[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

To HD-144, or not to HD-144?

Eclair ACL Discussion and Support

--------------------------- ListBot Sponsor --------------------------
Get a low APR NextCard Visa in 30 seconds!
    1.  Fill in the brief application
    2.  Receive approval decision within 30 seconds
    3.  Get rates as low as 2.99% Intro or 9.99% Ongoing APR and no
annual fee!
Apply NOW!

First, I'm the guy who sells the kits. Take that into account. The valid question comes up frequently of whether to go with the conversion offered in-house by a tech, or to buy an HD-144 kit and have a tech do the work. Here is an answer that I think applies to anyone thinking about a S-16 conversion:

The thing to double check price-wise is whether a quote given for an in-house conversion versus an HD-144 conversion includes re-scribinbg the ground glass. For example, the HD-144 Kit comes with a letraset-like rub on --- it's good for temporary use, but most people will want to have a proper ground glass scribed at some point. So if the quote for an in-house conversion includes a properly scribed ground glass, then to get a valid comparable quote for the HD-144 installation, make sure that the quote includes the same ground glass scribing for the comparison to be valid. Make an item by item list:

Aperture Plate?
Lens Flange?
Mirror re-center?
Ground Glass?
Viewfinder re-center?
Mags modified?

and compare everything that you get with one approach versus the other, and what it will cost.

There are a number of techs listed at:
www.members.aol.com/Super16ACL/techs.htm, however I cannot vouch for anyone at this point because I installed the HD-144 parts on my own ACLs myself. But I'm not a camera tech, and when I invariably don't get a camera running perfectly (I have 3) I send the camera to a friend up in Canada who is an old-timer who then tweeks it for me. Last time he spent 10 hours on it --- but it was running like a charm when I got it back. Everybody should have such a person at their disposal.

I used a converted ACL for a long time that didn't re-center the mirror, used the R-16 aperture plate with an enlarged opening made by filing, had the Regular-16 shutter closed down to 144 degrees with just a piece of black aluminum glued on, and used the R-16 Lens Flange turned 45 degrees so that new holes offset 1.1mm could be drilled. Not a single "new" part. It worked fine. And the advantage of just modifying the old parts is that if your ACL is already running great, no new "fudging" needs to be introduced. Putting new parts in an ACL (Super-16 or Regular-16) will almost certainly require some "fudging." The ACL is very finicky --- it packs a lot of mechanical stuff in a tiny place with virtually no breathing room. And if something is off by 1/100th of a millimeter, you may get horrible noise. So there is certainly a strong argument for not using the HD-144 kit if there are any doubts about the ability of the camera tech to fine tune everything properly with new parts. It requires more skill than just modifying the old parts and putting them back in, certainly. I created the HD-144 kit because I wanted to keep using the ACL because of it's small size, yet wanted it to feel that it was "new". However that's more of a "pride of ownership" thing. Frankly the whole thing has cost me more than I can ever expect to recover by selling a few dozen kits, so financially it wasn't worth it. But I like the feeling that my shiney aperature plate doesn't show any microscopic trace of having been "filed", and that the mirror timing is 100% perfect in Super-16 even though it may not matter enough to make a visible difference on the screen. However that doesn't necessarily make it any better than just re-machining the old parts. And if the new parts aren't 100% perfectly installed, it could make it worse. And remember, at this point there is no "factory trained HD-144 tech", something to always keep in mind. When enough people have had the conversion and reported back on the work of various techs, then there will be more certain data to go on. Right now every conversion is sort of a pioneering experience. Mark.

To unsubscribe, write to EclairACL-unsubscribe@listbot.com