- I offer commissioned builds of custom 35mm panoramic cameras. Please read through the Q&A here and then contact me on Instagram @watchmemake for more information.
Q: What are your current offerings?
- PressPan – This is the most popular and compact Press model, built from a Nikon FE to use a Mamiya Press 50mm or 65mm lens. The frame size is at least 65mm x 24mm to match the XPan.
- KoniPress – This is a newer offering built from a Konica Autoreflex A or T. It also uses the Mamiya Press 50mm or 65mm lens. The frame size is at least 70mm x 24mm so it’s wider than the XPan.
- FauXpan and other full custom builds – I currently can work on 47mm and 65mm Super Angulon lenses. I may also attempt other lenses (see list at the bottom) if I have time and resources. These will cost more depending on what parts are required such as helicoids and custom machining.
Q: How much does it cost?
- Prices below are provided as reference as of Oct 2022. Note that there is a 4% PayPal fee built into the estimates. For other payment methods there could be discounts and we can discuss before the build.
- PressPan: Base Cost for body conversion (donor body not included), large film storage grip, viewfinder mask, and cable release holder = $650USD
- KoniPress: Base Cost for body conversion (donor body not included), mini grip, viewfinder mask = $700USD
- Donor Body (note that foam replacement is an addon):
- Black FE is around $60-100USD depending on condition, most around $90USD
- Silver FE is around $80USD
- Silver Autoreflex is around $60USD
- Addon Items
- 50mm Press Lens Hood = $15USD
- 65mm Press Lens Hood = $10USD
- Double shoe for small viewfinder and small meter = $10USD
- Additional viewfinder masks = $5USD
- Camera Door Seal foam replacement = $30USD
- Custom colors or engravings – Please contact me
- Shipping (I only ship with tracking and insurance):
- USA: USPS Expedited $35USD, UPS $85USD
- Canada: Xpresspost $30USD, UPS $75USD
- Western Europe: Airmail $80USD, UPS $110USD
- Other – Please contact me
Q: Which viewfinder will work with these cameras?
- Press Viewfinder – the 50mm viewfinder for the 50mm Press lens is excellent and also has built in framing/parallax correction. I make a mask that clips on the front. Similarly, the 65mm viewfinder for the 65mm Press is excellent.
- Leica 24mm Viewfinder (plastic/rectangular). I make a mask that clips on the front.
- Leica 24mm Viewfinder (metal/round). I make a mask that clips on the front.
- Leica 24mm Viewfinder (metal/rectangular). I am currently working on the design for a mask that clips on the front.
- Voigtlander 25mm Viewfinder. This is a tricky one. I have only work on this by inserting a new internal mask.
Q: How long does it take to build a camera?
A: PressPan and KoniPress builds usually takes 4-5 weeks upon receipt of the donor body. Actual lead time depends on your position on the waitlist. Currently, the waitlist is very long so anticipate >6 month.
Q: How do you take payment?
A: I currently only accept PayPal (unless you are in Canada, then also EMT). For builds where I source the body, there will be a initial deposit for the body (~$80USD). I take full payment upon completion of the modifications.
Q: Do you ship internationally?
A: I can ship in whichever form the client requires as long as there is tracking and insurance. If you do not want to pay for coverage, then I cannot be held responsible for loss.
Q: Can you work on this other lens/body/viewfinder/etc?
A: My Press lens based designs are optimized for the Nikon FE and the Konica Autoreflex A/T. This means other bodies will take more time and therefore cost. I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing other film camera bodies so I can honestly say that my choices are based on reliability and performance.
Q: Can you source lens/viewfinders for me?
A: I currently do not offer this service due to time and cost. Since I have the 50mm and 65mm Press lenses, I can build the camera and test without the client’s lenses. This saves you money as I do not have to ship and insure the expensive lens and viewfinder.
Additional information on other lens choices, aka other wide angle lens options that may work:
- Schneider Super Angulon 47mm f/8 or f/5.6 (the F8 can be found in the Brooks Veriwide) – Helicoid required but extremely compact. There are four Schneider 47mm Super Angulons to my knowledge. The f/8, the early non-XL f/5.6, the later non-XL f/5.6, and finally the XL f/5.6. The XL is a modern lens and very expensive so it’s not recommended. My preference is for the f/8 or one of the non-XL f/5.6s. They are fairly compact and can be found for $250-350 USD.
- Bronica 40mm f/4 (from their 645 ETR series) – The built-in Seiko electronics shutter is usually bypassed and the lens elements mounted to a Copal No.0 shutter. This of course would add to the cost of the build (lens alone is ~200USD). I have yet to work with this lens but supposedly it can be converted without modifications and therefore could allow the lens to be restored to its original condition. The large flange distance of the lens (to clear the SLR mirror) makes the lens setup very bulky.
- Mamiya 55mm f/4.5 (a TLR lens for the C220 and C330) – Helicoid required and not as wide as the other options. This is a sleeper lens in my opinion as it is possible to get a copy for cheap if the viewing lens is damaged. Even in great shape, it’s only ~$150USD.
- There are also 65mm options that are way cheaper like the Mamiya Press 65mm and the 65mm Super Anuglon (F8 or F5.6). You will have a harder time zone focusing with the shallower depth of field but if you are shooting mostly far objects (landscapes), it will work fine.