Some of the Kodak Cresta Models are great to modify into pinhole cameras, they're solid and well built, light-leak proof, have a tripod socket and it takes 120 film.
Perhaps, the most interesting feature on these cameras are the two built-in filters set behind the lens, one close-up and one yellow. I'm going to make this feature useful for pinhole pictures by taking the close-up filter out and adding an extra red colour filter... here's how I did:
I started by taking the mask out of the slot, there are no screws so you just need to pull it out.
To take the shutter out you'll need to unscrew these as shown in the two pictures below:
Now... these two screws are the tricky ones to take, they hold the lens, the front panel and the filters. They're not easy to unscrew because they're inside the camera . You'll need a very small screwdriver to do this, in my case it was a good opportunity to use my Swiss Army knife I bought many years ago for the first time!
Once they're out everything comes off easily and you should end up with this...
Now it's time to modify the filter set, with a small screwdriver pry open carefully the little catches and the filters will come off.
You don't necessarily need to take the yellow filter as it's going to stay anyway, mine was really dirty so I decided to take it off to give a good clean.
I had some gel lying around and I found one that matches pretty close to the red filter I have for my slr, I then replaced the close-up lens with a small piece of red gel I cut from the sampler. ( I saved the close-up just in case I want to bring back the camera to it's original features)
Now it's time to get rid off the lens from the barrel…
To do this this you'll need to stop the blade half-way through so I glued a tiny piece of metal ring where shown with the arrow.
The picture below shows the shutter fully opened when activated, note that the silver ring I glued before prevents the blade to travel further, allowing the shutter to be opened as long as it needed.
The way the pinhole it's done and size is entirely up to you, I did mine with a piece of cardboard. A great source for all calculations you'll be able to find in the great Mr.Pinhole website.
I suggest NOT to glue the cardboard or whatever other material you may use on the back of the mask as I did at first, the blade runs really close to the mask and by placing something on the back will prevent the shutter to run freely.
Cut a square piece enough to cover the mask hole and place in the FRONT of the mask with some glue but don't use permanent in case you want to change the size of the pinhole, make sure stays flat. Use some black paint to cover any possible light-leak.
Once you've got the camera opened, you can check the viewfinder for signs of dust or haze and if needed, they can be easily cleaned by taking two screws to gain access to both front and back glass.
The front one is hold with a piece of metal and can be removed, the back one won't come off.
My Cresta have the locking mechanism missing and no tripod socket, I glued a nut for the tripod on it's place and covered the hole inside the camera with gaffer tape.
The last part is to make a lens cap (which I'll post in here another time how to do it) since I haven't developed the cable release mod yet. The fact that the shutter stays closed all the time makes the camera more secure to carry inside the bag, when shooting all I have to do is to put the cap on and place a gaffer tape on the shutter release to keep it pressed down, take the cap and expose.
I've also added some colour on the filter pull out tab so it makes easy to identify what filter I'm using...
And finally, a small ring to attach a neck strap!