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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 02 Apr 2013 (Tuesday) 09:39
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Frankenlens

 
SmokeySiFy
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Apr 02, 2013 09:39 |  #1

Has anyone else ever had the itch to take some old lenses and make a franken lens? Anyone ever heard of anyone doing something like this?

Closest I've seen was someone modding a lens to mount backwards with ef controls still present for the aperature.


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Trent ­ Gillespie
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Apr 02, 2013 09:49 |  #2

I have not. The old lenses I have are in reasonably good condition, so I wouldn't dare tear them apart. My thought is... there are only so many left, so why diminish that amount even more. The only time I might consider ripping glass out of a lens is if I still owned the 50mm f/1.8... I highly doubt the nifty-fifty will ever be missed.


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nellyle
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Apr 02, 2013 09:55 |  #3

This http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=190428 is probably the most common.


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TweakMDS
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Apr 02, 2013 10:48 |  #4

Never really done it, but I've thought about taking a few older / crappy lenses apart and experimenting a bit with calculating image paths based on what's available.
Since I'm a nerd at heart, my idea was to inventorize a few lenses (and I mean the separate pieces of glass in this context) and creating a genetic algorithm to let my computer figure out what sort of prime I could make. Not sure if it's all that feasible in practice though. For one I wouldn't know how to get the rank the optimal result for each generation/iteration, but perhaps on a target focal length, maximum magnification or f-stop.


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DreDaze
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Apr 02, 2013 11:06 |  #5

i did the DIY tilt shift...which is somewhat like making your own lens...
http://cow.mooh.org …iltshift/diyexa​mples.html (external link)

now i want to see if there's an easy way to make a fisheye lens...i don't care much about the quality of these two things, because they're something that I would probably never bother putting real money towards, as they don't interest me enough to justify the costs.


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SmokeySiFy
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Apr 02, 2013 13:40 |  #6

I guess what got me thinking about this was stacking lenses is already kinda like this, but limited in how you put them together. I figure that using the individual parts it might be possible to achieve better results and maybe have some creative outcomes.


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gjl711
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Apr 02, 2013 13:56 |  #7

Bendy-lens, reversing lenses, shooting with the lens not attached are somewhat common, or at least not that difficult to do, but taking the optics out of several lenses and reassembling them into a new lens and getting decent results is a whole different level. Having taken an advanced optic engineering course in college pretty much convinced me that I did not want to get into optical engineering. Sticking a few lenses together and getting an image to appear relatively in focus can be done easily but designing a 400mm lens with controlled CA, good edge sharpness and relatively sharp across a wide range of apertures is a whole different level of design.


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ZoneV
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Apr 02, 2013 15:37 |  #8

I do a lot of lens modding.

I suppose lens mount conversion is not meant?
I converted some Canon FD lenses (20/2.8, 24/1.4L, 85/1.2L, 100/4, 300/2.8L, 400/2.8L, 500/4.5L, 800/5.6), some Minolta Rokkor lenses (28/2.0, 35/1.8, 50/1.4, 58/1.2, 100/4, 135/2.8) to Canon EF mount. Furthermore I build some lens adapters that up to know didn't exist as a product, like Minolta/Sony lens to Canon EOS adapter (external link), and Minolta MD/MC/SR lens to Canon EOS camera adapter (external link).

More Frankenlens like are my experiment to fit old lenses with automated EF iris (external link) - great for macro work, I did this with three lenses up to now.

Furthermore I made a Sony 135 STF (smooth transfer function) copy, to get creamy bokeh (external link).
Another way to get smoother bokeh (external link)was to find and modify a lens to work as a copy of the Nikon DC (defocus control) lenses, with controllable spherical aberration.

For macro stacking I build a 35mm lens with long focus travel and steady entrance pupil to avoid perspective change (external link).

Furthermore I build a telecentric adapter (external link) to get telecentricity when needed.

I use several projection lenses, and for theses I sometimes adapt those into a cheap focusing helicoid (external link).

To use wideangle lenses for macros I made a 8mm thin EOS extension tube (external link), and now a even shorter 6mm EF extension tube (automatic) (external link).

DIY Tilt-Lenses (external link)for crop DSLR cameras where my first lens modification. I didn´t like the idea to have the lens attached with some flexible hose, so I found the way to use the tiltable housing of a spotlight. With this I could make tilted images at night and such.
Someone used this concept and made a very detailed instruction, this seems to be the most common DIY tilt lens here in Germany today.

I made and work on some more lens modification projects, for example I want to optimize the apodization filter for the Sony STF copy.
And I made a lot of mistakes, I better not mention ;-)a
I try to get cheap lenses, like the Helios 44 for some experiments - sometimes for 3 Euros or such prices.


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SmokeySiFy
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Apr 03, 2013 08:33 |  #9

gjl711 wrote in post #15783392 (external link)
Bendy-lens, reversing lenses, shooting with the lens not attached are somewhat common, or at least not that difficult to do, but taking the optics out of several lenses and reassembling them into a new lens and getting decent results is a whole different level. Having taken an advanced optic engineering course in college pretty much convinced me that I did not want to get into optical engineering. Sticking a few lenses together and getting an image to appear relatively in focus can be done easily but designing a 400mm lens with controlled CA, good edge sharpness and relatively sharp across a wide range of apertures is a whole different level of design.

I'm not trying to compete with canon L series. If I can achieve similar or better quality as reversing lenses and stacking lenses with some mods I would be happy. Take lens stacking for example. Why not make a stacked lens by removing the glass from the lenses to be used and placing them in repurposed housings? The distances of the elements could even be fine tuned and perhaps slightly better performance could be achieved. And I would have done it myself!

ZoneV wrote in post #15783837 (external link)
I do a lot of lens modding.

I suppose lens mount conversion is not meant?
I converted some Canon FD lenses (20/2.8, 24/1.4L, 85/1.2L, 100/4, 300/2.8L, 400/2.8L, 500/4.5L, 800/5.6), some Minolta Rokkor lenses (28/2.0, 35/1.8, 50/1.4, 58/1.2, 100/4, 135/2.8) to Canon EF mount. Furthermore I build some lens adapters that up to know didn't exist as a product, like Minolta/Sony lens to Canon EOS adapter (external link), and Minolta MD/MC/SR lens to Canon EOS camera adapter (external link).

More Frankenlens like are my experiment to fit old lenses with automated EF iris (external link) - great for macro work, I did this with three lenses up to now.

Furthermore I made a Sony 135 STF (smooth transfer function) copy, to get creamy bokeh (external link).
Another way to get smoother bokeh (external link)was to find and modify a lens to work as a copy of the Nikon DC (defocus control) lenses, with controllable spherical aberration.

For macro stacking I build a 35mm lens with long focus travel and steady entrance pupil to avoid perspective change (external link).

Furthermore I build a telecentric adapter (external link) to get telecentricity when needed.

I use several projection lenses, and for theses I sometimes adapt those into a cheap focusing helicoid (external link).

To use wideangle lenses for macros I made a 8mm thin EOS extension tube (external link), and now a even shorter 6mm EF extension tube (automatic) (external link).

DIY Tilt-Lenses (external link)for crop DSLR cameras where my first lens modification. I didn´t like the idea to have the lens attached with some flexible hose, so I found the way to use the tiltable housing of a spotlight. With this I could make tilted images at night and such.
Someone used this concept and made a very detailed instruction, this seems to be the most common DIY tilt lens here in Germany today.

I made and work on some more lens modification projects, for example I want to optimize the apodization filter for the Sony STF copy.
And I made a lot of mistakes, I better not mention ;-)a
I try to get cheap lenses, like the Helios 44 for some experiments - sometimes for 3 Euros or such prices.

Zone, thanks for the links. I will have to check out more of your diy blog. I feel less crazy now that I have found someone else who likes to hack their lenses. I unfortunately don't have access to a machine shop exactly, only some grinders, band saw and some hand tools. Would love access to a lathe. But I do have access to mold making tools and plaster. I can also source plastic resins for producing parts from the molds. I can also do laminations to reinforce tubes if needed.

I think my first project I came up with in my head was to make a permanent stacked lens for macro, or a peremanently reversed lens for macro.


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gjl711
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Apr 03, 2013 08:38 |  #10

SmokeySiFy wrote in post #15786341 (external link)
... Why not make a stacked lens by removing the glass from the lenses to be used and placing them in repurposed housings? The distances of the elements could even be fine tuned and perhaps slightly better performance could be achieved. And I would have done it myself!

... I unfortunately don't have access to a machine shop exactly, only some grinders, band saw and some hand tools. Would love access to a lathe. But I do have access to mold making tools and plaster. I can also source plastic resins for producing parts from the molds. I can also do laminations to reinforce tubes if needed.

I think my first project I came up with in my head was to make a permanent stacked lens for macro, or a peremanently reversed lens for macro.

I would love to mod lenses as well but the lack of access to the equipment to do so pretty much stops me. I have a pretty decent shop but it's geared more towards wood working and automotive and nothing precise enough to do serious optic work.


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I used to hate math but then I realised decimals have a point.
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ZoneV
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Apr 03, 2013 09:19 |  #11

I started without a machine shop too.
I found the used lathe very cheap (with some smaller defects) and it is now a very helpful tool. My small micro mill (Proxxon MF70) is bad, I search for a bigger one, to handle brass and aluminium well.

Regarding the stacked lenses I have made experiments with relais lens setups for wide angle macros for example. Now I have a good working setup and will use it for photography - not only test images.

Some projects starts ideas for new projects, and the lens design / technology books I read start some new ideas - for example the Nikon DC Nikkor "copy" idea was started during reading such books.


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