, I can use my Polaroid 250 camera. But, in the mean time the film is discontinued. So, what to do.

    Thus this project: Make an Instax 6x9 Graflok film back for the Horseman VH-R.

    I have done much of the on-line research for the project already, and am ready to start buying stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  2. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    For the Graflok connection, I'll use either parts from a Horseman rollfilm back or a 6x9 film holder.

    Horseman 6x9 or 6x7 rollfilm back. Many variations out there. Will have to look around.
    Also, Singer made a 6x6 back that might be better, since it might match the instax film size better.

    NOTE: even though the Horseman has a back I'm calling Graflok, not all 6x9cm are the same. Many are interchangeable, but just to make sure everything fits, I'm concentrating on getting a Horseman branded film back for the parts.

    Here is the portion of the Horseman back I need.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  3. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Here is the Singer 6x6 back. I think this also fits the Horseman.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Instax Belair.jpg There are two film backs out there for instax. One is the Lomo Belair Instax Wide back with hand crank. The other is a smaller one for the Diana and thier own little Instax plastic camera.

    The Instax Wide Belair looked to be just the thing, however I found this Instax Belair (hand crank) example photo. Maybe the hand crank is no good and you need the motor. Also, it turns out the Instax Belair back may be out of production. I can't find it for sale anywhere.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  5. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Just saw this, looks like the Instax film might fit in my 6x9cm film holders. It can then be put back in a instax camera and use the instax camera like the old Polaroid sheet film processors.
    So, another twist on this project would be to modify a cheap instax camera in to just a film processor that does not need to make the Graflok connection. Just expose all the instax film in 6x9 film holders like the Polaroid or Impossible sheet film.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  6. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The more I think about it, using the Instax film like sheet film in the 6x9cm holders is brilliant. One would need just 5 holders and the entire 10-pack of film can be loaded and exposed. Then, the instax cartridge can be re-loaded with the exposed film and the camera will spit them out for processing one-by-one.
    Seems almost too good to be true. A real big plus is the instax film will be positioned at the correct focal plane as conventional film, so no modifications to the camera are needed.
     
  7. jacaquarie

    jacaquarie Subscriber

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    I want to know how this works out!!
    A Baby (2x3) Speed Graphic, instax film and processing, you just may be on to something great!
    Keep me in the loop.
    You may have discovered the solution for the demise of other instant products.

    Thanks

    Aj
     
  8. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Looking at the size, I suspect the instax film will also fit in the Rolleiflex TLR sheet film back, in the special holders.
    Rollei sheet film.jpeg
     
  9. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    First tests and it works great. Should work great in your baby Graphic too.
    Instax Mini Film fits 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Film Holders!
     
  10. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    I have that for the early Mamiya C series (and selling) and did shoot Instax Mini with the C3 I had before. Worked great especially when processing with an instax body.
     
  11. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    You're mixing formats. The Belair back is for Instax Wide and this one above is for Instax Mini. FYI
     
  12. hsandler

    hsandler Subscriber

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    What we really need is a Graflok back for a 4x5 camera that takes Instax wide (the mini stuff is just too small for a good scan) and a processing motor or good manual rollers built in. I'm putting Instax wide in 4x5 holders, but the transfer back and forth to an Instax cartridge in the dark and an Instax camera for "developing" is fiddly. More important, it means development is not truly instant. The problem with Instax film is the limited exposure range. I frequently make exposure errors, and what I really need is instant feedback out in the field so I can take another shot then and there.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Instax wide is 62 x 99mm, so it is bigger than the nominal "6x9" frame opening, but the Horseman is capable of exposing up to 4x5" film with the appropriate back. So the Horseman VH-R should be able to expose the entire Instax Wide film.
    I had forgotten about the Square and WIde film because I'm pretty happy with the little images at this time. The instant processing is pretty amazing when you think about it. The maximum number of sheet films I can process is ten, and it takes 15 minutes just to set up and fill the processor.

    In the field I use a common changing bag to manipulate the un-processed film and get it into the 'processing' camera. I keep the camera in the bag and open-close the back in between processing each film. Opening and closing the back after each print is processed resets the camera so the shutter won't open and the flash won't fire when processing the next image; the camera thinks it is spitting out the dark slide each time.

    That is so much easer than when I was doing wet plate in a portable darkroom in the field.
     
  14. peter k.

    peter k. Subscriber

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    Well been looking around for a used Instax Wide camera and got one today, a 210, so need to get some film to try this out with the 4x5.
    See a mess of it on e-bay... were does one look for the expiration date? It must be printed on the boxes somewhere, so to know it its fresh?

    We plan to expose the 'Film' in a 4x5 film holder, and then place it in a dark bag, and process it in the Fugi Instax wide camera in the field.
    We tried this with my MF Speed, with the Instax mini, .. and it worked well.
     
  15. hsandler

    hsandler Subscriber

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    It's on the side of the box of two cartridges. But I found the best price was fresh film from B&H in NYC. $14.88 for a box of two wide cartridges, 20 sheets. Almost the same price per sheet for wide as mini.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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