This mod will transform your Pop 9 into a “one third frame” trippy triptych machine! You can use it to fit three times as many pictures on a regular roll of film.
As the name implies, half frame cameras fit two pictures into the space normally taken by one on a standard 35mm camera.
Half frame cameras have been around a long time. They faded into and out of popularity in the 1960s. They had a couple of advantages over standard 35mm cameras. First, they were generally much smaller and lighter. Second, you could get twice as many pictures per roll as with a standard 35mm. With the advent of the compact and ultra compact full frame 35mm cameras of the 70s half frame cameras fell out of favor. The larger negative of the standard 35mm cameras could simply yield better results. Yet, even today the fact that you can load half frame cameras with 35mm film and have it processed at any mini-lab makes these cameras popular with photo enthusiasts who usually leave the two pictures on one frame as a diptych rather than splitting them as was originally intended. The Lomography Pop 9 is a muli-lens camera that will normally put nine nearly identical images on one frame to create a polyptych (or nonaptych if you want to be technical about it). Each of the pop^9 lenses has a focal length of 24mm which is normally considered extremely wide. However, because the standard 35mm frame is divided by three in each direction it actually ends up being a narrow angle camera – similar to maybe a 72mm lens. By surgically removing some of the optical dividers in the camera and using a couple of easy to manufacture masks, we can convert this narrow-angle polyptych machine into a super wide angle one third frame triptych monster.
Warning! This will permanently modify your Pop 9.
You will need a pair of “nippy cutters”. This tool looks like a pair of diagonal cutters, but it’s thinner.
Open your Pop 9. This is what the inside normally looks like:
Carefully use the nippy cutters to cut the vertical dividers. You might want to use a hobby knife to trim away any excess plastic.
When you’re done the inside of the camera should look like this:
Make two masks out of thin sheet foam available in from a hobby store. You could also fashion the masks out of dark paper and tape them in place, but the foam will stay in place if you cut it just right. I pressed the lens cap into the foam to mark mine.
One mask should expose only the center hole. The other mask should expose only the top center hole. They should look like this:
Using the Mod
Load your film and use the mask that will expose just the top, middle lens and cover the rest like this:
Shoot your first set of pictures until you run out of film.
Carefully rewind rewind your film until you feel the tension release. You’re trying to keep from rewind the last bit of film into the canister.
Open the camera and load the film again.
Use the mask that will expose just the middle lens like this:
Shoot the next set of pictures.
Carefully rewind the film again being careful not to rewind the last bit of film into the canister.
Load the film again and use the first mask to leave just the bottom-middle lens uncovered.
Shoot the last set of pictures.
You can have your film developed at any lab, but they will probably not be able to cut your film or scan it for you. Your film will end up looking like this:
You can scan them in as triptychs like this:
Or, you can crop out the individual images like this: