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How to adapt large format lenses...?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have become intrigued lately with the question of how one adapts lenses such as these (and large format camera lenses etc) to a modern 35mm film camera or digital camera. I get it that its often a case of stacking multiple adapters and maybe machining or kluging up some interface adapters but can someone tell me how one might do this - using this lens as an example? Or are there already tutorials advising how to do this kind of thing published online. I am not looking for generalizations (nor at the other end of the spectrum necessarily expect specific totally complete information) but would like something with enough info to consider whether its worth me trying to adapt some old lenses designed for other purposes.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yoyomaoz wrote:
I have become intrigued lately with the question of how one adapts lenses such as these (and large format camera lenses etc) to a modern 35mm film camera or digital camera. I get it that its often a case of stacking multiple adapters and maybe machining or kluging up some interface adapters but can someone tell me how one might do this - using this lens as an example? Or are there already tutorials advising how to do this kind of thing published online. I am not looking for generalizations (nor at the other end of the spectrum necessarily expect specific totally complete information) but would like something with enough info to consider whether its worth me trying to adapt some old lenses designed for other purposes.


I give them to my mechanic, he does that Wink
But I also let him have my measurements of course...

PS: I split off your topic, it "deserves" its own thread...


PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yoyomaoz wrote:
I have become intrigued lately with the question of how one adapts lenses such as these (and large format camera lenses etc) to a modern 35mm film camera or digital camera. I get it that its often a case of stacking multiple adapters and maybe machining or kluging up some interface adapters but can someone tell me how one might do this - using this lens as an example? Or are there already tutorials advising how to do this kind of thing published online. I am not looking for generalizations (nor at the other end of the spectrum necessarily expect specific totally complete information) but would like something with enough info to consider whether its worth me trying to adapt some old lenses designed for other purposes.

I've mounted a few MF lenses on plastic body caps & then used them via bellows & helicoids. The same could work for LF lenses if they're small enough.
Another option is to link the digital camera to a LF body. which allows the lens movements to be used too but this is something I'm still working towards. I'm hoping to arrange it so I can stich multiple images to get the bulk of the LF image but you wouldn't have to get so complicated.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Start get a cheap LF lens. Hold it in front of your lensless camera moving back & forth until focused.

You may try adapter made from cardboard mailing tubes at first, find other options all the way to custom machining as desired.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DConvert wrote:
I've mounted a few MF lenses on plastic body caps & then used them via bellows & helicoids. The same could work for LF lenses if they're small enough.


I use this approach as well. A bit of careful searching can find some fashionably desirable lenses (eg. Trioplan) fitted to old folding cameras which can be bought for very little if the seller doesn't realise what they've got Wink

Anything from a cardboard tube and/or extension tube can be used as a temporary mount for assessment purposes. Make sure the internal surfaces are nice and matt black to eliminate reflections!


PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a good bit of fun with the old folder lenses. Quality varies considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer and within a companies products from lens type to lens type and yet again from example to example. I look for older folders from Balda, Franka, Welta, Zeiss Ikon, Nagel, Certo and especially ones sold "as is" but the glass can be seen. I generally use the "hold it up in front of sensor" technique for a rough estimate then use a nex m42 close ring (I bought 10 of them when I spotted them on e-bay!) then m42 helicals and extension tubes to the length needed. Depending on the base of the lens I will mount to a lens cap or use "Blue-Tak" (TM) to temporarily fix the lens to the adapters. I like to look at photos of the cameras front as, often the seller will not name the lens, but it is nearly always on the bezel of the lens. Enjoy.


Blue Tak is a trade name of one kind of poster board mounting "clay". Its very much like silly putty and can be formed to different shapes. It holds reasonably well for most of these kinds of things allowing a solid mount (as opposed to free lensing) for a decent test of the lens capabilities. It comes off cleanly leaving little or no residue and if there is residue it is easily removed with a soft rag and alcohol.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On m4/3 I find I need about 220 or 230mm of total extension. That's for macro.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option is to link the digital camera to a LF body. which allows the lens movements to be used too but this is something I'm still working towards. I'm hoping to arrange it so I can stich multiple images to get the bulk of the LF image but you wouldn't have to get so complicated.[/quote]
-----------------------------------------------
I'm using a Baby Graphic body, it is not so bulky, but the size of lenses is limited, the lens boards on this camera are small. The Sony camera goes on the former film holder with the Sony camera's cut through cower with NEX bayonet in the center of it.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get focusing helicals on ebay. I have a small selection exactly for this purpose. Most helicals are M42-M42 or Camera fitting e.g NEX to M42. My way round it is this.

Needed:
Plastic card
Epoxy resin
M39-M42 adapter (I keep several exactly for this purpose)
Focusing helical (your camera at one end and M42 at the lens end.)25-55mm or an M42-M42 and a regular M42 adapter

Remove the lens from the camera (if it's a folder) by turning the retaining ring behind the lens. Most do this. Many large format lenses have retaining rings too.

Get the piece of stiff plastic card - I use blank, creditcard sized cards, but anything will do as long as you can glue it so avoid LDPE or HDPE or nylon.

Cut a hole in it wide enough for the screw thread at the rear of the lens and attach the lens with the retaining ring.

Trim the plastic so it looks neat.

Screw the adapter into the helical until it's flush and mark the top (scratch it with a pin or something) then remove it.

Glue the adapter ring to the card around the back of the lens making sure the mark on the adapter ring is aligned to the top of the lens.

Fit the lens then...

Attach it to your helical. You can use extension tubes if necessary to get the focus. The 25-55 has enough 'throw' to work with long focus lenses.



PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:15 pm    Post subject: Universal iris lens mount Reply with quote

In my opinion, the most flexible solution is the universal iris lens mount. This is a lens mounting flange made of a study iris diaphragm designed to hold any kind of lens in front of a large format camera:


Credit: https://www.surpluscameragear.com/universal-iris-lens-mount/

It's easy to adapt one of those on a bellows designed for small format cameras in order to allow mounting old lenses, including large format barrel lenses and projector lenses:







The only problem is finding one of these devices, which mowadays have become as rare as hen's teeth.

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that reference, Abbazz. Looks to be a very suitable way to adapt oddball lenses.