Why I love old analog.

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Sjixxxy

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I've never been much of a car guy, but I have a few friends who are. After thinking about it, I think one of the things that I love most about analog is similar to what my car guy friends feel. They like to take an old car, and fix it up, and customize it to their specifications, and I've realized that I like to do the same with my cameras, most of which, isn't possible to do with digital cameras, and is limited on gear that relies a lot on electronics.

A few examples;

I once bought a Burke & James 4x5 press, and a Grafmatic. After shooting a few sheets, it became apparent that the Grafmatic didn't exactly fit with the B&J, resulting in some big light leaks. The solution: Take apart the grafmatic and remove a small portion of it with a table saw. Problem solved. I think it wouldn't be possible to take a digicam and alter its storage card so that it could work on a different brand that requires a different style of storage. I know others here have similar stories of modifying 620 cameras into ones that take 120. That is pretty much the same deal.

I didn't like that there was no fall available for my Speed Graphic. Went and cut and glued together a new lens board and drill the lens hole off center. Instantly added fall to the camera, and expanded on its shift & rise range. To move beyond the relative simplicity of large format gear, I've also changed the way a 35mm camera worked to fit better with my shooting style then how it was designed by the factory. I didn't like how the Olympus Trip 35 only allowed usage of its 1/200th shutter speed in automatic mode where there was no indication of what f/stop, or shutter speed was going to used, but I loved the camera. Thus, I opened it up and figured out how to make the fast shutter usable in manual mode. I don't think that it is too easy to expand, or customize the settings beyond what the factory supplied the gear with on modern equipment. That one digicam that had its BIOS hacked may be an exception, but still, hacking a computer doesn't have the same good feeling of building or working on something with a set of tools like a car hot rodder would.

I know others out there do crazy things like these, lets hear them!
 

Poco

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Sep 7, 2002
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652
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The front standard of my Shen-hao didn't have an opening large enough for my 90 XL, but 5 minutes with a coping saw fixed that.
 

JD Morgan

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Sep 23, 2004
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Oregon
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Y'know, if you attach an extendable flex arm to the bottom of the camera and perhaps a mini-ball at the end of the arm with the standard on the ball...... :wink:
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I love being able to fix equipment with ordinary stuff from the hardware store.

Recently I took apart a 5x7" bag mag that's probably 80 years old, cleaned it up, reglued the light trap, cut down a Fidelity darkslide to fit, and patched a thin spot in the bag with some scrap leather and Pliobond, and now it works fine.

I like the fact that an electric shaver cord works as a sync cord for shutters with bipole sync and strobes with household style sync (though I do have "real" sync cables).

When I thought my 8x10" Gowland wasn't rigid enough, I just added some bigger washers, and everything was much sturdier.

I've also adapted the back of my wooden 11x14" camera to fit currently available filmholders--just a matter of shaving off about 1/8" where the end of the holder meets the back.
 
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