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Vest Pocket Kodak attached to Sony DSLR-A100 | by Arkku
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Vest Pocket Kodak attached to Sony DSLR-A100

I've modified my Vest Pocket Kodak cameras so that they may be attached to my Sony DSLR-A100. In this picture a camera made in 1914 meets one from 2006, and they take pictures together.

 

The backplate of the camera can be screwed off, originally for purposes of cleaning the rear of the lens. I've removed the backplate and attached an M42 extension tube with double-sided tape, sealed against light leaks with some blu-tack. The camera can now be mounted as a lens on any M42 screw mount SLR camera (including modern DSLRs with M42 adapters). When used on a DSLR with in-body anti-shake and possibly an electronic M42 adapter (as required for Sony), one can even get image stabilisation and focus confirmation working for this old thing. I bet the original designers never saw that coming. =)

 

This simple modification is completely reversible; the extension tube can be torn off cleanly and the original backplace screwed back on. If I had film for this camera, I could also just put a cap on the extension tube and install film.

 

The important thing about choosing the extension tube is to make sure it's short enough to allow infinity focus to be reached when attached to an SLR camera (test by attaching the tube to the SLR and holding the camera in front of it before applying tape, but be sure to account for the thickness of the tape). Also, make sure it's long enough to screw on with the camera attached without hitting the protruding flash on many modern (D)SLRs. Most fortunately I managed to have a tube with the exact length to focus at infinity with the bellows fully closed... and I didn't even measure beforehand.

 

As a positive side effect of using the camera with the bellows closed at infinity focus, any light leaks in the bellows won't matter as they aren't exposed to light. And, for finite distances, extending the bellows allows extremely close focusing distances making the camera a macro lens.

 

I did a similar modification for my Contessa Nettel Cocarette camera as well.

 

For more background information, see this forum thread.

 

For test shots, see the set comments.

 

For all pictures taken of or with Vest Pocket Kodaks, follow this tag.

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Taken on July 21, 2007