This photo shows the way I have linked the focus on my two cameras. The pointer for the distance scale was extended using some 1/8" brass hexagonal tubing. Model aircraft ball and sockets plus threaded rod were used to connect the two together.
You can also see that I cut off the inside focusing knob on each camera so that they don't interfere with each other.
In the closeup you can see the end of the hexagonal tubing. The tiny nut that came with the ball and socket was filed down to fit inside the tubing.
The coupler is used to drive the take-up film spool on the slave camera body. Three 10mm OD (5 mm ID) ball bearings were used. They allow the insert to fit in between the two camera bodies and yet turn without friction. The middle bearing doesn't carry any load is is just being used for a spacer. Having more money than time (at this point) I just bought extra bearings rather than trying to find or carve a plastic or wooden piece to use as the spacer.
I had to make the coupler removable because there was no room for a spring loaded coupler that would fit in the walls of the two cameras and be able to move far enough to allow the spool to be inserted into the master camera body.
The coupler for the supply spools is basically the same (hollow aluminum spacer and 3 bearings) but doesn't have the coupling flanges since they aren't needed.
Other info: you can see the 32 thou aluminum plate I used as a spacer between the bodies (visible as a white line in the top photo). This was done because the sheet metal backs of the cameras are a tiny bit wider than the cast aluminum bodies. It does increase the lens separation from 77 to 78mm but this isn't too bad.
The two bodies are presently held together with two screws (one at the top rear and one at the bottom center). It seems quite strong but I could hold them together in a few other spots if necessary. I will be adding a 1/4" thick aluminum plate on the bottom. It will have two countersunk 1/4-20 screws that thread into the two tripod holes and be drilled and tapped in the middle for attachment to a tripod. This will serve to strengthen the attachment when the doors are closed.
(Very) Preliminary text for the final version of this page (i.e. after the project is done).
This page documents my twinning of two Ricohmatic 225 cameras (6x6 cm TLRs) into a stereo camera. Ricohmatic 225's are moderately rare cameras and so building a stereo camera based on them may not be a good idea for you, but most of this is applicable to the more common Ricoh Diacords which share the same good lenses and have virtually the same cast aluminum body. Note: the Diacord G and L models both have different shutters from the 225 and thus I can't guarantee that the shutter blades can be linked. Investigate this yourself before beginning a twin Diacord project.
The resulting camera has a lens spacing of 78 mm (slightly hyper) and uses separate rolls of 120 film for the left and right images, giving 12 stereo pairs before reloading. The shutter blades are linked (thanks Sam) and thus synchronized at all speeds. Due to the extra mass from linking the shutter blades the top speed (1/500) is slow by one stop (= 1/250) and lower ones are slowed by lesser amounts. This is not a serious problem since slow film (1/50 or 1/100) is normally used (for fine grain) and stereo photos usually require everything sharp resulting in the use of small apertures (f16 to f32). In any case, the top shutter speed is still faster than my previous MF stereo camera, a Sputnik with 1/100 top speed (appoximately 1/60 in reality on mine).
Also compared to my Sputnik, this camera has shutter speeds down to 1 second (plus B) versus the lowest Sputnik speed of 1/10. Very handy for getting the depth of field or motion blur you want. Additionally, the viewfinder is better, both for framing and focusing, and the 225 apertures were modified to stop down to f32 which is quite useful sometimes.
In the following sections I talk about the Master and the Slave cameras (and/or shutter). The Master is the one on the right hand side (when behind the cameras) and the Slave is the left hand one. The master retains its advance crank and counter mechanism, the slave is driven from the master. The same is true for the shutters.
- Acquire 2 or more 225s and/or Diacords for parts and lenses (for swapping to match lens focal lengths).
- Remove advance mechanism from slave body. Remove meter from master body. Remove other un-needed parts from abutting sides of the two bodies. (Photos coming soon)
- Cut spacer from 0.032" aluminum sheet (from hobby shop) and cut strap/hinge bracked down.
- Enlarge holes in slave body to 10mm to match hole facing it (I used a tapered reamer).
- Drill holes in body and screw master and slave bodies together.
- Remove leather from lens plate and remove the covers.
- Remove focusing lever from each camera and cut off inner knob so that they won't interfere with each other.
- Enlarge slot that distance pointer poke though to make room for focus coupling attachment.
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