Adapting a small Canon APS lens? Now what?

Started Mar 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 5,154
Re: Adapting a small Canon APS lens? Now what?

SQLGuy wrote:

I was thinking that, since these lenses were designed for APS, they should illuminate APS-C OK. Yes, it's slow, but it's also about the smallest zoom that would light up a NEX sensor I could think of.

Not into this for too much... cost me $1, plus $5 for shipping, for an Elph 2 from eBay. Disassembly was a surprising amount of work - these cameras were really built around the lens.

So, now what? The lens is pretty much entirely electronically controlled. I think I can probably do something to drive the motor, or remove it, but first I need to figure out how to open the aperture, and how to lock the leaf shutter open. Anyone else ever tried to adapt one of these? (For reference, the lens barrel is 27mm in diameter).

I've played a little with trying to get a Canon PowerShot to work without its lens... and even that is not easy. Basically, integrated autofocus lenses with leaf shutters and apertures electronically controlled will require reverse engineering the wiring and communications protocol. Better to try to graft a lens from a pre-autofocus compact, although even those may have issues with aperture control....

If you are really daring, you could make your own lens body and simply transplant the glass (or plastic, as I expect some elements might be). I recently got a MakerGear M2 3D printer that I'm using largely for making camera/lens mount parts, so I can confirm that a well-adjusted 3D printer can extrude PLA filament accurately enough to make lens mount parts (especially if you allow for a little shimming or sanding to fine-tune lens position). I've also got a sub-$200 Graphtec programmable paper cutter, and I have cut parts for and built an adjustable iris several times -- they work well, but the ones I made had only 3 blades.

Anyway, this is definitely not a task that is worth doing on financial or IQ grounds... although it is a first-class hacking experience.

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