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My Frankenstax - meet the Instavus!
Old 02-09-2019   #1
retinax
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My Frankenstax - meet the Instavus!

Finally got around to this little project. I'd say it's the easiest and cheapest possible way to make an Instax wide with faster lens and full manual control, downsides: ugly and bulky.

It's a Voigtländer Avus, for 6.5x9 film or plates. No harm was done to it, only a plate holder was butchered.

The advantage of using a camera like this is obvious from the third picture: It only requires a second focus scale to be able to focus on the Instax film which is much behind the original film plane. This is what would cause most headaches in other Instax conversions. Actually the film holder/now adapter and dark slide slot could be moved a bit further back to make the whole thing less bulky, but that would require more invasive surgery to the Instax body, the battery chamber would be affected and one would lose the grip.
The Instax has been re-wired so that the switch only activates the motor to eject a picture. I'll need to install a second switch eventually because this one is easy to move accidentally. Please only try this if you have some idea of what you're doing, the flash capacitor in there is big and its charge could, under unfortunate circumstances, kill a person. Therefore I won't give detailed instructions on how to deal with the body.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20190209_120722.jpg (53.3 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20190209_122144.jpg (61.0 KB, 44 views)
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Old 02-09-2019   #2
retinax
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And because of the three-pictures limit, here's an extra post for results. There's vignetting on close focused shots, can't be completely avoided because the Avus' lens is a little longer than the original lens of the Instax wide, but I've slightly improved it by cleaning up my plate holder hacking. At 2m, only the extreme corners are dark.
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Old 02-09-2019   #3
zuikologist
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Very cool.
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Old 04-21-2019   #4
Godfrey
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Nice! I like how you have a separate focusing scale for the Instax!

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Old 04-21-2019   #5
Steve M.
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"Please only try this if you have some idea of what you're doing"

Wise words to be sure. Of course, the only way to get some idea of what we're doing is to actually try it and see how it goes

The shots are sharp. It's hard to beat Voigtlander glass, and the build quality of those old plate cameras, especially the Voigtlanders, is second to none.
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Old 04-21-2019   #6
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I'm doing an Instax SQ back for my Hasselblad 500CM, using the processing unit from an Instant Magny 35 (Kickstarter that came up with a very nice Instax SQ attachment for Leica M, Nikon FM, and other cameras). I got a spare processing unit from those folks, and will glom the back attachment mechanism off my old Polaroid-Hasselblad back (useless now that there's no film for it anymore).

Milling down the processing unit to get the film plane as close to the original Hassy spec as possible is the tricky part. I'll likely have to be content with a back that doesn't focus all the way to infinity unless I come up with a creative way to cut another 1-2 mm off the depth of the back. The Hassy body will NOT be altered at all. I should at least be able to make a nice little distance strip for accurate focusing and affix it to my Hasselblad lens focusing rings.

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