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Kalart rangefinder retrofit?

 
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wlkehoe



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 27
Location: dayton ohio

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Kalart rangefinder retrofit? Reply with quote

Has anyone ever tried to retrofit a rangerfinder to a press camera that didn't have one? Many MPP cameras came already equipped with Kalart r/fs; mine didn't. I see r/f assemblies on Ebay from time to time and keep asking myself: How hard can it be? It seems to me that the only really critical issue is getting the hole for the rod the swingarm attaches to in the right place so the swingarm interfaces properly with the focus rail. I'd have to fabricate some kind of bracket to attach to the rail but I think that might be within my limited capabilities. At least, I have a dremel, a nearby model train hobby shop and a willingness to try. Am I nuts?
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, you're not nuts. It should be doable, though I've never seen one of those cameras, so I don't know what arm they use and how it works with the focus rail. A lot of the Speed Graphics that were sold without a rangefinder have the hole in place. It's just covered by the skin. Have you looked for that hole in your MPP camera? I can measure the place for the hole on A Speed if you can get a good rangefinder. If you buy one sight unseen, be sure you ask about the beam splitter mirror. Most have lost much or all of the semi silver coating. That makes them very hard or impossibe to use. Most people selling them don't know the difference, too.
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Glenn

"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3246
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.xs4all.nl/~lommen9/kalart/index.html will be of help.
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wlkehoe



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 27
Location: dayton ohio

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks glenn. there's a flash bracket attached with two screws. i'm thinking the top one may well be occupying the rangefinder hole, it's about an inch from the top which seems about right.
there's also a place on the rangefinder-side rail that's clearly supposed to hold the bracket that engages the swing arm, even has two threaded mounting holes. my theory is that i could shape a bracket to fit the shape of whatever arm i end up with.
now i'm nervous about the beam-splitter mirror though. i've asked way less technical questions of ebay sellers before now that were answered with a "huh?" maybe my best bet is to hope someone reading this will offer to sell me a good one. if so, i'll be back in touch. thank you for your continued help.
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wlkehoe



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 27
Location: dayton ohio

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks 45pss. i'd already looked at that site, it's one of the reasons i thought this might be do-able. i raised the question mostly to determine if there are factors i hadn't considered...apparently not except that finding a rangefinder in good condition may be harder than i thought.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3246
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as the RF is for the format you plan on using it on it should be fairly straight foward. A RF from a 2x3 or 3x4 would only work on a 4x5 if you could find the correct arm for the RF for a 4x5. The only difference between RF's on different formats is the arm.
this thread has some picts: http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?f=109&h=&t=222171
___ ______ site time out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
saving the 5 th picture in the thread to your hard drive and opening in photoshop, then image>adjustments>levels and sliding the mid tone slider toward black revals a lot of detail about the arm but the bed guide is missing or behind the front standard.
As for the mirror(s) they are available from http://scientificsonline.com/search.asp?t=ss&ss=mirror&x=15&y=9 or if a time out error occurs on that link, http://scientificsonline.com/ and put mirror in the search box. The first surface flat and 50%-50% beamsplitter are the ones that may be needed and the beamsplitter going bad first.
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wlkehoe



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 27
Location: dayton ohio

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you and thanks especially for the clear directions for augmenting the image. computer-illiterate that i am, i've never actually done that before. it worked just like you said it would.

my mpp is a mark viii from the 70's and so pretty different from the one in the picture, plus it doesn't have the focal plane shutter but i'm guessing the swingarms probably didn't change very much over the years. oddly enough, of the 5 or so press cameras i've owned, none of them had conventional side-mounted kalarts so i've never seen one up close. the picture helped.

now all i have to do is find a r/f. i know i need the mechanism, the coverplate, the swingarm and whatever attaches it to the r/f. i think i also need a spring for tensioning the swingarm forward. (i'm envisioning it as something like a smaller version of a clothespin spring.) tiny screws i can get locally, and i'm planning to fabricate the rail bracket. are there other parts i don't know about? am i right about the spring?
thanks again.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3246
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, that great grand father is most likely from the '40's and is one of the oldest arm designs I've seen.
What I did was Google mpp camera and clicked on the various links.
http://www.mppusers.freeuk.com/index.htm for example.

Some models of the Kalart need a spring and I think newer ones incorporated the spring into the body of the rf. Look for a complete rf that someone has removed from a body or get a beater/parts body Crown or Speed with a kalart and transfer it.
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