Skip to main content

Off the Beaten Pack - My Adventures in Packfilm Part 4

This is actually where I depart from my Packfilm adventures the second time. (This is the first.)

The process of converting a packfilm camera to take another format, which started with my attempt at making an adapter that transports medium format film to the film plane of the Land 103/210 camera, has now arrived at the 9x12 cm film format.

The above photograph was made with the process of exposing a photo paper in a sheet film holder (actually a glass plate holder). The - albeit small - film holder is too large to fit inside the Polaroid packfilm camera model(s) at hand. Thus I am not able to place it at the film plane - that is, where the lens projects the image in Focus. I had to come up with a solution to move the film plane. That means: Move the lens closer to the camera than what is intended by the manufacturer.

Lucky for me the camera is collapsible, it folds into itself to make it portable. My idea was simply to move the film plane back, using an empty packfilm cassette as a spacer. Using the camera's lens movement when in the collapsing mode, I could find focus even when the film plane was moved.

You can read more about the basic layout of functions for the camera model in the post about my recent foray into packfilm.

In the above picture you can see that I've attached a wooden board to the frame part of an old packfilm cassette. The round magnets help it to sit in place in the film plane position. I used  black gaffers tape to attach the board to it, and strips of light sealing foam for light sealant. So far Postman's rubberbands are what holds the film back and cassettes in place.

That also goes for the focusing mechanism. Here's how it works:

To attain (infinity) focus I need to move the lens closer to the original film plane than was the intended design for the camera. The lens board movement of the camera has two original ends/stops: At Infinity and at 1.1 meters. When you'd want to collapse the bellows to pack it away you need to unhook the arm that controls the movement of the lens board. (I.e. you push the lens inside the camera body letting the bellows inflate.) This unhooking of the arm (from the actual infinity stop) allows the lens board to move closer to the film plane - i.e. towards the new film plane.

I made a crude solution to mark up the new focus stops by attaching a bar with distance markings, and a bolt to align them to the lens board. See the above photo.

So far the rubber band is what I use to keep the lens board in position. There is a spring pushing the lens board forward to make it reach the original extended position. The rubber band acts to adverse the spring's outward force.

The first two test exposures. I used an expired photo paper, but that's another story.


I own seven single film holders for 9x12 film/paper and two double holders. I also own a 9x12 roll film holder (for an ancient format) that I can use on this camera, loaded with 120 format film. The possibilities seem endless!

Thanks for riding along! Don't hesitate to comment or check out my Instagram at ourbooksmalmo. Visit my Etsy shop getOurBooks where cameras and other photography stuff are for sale.


Popular posts from this blog

Chaika Leica

Well, here's a Chaika 2M that I bought from Alex Helios via Instagram.  It's a great full manual viewfinder half-frame camera. The wheel on the top is for shutter time selection, from B to 1/30th to 1/250th of a second. The square button on the front right of the camera is the release/exposure. The lens mounted on the camera in the picture is not the original Industar-69. The Chaika is a rare model compact camera since the prime lens is detachable. What is more is that it has M39 screw mount. But - like with the Paxette M39 system - you can't get focus with a lens from another M39 system. Unless you adapt the lens or - in this case - the camera (mount)! The Chaika mount is easily detached from the body by loosening four screws. If I want to mount the Leica thread mount M39 (LTM) lenses on the Chaika - which is my goal with this mod - I have to add 1.3mm to the mount. That is what is needed to change the camera's flange focal distance (FFD) from Chaika system to L


A Lomo Smena 8 camera with a faulty shutter. An Olympus Pen F camera. Part of a microscope adapter for the Pen. That's what I started out with. 45 minutes later I had a new lens! Mount The mount came off a microscope adapter. I got the adapter from my first (of two) attempts to buy an Olympus Pen F. There seem to be some unscrupolous ebay sellers around peddling useless Pens with microscope adapted prisms. Luckily - in hindsight - I got a microscope adapter with this first Pen. Which I now trashed when a Lomo Smena 8 without a future landed on my doorstep (figuratively speaking). Conversion / Havoc Smena I only knew the camera as a half-frame camera [Correction - it's a full frame camera!] called Smena 8 and hadn't thought to place it in Lomography-land until I read the name Lomo on the lens when it was already modded. Unwittingly I had tread the tiles of lomo-dom twice in as many weeks, also having put two rolls through a Praktica CX-1 which appears to be Gr

Yellow Tinted and Squared - Bilora Bella 44 with Rollei Dia-Positive Film

  This is what came out of an outing to see what my recently aquired Bilora Bella 44 was capable. I also tried a new (to me) film. The Bella is a 127 format camera which produces twelve 4x4 cm exposures on the 127 film. The film I tried is called Rollei Crossbird Creative, ISO/ASA 200. Under that name it is a film to be cross-processed - i e developed in colour negative chemicals even though it is a (dia) positive film. I gather that this use of the film makes the colours go all "creative". I decided to expose it as a positive film, though - mainly since I hadn't intentionally exposed any positive film before. Seeing the scans I can gather that the original film is a dia-positive film for tungsten light, since there is a strong yellow hue to the photographs even though they were exposed in strong (afternoon) sunlight. I am very happy with the way the photographs turned out and can conclude that this trial run of the Bilora Bella 44 has me wanting t