Shorter focal length lenses are relatively easy to adapt. They typically just need a short focus helicoid and some extension tubes, but large format lenses usually measure in inches, instead of millimeters, and adapting them is not as easy, for three reasons.
Except for some projection lenses, long focal length lenses usually have very long lens to film/sensor flange, usually in inches. This means you will need very long tubes between the lens and the helicoid. The other problem is minimum focus distance is very far; getting close-ups is not easy to do. Lastly, long hood is required to shield the flare from these old lenses, which often are uncoated and very susceptible to stray lights. We will address each of these issues in this mini series.
Long lenses without focusing mechanism.
Before we start, I just to show you how a typical lens looks like with my setup. I have often been asked how I setup and shoot with my long lenses, hence these posts that follow. We will be using the Wray London 7 inch f5.6 lens as an example. This lens requires approximately 6 inches of space between its rear element and the front of the mount on the Sony mirrorless cameras. The focus helicoid I use is approximately 2 inches in length, that means we will need 4 inches of tube between the helicoid and the lens. So far, this is not too bad, but 7 inches is equivalent to about 177 mm, which corresponds to a medium telephoto. A 12 inch lens will need much long tubes. But, let's look at how it looks with 7 inch Wray Lustrar on the camera:
It looks pretty long, no? Note the double helicoids. We will talk about that shortly.
With Hood - Looks monstrous, eh? You will get curious looks and people will ask you what heck you are shooting with!
On our next post, we are going to look at the our options to adapt these long lenses. Go to Part II.