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【HobbyShow】Vintage restoration

移花接木 2021-02-19 21:07:41 ( reads)

My apology of the photographic terminologies, they are just out of scope. 

AGFA (abbreviation for Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation) was a major producer of cameras, accessories, film and photographic chemicals, founded in Berlin, Germany in 1867.

A fews years ago, by chance, I received an AGFA Isolette I folding camera literally for free. The AGFA Isolette was the “bread and butter” camera for Agfa for the longest time.  AGFA Isolette I is the very basic model made in 1950's.  Already over half a century old, still in working condition, but problems can be aniticipated.

 

 Light leaking of the bellow, the folding part of the camera, is most common and the first thing I checked.  In my darkroom, my darkroom is my basement, it's only dark at night.  Open the back side of the camera,  turn on a flashlight in front of it, watch the interior side of the bellow from the open back, any light spot is a pin hole that could ruin the film.  A bellow normally is made of leather or other flexible light isolating material and can last quite long time, but over 60 years weathering they eventually got worn out.   Only way to fix is to change a new one. I just could not wait to give a try,  so I taped all the corners of the bellow and gave it a shot. This camera uses 120 format film which in today's digital camera time is referred to as medium framed, the sensor size of the medium frame digital camera is the same as one 120 film frame, i.e. roughly 60mm X 60mm. 

One  120 film roll of 6x6 format yields 12 frames in total.  Of the test roll, 11 out of the 12 pictures  completely out of focus, I realized the focusing mechanism is not working although the focus ring itself turning, but not driving the lens elements.     

The reason of the focusing problem is chemical reaction of the brass lens construction and aging lubricant used by AGFA causing lens elements seized off. I decided to fix all the problems at one time.  I made a double layered new bellow from some light proofing fiber material I happened had just enough for the work. I did not record the bellow making process.  The next would be taking the lens apart to fix the optical problem. The lens mount can be accessed from back side. 

     

The lens is a full assembly of optical elements, shutter, selftimer, aperture, and so on. Need to be further disassembled down to functional elements.

The multiple glass elements assembly, when they are turned against eachother, the distance between the glasses varied giving new focusing points. Now they seized. This part need most precaution, cannot force it, any tiniest deformation on the frame or crack on the glass, game will be over. I had tried several methods to free the lenses, starting from the mildest one by dipping the lens into 99% alcohol for a few days, not working. I didnot want try WD40, too oily, scared might ruin the optical coating. Eventually, the heatgun became the life saver, FYI, not a hair dryer simply the temperature too low.  I checked the glass safety temperature before using the heatgun, still I did not hold it steady on the lens since glass distortion would result in image distortion,  and at last the hardened lubricant gave in before the glass. I quickly took it apart and  put them into alcohol again. Cleaned thoroughly and smeared a tiny bit new grease on the thread and assembled again.              

lens assmebly showing aperture, shutter winding lever, and so on.   

Now lens is adjustable, bellow's been changed, time to put it together. Everythings is working now...

But that is not all..., the lenses are capable to focus from the nearest point to infinity, but how to tell the distance? There is a focus dial ring which is mounted on the very front of the lens with a set screw, no locator, so the lens need to be calibrated, e.g. when the lens focuses at 3 meter distance, the focus dial should point at 3 meter.    

No accurate lab equipments, DIY method can also make it just as good. The principle and steps as:

two cameras lens to lens head on.

I drew this cat on a clear plastic card, and stuck it on the agfa's back to replace a film.

   

Took a picture from the digital DSLR,  eyeballed the focus, this no range finder on AGFA Isolette I , need to  estimate the focus anyway, so this is good enough. 

finished,

A few photos taken with AGFA Isolette I, developed with D76, EPSON V550 scanner,

But since then it has been used more as a photographic prop than a tool and certainly a dust collector as well,  but every once in a while I would take it out and wipe the dust... ...,  

跟帖(28)

beautifulwind

2021-02-19 22:56:04

你不但是古董收藏家,还是古董修理家!:) 两只相机连在一起?相片真是有旧相片的感觉啊。画的小猫

beautifulwind

2021-02-19 23:12:09

必须好好夸一句: 疼LP的人会发达!:)

移花接木

2021-02-20 11:43:11

这从何说起?

beautifulwind

2021-02-20 15:37:50

你啥都知道,这句话没听说过?去百度一下:)

沿途美景

2021-02-21 08:19:08

吕方《锡老婆会发达》。。。

移花接木

2021-02-20 11:36:23

是吧,你是显微镜用习惯了?

beautifulwind

2021-02-20 15:41:30

我看显微镜超过一小时肯定头疼:)哇,这真是漂亮!颜色是后期调了吗?

移花接木

2021-02-20 16:30:59

原色,绿蜂与红花搭配很鲜艳,今年夏天找机会拍昆虫微距,我对昆虫的复眼感兴趣,这有蒲公英。。。

beautifulwind

2021-02-20 17:40:36

这真是我喜欢的,小小的世界得到放大,那对beetles你怎么取到景的?:)

移花接木

2021-02-20 18:43:25

它们就在路边而且不爱动,微距拍水珠就是拍水珠里的反光,加些白糖就好用

俏君

2021-02-20 00:03:46

技术文,收藏学习!黑白照片很有味道啊。

移花接木

2021-02-20 11:44:42

哪里,我不论做什么都很匠气,缺少艺术家气质

忒忒绿

2021-02-20 05:56:00

照片有中国山水画的美感!花帅心灵手巧疼女人,赞!

移花接木

2021-02-20 11:42:44

山水画需要这么多灰度吗?

天边一片白云

2021-02-20 06:53:42

啥都好,就是把美女的脸部弄糊了。我读两遍想看花帅怎样疼LP, 没找到。

beautifulwind

2021-02-20 09:23:18

摄影师的女主角啊:)

移花接木

2021-02-20 11:43:54

想多了,哈哈哈

danren

2021-02-20 08:08:13

用心的呵护!

beautifulwind

2021-02-20 09:23:47

一语双关:)

移花接木

2021-02-20 11:45:28

掸土也算吗?

Ha65494

2021-02-20 12:54:18

照片拍得真好!

甜虫虫

2021-02-20 20:41:20

Wow, you know so much about cameras! thumbs up!

树的花花世界

2021-02-21 08:58:06

看来花兄深谙happy wife, happy life 之道!

爱听歌的奥黛丽

2021-02-21 09:51:53

photograph is a luxury hobby, isn't it?

移花接木

2021-02-21 11:58:05

摄影穷三代,还好现在不用胶卷了

beautifulwind

2021-02-21 15:30:54

恭喜花董。首页进来,谢谢网管,HobbyShow活动Vintage restoration挂首成功:)

LYJiang

2021-02-21 15:32:10

Thanks for shedding light on this subject!

沿途美景

2021-02-21 19:48:57

赞花爷高品。。。莺歌流水还那么牛。。。