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Show me a homemade Instax camera!
Old 07-20-2016   #1
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Show me a homemade Instax camera!

Really surprised I have not seen many Instax mods (they may exist beyond my vision)

Considering we do have a few crafty members, handy with tools and such

And we have yet to get a "serious" instax camera....

Show me what you've come up with!
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Old 07-20-2016   #2
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The only custom instax mod I know of is a guy in Florida who makes an adapter to allow the mating of an Instax wide back with a Mamiya Press. He charges like $300 or so for it on the 'bay. Too rich for my blood but I'd like to have one nevertheless.


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Old 07-20-2016   #3
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I bought an Instax wide back for my Crown Graphic that is shown in another thread here, but I didn't make the back. I did 3D print a solid bellows for the Instax mini back and put an older folder lens on it. I'll try to get a picture up tonight.
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Old 07-20-2016   #4
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This is the only one I can think of, available here.
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Old 07-21-2016   #5
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I guess I should step up and making something "better"

Tired of my old 210 pooping out mid pack, and the lens combined with the horrible exposure system make for the worst looking images. I even dislike to look and feel of the thing, overpriced plastic.

Considering having a Polaroid 110B converted for Instax!? But the price for conversion seems out of touch, when I am perfectly capable of cutting and gluing things myself....
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Old 07-21-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
Considering having a Polaroid 110B converted for Instax!? But the price for conversion seems out of touch, when I am perfectly capable of cutting and gluing things myself....
I've frequently thought the same, I may eventually pull the trigger though. I want something similar to my Land camera 250 for Instax.
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Old 07-21-2016   #7
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I wish there were a smaller version of the instax wide camera. The 210 is just so comically large it's impossible to fit in any bag. I also keep wishing for an instax wide printer!
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Old 07-21-2016   #8
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I could live with a Instax wide printer actually...

Going to spend some time tonight on drawing a few ideas, then I guess find a suitable lens.

Thinking UWA, a simple wood body, and the belair instant back from lomo. Mm 47mm Schneider... Wishful thinking.
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Old 07-23-2016   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
I could live with a Instax wide printer actually...

Going to spend some time tonight on drawing a few ideas, then I guess find a suitable lens.

Thinking UWA, a simple wood body, and the belair instant back from lomo. Mm 47mm Schneider... Wishful thinking.


Not sure how hard it is to mate a Mamiya Press lens to your diy body but I'd take a look at the Mamiya 50mm f6.3. If you can mate it, then you have a very reasonably priced WA lens with a helicoid. I've been looking at building a DIY 6x12 with the Schneider 47 and adding a helicoid puts the price well north of 1K. Or, you could go sans helicoid and do focus at infinite. Not bad either.



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Old 07-23-2016   #10
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Lots of good 65/75mm lenses in the 150-300$ range that would work great as well.

Planning to keep it super simple with fixed focus, maybe a helical if I can find one cheap enough.

The 47 would be nice, but I think I'm capping this project at a low budget.
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Old 07-23-2016   #11
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Coincidentally I was reading about a mod involving a 75mm Franka lens a few minutes ago. It's a link to a Facebook page. If that bothers you (as in the past it has seemed to bother some members) then, don't click on it...
https://www.facebook.com/instantcame...44747918928411
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Old 07-25-2016   #12
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Having thought about this all weekend, I jumped into a 65mm f8.0 SA, I am definitely giving this a go.

I've fully destroyed a Polaroid 100 to start with although it will not likely be recognizable from this point on.

Grabbing some Aluminum tonight, along with hunting down some "exotic" wood scraps... I could of swore there was a chunk of Burl Maple down the road... Hmmm. Failing that there is a literal ton of white oak at my finger tips.

Still hunting down the cheapest Bel Air back, looks like BH and Adorama are steady at 79.99$ so that will get ordered tonight as well.

Call me crazy if you must.
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Old 07-25-2016   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
Having thought about this all weekend, I jumped into a 65mm f8.0 SA, I am definitely giving this a go.

I've fully destroyed a Polaroid 100 to start with although it will not likely be recognizable from this point on.

Grabbing some Aluminum tonight, along with hunting down some "exotic" wood scraps... I could of swore there was a chunk of Burl Maple down the road... Hmmm. Failing that there is a literal ton of white oak at my finger tips.

Still hunting down the cheapest Bel Air back, looks like BH and Adorama are steady at 79.99$ so that will get ordered tonight as well.

Call me crazy if you must.


If I may - I bought the bel air back and it's really cheap quality. The Instax wide cameras may be hackable and at the push of a button could pop out the film. Just an idea.


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Old 07-25-2016   #14
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I've got a model 210 Instax that I wanted to hack or atleast use as a back... But damn if I could cut into it... Even with all its gaffer tape holding it guts in I still think it would be better off given to a friend for an extended life as a whole.

The Polaroid, no problem, rip, tear, snap, and cut my way through that junk.
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Old 07-26-2016   #15
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Went a little further today and dismantled my 210 to be used as a back.

It's going to be ALOT more work getting this thing to look like a film back and not a chopped camera... A good amount of body filler I see in the near future.

Now to play ameteur electrician and figure out the simple matter of engaging the discharge motor, likely not using any of the original interface, so a field trip to RadioShack is in order!

Lens arrives tomorrow at a speedy rate!

Thanks for nudging me away from the belair back, after reading more reviews I get the feeling my hacked up 210 is likely "more" durable than the junky belair back at 80$! 210=already used, abused, and hung up wet with no added cost to my project.
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Old 07-27-2016   #16
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Looking forward to what you come up with!
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Old 07-27-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
Went a little further today and dismantled my 210 to be used as a back.

It's going to be ALOT more work getting this thing to look like a film back and not a chopped camera... A good amount of body filler I see in the near future.

Now to play ameteur electrician and figure out the simple matter of engaging the discharge motor, likely not using any of the original interface, so a field trip to RadioShack is in order!

Lens arrives tomorrow at a speedy rate!

Thanks for nudging me away from the belair back, after reading more reviews I get the feeling my hacked up 210 is likely "more" durable than the junky belair back at 80$! 210=already used, abused, and hung up wet with no added cost to my project.
I am very very interested in seeing where this is going. I really want to hack together my own Instax Wide or Impossible TLR.
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Old 07-27-2016   #18
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I can definitely see why people have opted to just mount a lens to their old Instax.

The camera is mostly empty inside, but the roller assembly with motor are squeezed into the rear part of the hand grip making this a pain in the butt to get flat lines.

At first I was hoping I could squeeze it all into a project box, cut out room for the film gate to open and close, then body fill in the gap. In theory I would have a instax shooting project box I could easily adapt to other cameras as well as allowing me to keep this camera somewhat universal (maybe a 2x3 backs down the road?) The trouble is with the boxes ive found, is my lens getting to close to my body and to far from my film making this a sad one trick pony...

At least for now that dream is shot down, and im considering casting the whole rear panel (with the door/gate removed) in resin after ive cut and castrated what I can off of it.

Edit: after a bit more critical thinking... ok maybe it was the beer... I think ill be able to use a project box. Local radioshack has a 7x5x3 inch plastic box for 7.50$ ill just need to get that 3" dim down to 1" or so!
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Old 07-28-2016   #19
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Progress today,

Had about 2 hours to give this project today. Got the project box from RadioShack and started to lay everything out. Also started to cut down on old tabs and gearing not needed on the 210 chassis.

Plenty of room for batteries with this layout.
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Old 09-29-2016   #20
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I bought a Belair Instax Wide Back for $80. After some slicing, shimming, taping, etc. it was mated to my Crown Graphic w. 127mm Ektar lens (it ain't pretty, but it was cheap). I'm very pleased with the results. I previously had erratic/miserable results with the Lomo Instant Wide and it's lack of manual exposure control, which is essential to 'instant' photos. (However, I still prefer the old discontinued Fuji FP-100 pack film format).
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Old 09-29-2016   #21
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recently found on theBay a Graflex XL-based frankencamera that has a Lomography Belair Instax Wide back (in addition to a Fuji 100 pack film back, also adapted to the XL system). killer camera...Schneider 47/5.6 lens & shutter combo...best of several worlds. Not sure who did the surgery, but they did a great job!

Check it out:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kmccla...57671159660934
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Old 10-02-2016   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KerryMcClain View Post
recently found on theBay a Graflex XL-based frankencamera that has a Lomography Belair Instax Wide back (in addition to a Fuji 100 pack film back, also adapted to the XL system). killer camera...Schneider 47/5.6 lens & shutter combo...best of several worlds. Not sure who did the surgery, but they did a great job!

Check it out:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kmccla...57671159660934


Pretty amazing work! I find it somewhat overkill to use such an expensive lens on instax film but to each his own.
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Old 10-02-2016   #23
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You know, an Instax back for the 'Blad would be amusing...
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Old 10-02-2016   #24
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You know, an Instax back for the 'Blad would be amusing...
An instax back might make me buy a Hassie.
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Old 11-05-2016   #25
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I've been working on tearing apart an Instax Mini 8 for the film holder and eject motor. I've taken the circuit board completely out and wired the motor directly to the switch. I press the button to engage the motor then manually engage the film lift to get it to move through. As stated above, getting anything flat with the factory gearing and motor is near impossible. I'm thinking of adding a hand wheel of some kind to the rollers to save some space. My best shots are from using a polaroid back on my Hasselblad, which is a one shot at a time process, but still fun to do. I'm impressed at the quality of the results. I've thrown the film into everything I can get it into, from TLR's to 35mm cameras. My end goal is a a focusable manual camera that I can put a 10 shot pack into. I'll hack until things either work, or stop working I guess.
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Old 11-29-2016   #26
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I'm 90% through my InsTLR 3D printed build for TLRs;

First assembly of the new PETG printed parts. by Steve Lloyd, on Flickr

I've tested it on both my Yashica 635 and my friends' Rolleiflex and it works on both as they have the same knob-wind.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevel...57667913702016

My first version with Instax Mini 10 donor camera was featured on ThePhoblographer;

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2016...m-instax-film/

My new version is completely printed so doesn't need any donor parts.
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Old 12-02-2016   #27
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Wow, this is AWESOME!! Are you going to be selling them? Or have you thought about designing an instax wide version? Kudos to you man, this is great work!

Quote:
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I'm 90% through my InsTLR 3D printed build for TLRs;

My new version is completely printed so doesn't need any donor parts.
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Old 12-02-2016   #28
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Wow, this is AWESOME!! Are you going to be selling them? Or have you thought about designing an instax wide version? Kudos to you man, this is great work!
Thanks! It's become a bit of a sleeping project because I'm also working on a lasercut Acrylic 4x5 field camera as well as a fully motorised 4x5 field camera so I need to get the focus back on it!

My long term plan is to sell complete backs as direct replacements to standard backs on Yashica/Rolleiflex TLRs. There is no modification needed to the camera itself so it adds functionality without stopping the use of 120. I spent some time today building the sprung eject bar for pushing the Instax film towards the rollers for development.

I've already drawn up an Instax Wide back that's built in to a standard 4x5 double dark slide holder so can be used on any standard back;

https://flic.kr/p/NzxiKe

I haven't printed one of these yet but it's based around the models for the Instax Mini back so it should work the same way. This uses a ripcord type release instead of the winding know like the TLR. Once I even got the InsTLR boxed off I'll spend some more time on it.

https://flic.kr/p/PfgeEL

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Old 12-02-2016   #29
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Quote:
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Thanks! It's become a bit of a sleeping project because I'm also working on a lasercut Acrylic 4x5 field camera as well as a fully motorised 4x5 field camera so I need to get the focus back on it!

My long term plan is to sell complete backs as direct replacements to standard backs on Yashica/Rolleiflex TLRs. There is no modification needed to the camera itself so it adds functionality without stopping the use of 120. I spent some time today building the sprung eject bar for pushing the Instax film towards the rollers for development.

I've already drawn up an Instax Wide back that's built in to a standard 4x5 double dark slide holder so can be used on any standard back;

https://flic.kr/p/NzxiKe

I haven't printed one of these yet but it's based around the models for the Instax Mini back so it should work the same way. This uses a ripcord type release instead of the winding know like the TLR. Once I even got the InsTLR boxed off I'll spend some more time on it.

https://flic.kr/p/PfgeEL

Cheers
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I would gladly buy one
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Old 12-02-2016   #30
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I would gladly buy one
Thanks. I'll let you know when they're available :0)
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Old 12-02-2016   #31
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This thread gives me some ideas for one of my cameras but I need a little info first. Can anyone tell me how the exposed photograph is ejected? Is the mechanism built into the film pack or the camera? Also, does anyone happen to know the distance between the edge of the film pack and the surface of the sheet being exposed?

I'm wondering if I could possibly make an Instax back for my 6x9 folder.
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Old 12-02-2016   #32
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I noticed on the instax wide back how there's a little "notch" which pushes the film up and into the rollers. I didn't see that in your Flickr pics. This is an awesome project


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Old 12-02-2016   #33
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This thread gives me some ideas for one of my cameras but I need a little info first. Can anyone tell me how the exposed photograph is ejected? Is the mechanism built into the film pack or the camera? Also, does anyone happen to know the distance between the edge of the film pack and the surface of the sheet being exposed?

I'm wondering if I could possibly make an Instax back for my 6x9 folder.
In a standard Instax camera, the exposed film is ejected using a motorised gearbox built into the camera. There is a metal bar linked to the gears which hooks the exposed film and pulls it upwards around 8mm until it reaches the rollers which then pull it through, compressing the developer pod and spreading the chemicals across the exposed sheet.

The film packs are basic holders with two slots on the top for sprung plates attached to the rear door to push the film down, keeping it flat for the next exposure. There is approximately 2mm between the face edge of the plastic packs and the film sheet inside.
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Old 12-02-2016   #34
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I noticed on the instax wide back how there's a little "notch" which pushes the film up and into the rollers. I didn't see that in your Flickr pics. This is an awesome project


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The same notch is built into the InsTLR back. I've made a sprung metal eject bar which picks the exposed film and pulls it towards the rollers.
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Old 12-02-2016   #35
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Quote:
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In a standard Instax camera, the exposed film is ejected using a motorised gearbox built into the camera. There is a metal bar linked to the gears which hooks the exposed film and pulls it upwards around 8mm until it reaches the rollers which then pull it through, compressing the developer pod and spreading the chemicals across the exposed sheet.

The film packs are basic holders with two slots on the top for sprung plates attached to the rear door to push the film down, keeping it flat for the next exposure. There is approximately 2mm between the face edge of the plastic packs and the film sheet inside.

Thank you!

That 2mm is important, it means I can put an Instax sheet on the same plane as the 120 film. Now to start some research, I have some glass plate backs for the camera, I just need to cut a rectangular hole in one and attach the Instax stuff to it.
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Old 12-02-2016   #36
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No problem. As well as the flange depth, you need to consider the space required for the gearbox/motor/batteries if you're going to use a donor camera. On most Instax bodies they're on the right side of the film cartridge bay and take up a surprising amount of space!
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Old 12-03-2016   #37
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No problem. As well as the flange depth, you need to consider the space required for the gearbox/motor/batteries if you're going to use a donor camera. On most Instax bodies they're on the right side of the film cartridge bay and take up a surprising amount of space!
Space I have plenty of, but I'm actually wondering about a manual system for winding the film out. I winder how consistent the speed through the rollers has to be for even development?
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Old 12-03-2016   #38
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Space I have plenty of, but I'm actually wondering about a manual system for winding the film out. I winder how consistent the speed through the rollers has to be for even development?
The Lomo Bel Air has an instant back with a hand crank.
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Old 12-03-2016   #39
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The Lomo Bel Air has an instant back with a hand crank.
And for not much money I see.......
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Old 12-03-2016   #40
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Space I have plenty of, but I'm actually wondering about a manual system for winding the film out. I winder how consistent the speed through the rollers has to be for even development?
I've got a manual crank on my InsTLR back because it was impossible to fit the gearbox/motor and maintain the flange focal distance of the lenses. I basically turn the crank smoothly and it ejects pretty consistently because one roller drives the other and they both then pull the film through.
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