Photo by vkphoto
Sample image from Sony NEX-F3 and ICA A-G Toska 215 with Carl Zeiss Tessar 135mm 1:6.3
A color corrected lens would have been better choice like a Rapax off a Ciro-Flex, with a good Wollensak Anastigmat in 85mm F:3.5. They are dirt cheap on eBay, easy as pie to remove from the TLR body and one heck of a great lens for no money! 85mm would suit a A7r FF Sony rather nicely. Wollensak made great lenses, mostly forgotten these days. We can all think of better lenses for sure, But dollar/lb. value of an old Ciro-flex cannot be beat in Price! Sellers on Ebay practically give away those cameras. 120 film is dying in the USA. Already my long-long time photo house gave up processing E-6 120 rollfilm and now tells me 120 C-41 is on the way out also? Gee I hope NOT, but digital really has improved tremendously in the last 7 years, so the technological change is on.I will be waiting for the day, I can mount that 6x9cm digital back to my speed Graphic's and Linhof cameras! Don@Eastwestphoto
Personally, I would have used a much better antique camera and shorter focal length lens! The idea proofs that the first company that makes a Graflok back in 6x9cm DIGITAL 100 MEG, is going to step into a huge unmet demand. Then folding press and view large format cameras will sky rocket in price! It's just a few years away!
That's why we put big shinny enjoins in 90 year old relics, Its fun, faster, and get's lots of attention. I like what someone said about taking that creation to a wedding, but you might get shot if you didn't also have your regular gear: Larry
I would to try this out on my Dad's old German press camera. It's a Carl Zeiss in very good condition, with a leather case which has several thin metal plates, and one thick plate with six black paper pulls, sort of like the tabs we used to pull out of the old Polaroid land cameras. Which plate do I make the hole in? I have been looking for project, and would like to try my Sony a7r with one of these plates. Can someone give me some insight as to which plate to use. I already have an extra adaptor : Larry
As long as your Dad's German press camera has a fully adjustable focusing rail, it doesn't matter, as you would be focusing visually on the screen of the A7r. Therefore, focusing at the plane of the digital sensor isn't an issue, as it could be if the camera's front standard was physically locked when opened and relied on focusing by distance scale only. Then precise location of the sensor would be more important as you may not achieve infinity focus.
If it were me, I wouldn't butcher an original sheet film or plate holder. If it would be possible in your case, I'd use a flat piece of wood and fix the adapter to this.
did the $15 include the cost of the camera?
It proof the old cam lens and quality is his time ahead, I like that kind of experiments, I use 35 to 40 years old PALLAS Magenta Lenses who I converted to SMA, ok they are still manual but the sharpens and colour transformation is as I discover are better than very expensive SY lenses who are also manual ;) I have a 28 2.8 a 35 2.8 a 135 2.8 and a 200 3.5 who perform in most of the cases better than modern lenses.
so that for ;)
what for?If it had tilt/shift abilities, ok. But in this case: what for??
"But in this case: what for??"
And whilst the camera does not have a swinging or tilt front standard, one can readily see that it has horizontal and vertical shift. This is evident by the two chrome adjuster heads.
You can by adaptors for 4 x 5 s with graphlock rear standards. One drawback is that, unless you use telephoto lenses, your minimum focal length lens - at infinity - is about 130mm. But still good for product, stitching and macro work.
I have a Norma and a 150 macro grandagon that I've used to good effect.
The other thing to be aware of is that since larger format lenses don't have to be as critically sharp - due to the massive film area - your results may be a little disappointing.
Beautiful images. Very nicely done.
"Collecting dust" were the operative words for me. Need to clean out the folder carefully before exposing a naked sensor to it.
With flaky old bellows can you ever be sure?
That is unheard of!!Oh, no, wait, I did the exact same thing 18 months ago...http://www.similaar.com/foto/oldcam/oldcam.html
What surprised me most is that the image didn't look "old" by itself: the lens in that 100-year-old camera is slow but not bad at all.
Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.
There was a time when lenses had pictorial qualities and we treasured the idiosyncrasies of lenses. In the modern age, it's all sharper, more contrasty, more of this, more of that. That's why so many of us were excited about using vintage lenses on APS-C and Micro 4/3rds sensors. It isn't all about lpm.
Sounds great, DPR. I did quite a bit in the olden days with 9x12 and 10x15 folding plate cameras.
I dare say this is the best glass you can get for your Sony!
you can say it but it won't make it right though.
it must be right because he said it first
All the people criticising this fun exercise must be "really fun at parties" - NOT!!
Some people just live to find fault with others
Oh I don´t want to really come to talk at a party with a nerd who for no reason but stupid tinkering modified his camera setup. This isn´t fun - this is wasted time lacking any spirit and esprit - which are the indredients of parties that at least I love to join...
Look, smeggy, one of them's stalking you :-)
Maybe a good business idea: after the trend of making retro-looks for the bodies, why not producing lenses that look like antique cameras ? Hey, Fujifilm, can you hear me ?
Nice photos, some great results :)Certainly better than the previous DIY like this I saw on DPreview where the digial camera was set just to take a photo of the ground glass.Can't help but itch to see the results if you could somehow get full lens coverage, but I guess you know not to expect that going into such a build for only $15 :)
It's amazing to see genius men to create his own rig and devote his time to photography.
Nice work!! I love the ingenuity of DIY'ers! How about the Mamyia RB 6x7? There must be a few thousand of them sitting idle. With it's rack focusing, lens shutters, and revolving back, it may be an ideal body for an enterprising machinist to focus on.
That's a bloody good idea.
If you mean just to use the RB lenses on a digital camera, Fotodiox makes adapters (with means of focusing) for around $150. I did a DIY adaptation 2 years ago before such a thing was available, and it was published in Flickr. I just hand ground the diameter of the T2/Nikon adapter mount, interference-fit it to the rear baffle tube of the RB lens, then mated it to a Nikon bellows. https://www.flickr.com/photos/9596859@N08/sets/72157628686916515/
d5rocket: what do estimate the crop factor to be on 35mm and M4/3 bodies?
Great minds ....;!
Take a look at this setup and some photos. Mainly for tilt to get more depth of field.
Ingenius idea ... I Love It !
Yes ! Let´s have some real compact 36x24 digital system camera which we can have in a pocket, a bit like a Kodak Retina, but with interchangeable lenses :)http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_Retina_IIcMamiya 6 and 7, Plaubel Makina 67 would also be very nice in digital :)
I think it should be marketed.
Hello,Thank you dpreview for featuring the project and thank you all for kind comments. I acquired ICA long time ago but used it only few times with original glass plates, and then it was collecting dust sitting as a decoration on the bookshelf. Few comments/answers1.I did the project purely for fun and yet after almost two years, still using the camera. 2.I chose Sony NEX because of its compact body, excellent focus peaking and tilting LCD. I think it was a good choice because now I can attach A7 using the same adapter.3.I did little post processing in ACR, Tessar is surprisingly sharp and works well for the close-up photography 4.Old ICA’s front/rear standard has some movements for tilt, shift, rise, fall and swing. All the best and have fun!
Actually, the "sharpness" is NOT very surprising if the lens is in good condition. People tend to think lenses with larger coverage resolve fewer lines per mm, but that's not the case... although microcontrast is often a bit low.
For example, http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/testing.html contains measurements of lots of large-format (4x5) lenses, and they average around 50 lppmm -- which is a tad better than 35mm SLR lenses average! It mostly has to do with moderate focal lengths and speeds being easy to handle with simple designs....
Wonderful. Where can we see more samples?
Well, here are a few from my Instructables on using a 4x5 with a NEX in the back....
A 127mm Ektar: http://cdn.instructables.com/FX7/CRVE/H742SZED/FX7CRVEH742SZED.LARGE.jpg
A 150mm Rodenstock 4x5 enlarger lens: http://cdn.instructables.com/FZ3/TWJ7/H82UNFC9/FZ3TWJ7H82UNFC9.LARGE.jpg
Something a bit more extreme; a 19" Red Dot Artar: http://cdn.instructables.com/FUC/8F51/H7431TQB/FUC8F51H7431TQB.LARGE.jpg
That last one covers an 18" image circle, but still pulls at least 50lppmm pretty easily. My worst large-format lens came on a circa 1901 Golf Montauk, about a 152mm f/9; it barely clears 30lppmm at f/32 or so.
Love your work vk.
Great work! Very innovative!
Can the lens be shifted or tilted? (or both)?
Yes, but only once.
Fun doesn't have to be practical and art doesn't have to make sense to everyone. I'm personally the engineer type and don't do such things but it looks like they had fun. And the results are great, and I personally don't care whether Photoshop was involved or not.Kuddos!
I must be getting old -I remember when engineer types were exactly the ones that did these things...:-\
OK, then I guess I am not the type that does these things, regardless of being an engineer. better? :-)
Would be kinda fun shooting video through this rig. I can imagine showing up on a movie set with it and getting some interesting looks.
135mm lens on a crop body, so the actual focal length is close to 200mm.
I am not sure if that is so useful for video.
Nice project; a fun one to give new life to old glass. Some of the comments here suggesting image limitations or more practical means of achieving similar image bely the nature of the project. Perhaps those individuals should buy some duct tape (not used in this particular hack) and broaden their horizons.
Take that to a wedding and you just might be more popular than the DJ.
These are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
I love DIY photography hacks and I've posted a couple myself. As with lots of things related to photography as a hobby and craft, it's often the enjoyment of doing it, as much as it is capturing the very best results with the very best equipment.
I think those who can't see this don't know how to have fun.
This was a great little hack. Congratulations to vkphoto for getting featured on the front page and for capturing some very good photos.
Such DIY projects, I've found, are also wonderful means of learning for students.
Nice ACR work. Photos look surprisingly sharp. I was expecting something more like Lomo camera with light leaks.
I got far more interesting results with a TtV contraption.
Apparently... "interesting" is in the eye of the beholder.
I'd wager 95% of the comments were positive and enthusiastic. The other 5% should put their photographic results where there mouths are.
For what it's worth, I thought VK did a great job.
These images should have been seriously edited in terms of constrast and saturation, not to mention downscaling with sharpening applied. Age-old uncoated Tessar just hasn't enough contrast and linear resolution to produce such images on modern small sensor... although the lens here works with very central part of it, and given the sample is good, that seems more or less possible, when it comes to sharpness (precise focusing is not the issue here, I guess). ILC is yet the only way to squeeze absolutely anything from any kind of lens. I think that some time I'll do something like this with EOS 5D Mk3 and Speed Graphic :) Although I was not even slightly impressed when I tried to do something similar. Recent (5-6 years) achievements in lens building render contraptions like this perfectly impractical, except very special occasions when you need non-telephoto lens with telephoto FOV, but I can hardly imagine such case.
I am missing something here: what does the coating have to do with resolution ? I thought the main point of coating was to reduce the reflections (and hence the light loss).
You're not missing anything, it's just nonsense. :)
The hack also doesn't involve a "small sensor". The NEX uses an APS sensor, which is the next size down from a full-frame sensor. (Unless you're talking about the film that would actually be used in antique camera. Would that be 4x6?)
I see absolutely nothing wrong with the pictures. They're all beautiful.
You could have fooled me if you said they were obtained with a D800 and a micro-nikkor.,.
Ignat... you couldn't have missed the entire point (of this DIY hack) if you wanted to. This was all about fun... not results for a magazine article, ffs.
@Rachotilko not with the resolution itself, but with the perception of final result. I could use wrong terms, probably.
@TheGreatFireDragon Compared to 9x12 cm/4x5" almost any sensor is small. Even 24x36mm.
@Rocky Mtn Old Boy Then why the *duck* this fun DIY hack easily beats what we see today in magazines?.. That's rhetoric question, as you might guess.
The photos look good
That's what I should have gone for! :)
The photos have a nice look. I think it is worth the effort to use this rig on occasion.
forget about the technical aspects or someone has done it before blah blah blah...
c'mon guys! this is photography!!!
The photographic mind and eyes were definitelly involved in achievieving the resulting pictures.
But the thing with old camera & stuff is a pure geekery.
Blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth.
@misolo: that's their illusion. I bet on peasants to be the actual heirs.
Anyway, I really thing that there are two aspects of this feat: the photographic & technical. And I see no strong connection between them.
In other words: the photographer involved would achieve at least as good results with more conventional setup. And more easily.
Unless the technical side of the project provided extra stimulation to her/his photographic neurochemistry.
all i know is someone combined old and new technology and created beautiful pictures that i like...that's all i matters. in the end it's the art speaks out, not the equipments.
Very cool. Congratulations on being featured today!
Yes, it is kind of useless, but it doesn't need to be useful to be a very fun project. Lovely to see an old lens come back to life.
The lens was indeed collecting dust... I have a dust allergy and just looking at the pictures of it almost makes me sneeze.
And, by the way, should be ok to peel off the ugly marketing sticker from the LCD now. :-)
No pun intended, but this is old news. ;-)
Multiple such projects have been discussed before in DPReview forums, and the DIY forum really doesn't provide any better mechanism for giving details of such projects or browsing them -- a well-indexed DIY user article mechanism would make more sense than a DIY forum. DIY instructions are either omitted or posted at other sites -- as I've been doing for years, mostly in the Sony NEX forum. For example, here are two 2012 Instructables, both introduced in the NEX forum, explaining how I made a mount for my NEX-5 to be used as a digital back on an old 4x5 ( http://www.instructables.com/id/Large-Format-Adapter-For-Your-Mirrorless-Camera/ ) and how to make custom lensboards including one that can take SLR lenses ( http://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-Lensboards-For-A-Large-Format-Camera/ ).
Thanks for the feedback, we are rethinking our articles system so we'll take that into consideration.
Awesome ...so you buy a mirrorless camera for the main advantage of being smaller and lighter than an SLR then you put it on the back of one of the biggest heaviest cameras you can find.
Nice shots ...but wouldn't a macro lens work?
Some people, like myself, bought into mirrorless for its flexibility. I love being able to use a wide variety of unique lenses and adapters!
Happypoppeye:Good god! It is a PROJECT; one wanting to revive the old camera.
Can you move the camera around and stitch to get the whole FOV?
It won't be good because the light cannot hit every inch of the sensor when it is sitting behind the native mount, especially on the edges.
To DPR: You cannot find anything about the modified camera and photos when you follow the link to the source of the photos, which is a blog covering Fuji cameras.
On slide two you'll find this link: http://vkphotoblog.blogspot.ca/p/100-years-apart.html
I'll update the source link to direct here so it's more obvious.
I agree with 120 to 35
For most of the shots, he'd be better off using a real macro lens. And of course this is nothing new. There have been view camera adapters around, certainly for Nikon F mount and Canon EOS, for a very long time. Even some that allow some movement along the image plane for panorama shooting, which makes the whole exercise a bit more worth the effort.
It's definitely fun, of course.
Has anyone at home ever calked you a stick in the mud?
Not in those words, no... but perhaps something to that effect :P
Simply wonderful! Well done, and please keep those images coming.
An interesting approach with very nice results.
Very beautiful images - and from a century old uncoated lens no less!