instantphoto.eu               Kodak 616 + Lomo Instant Wide Back  icon flag fra.gif

Among other things, I have a Lomo Belair camera with an Instax back. It works well, even manual ejection, often criticized, can be learned. It has two differnt lenses, which is not bad. It's a pleasure to play with the camera. Unfortunately there are two black stripes at the top and bottom of the picture, as the Belair is a 120mm film camera, so it's 56mm max. image height. The image area of an Instax Wide film is 9.9 x 6.2 cm, it is higher, and at the same time it is larger than the image area of a 6x9 camera. The Belair is 6x12, so no margins to the left and the right on this one.

On the web you can find some quick tinkering between an Instax Wide back and an old 6x9 folding camera. It's a great idea, but there are two areas for improvement. If you only remove the back flap, the film plane doesn't sit in the right place. There's too much distance, infinity is not going to be possible. And with a 120 film camera there will be black margins on all sides. But in my DIY box there was a Kodak camera for 616
film, a bigger format. In addition there was an Instax Belair back, an old do-it-yourself work, it was free for a new use.

So I tried with my Kodak. If you remove the back and the pretty metal sheets on both sides, which are riveted, everything is fine. Unfortunately, my Kodak had bellows like a sieve, impossible to seal. So I looked for another camera. 99% of the 616 film cameras are Kodaks. The non folding Brownie and the Jiffy are eliminated, they are too basic. Most of them have a 1:6.3 lens, sufficient, given the 800 ISO of the film. There are all kinds of shutters, if you want a more efficient shutter, look at the "Vigilant
" series, it's also in this series where you have more chance to find a 1:4,5 lens. I found my luck on the big auction site.

The Kodak 616 camera.

In all its beauty. The two "pseudo"-keyed screws on the side are rivets. The folding viewfinder is fixed with two screws.

Next to the rewind key is the small button to open the camera, which you must keep.

The tripod holder and film-feed mechanism have folded metal edges inside. Impossible to lift them, they must be broken with force, like the rivet in the middle.


The body stripped. It was also impossible to pull the fine rod out of the hinge. So the 4 rivets had to be broken.

My YIYnstax back, which had been filed down as much as possible to be used on a Mamiya Universal with a Mamiya frame. The ejection mechanism had to be protected. This filing is not necessary if you want to install the back on an old camera. On the contrary: a filing this near was a source of multiple leaks.

A little bit of sawing is required at the 4 corners.

It is better to protect the body before sawing.

It's all in the right place. So I glued with two-component glue and sealed with a lot of black mastic. And then everything else was sealed with black tape, not so nice but very efficient.

Here's the tinkering.

Open in landscape mode.

And in portrait mode.

Now comes the great moment to put a pack of film in it. I take a picture with the camera, I activate the mechanism to push the photo out, I turn the handle and... nothing happens. I insist several times... nothing. Then I start a series of tests. Thanks to the black sleeve I can take out the pack and put another one to try with old photos. Everything comes out beautifully. I put the pack back in, make sure nothing's stuck, but nothing comes out again. In the end I transferred the unexposed photos in a sleeve to an old empty pack. And then I could produce the first picture. Apparently this kind of problem with a Fuji Wide pack can happen with the Lomo backs, but it's random.

Not bad for a first DIY job done quickly, taken in the summer sunshine. Apparently there's a leak in the bellows that I haven't seen. In the upper right and left corner, it is the insufficient chemistry of the pack (2011, poorly stored). Infinity is possible and
exposure is not bad. At the bottom there is a line of the ejection bar, if it is lowered, it is no longer visible.

Veranda, full sunshine from above, distance 4m.

On the veranda, distance 2m. I don't know what happened on the left side of the picture. To be checked later.

That's it for now. Get your tools ready...