FOTOSNAIPER: AN INTERESTING VARIANT
Over on our other site, there's a brief review of the Fotosnaiper or Fotosniper or Photosniper. In it we talk of one we had, and gave away, long ago. Well, now we have it back, at least temporarily: the old friend to whom we gave it upped and died, and his daughter asked for our help in getting rid of it.
In the meanwhile, though, it had found a mate -- and the mate was rather more interesting. The "classic" Fotosnaiper has a modified Zenith E body, fired via a hole in the specially modified baseplate. Zeniths are not the most reliable cameras on earth, and without the modified version, the outfit requires very heavy modification. However, the "new" one, the one we didn't give him, has a standard cable release instead of the bottom release.
Not only does this allow you to put other, far more reliable screw-mount bodies on the back: it also allows the intriguing options of using digital cameras and even of changing mounts so you can use (say) a Nikon. The flange/film distance for a Pentax screw mount is 45.4mm and for a Nikon 46.5mm so you have an extra 1.1mm to play with.
The mounting ring for the camera closely resembles a T-mount and is held in place with three grub screws. Do not unscrew them fully: there's no need, and it just makes them easier to lose. If they are 1-2 threads proud of the mount, you should be able to pull the ring off. Unfortunately it isn't quite a T-mount, so you need to have one made or (if you can find one) buy one from a Russian supplier.