Mods, DIY & Lens Adapting

Air-Gap Meniscus Camera

That Time I Built an “Air-Gap Meniscus” Lens – By Dave Powell

Long ago, I tried to shoot landscapes using a macro-close-up filter as a lens. I taped the filter to the front of two nested cardboard “focusing tubes” and attached them to my Fuji X-Pro1’s lens mount. I did get images, but wasn’t impressed. Though fairly sharp in the center, they blurred massively toward the perimeter. And the cardboard tubes didn’t slide easily enough for fine focusing. So I dropped the idea.

Until last week, when I stumbled across an old forum about removing (and even chiseling) “meniscus” lenses from vintage folders and plastic-fantastics to mount on medium- and large-format cameras. The photographers reported decent results.

It got me thinking (always dangerous). My original macro-close-up “lens” was meniscus-shaped– concave on the back and a little more convex on the front– but it was also proportionately thinner than most of the meniscus lenses in vintage cameras. So what would happen if I simulated a thicker meniscus by screwing one close-up filter onto another?

If the combination proved to be a decent lens, it might also address a problem reported in the old forum. Most of the meniscus lenses harvested from 35mm and medium-format cameras had fairly small diameters… which made them “slow” for large-format shooting. My 55mm macro-close-up filters would be comparatively huge, and produce a faster lens.

Baby’s in Black – Swapping Body Plates on the Autoreflex T3 – By Bob Janes

The first camera I owned and used extensively was a Konica Autoreflex T3; a real brick of a camera. I was always a big advocate for the T3, and used it extensively for 20 years. In recent years the T3 has started to be recognised as a minor (heavyweight) classic.

About 15 years ago I was able to pick up a copy of the revised nT3 version, which featured split-image and microprism focus aids, a squared off pentaprism and a viewfinder blind. Both cameras featured in my 35mmc review of the Autoreflex T3.

How I made a focus-free lens for Micro 4/3 – by Tobias Eriksson

I have a plan to go on holiday to Paris with my daughter the year of her 10th birthday. I know exactly which (film) cameras I will bring. I have prepared a gift for my daughter for the trip: A Panasonic Lumix GF2 (rest assured: this is not a spoiler – she is not a regular reader of this blog). It’s a very compact M4/3 system camera with a screen but no viewfinder.

Cheap masking frame from a photo frame

Low Cost DIY Darkroom Masking Frame for Analogue Printing – By Robert Willox

I’m ashamed to say it’s been many years since I developed a film or went near a proper darkroom. I say ashamed because from secondary school onwards photography was my passion.
I did GCSE photography at school way back in 1988 and managed to convince my parents that photography college was the way to go and that they should finance me. So off to Barking College of Technology I went and from there into a career in medical photography.

C-Mount Lenses & Panasonic GF1

Fun With C-Mount Lenses on Mirrorless Cameras – By Frankie Bina

Some people get the one amazing lens and spend years learning how to use it to its maximum potential. Others carefully plan out their lens purchases, making sure they get the best tools for different scenarios. And then there are people like me, slowly gathering an unreasonable range of cheap and often questionable lenses. Not …

Fun With C-Mount Lenses on Mirrorless Cameras – By Frankie Bina Read More

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