Saturday, April 12, 2008

ansco rediflex & argus 75

ansco rediflex & argus 75
Originally uploaded by valcox
The Ansco Rediflex (on left) has a large glass bubble top, making it an ideal base camera for Ttv. Often when you find a vintage Ansco Rediflex, the plastic masking frame, used to cover the extreme edge distortion, will still be attached. Remove this mask for optimum distortion and a larger glass view.

Shown next to Argus 75 (on right) for viewfinder size comparison.


Alison said...

Hi Val, I'm Sabrina's friend, Alison, in Vermont. Totally inspired by your ttv photos. I just found a Rediflex & was wondering if you could tell me more about how you removed the plastic from the edges of the viewfinder (I think I know what it is) & about making a "contraption" . My digital camera is a Nikon Coolpix 5200, very small camera, has a macro setting. Any help you can pass on would be much appreciated.

Val Cox said...

Alison, thank you! When you remove those two small phillips-head screws from the top rear to clean the glass, a metal frame holding down the glass will lift up. Then you can get to the plastic vignette frame. Just use tweezers or your fingers, it will slip right off.

You may want to keep it in place. Or if you remove it (save it) you'll have more edge distortion from the glass visable./blur I like to use this distortion in my framing and compositions.

You'll use your macro setting on your Coolpix. The distance between the two camera will likely be about 10"-13" apart. Build a light shield to block out the light and reflections on the viewfinder glass.

Here's a step by step of the basics:

Be sure to join this flickr group: through the viewfinder:

See other contraptions in this discussion thread.

The light shields range from pringle's tubes and cereal boxes to plumbing parts and everything in between!

Alison said...

Thanks, Val. Viewfinder vastly improved by the removal of the vignette frame...there's that fabulous edge distortion & the great glue on the lense that I love so much! Now I'm just trying to figure out how I take the whole thing apart without hurting it so I can get that glare shield off. It really seems like it will get in the way of ttv to leave it on. I also think I need to deal with the mirror seems like it clunks forward into the viewfinder when the camera is tipped forward & maybe I can figure out a way to secure it in there (double sided sticky tape perhaps?). Thank you SO MUCH for your feedback/help. I am new to this but an image-maker at heart, & I find much to be inspired about with this method of photography. There's so much depth & light & color!

Val Cox said...

Alison, you are doing great so far, I can't wait to see your images!

Yes, the mirrors frequently come loose. A bit of silicon glue or monster glue of something will keep it in place. Tape, yes if you think it will stay fixed.

Yes, you'll want to get the light shield off, it will make it easier. This Ansco is one of the more difficult of all the TLR to get off. I had to use a drill press and drill through the rivets on the sides to remove the hinge part, then the others edges slip out.

Try to keep the rest of the camera in tact. Many of the best sharing groups for this style of photography (like flickr) insist on the base camera being whole. (the light shield removal is fine).

This is such a fun photo medium. The restrictions imposed upon us by the 'contraption' and a new way of seeing (backwards, distorted and dusty) are so liberating in ways of creativity. You'll be amazed!

Keep going!

Alison said...

Thanks for the idea about how to get the light shield off. I will see what I can do; we have a drill press out in the shed. I took the plastic strap off, so the contraption won't have any snags to deal with on the sides of the Rediflex. But I plan to keep the rest of the camera intact, save everything, etc. It was pretty easy to get the front off the camera & to glue the mirror back in place, clean everything, etc. Lense looks good. Hoping I can get the camera squared away & build the contraption (a collapsible one for travelling by airplane) this week because I'm going out to San Francisco on the 16th & hope to be able to take my pictures there using this rig. It's so exciting. What a nut I am...I even dream about it at night.

Val Cox said...

good work!

Oh yes, get it built for your trip, you will be so glad to have it with you. The collapsible version will serve you well for the flight!

I'm so happy you got a base camera in good condition and that the lenses were cleanable and scratch-free. You are on your way!

When you're ready for taking photos remember the contraption will throw off your auto exposure and many images will be on the dark side. Compensate by longer exposure times and get your f/stop as wide open as you can (smallest number). This will increase your edge blur and allow for more light.

Alison said...

Glare shield successfully removed by drill press surgery. First contraption built out of cardboard & masking tape, just to make something...& now I'll go outdoors to play! It's super rudimentary, but I just want to see what happens with the pictures to have some baseline for tweaking. Thank you!

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