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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 Jul 2007 (Monday) 11:36
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FD to EOS Conversion Project

 
photobitz
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Jul 09, 2007 11:36 |  #1

OK, well I thought I'd post about a little project I am undertaking at the moment. What I am aiming to do is convert an old Canon FD mount lens into an EOS mount lens without losing infinity focus. My subject will be the Canon 35mm TS (tilt-shift) as shown below.


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I chose this lens for a few of reasons:

a) It's a darn good lens from everything I've read
b) I picked it up for next to nothing
c) Tilt-shift is cool but I have no intention of spending money on an EF version
d) There is no mechanical coupling to worry about
e) Extra distance between the rear element and the mount - kep in mind the lens would need to be mounted closer to the film plane
f) I've seen several converted commercially

I'll detail my conversion as I go...

So why try to do this myself? Well, I guess I'm a bit of a hands-on type, plus if I sent it away to be commercialy converted I'd be paying big $$$ (in the region of US$400-500) - almost enough to make purchasing a TS-E worthwhile. Well anyways...

Dan

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Jul 09, 2007 11:38 |  #2

cool, post when you have accomplished ze conversion


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asylumxl
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Jul 09, 2007 11:39 |  #3

it's possible but alot of work.... good luck.


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photobitz
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Jul 09, 2007 11:51 |  #4

The first part of the conversion involves removing the FD mount. It took me a while to figure out, but it is a relatively simple process.


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The picture shows the mount end of the lens with the "shift" spindle clearly visible. The red arrow indicates the end-stop which needs to be removed. Firstly, focus the lens to the close end (30cm distance mark) so that the rear element is out of the way. Next unscrew the small locking screw on the end-stop until it protrudes about 3mm. This will then allow you to slip the end-stop off the spindle.


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Dan

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kevin_c
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Jul 09, 2007 11:57 |  #5

Good luck! - I'll be following this...


-- K e v i n --

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Jul 09, 2007 11:58 |  #6

A few bites already.... Thought this might grab people's attention ;) LOL

Anyway, here's a picture of the end-stop once removed.


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Try to keep that locking screw attached otherwise you can potentially get it lost inside your lens somewhere.

Once the end-stop is removed, the shift/mount assembly is easily removed by turning the shift knob counter-clockwise until it completely disengages.


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Set the lens body aside in a safe place since we are only concerned with the mount now.

Dan

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Jul 09, 2007 11:59 |  #7

many members of potn are shivering in suspense


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photobitz
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Jul 09, 2007 12:11 |  #8

Maxypad19 wrote in post #3512888 (external link)
many members of potn are shivering in suspense

LOL. I bet.


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OK, here's the mount... pretty boring I know, but take note of the circled parts. On the left is the breech-lock catch. This is responsible for locking the outside mount ring in place when mounted on the camera body.

On the right is a screw...

Yes, a screw.

It is fairly important though. This screw is responsible for holding the mount ring to the mount body and also serves as an end stop for the ring's rotation.

Dan

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Jul 09, 2007 12:27 |  #9

Hmmm... At this point I thought I should mention that my aim is not only to convert this lens to EOS mount, but to do so non-destructively. i.e. This process wil be reversible to change the lens back to FD mount should I feel so inclined.

Moving along...

Remove the aforementioned screw (set safely aside) and rotate the ring clockwise to remove it. Note that you may need to depress the breech-lock catch at certain points in the ring's rotation. Also, there will probably be a bunch of grease under there so best not be doing this part on the wife's freshly laundered tablecloth! You have been warned! :)

Here's the mount body with ring removed.


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And here's the mount body alone. You can clearly see the catch here. You should also note the two holes in the inner ring which will be used to remove it.


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The remainder of the mount shown above is designed to allow the lens to be rotated through 180 degrees to allow the tilt-shift mechanics to influence the image in the adjacent axis (and everything in between). The inner ring I have just pointed out is what holds this rotational assembly together.

Dan

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Jul 09, 2007 12:46 |  #10

That brings me to the first challenge I had... how to remove that inner ring (without destroying it, the mount body or myself)?

After looking around at home, the best I could come up with was a set of compasses which failed miserably at the task. I took a trip to the hardware store and bought the tool below for $5 (thanks to that quick thinking store assistant who suggested it!).


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This is a tool for cutting holes in ply and particle board. All I had to do was carefully grind the cutting blades into a pin-shape to fit the holes - 5 minutes work with my Dremel and a grinding disk.

I then adjusted the blade distances and tried it out...


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Success! After a little bit of effort the ring came smoothly away allowing me to completely dismantle the rest of the mount. (This comes out counter-clockwise by the way)

Dan

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Jul 09, 2007 12:49 |  #11

OMG, This Is Exciting! or maybe its just me, you could be another third party lens maker with only one lens you sell: the affordable TSE


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Jul 09, 2007 12:56 |  #12

Here is the mount fully decomposed.


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My idea is to harvest an EOS mount from a Nikon-EOS adapter ring. After looking at the part on the left I realised I would not be able to directly attach the EOS mount to this part. I was left with the choice of creating a new piece or machining the existing piece to the right thickness. In keeping with my original plan of non-destructive conversion I opted for creating a new piece.

The original part is 6mm thick. I had to replace it with a ring 3mm thick

Note: The conversion itself requires replacing only the part on the left, the rest of the mount will be kept.

Also, while it's visible, note the ball-bearing click stop in that left-hand piece. In the rotation, this limits the lens to 7 rotated positions around the Z-axis. You can see the 7 recesses in the other piece where the ball-bearing will move.

Dan

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Jul 09, 2007 13:02 |  #13

this is like the discovery channel


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Jul 09, 2007 13:02 as a reply to  @ photobitz's post |  #14

I am in awe of people who are'handy' - looking forward to following this through, I hope we don't have to wait too long!


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Jul 09, 2007 13:15 |  #15

Final post for tonight...

My next challenge was finding suitable material for this new piece. I decided either aluminium or brass was the go however I experimented with sheets of styrene to find my magic thickness (hence the 3mm).

EDIT: You should note that this distance is dependant on the EOS mount you will be using so it is best to decide on an appropriate mount piece first before you start machining anything (unless you are doing the whole lot from scratch)

I finally found a suitable piece of aluminium channel in a scrap yard. Cost me $2 for 5 times as much as I needed.

At this point I would recommend that anyone with access to a milling machine should just machine a new piece (with the EOS mount integrated) from a bock of metal. Save all the trouble of fitting pieces together...

After a couple of hours of cutting, grinding and burning myself on hot aluminium I ended up with this... (shown in comparison to the original piece)


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OK, so it doesn't look too pretty but it worked perfectly when I tried it out. The channel you can see is what limits the rotation to 180 degrees. I routed this freehand (very carefully) with my Dremel and a cutter bit. Incidentally, the inside diameter of the ring is 42mm, the outside is 65mm.

My next challenge is making a new click-stop.

More to come... (but not tonight)

Dan

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FD to EOS Conversion Project
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