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Thread: Populist mods

  1. #1
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    Populist mods

    I should 'fess up that I actually know the cause of the problem in the upper right hand corner of a couple of pictures in my recent "High key" post.

    The Populist is such a simple camera, it's hard to claim anything like design, and I've used it mostly unmodified for about 4 years. Recently I've reinforced the bottom around the tripod mount and the shutter with beverage can aluminum, but that wasn't really functional, it was more repair.

    One issue that has been a problem is with the sliding shutter. It's really only held in place by friction, and it's really easy to pull completely out (pretty easy to slide right back in though), and occasionally it fell out and got lost a couple times (if you have a little black tape on you that won't end the day's shooting, but I don't carry it with me regularly). A couple years ago I took a small piece of beverage can aluminum and made a hook at the bottom to catch on the shutter channel on the way up. It was moderately effective, but easily bent out of effectiveness. It still pulled it out about 10% of the time (harder to get back in now) and it broke off on a regular basis. Worse yet, it sometimes held the shutter partially in front of the pinhole

    At work, sometime after returning from DC, but before the snow fall, I had the idea illustrated below to stop the shutter from pulling out yet making a positive stop when the shutter was fully out of the way. I borrowed a wire cutter and needle nosed pliers from our techs (handy to work in an AV department), and fashioned a paper clip into this stopper. The only tape I had was some really cheap (and partially translucent) black masking tape, but I went ahead and fastened it with that. That tape is what failed in the Sarah climbing and cliff pictures, leaving this piece of wire in front of the corner of the pinhole.

    I have since redone it with the nearly indestructable 3M #235, and I think it's pretty reliable. Attached files
    Last edited by dvoracek; 06-30-2015 at 09:50 PM.

  2. #2
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    Populist mods

    Sometime last Spring, I lost the winder twice in consecutive weeks. I suppose I could have advanced the film with a key or something. One of the functions of the rubber bands and the winder collar is supposed to keep the winder in place, but with wear and tear the winder collar got kind of floppy. I reinforced the winder collar with beverage can aluminum, and fashioned this winder minder (also reinforced with beverage can aluminum) to fold down from the corner of the camera and hold it in place. The rubber band created some extra friction when winding and this also makes that a little smoother now.

    Attached files

  3. #3

    Populist mods

    Excellent seeing the progress needed to get something to work so well.

    Cheers -

    george

  4. #4
    500+ Posts Longbow3's Avatar
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    Populist mods

    Long live the Populist. Still my favorite pinhole camera. I've built 5 or 6 of them and given some away. I still have the cheerios cam, my first.

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