I was at my father's house recently and he had a box of stuff that he had cleaned out of his garage. Knowing that I'm a sucker for junk, he offered it to me as my wife shot him dirty looks. There was a couple of old Sony three way speakers with crossovers, an old cast aluminum ice bucket, a collection of shot glasses, a broken CB, a rats nest of wall warts and a Polaroid 250 Land Camera. I loaded the loot in my car while the wife fumed and dad chuckled at conning me into saving him a trip to the dump.
The speakers were stripped from the cheap chipboard cabinets and put in the speaker bin (I have a speaker wall project that I'm saving them for), the ice bucket became the new cat dish, the shot glasses found a home on the art shelf, the CB got stripped for useful parts and the wall warts got bagged and labeled and put in the power supply bin. The camera was cool looking but I had no immediate use for it so it ended up on the junk shelf (I mean one of the junk shelves... OK... in the junk room... no really, it's organized, I swear... mostly).
When I saw the Vintage contest I knew I had to come up with something cool so I went to raid the junk room, err, 'Inspiration Zone'. I came across an old Logitech web cam. I have been wanting to hook it up in a permanent place on my work bench to record time lapses of builds, so I decided to mod it into something cool and retro for the contest. Then I remembered the old Land Camera and everything clicked. I'd put the sensor and lens assembly from the web cam into the Land Camera and wire some LEDs into the flash unit as a video light.
Be sure to read the notes on the pictures for additional details. Let's dig in and see what we have!
I have received a few comments about ruining a valuable vintage camera. While I appreciate the concerns, I assure you this was not a valuable camera. The lens was scratched and a battery had been left in it and leaked in the battery compartment. It had been stored for who knows how long in a shed in the woods and it was on its way to the dump. I rescued it from the tip and made a fun project out of it. Relax.
My basic plan was to remove the guts from the shutter assembly on the front of the camera and install the webcam there. First I removed the strap. Then I opened the camera up and removed the screws attaching the bellows to the shutter assembly. I released the bellows latch and gently extended the shutter assembly and retracted the bellows back into the camera body. I removed the Shutter assembly from the support frame and opened it up. After removing the lens I removed the mechanical and electronic parts from the shutter body. I removed the rear lens and then reassembled the empty camera body.
I set the removed parts aside for later sorting. This is very important! I have boxes for all kinds of parts and general classification of parts. This makes finding that weird switch assembly from that old boat I scrapped two years ago much easier at three in the morning when I desperately need it. I justify it this way- as long as I collect things actively by sorting and culling them rather than just piling stuff around then it's OK. A supply is stocked, a collection is curated, but a hoard is just acquired.