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DIY project: Zorki 4 framelines
Old 06-04-2006   #1
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Wink DIY project: Zorki 4 framelines

Hi, I just want to share with you my idea, maybe get some good advice...

I won an auction on a Zorki 4, but it's in pretty bad shape. Anyway, it was quite cheap, so I don't mind. So I'll be doing a CLA soon.

But when I'll be already "in" it, why not have some fun? I'd like to give it new set of framelines it never had. Brand new, hand made, 85mm framelines. The viewfinder seem to be just suitable for such an operation.

This is what I'm planning to do:
1.) cut a rectangular opening between the VF and RF windows.
2.) put frosted glass in that opening
3.) put a mask behind the frosted glass with shape of the framelines
4.) put a mirror in 45° angle behind the mask, to reflect the framelines into the VF (the mirror will have a hole in the middle, for the RF image)

If you know what projected framelines look like in compact rangefinders (like Canonets), you'll know what I mean.

Sure there are many unanswered questions (like the dimensions of the mask), but it doesn't seem that impossible (at least to me ). Am I missing something?

(PS: I think I'll just find the right dimensions for the mask by trial and error.)
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Old 06-04-2006   #2
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Yes, and the rangefinder actuation arm. I know.
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Old 06-04-2006   #3
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I would think that an easier method would be to do something like on the Canon P. Take a small piece of glass and etch the framelines into it and then mount it just inside the eyepiece of the camera. It won't be as bright as projected lines, but I imagine that it would be far easier to get them to work correctly.

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Old 06-04-2006   #4
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I think some people have created masks that are placed on the outside of the window, meaning easily interchangeable masks for different lenses.

I'm pretty unfamiliar with where they should lay, especially as Zorki 4/4k's dont have parallax correction??


I was considering cutting a small piece of glass and measuring out the correct framelines (adjusted to the side/down to correct parallax) so that proper composition is possible, and this thin layer mounted outside of the cam - just to avoid any space issues inside the body.
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Old 07-12-2006   #5
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Bumped into this thread fairly late, but I've been thinking about this myself.

Two considerations not mentioned above:

- one major problem is to get the framelines in focus to the eye; e.g. if you mount them in front of the viewfinder window, you will hardly see them

- for my purpose, a horizontal and vertical line would already help a lot. I don't have much trouble with exact framing, but keeping the camera horizontal is quite a challenge and tilted pictures are really bad. These lines don't require very accurate positioning and measuring, as real framelines would

What I've tried sofar: remove the top plate, take a look through the viewfinder and take a paperclip or other small object and move it across through the viewfinder optical paths. I didn't find any place where the paperclip would be really visible. So the solution is not just to stick or mount a frameline-engraved glass plate somewhere in the optical path. Actually, I more or less gave up on this idea (for the time being).

I should be looking for a nice external viewfinder with framelines.

Groeten,

Vic
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Old 07-12-2006   #6
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On my Zorki Mir, the view through the finder wearing my glasses is exactly that seen through the 90mm frame on my R3a. Perhaps the only good thing about wearing glasses and using cameras.
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Old 07-13-2006   #7
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i don't know much about rangefinder cams, but what about using ash's method with putting a piece of glass with framelines not in front of the viewfinder but in front of the rangefinder?
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Old 07-13-2006   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quizzard87
i don't know much about rangefinder cams, but what about using ash's method with putting a piece of glass with framelines not in front of the viewfinder but in front of the rangefinder?
The rangefinder window is very small and doesn't nearly cover the normal framing area. And even then, I don't think it would work just like that. If you look through the viewfinder, the rangefinder image doesn't show as a nicely outlined rectangular window, but rather as a vague spot. If the rectangular outline of the rangefinder windows is not visible, neither will framelines...

I guess you need extra optical elements of some sort. If I had a camera with framelines, I could have a look into it, but I don't. And then again, if I had it, the need to modify the Zorki would be gone.

Groeten,

Vic
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Old 07-13-2006   #9
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How do the framelines on the Leningrad work?

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Old 08-03-2006   #10
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I received a Canonet 28 from Ebay yesterday. Including everready case and the Canolite D. The flash works and only needed a small modification to keep the battery door closed. I'll use it on my Canonet QL17 GIII. I can also check if the case fits the QL17, but I don't really feel the need to it.

The Canonet 28 is in working condition, but it's quite dirty allover. Since it's really inferior to the QL17, this means:

I have a whole rangefinder *with framelines* at my disposal to start upgrading the Zorki 4!!!

Keep watching this thread for a couple of months, some things may happen!


Groeten,

Vic
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Old 08-04-2006   #11
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I still think mounting a very thin sheet of glass (with a rubber housing around the border to secure it to the outside of the camera) would work fine. once you measure out those framelines, rub a tiny bit of ink into the lines, why wouldn't that be good enough??
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Old 08-04-2006   #12
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Quote:
I still think mounting a very thin sheet of glass would work fine.
The problem is that your eye can't focus that close. Just try putting a thin needle in front of the VF - can you focus on it and at the same time focus on the image you are composing?
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Old 09-18-2006   #13
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Question

How is the framelines project going?
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Old 09-19-2006   #14
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actually, no advance... I kind of gave up until I get another junk camera. Don't want to destroy my user Zorki. And I sold the junk Zorki recently... but GAS is strong
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Good news...
Old 10-09-2006   #15
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Good news...

Our RFF comrade Kestas from Lithuania sent me some parts from his "parts" Zorki 4. The top cover and the whole RF assembly. Now I can continue this project even if I don't have a "junk" camera to experiment with - I have the necessary parts.
Many thanks to him for this donation.
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Old 10-09-2006   #16
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I've just made my Kiev 4's viewfinder into a dedicated 85mm viewfinder. I just masked off the areas with black tape. It's probably not what you're wanting to do but my Kiev is now my dedicated portrait camera. I used a 85mm auxiliary viewfinder to help me to determine where I should mask off.
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Old 02-15-2007   #17
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Hi. I'm trying to continue this project... today I drilled and then filed a new window for the framelines ilumination... see attachment.

Now comes the harder part: make frosted glass, make the framelines and then the mirror. I'd like to make the mirror from a CD-R as I wrote in this thread. The reflective layer can be easily peeled off in the center to make way for the rangefinder image, but I'm not sure how to do it. It peels of just too easily...
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Old 02-15-2007   #18
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Nice job! But what is the smaller extra hole for at the left (the one with the rounded corners)?

Groeten,

Vic

PS. I didn't really advance on this project, as previously announced. The Canonet is mostly dismantled, but I didn't see if it could be merged with the Zorki's finder to get the framelines working. I don't think so, becuase it's construction looks so sensitive to positioning error. I don't have a clue how I could mount the extra elements in the Zorki viewfinder.

I'm looking further into creating an external viewfinder and have collected a number of lens elements from old lenses which I didn't use and which wouldn't sell for much... I hope to find some combination of lens elements that could be grinded to a smaller size and that can be combined with an in-focus set of framelines... If possible, this would be a waist-level viewfinder.

For now, my only conclusion is that optical design is a very complex job and requires a high level of abstract thinking and creativity!
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Old 02-15-2007   #19
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Quote:
what is the smaller extra hole for at the left
That's where the flash sync socket goes...
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Old 02-16-2007   #20
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Ok, so I have the frosted glass and framelines mask (prototype), but the CD-R is not a good meterial for mirror. The CD-R produces triple image - perhaps because the tracks are recorded in small grooves with this shape: \_/\_/\_/

I need a traditional glass mirror...

BUT: first test proved that the framelines are visible. About as visible as the rangefinder patch itself... which means they are barely visible
I think Ruben's "ND-filter in front of viewfinder" trick might help...
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Old 02-16-2007   #21
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very interesting, keep the work up
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Old 02-16-2007   #22
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You can get very good surface mirrors from dead (or working) Polaroid cameras. The cameras cost next to nothing on the used market, and the mirrors are excellent.
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Old 03-02-2007   #23
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Hi guys,

I finaly found some suitable mirror material, but I have bad news

I tried it without the mask behind the middle window (the one I drilled) and the results are:
- the mirror really does reflect light into the VF
- the bright spot reflected into the viewfinder has soft edges just like the RF image of an ordinary Zorki 4
- the size of the bright spot is about the coverage of 135 frameline on my Helios finder

So, even if I did make a mask with frame - the projected frameline would be at best for 135mm lens and not for 85. And it wouldn't be sharp as it should be - or as it is in fixed-lens RF cameras. To make it sharp would require a more complex optical system to project the framelines...

This seems to be the end of this project... Joe would say this project is "done"

Thanks you for looking and thanks to Kestas for the parts.



Mmm... what do I do next... maybe transplant the Z-4 RF/VF into my FED-3 ? ...
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Old 03-02-2007   #24
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The size problem is a bother, of course. You could get a larger window by cutting a bigger hole into the top of the body, with illumination from above. You would have to move the accessory shoe a bit or do without one. (No problem, as you're doing all this so that you can do without accessory viewfinders )

For getting sharply deliminated framelines, try taking a small condensing lens and drilling a hole in the middle for the rangefinder spot, like the system used for the framelines in the Canonets. You would have to experiment and fiddle a bit for the placement of the lens. For inspiration, take a look at the Argus Markfinder diagram on Rick Oleson's site (http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/looking_forward.htm). I guess this would also affect the size of the framelines.
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Old 03-02-2007   #25
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Thanks for new ideas rxmd... BTW: That link is broken
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Old 03-02-2007   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderman
Thanks for new ideas rxmd... BTW: That link is broken
Fixed. The forum software automatically included the closing bracket in the link. It should work now.

Philipp
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Old 07-29-2019   #27
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I'd like to revive this old thread with a question —*maybe it's rather easier to do this project in a different way, the way SBOOI is made — with a mirror-like framelines on the back side of viewfinder and with mirror parts on the insides of the front part?
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