View Full Version : Lex 35/Vivitar T100 bulb shutter/multiple exposure

03-20-2006, 06:31 PM
Step-by-step instructions for how to modify the Lex 35/Vivitar T100 toy camera (US $1.50!) for bulb and multiple exposures. The mod is really easy and doesn't require any power tools.


03-20-2006, 10:58 PM
Well, his method is certainly simpler than my "permanent B" mod in my Capital KX-100 (which I think is also the same camera as those mentioned above). OTOH, mine doesn't require feeling around in the plastic guts of the camera with a metal key, and accomodates a cable release (after I installed a socket stolen from a broken Compur shutter).

Hmmm. I bet I could put a tension cocking device (i.e. a pull string) in there, with a ring running out the other side from where he inserts the key. OTOH, I don't get the urge to make doubles all that frequently...

03-20-2006, 11:16 PM
(He is I, that's my site.)

I investigated a pull string for the reasons you outlined, but the layout of the cocking assembly is a little weird for that. It's too thin to reliably accomodate a screw without cracking and I couldn't find anyplace to tie something on without radically and unpredictably slowing down the shutter cycle for normal exposures. I considered glueing something on, but that seemed dodgy. Once I got the hole in the right place, I was surprised by how reliably I'm able hit the right spot on the first try.

The cable release sounds like a true thing of beauty!

03-20-2006, 11:54 PM
You can look over my conversion (talking about "gluing something on") over on the pinhole side...


It does seem to me you could fit in a guide tube to improve the accuracy of the recocking. But, I've got three more cameras similar to these, maybe I'll open one up and see what I can do with it...

03-21-2006, 10:03 AM
Wow, *nice* work! Having spent some time in the guts of this camera (which does, indeed, look similar to the Lex 35/Vivitar T100), I'm seriously impressed--especially given the loose tolerances you mentioned!

A guide tube is a very good idea, though I think it might take some hunting to find something that a piece of hanger can fit through, is rigid enough, and is thin enough to fit, but I think it's certainly worth looking for. Once I scratched a guide line onto the bottom of the camera, I'm able to hit the cocking assembly and only the cocking assembly on the first try, but I suspect that it may make the somewhat-less-than-user-friendly bulb mode much easier to use.

03-21-2006, 05:39 PM
Hardware/hobby store had plastic and brass tube about 1/8" OD.

There is something about the key I like over an internal mod...it reminds you each time you use it you're going against the system, being a photographic renegade, an outlaw, a rebel, etc. Grrr.....

03-21-2006, 06:43 PM
Well, and it's certainly easier to stick in some tape and drill a hole than it is to do all the stuff I did for mine -- and mine isn't switchable (which is fine for a pinhole camera, where the shortest exposure will be in the range of 1/2 second anyway, but not very useful if you're keeping the original f/8 to f/11 lens).

Seems to me one could install a switchable B independent of recocking, though; you'd just need to capture the shutter paddle at or near maximum travel, and then release it later. In this category, it would probably even be acceptable to make the release different from the opening (which would be more of a T than a B). Hmmm...