Macrobinoculars Build on a Budget: Display Bases Added

Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I know there are already a number of AMAZING builds here already for this cool little prop but being that I'm going for "as accurate as possible on a budget" I thought this might help some other builders here. After reading through the build threads here I started assessing what all I'd need to build one for myself. Being that the Eumig, Bell & Howell and Seagulls were still somewhat easy to come by without breaking the bank I knew I would be using those. However, I knew there was NO WAY I was going to be using the Kalimar Six Sixty camera as not only are they getting VERY hard to find, they have gotten CRAZY expensive and I knew I had a budget I was wanting to stay within. For me that's where the fun begins! It's not very often I do much scratch building or visit the Lowes plumbing section for prop parts any more so it was good to do that again.

The cameras came in around the same week so it was fun breaking them down... although I have to admit, it's a shame to rip these cameras apart as they are some REALLY cool looking pieces of equipment! There are already a number of "how to break them down" threads here so I won't bore you with that. The first B&H I received, (I bought 2, they're REALLY cheap!), had the red plastic piece on the silver dial so that was my first fix. Tamiya Insignia White is REALLY close to the color of the actual gray piece so I gave it a couple of coats and was REALLY happy with the results!
 

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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Next up were the lenses. I did a LOT of looking to try and find something close yet affordable and I knew I wanted to use actual lenses and not cast or printed parts. I ended up going with a couple of vintage Kowa 50mm lenses... While not spot on, with a little attention I can get them close enough for what I'm wanting. The main thing to me was that they actually got wider at the base so spacing them like I wanted wouldn't work. So, I took them apart and discarded the base and added a small section of plumbing PVC to get the taper I wanted. I cut them down to the length I wanted on my band saw. Now these are not done yet, there's still more work I'm panning to do, pant and adding additional parts, but this will at least give you and idea.

Also, because I was using custom lenses I knew the lens plate would need to be custom as well. Using the Eumig and some reference pics I "eyeballed" the measurements and after a couple of paper test fits, settled on the size and shape I was happy and cut 1/4" black plexiglass on my Glowforge and was pretty happy with the results!
 

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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I did end up stumbling across the "poor mans" Kalimar, the Single Lens Reflex... While not a a dead ringer for the Six Sixty, the buttons are spot on and the view finder is a closer match then and viewer on the Seagull. With that in mind I knew I'd need to build a custom transition box. I first built a prototype for some thin styrene and had laying around to work out the size and shape I needed then moved on the the final build out of thicker styrene. A HUGE thanks to Cameron for hooking me up with the "mystery wedge" and EIAJ Connector. I ended up cutting the cast Eumig parts off the wedge and using the actual parts I had. The box was a fun little scratch build and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
(The side knob is not the one I will use on the finished piece, it's just a place holder for now.)

That's where I'm at for the moment but I should have more updates to post soon. THANKS to all the bulders who have been kind enough share their buildups with the forum, it's really made my being able to do mind MUCH easier!!
 

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Anakin Starkiller

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Build looks great. It would be nice if we could find a close enough viewer that is even cheaper than the Kalimar reflex. Those seem to be going up quite a bit in price lately.
 
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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Agreed! I was originally planning to use the one from the Seagull but happened to stumble across the Reflex and being that it was only a "parts only" sale meaning it no longer worked, I was able to get a pretty good deal on it. Ones in better shape and working however... $$$!
 

Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So, after looking through reference pics last night I noticed that I had left off the "lip" along the top part of the transition box so I did a quick revision... ;)
 

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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Drilled the holes for the Kalimar buttons… I opted for the closer configuration like the ones from the “Luke checking out the Sandpeople” scene.

Now it’s starting to look familiar. ;)
 

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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Getting close to wrapping this bad boy up! I’m planning to mod the side black box to match the actual piece a little closer, attaching the view finder and the belt hook. Im planning to make a display stand for it as well once it’s completed.

Any questions or comments please feel free to post!

Thanks for looking!
 

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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Attached the view finder, weathered the lenses a bit more and starting the mods to update the EIAJ connector to make it a little more accurate. Thanks again to Cam for hooking me up with that!

Getting close!
 

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Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Aaaand… DONE! For a “build on a budget” I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ve wanted to build one for a bit and like so many have already said, it REALLY WAS a fun project. Now, on to the next thing…
 

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Jamesfett

Sr Member
Frikkin gorgeous. Even more so as it's budget friendly. The cost of these parts has gotten so outrageous, ironically thanks to all of us.

Outstanding job!!!!!!!!! :) :cool::p(y)(y)(y)(y):eek:
 

Beeb89

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Seeing as how the display base originally done for these are no longer available I thought id take a crack at doing one myself. This is just a prototype…(who doesn’t want a hot pink one, right??!) I’m ordering the plexi I need to do a finished one so I’ll update as I move forward.
 

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