Monday, February 2, 2015

Adapting Long Lenses on Sony E-Mount - Part II

Part I is here

When I first started adapting lenses without focus capabilities around 2008 on the Canon bodies, focus helicoids were prohibitively expensive, and there were very few choices as well.  So I just used lens barrels from existing, and often broken lenses.  This worked somewhat, but never satisfactory. One of the problems is the focus throw is usually very short, which mean you can't focus very close at all.  The other limiting factors was the the rear of the lens usually had too small an opening for long lenses, and this would cause dark corners.  Further more, these adaptations were one of a kind; one lens barrel for one lens. Not a big deal if you only have a few lenses but that could quickly get into problems when you have dozens of lenses to adapt.

Early attempt samples

As more people get into adapting lenses on their digital cameras, and the photography market in China flourished, more and more options become available for all kinds of DIY projects from China at very reasonable prices.  5 or 6 years ago, a cheaply made M42-EOS adapter would sell for $50, and now you can buy one for under $5.  We now have helicoids of different lengths at affordable prices, and extension tubes for under $10, not to mention the plethora of choices in conversion rings, such as M42-M39 adapters, step-down/step-up rings of any size imaginable.  All these makes adapting old lenses so easy that it was simply mind boggling few years ago, unless you have access to your own mini-lathe that can make your own stuff.

Due to the number of lenses I have to adapt, it's not feasible for me to have dedicated tubes/helicoids for each of my lenses, so I needed a modular system that I can quickly re-use the tubes and helicoid for different lenses.  For the next part, we will talk about a modular system.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing serie of posts.
    I really like when you explain how to adapt old lenses. I found very amusing the hood used in the first article.
    Waiting for the third part.