Converting a Instamatic to take 35mm cartridges off the shelf.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Retro_10s, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Retro_10s

    Retro_10s TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK Worcestershire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Today I started converting my little Comet 404x to take 35mm film, rather than the 126 cassettes that are - to be frank - are pain in the backside these days.

    Here she is - I am using the Comet for this as I got it for free in a big box of old flashcubes and film I bought - It is cheap, easy to take apart and put back together and there is very little to go wrong. It owes me nothing and supply of this type of instamatic is plentiful. Internally it is also quite similar to other Instamatics that were in the same sort of price category. CHEAP.:lmao:
    [​IMG]
    Currently there are a few 'how to' guides on re-spooling 35mm into a 126 cassette - however, I wanted to do something different - my conversion will allow you to get a 35mm film cartridge off the shelf and put it straight in :p ..... beats faffing about with film and cassettes, and is completely my own modification design -> as far as i know - not done before....

    I will keep this updated as progress .... err well.... progresses!.. :mrgreen: with plenty of pictures etc...

    So far (started about an hour ago)

    **I have cut down a 120 'take up spool' that has been 'cut and shut' to the same height as the 35mm canister. This is 100% re-usable.
    ** Made a modification (5 minutes with a nail file) to the sprocket 'brake' that pops up when you wind the frame on to stop it halting the film early when being wound on (126 has it's sprocket holes spaced differently)
    ** Made a modification that enable the film to be wound on sightly further between frames to ensure good spacing and eliminate merging of photos.
    ** Modified the aperture blades (there's only 2),... I have it measured at f8 fully open to 16 closed. no reason for doing this, just experimenting and is easily put back to normal.

    I am liberating some Light seals for Toner cartridge drum units from work that will be perfect for sealing the back lid of the camera.

    not much left to do to be honest - Pics to come!:mrgreen:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    399
    Location:
    L.A.
    Cool! Would like to see the pics.
     
  3. Retro_10s

    Retro_10s TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK Worcestershire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'll get them up as soon as I've taken them - writing this thread will probably take longer than the conversion to 35mm film will if you were to time them lol.
     
  4. skagman

    skagman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Hampshire UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You are welcome to use any of my Flickr pictures on the understanding that you will give attribution and a link back to my Flickr site. I refer to the picture of the Comet 404-X.

    John Nuttall (skagman)
     
  5. Retro_10s

    Retro_10s TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK Worcestershire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  6. Retro_10s

    Retro_10s TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK Worcestershire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Righty, here's a little update for you then to show yesterday and today's progress -

    Here's my Comet stripped down, the casing comes away with 3 screws accessible from the inside of the back and 1 screw behind the shutter lever (depress shutter to gain access:
    [​IMG]

    The first modification is to the winder, I don't believe the winder would currently wind on a whole frame (I'm not 100% sure on this but it doesn't hurt to be sure) so I have knife edged the winder brake, this enables it to click into position as normal, but with a small push on the winder and it will wind on a little more.
    [​IMG]

    I've liberated some old light seals and foam cushion pads from work, the light seals will be used to Seal off the lid so that the film doesn't get ruined, the cushion pads will sit underneath the take up spool to push it onto the winder mechanism.
    [​IMG]

    The take up spool is made from an Old 120 spool i had lying about, I cut it down to the same height as a 35mm cartridge and then superglued the base back on. This spool is totally re-usable and can stay with/in the camera when not loaded.
    [​IMG]

    The film cartridge actually nearly fits - but it's not quite there, I'll need to cut the casing of the camera to allow the bottom half of the the spool to locate the film, this is easily done, easy to seal, and allows easy re-winding through the bottom of the camera with anything you can find to bodge up there haha!
    [​IMG]

    The only thing left to do once that is done is to drill the top of the take up spool to allow the teeth of the winder to engage,.. and work out how I'm going to build a mechanism into the camera that will enable me to disengage the take up spool from the winder to allow me to rewind the film without opening the back of the camera up,... thankfully - There is a VERY easy solution to this that due to the simplistic nature of the cameras i will enlighten you to once the film is seated correctly.

    this is fun :) especially when i have no expectations of greatness for this Frankenstein of a camera!
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
126 to 35mm
,
convert 126 to 35mm
,

convert instamatic to 35mm

,
converting 126 instamatic
,
instamatic 304 35mm
,

instamatic 35mm conversion

,

kodak instamatic 35mm

,

kodak instamatic 35mm conversion

,

modify kodak instamatic

,
what film does instamatic 304 camera take