Monday, December 23, 2013

Goldfinger and Cool Suede - Merry Christmas!

Checking in for what might be the final post for 2013 with a few updates and wishing everybody an awesome Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year! 2nd Shot is coming close to its first year anniversary and it's been an amazing learning experience and here's to another great year for instant photography! I wish The Impossible Project the best to keep pushing forward with their improvements in all their films and even their upcoming cameras and products in 2014... and all the best to the Polaroid enthusiasts everywhere! We've met quite a few people since 2nd Shot kicked off in February and I hope we can all continue to support those keeping instant film photography alive!

2nd Shot is taking a bit of some time off to enjoy a little break. I'm currently finishing off the final camera of 2013 to head to Canada and then it's time for some travel and hang out with our families. If you wish to inquire about sales/repairs please continue to do so but keep in mind the shop won't be open again until the second week of January.

So what's in store for 2014? We'll be offering sales directly though the blog as well as the option to request customizations like newly available skins, custom painted parts, custom color buttons, and even modifications for cameras to work with 600 film! We are even planning a one-year anniversary SX-70 giveaway... keep an eye out in the new year for info and changes to the blog!

So we leave you with a few pics from the shop this past month... I didn't get a chance to take pics of all the projects as there was a bit of a mad dash to get these finished and shipped by Christmas but here's a few highlights. Merry Christmas everybody!!!!! Shop's closed!

A few pics of some details that I like to make sure are clean before a camera leaves the shop... shutters must be stick-free, fresnel lenses must be dust-free, and most importantly, where applicable, those darn viewing mirror cover stickers have to be gunk-free...

A trio of Model 3s. A bit of a tricky camera to shoot with but I keep saying it, these things are durable little cameras...

Sales were a big part of 2013 and thanks to Impossible's advances in 600 film quality, anything that took 600 film was a big seller...

Finally, here's two custom skin projects, Goldfinger and Cool Suede. These were both cameras that I custom cut skins to give a very classy finish. I have to admit, working with custom materials are a bit difficult but very rewarding. Much like custom cars, these definitely give up some of their utilitarian qualities to give way to some very rewarding artistic expression.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shop's closed till 12/2. Everybody have a great weekend.. Gobble till you wobble!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oops... and a Sneak Preview

I forgot to go shopping for supplies this week. I drive myself nuts when I sit down to get to work to find that I'm out of Goo Gone, rags, soldering braid, and duster. Derp. So I took the time to prep a very nice Sonar that I'll be finishing up hopefully by this weekend... I also took some pics of my latest custom that will be up for sale Sunday night... :)

Shop's closed!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sonar and Alpha Out the Door

Quick update tonight... finished up 2 quick reskin/repairs last night. As I mentioned before, sometimes cameras get sent that really don't need a ton of work but just need a little tweak here an there. This Sonar from NH needed nothing more than a fresh film pack battery and a nice reskin. And for the Alpha... a new geartrain cover and a pickarm that needed lubed (the original skin was in great shape!). Simple fixes for these 2 beautiful cameras... thanks to NH and DC! Next post will be some FAQs so stay tuned. Enjoy these 2 pics... Shop's Closed!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shipping a Six-Pack - Farewell to "Pops"

Not a lot of new development but I finally was able to finish up on a six camera repair order... the most challenging group I've had yet. The Model 1s in this group needed a lot of extensive repair ranging from ECM replacement, shutter blade cleaning and fresnel lens replacement. I have to keep telling myself the same thing I tell myself when I'm working on either of my VWs... these things are old and just machines. They aren't programmed to mess with my mind. Always start with the easiest fix and troubleshoot from there.

Part of this group is a camera I call "Pops". Pops is the oldest camera I have yet to work on (it's weird I'm calling him Pops... he's not much older than me). He is an original 1973 first-year very early model SX70. At some point in Pops' life he was taken to a Polaroid repair center and fitted with a replacement split-circle viewfinder as was offered back in the day. The original Model 1s were built without any focusing aid and proved to be very difficult for customers to get good shots. Polaroid offered those with early models to take their cameras in to have an upgrade to split-circle for free... pretty cool huh? Another thing interesting to note about Pops is that his serial # is stamped on the chassis underneath the shutter housing unlike later-on models that had the serial # marked under the upper mirror housing. It's amazing to see how the SX70 started with a very complex shutter system (TON of parts) then became greatly simplified as models progressed. It was fun to work on this on and in very good shape to begin with.

Nonetheless, I'm extremely happy with how these turned out and again, many thanks to a customer that I consider being one of the people that helped start off 2nd Shot... Thanks Steve! Shop's closed!

Minty cameras!

Gotta have my Pops!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Polaroid J66 - Magnificent and Misunderstood

Hey kids! Time for something a little different. The last several posts have been a lot of SX70 nuts and bolts geekery and I wanted to switch gears and talk Polaroid cameras in general and the different formats used though the years. As promised in a previous post, I wanted to talk about some cameras in the 2nd Shot collection. It's not a huge collection but a good representation of various instant cameras from the past. I like using ALL kinds of instant formats... packfilm, roll film, conversions, integral, if it represents instant gratification, I'm absolutely fine with it.

2 years ago, Dubbs found an old Polaroid camera at an estate sale and brought it home for me. I admit my initial reaction was a bit of disappointment (great guy right?) as I remember reading about the rollfilm cameras and how they don't make film for them any more. Sure enough, the camera was a J66. Nonetheless, this thing looked really cool and I wanted to either find film that would work or modify the camera to take film that would work. A while back I read a blog post from a guy that goes by the name of moominsean (I greatly apologize that I don't know his full name) that inspired me more than I thought it would. You can find his original post here. Check out his blog if you can... amazing photograpaher and his posts are very entertaining. Basically his post describes how he converted his J66 and I immediately did the same.

So without going into too much technical detail, I hacked apart a film back from a crappy plastic 210 or something and JB welded it on to the back of the J66. What an awesome camera! Yes it's cheap and has a single element fixed focus lens and has a pneumatic shutter (pneumatic?) and weighs 175lbs and uses AG bulbs that make people think a bomb went off when using the flash in public... but each shot I have looks awesome. The results are a beautiful blur of a different time caught in a sharp black and white image. Because of how easy it is to use thanks to the electric eye and fixed focus, I can see why it was so popular back in the day.

Taken from The Land List:

Produced: 1961-1963 / Original Retail: $89.50

"Probably the most common camera in this group. This was a very popular camera at its time-- it wasn't particularly versitile, but it was easy to use, had a built-in flashgun, and was somewhat less expensive than its brandmates at the time."
  • Lens: 114mm f/19 or f/14.5 meniscus (single-element) plastic
  • Shutter: pneumatic rotary; 1/15 - 1/1000
  • Flash: built-in hinged tilt-out flashgun for AG-1 bulbs Flashgun can be rotated and pivoted to provide either bounce or direct flash.
  • Automatic exposure; shutter speed controlled by selenium cell; manual control not possible.
  • Designed only for use with 3000-speed (B&W) film, though a color adapter kit (#660) was made available later in the product's life.
  • Flip-up viewfinder with projected framelines
  • Simple two-position zone focus.
  • Self-erecting bellows on scissor struts; no bed.
  • Polished steel body with grey textured covering. 
Here's a few shots of the camera and some shots I've taken with it (works great with color film too but takes a larger bulb... you can see my daughter already anticipates the blinding of another shot). It's been a while since I've used my J66 (I also have an unmodified rollfilm version that I like to use on sunny days) and writing this is making me want to take a peek at using it again.

Really quick before I forget, we here at 2nd Shot (me and Dubbs) are also 3-D dorks... movies, games, images, comics, even lenticular bookmarks. It just so happens that a little company by the name of Robins developed a stereoscopic attachment for the J66 that included a split mirror attachment and a viewer. The viewable print is a bit narrow but actually works quite nicely... I love using this camera and I plan on using it for a long time or as long as Fuji keeps cranking out packs of instant film. Thanks Fuji!!!

Shop's closed!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tinkering in the Shop - Introducing the Alpha 600

Early November. Halloween came and went (a favorite holiday of 2nd Shot) and it's now officially always cold. Being inside more often gives me more time to tinker in between filling orders and completing repairs. there's currently 8 cameras in the queue and each has brought more an more challenges to get these working properly. With these challenges come some experiments as well and it's always a learning experience. Some new things this week... shutter blade swaps, icky fungus lens swaps, substrate conversions, and custom color buttons (coming soon).

Completed jobs this week included 3 Sonar "no skins". If you ever want to simply get your camera fixed and cleaned, 20.00 will be deducted from your order. I like to call these "Terminators"... they look pretty sweet. Also, currently up for sale is a very nice custom SLR680 that features an SX70 body... the bodies on the SX70s were much sturdier and built solid and makes a nice pairing with the 680 electronics. A big plus... no more of the Impossible 600 film divot! Check out the auction here.

And speaking of customs, today 2nd shot finished up a prototype of what we're calling the Alpha 600. All the classic styling of the Alpha 1 but this camera takes 600 type film. No ND filters, no adjustments, no fuss... simply pop in a pack of 600 film and away you go. All the features of the Alpha 1 are there - flash fill, tripod hole, neckstrap posts, and use either flashbars or and electronic flash pack. These are available for custom order so if interested, please drop us an email. Shown below are sample shots using 600 film.

That wraps it up for early November. Next post, look out for a completed order of 6 fixers that needed quite a bit of time and patience, some more shots of completed orders, and more updates on the Alpha 600. Time for pics... Shop's closed!

A few shots of a 680 shutter blade swap and replacing a fungusy inner lens on an older Model 1. Screws were used on earlier shutter housings but later were changed to heat stakes most likely due to cost reduction...

The Terminators... I'll be bahk... *crickets chirping*

the 2nd shot SLR680. Classy, distinguished, intriguing, handsome... and all that stuff.

And finally *drumroll* introducing the Alpha 600 prototype. Also shown are pics taken using 600 film. These will be offered with custom colored buttons... more on that soon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sweet Sweet October...

What a month... I mean, WOW! What a month! Lots of repairs, lots of sales, lots of changes, lots of hurdles, lots of travel, lots of a whole bunch of stuff. But stuff is stuff. Move forward. Head up, shoulders back, and all that positive motivational yeah yeah yeah.

So here we all are moving into Fall and 2nd Shot is now in it's 8th month closing in on almost a year. The shop's getting a bit chilly but nothing a few logs on the fire can't fix. Once again, it's been nearly a month since the last entry so here's a few updates and some tasty pics to follow. 

Good news! The Australian SLR680 fixed up fine, just as I had hoped, and was received by its owner today safe and sound. Another satisfied 2nd Shot customer from around the world!... makes me feel all warm and stuff :). As I had mentioned, repairs have been steadily coming and going and it's been a fantastic month for 2nd shot and we hope to keep up the momentum. I also hope to post more cameras for sale if the repairs ease off a bit. Otherwise I have no complaints! :)

So for the pics! We have 2 batches of repairs that have been sent out to a favored customer here in NY consisting of various models, Sonars, Model 1s, and Model 3s, a beautiful little Model 1 that needed a bit of love that headed out for New Hampshire today, and a handsome Model 1 that went out to New Jersey. There's currently 10 cameras in the queue so it's going to be another busy 2 weeks ahead. I'm OK with that.

I've also started going through some Polaroid shots that I've taken in the past 2 years with my various packfilm cameras and conversions... I'll start posting a few here and there. They're a lot of fun and I miss taking them on a more regular basis. Ok... shop's closed!

Here's a batch of various models, all needing different levels of repair and adjustment. I think I set a record with this group, all 5 repaired, cleaned, reskinned, and tested all in one full Saturday. It's amazing what can be done when not constantly traveling!

A stunning Model 1 from NH... I really like this camera. Very little scuffs and flaws and the fit and finish was very tight. The band-aid was needed while I waited for new skins. I need to get out more often.

Another batch of Model 3s and a last minute Alpha 1 to throw into the mix... notice the Australian SLR680 ready to ship...

Finally, a few shots taken with my 110a conversion, a roll film 800, a custom 150 pack film conversion I slapped together, a leaky 250, and my first Polaroid - an Automatic 100. I love shooting black and white. I love to shoot pics of my kids, my cars, and my love, Dubbs (her name is Jenn for the record). Each format gives so many different results and it's so much fun to try each camera... all in working condition might I add and I try to use them all often. Even the roll film cameras (got a sweet stash of 47 film chillin in the fridge). To see more of my pics, check out my flickr page. More pics to come including a focus on my favorite camera, my J66 (yes, the underdog of the Polaroids) pack film conversion.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Alpha Twins Activate! - Hair Puller from Down Under

Got back from vacation earlier this month, cleaned the shop, sorted out inventory, tinkered with some parts, and started a few repairs and auctions... grew the beard and belly out a bit too... looks like Winter is a comin! :)

Last week I received an SLR680 from Australia from a really great person that wanted to see their camera work and look like new again. Jobs like these are fairly straight forward as there may be donor parts needed in the event of PCB board replacement. Well, sometimes I forget about my own rule of buying cameras the are "working" without asking questions and I got burned buying a donor camera... so I end with a junk camera that can't fix a customer's camera. This doesn't happen often but when it does I do not like it one bit. Grrr... More to come on this one and I'll have some pics soon.

In the meantime, I finished up on a set of twin Alpha 1 "X" models. Remember Racer X? Stealthy... sinister... sleek. That's the "X". They are currently for sale on The Ebays. These are top of the line refurbished Alpha 1s that look and work like new. Check em out!

OK... next update will be a post about the Aussie SLR680 and a few new Model 3s... and even later, some of my own pics and a break from the repair posts. Till then, shop's closed!

Brother and Sister... I would have no idea how to tell them apart. Maybe flip em over?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Custom SLR680 - 5 Fixers - A Week Off!

Tomorrow 2nd Shot will be headed out for vacation until 9/8. We are excited. Very excited. Very very excited. So just in case anyone has sent any cameras in for repair, please know that your camera will be safe within the confines of our local Post Office and we'll get to fixin once we get back.

In the meantime, I just got done with a pretty nifty SLR680 custom that is now for sale here on Ebay. It's essentially an SLR680 (obviously) with a very minty OneStep body. I have to be honest, Polaroid cut a LOT out as far as quality goes later on with the SLR cameras and just weren't as robust as the newer ones... I won't even get into talking about the 690s, which by the way, the King is ka-put... *taps*  :(

Also, I was able to tidy up 5 new repair/reskins from a highly valued Gold Card carrying 2nd Shot customer. Unfortunately, final checks found the Model 1 being very tempermental in the dark slide mode. It needs to be right before it goes out or I don't get any sleep... grrrrr...

OK. Everybody have a great Labor Day... Shop's closed!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pinky and the Witch - Sonar Aloha - Pricing Updates

Anyone know where the summer went? Seriously, what happened?! One minute it was April and BOOM... July was a bit slow in terms of cameras. Everyone is out and about... including me so a little break was warmly welcomed. Needless to say it's been a fantastic Summer and we've been getting a better flow of repairs as of late so many thanks to those that have contacted 2nd Shot recently. I'd like to give a little heads up on pricing. We're moving to a 2 category price selection as cameras received for simple reskins have all needed some form of repair... It's tough for me to return a customer's camera shiny and skinned but working like a wreck and it's taken a bit more time and parts to get these right before shipping. So each camera is now thoroughly inspected, adjusted, and repaired even if it is sent in for a simple reskin thus the price increase. However it's important to note that the prices do include free return shipping and there is the option to waive the cost for a reskin if a customer decides to do it themselves.

As for updates, I just finished up this evening with a thorough re-do on a very nice antique Sonar from Hawaii and finished up the most recent custom - Pretty in Pink (or Molly - Molly Ringwald as Dubbs calls it)! This lovely OneStep Sonar SE will be up for auction very soon. Also included are some pics of a recently sold green model - Wicked Witch... keep an eye out for more customs and blog updates. Till then, shop's closed!

Tonight's work... I'm happy!