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Thread: Wooden Dirkon

  1. #11
    Got it mostly glued together, going to leave the front "lens" piece unglued for a while so I can get back inside if need be, and the back still needs a proper latch so for a while it will be a rubber band and tape. A little more work needed on the film rails and to make the back fit, but that should be quick and easy. Take a roll and see how it works, then think about the outside finish and polish the brass. Shutter spring was cut from an empty ballpoint pen. Oh yes, still need to make knobs and get felt for film box spacers.

  2. #12


    Ready to make some test exposures using a 0.2mm EMS aperture. Approximately 50mm for approximately an f250 rating. Not sure when I'll get out to test this. If it looks good I'll glue the front "lens" piece in place and than work on a latch for the back and maybe different material for the clicker.

  3. #13
    500+ Posts jon.oman's Avatar
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    Your camera is looking very nice!

    I'm looking forward to seeing some images......

  4. #14
    Broke my tripod, hopefully I can glue it together for a while so I can make a new part.

  5. #15
    That's a fine-looking camera. I love the wood grain. You're very brave to post your progress "warts and all" for the world to see. I'd keep the design to myself. I know how much work it takes to get things right. I'm on a project myself right now but without an inspiring model in the shape of the Darkon. Looking forward to see the completion of prototype. Good luck with the project. BTW - nice shutter. Might steal the idea.
    see my other work at:- http://www.flickr.com/photos/paintings_by_johnnelson/

  6. #16
    If the camera is not for sale, I can share a little of the design with you, but be aware that I only draw up what I need to complete the machining which in this case is a single diagram which leaves a lot out. I will tell you that I used a #6-32 tapped hole for the shutter release and it screws in flush (shown above), might go with a #8 threaded hole next time. Also until I get a roll through the camera, I have no idea if the holes are big enough to prevent vignetting, this size would definitely not work for a wide angle, I'll have to do something else if I make a wider camera. Making oval holes might be enough, not really sure. I guess if I really wanted to check it, I could work out the maximum angles by drawing another diagram from a different angle, but that's work that doesn't need to be done for this specific camera.

    I probably won't make a kit for this because it has been very time consuming to mill all the parts, I'd need to sell it for over $200 to get more than about $5 per hour for my labor. If I make more they will probably be gifts to people who really want one or maybe donate to the forum to raise money to keep it functioning. have to see if it is even worth it once the first roll is done and then might need to change to a 0.3mm hole depending on the results. 0.25mm is pretty close to "ideal" size but I don't have any of those and they are not one of the common sizes.

  7. #17
    The first roll is almost back, they uploaded some low resolution scans and the results are not great. #1 it looks like I need to work on the shutter a little, got a corner of some images blocked out, anything using my long cable release apparently didn't push far enough. Just need to oval out some of the holes. #2 it looks like the .2mm hole is much too small, nothing has as much detail as the paper camera. Waiting for the film to come back so I can scan it at the same resolution to make apples to apples comparison. Probably have to go up to a .3mm since I don't have a .25mm EMS aperture.

    Also need to make a better clicker! It worked OK going forward, but when I tried to rewind the film it caught and ripped starting at the clicker. I guess the plastic I used was not flexible enough or something. Have to spend some time with scrap film and see what happens. Maybe I need to put the clicker in the back with a cover over it so I can pull it out when rewinding or something like that. The back is pretty easy to make so I can make a few if need be. I can use aluminum if I really need to make the back complex.

    On the plus side, the film frame looks like the right size, looks mostly straight, but again I'll know more when the film returns. There is good contrast on most images so I don't think I have any light leaks, some exposures were in the many minutes time frame. And with the short 6 inch release cables, the #6 threaded hole is perfect and I won't be changing my design to a bigger threaded hole.

  8. #18
    On a second look at the camera, it seems I may have taken all of this roll with around a 1mm hole, the aperture drops out of its holder pretty easily and leaves a rather larger hole behind. Guess I need to fix it and try again.

  9. #19
    So this is what I produced, quick and dirty scans from the processor, I won't be scanning the film when it returns.

    In this image yo can see the outer edge of the aperture after it has slid out of position


    And this is after it fell completely out of the way and around a 10 minute exposure, this was a pretty nice looking little waterfall, though you would never know it looking through this mess. Still surprised they managed to pull anything off the film with what should have been about a factor of 100 too much exposure.


    Fixed the shutter so the aperture disk will no longer jump out, and fixed my clicker with much thinner plastic and lower height, winding is much better now. Going to load up some BW400CN and give it another try with the .2mm pinhole and see what happens. Need some good heavy rain to go back to the waterfall and see what I can get.

  10. #20
    Your camera looks great. Fine workmanship. Is is it finished? Have you posted any pictures from it?
    Visit my photos at
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    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

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