Turning A 35mm Lens Into A 150mm – Jankuary Lens Adapting

By Azriel Knight

If you missed my article last Friday, be sure and have a look. I take a dive back into my first “serious” camera.

This week I’m using one of my current bodies, but with a twist. I really love the Nikon Zfc, and even though I’d much rather have a Nikon Zf, it’s just not in the cards at the moment, and I’ve just in the last year invested in glass specifically meant for crop sensor Nikons. Like the Viltrox 56mm f1.4 and Nikon’s cheap, but useful telephoto lens, the NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR. Wanting to use my pro F glass on it too, I bought an FTZ II. So I have a lot of focal lengths to work with.

Messing around a few days ago while rummaging through a few bins worth of camera gear waiting to be reviewed, I came across a Vivitar 35mm f2.8. I snapped it on the FTZ II and made it a 50mm. A pretty common thing to do if you own both full frame and crop sensor cameras, you get the best of both worlds with a single lens.

I also had a 2x tele-converter that goes in between the lens and the adapter, and all of a sudden my cropped 35mm is now a 100mm lens. This was good for a chuckle. I mean, the theme is called Jankuary for a reason. I had one more accessory, a real oddball one too, a TC-200M tele-converter from a busted Ricoh Mirai. It’s called a TC-200M because it takes the max focal length of the Mirai (135mm) and converts it to 200mm. So, it’s a 1.5x tele-converter. It’s a thread mount and just happens to fit the Vivitar. Snapping everything on that makes the 35mm a 150mm. If you want to get super technical: 157.5mm

Keeping with my photography goals this year, which includes only going out at night, or in bad weather (to mix things up) I went out at night DURING bad weather… -27C with the wind chill to be exact. I gotta say too, I went completely unprepared. The car was on empty, it was low on windshield wiper fluid and the battery in my Zfc was dying.

The jank was strong.

Still, I managed to get a few decent shots. The thing I immediately noted though was this contraption does not focus to infinity, so I tried finding more mid range subjects after seeing the Calgary Tower a little out of focus.

If you’re going to do something like this, you have to be able to flush all the rules down the toilet. Shooting handheld at night with a 150mm fixed focal length means an ISO of 32000. Plus, three adapters on a forty-year-old lens…the DNGs looked god awful. I also shot these through a windshield because I’m not risking my camera to the weather. Needless to say I fully leaned into the gritty, shoot by the hip motif. Indeed this was the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of lens setups.

Below are the results and I think considering everything, they look good. Will I do it again? No. I’ve seen people stack tele-converters before but I think this was unique because I used three different adapters to get my results.

 

 

 

 

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About The Author

By Azriel Knight
Calgary resident and film photography enthusiast.
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Comments

Graham Orbell on Turning A 35mm Lens Into A 150mm – Jankuary Lens Adapting

Comment posted: 13/01/2024

Great experiments Azriel, especially in -27 at night. Back when I had my first SLR an Asahi Pentax S1 about 1962 there was an article in Popular Photography magazine. Remember them? Make your own tele converter. Following instructions I went to the local optician and asked for a -7 lens. That’s not temperature. It’s for distant vision. Asked for it to be ground circular to fit inside two short M42 extension tubes sandwiched between them, screwed together. It worked perfectly on my 135mm lens. I might try it again if only I can find a local optician that’s not part of an international chain.
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Azriel Knight replied:

Comment posted: 13/01/2024

Thanks Graham! Do you remember which month that article was in? I own about half all the Pop Photo's every made ;)

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Dave Powell on Turning A 35mm Lens Into A 150mm – Jankuary Lens Adapting

Comment posted: 12/01/2024

Noir... VERY noir. Love the look!!! (And thanks for the whole "Jankuary" thing!) Dave
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Marc replied:

Comment posted: 12/01/2024

Enjoying the topic with the various cameras. Thank you for starting this. Second photo initially I didn’t have full shot & thought you got some syfy spaceship taking off. Glad you got home without freezing or running out of gas

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Azriel Knight replied:

Comment posted: 12/01/2024

Thanks Marc :)

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