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filmworks4ever | profile | all galleries >> In Box >> walzflex TLR repair tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

walzflex TLR repair

Walzflex TLR repair

Thursday, January 07, 2010
I just couldn’t leave this alone.
I got my old OLYMPUS 3.2mp D535 digital camera I got for 95$ and few years and shot part of the 120 negative to view the detail.
I keep this camera around because it does a much better job than any of the later models I have.
Not to give excuses but
· the camera was handheld
· the negative was hanging in front of a window
· you will see the focal plane is not flat

The detail of the fencing on t top of the building in front of the board is approaching what I see on the negative. https://pbase.com/filmworks4ever/image/120881859

50+ year old camera, handheld – not intending a test shot when it was taken
400 speed TMAX 120 film




Sunday, January 03, 2010
More on the repair – and an Interesting observation
I have now taken a couple of rolls of TMax 400 120 film with the repaired Walzflex and developed them. – The chemicals cost about 40 cents per roll.

I also added a bunch of pictures (taken with a canon A590 of the mechanics on the inside of the focus-wind side of the camera beneath the plate. I have to resist the urge to put too many mechanical gear shots up because I find these fascinating.

You can see the shots of the negatives hanging in the window and notice the exposure is pretty good and I wound without shooting a couple of times (at least I hope that was the case).
I used a wide range of shutter speeds and apertures for these so thing are looking good as far as the build-in light meter goes.

I have not yet build the mechanics for the 120 capture system I a working on so I decided to use a quick and dirty approach. This is were thing got even more interesting

· I used the canon A590 to shoot the negatives and GIMP to flip and correct them. Not the best but it will give you a good preview.

· I used the Canon A590 on the 8Mp setting and did the test using the Macro more of the camera. When I examined the neg (which are only half size I noticed a lot of digital noise in the image and it did not look like quantizing noise, or jpeg compression noise but other processing artifacts. This noise was most noticeable around the tree branches and in the flat greys of the building. There should not have been too much colour noise in the B&W neg. also the top of the building looked a bit blurry around the fences around the top boards.


· My though was, well, you just repaired a 50+ year old camera (made before me) that you got as a piece of junk with some rewinds, so what did you expect.

· Then I looked at the 120 negative with a magnifying glass and said wait a minute, what is going on!. I could see the wire on the fences in front of the top boards clearly.


· I then check the camera setting to make sure I had the highest quality to start with and noticed the next quality setting down was 2592 by 1944. This is quite a co-incidence as these are the dimensions of the micron (aptina) 5Mp sensor. If you had a 8Mp sensor what would lead you to use these dimensions as one of the reduced sizes.

· I then set the camera to capture in this size and went through all of the same processing.


· I believe the 5Mp image had better quality than the 8Mp image. Just in case part of this feeling was based on magnification, I scaled both images to 2000 pixels across using Superjpeg and


8mpscaled image https://pbase.com/filmworks4ever/image/120783656
5Mp scaled image https://pbase.com/filmworks4ever/image/120783653

Look at the clarity of the concrete support poles at the top of the building and look for fence detail at the top.

Here is the real kicker, the 120 neg on the 50 year old camera is much sharper than either of these. Also we can see chromatic distortion about the bree branches in this B&W image.
Is it possible our grandparents were taking sharper images 50 years ago with simple to operate mechanics? (ignoring colour processing and the fact that chromatic distortion in the B&W image would show up as general blur).

I will have to return to the building wit a tripod and shoot the build both at 5Mp and 8Mp with the Canon A590.

Note the Walzflex TLR was handheld for this shot.

All for now


Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Over the last couple of days I repaired this WALZFLEX TLR
As a time versus remuneration this made no sense. As an entertaining mechanical puzzle it was a challenge

I feel sorry I didn’t take pictures of the camera dis-assembled.
Although it looks rough it is al working except the self timer and the flash sync switch. Most of the rough appearance may be attributed to the crumbled leatherette. I will not worry about this until I shoot some test film and develop it.

Main areas to repair
1) Focus knob was cemented tight due to dried out lubricant. I mean really stuck to the point a hammer on the shaft would not budge it,
2) Shutter speed did not respond to the different settings. This was fixed with WD40 and using the mechanism to loosen it up.
3) Front housing was slightly dinged.
4) Door catch was not latching.

One reason I wanted to fix this is that I have trouble seeing the frame number through the red window with some film and this camera has a counter latch system

I will let you know how it works after I develop a test roll.
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