Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week #3 - Working With A Fighting Pony

Kodak Pony 135C
"Kodak Pony 135c" - Minolta Maxxum 7000 - Maxxum 28-80mm ƒ/3.5-4
Polypan F 50ASA - Developed in Rodinal 1+50 minimal agitations
You may remember my post recently on the Kodak Pony 135C, which is a scale focusing camera with a great lens, and wonderful little bake-lite body..
Well for week #3 I used it for my 52-rolls project.
First off, the shutter failed miserably.  It really really failed badly, and I was frustrated.. 22 frames in and a faulty shutter.  So now what?

I did the only thing I could.  Cut my losses, and rewound the film.  I got one day with the camera, and that was it!  I actually was only 7 frames in when it failed, and so for the next 15 frames it was a fight.  I was literally fighting with the shutter, giving it that extra nudge to finish its travel.  This meant that there was probably camera shake, and they were going to be not fun photos..

Needless to say, I got up to frame 22 before I just threw in the towel, and went home.
As soon as I got home, I checked the shutter, and I didn't understand what was going on.  From what I could tell, it was clean.  There was no oil on the blades, and it would open and close just fine at 1/300s (well it would open and close most of the time just fine).
Anything slower it would stick, and stick badly!
1/25s turned into Bulb 1/50s turned into 10s and 1/100s was all over the place. From 1/s to 1/100s to whatever the camera felt like.
So out came the Butane!  I blasted it with butane, and let it sit for a good 30 seconds, before I started to actuate the shutter again.
well, it started to work, and then it started to stick again, only worse.  The shutter blades wouldn't close..

So I put it to 1/300s and fired it a dozen times, and the blades FINALLY closed.
I gave up at that point, and left it for a few more hours.

To be honest, I left it overnight.

The next day (after work) I checked on the camera, and tried the shutter.  Nope, still faulty, so I developed the film instead.
While it was drying, I went back to the camera to figure out what more I can do before it ended up on a shelf permanently.
So I set the shutter to "B" and tried it out.  Yup, BULB worked just fine..
So I used it on B a few more times, then tried 1/25s.
Sure enough, 1/25s fired..  Then fired again.
In fact, it started to return to life completely!  The shutter was working perfectly!  1/25s, 1/50s, 1/100s and 1/300s!  It was just awesome!  I was ecstatic to see my little Pony finally back to life.
Yup!  My Pony was alive, and working beautifully.
So I checked on the film that was drying, and that's when I noticed problem #2. Yes, another issue.  The focus was off, and off badly!
So I opened the back, and checked the focus using a pseudo ground glass.  Sure enough, at 1' I could focus beautifully (including less than 1').  At 2.5' I was focusing approximately at the point of 8 inches, and so subsequently, I was off with everything. Infinity was around 10 feet, so I was essentially royally screwed!

Screwdriver time...

I adjusted the focus and found out I was out by a good quarter turn.

And I put another roll of film through that camera to make sure.

Here's some frames from my week #3.

"Burned Out Motor"

"Path Under"

Until next time... Keep those shutters firing!

Don't forget, check out the Film Photography Project, for your latest news on all things film.

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