Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

Started Jan 19, 2008 | Discussions
LUIS A GUEVARA
LUIS A GUEVARA Regular Member • Posts: 413
Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

In response to many inquiries about my SD9 converted to Leica-R mount, received from visitors to my websites ,I decided to post some pictures of it .The conversion works very cleanly and is hardly noticeable as you can see on this image with the Summilux 35 f1.4 .

To make a custom mount requires the integration of a Canon EOS to Leica R adapter and the original SA mount from the Sigma camera. Both mounts have to be cut appropiatedly to become One. It can be done by hand but to ensure good centering it is best done on a Lathe.

Some points to consider;

1- I have made this modification on an SD9 model and most Leica-R lenses work with no problems with the exemption of the Summiluxes that ,like most extreme wide angles and Fisheyes, require some carving of the Mirror Box to accommodate the large Exit Pupil of those lenses that project more than normal rearward. In the case of the Summilux 35 and 80 mm f1.4 it will also require the removal of the Dust Filter that collides with the lens rear protrusion.

2.-The fact that it is feasible to do this custom mount on an SD9 ( and SD10) SHOULD NOT lead to the assumption that it is also possible to do the same on an SD14 , since for what I have read ,the Mirror Box Dimensions are different, looking a lot shallower . Also the removal of the Dust Filter on the SD9 is harmless to the image , but I understand than on the SD14 this filter doubles as an IR cut-off filter, so to use Summiluxes the SD14 would require external Hot Mirror filters (Infrared rejection filters ). I am waiting delivery of an SD14 and when I have more information I will update this post.

3- This modification affects the original SA Mount irreversibly , since it has to be cut on the lathe to the larger Diameter of the Leica Mount. To go back to Sigma SA would require obtaining an unmodified SA mount from Sigma.

4-After having pointed out the side effects I would like to remark that the benefits are immense. The Image Quality of the high end Leica-R lenses seems to work Synergistically with the Foveon sensor to produce images of unbelievable Sharpness and Vibrance ,providing a feeling of three dimensionality that I have not seen in any other camera ,including medium format digital backs.

Judge by yourself looking at this samples at the Beach ,Please go to the largest size on your screen and count the grains of Sand.

I am considering setting myself up to make Customized mounts on request and since this would require me to invest on a small Lathe I decided to open an invitation to those of you that might be interested on this modifications to email me , asking questions about it and expressing your interest.

If I get sufficient emails to justify the purchase of the Lathe I would do so.

LUIS.--
http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/galleries
http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

Topi Senior Member • Posts: 1,485
Re: Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

Luis,

Your conversion looks quite a bit like the same I've been planning to do to my SD10. However, instead of butchering the camera body mount, I've been thinking about getting a spacer of the neceessary thickness between the EOS -> R adapter and the body.

BTW, the SD10 won't work properly, either, if you remove the dust cover. So it seems just the SD9 that's "Summilux enabled".

Do you know whether the 19 mm Elmarit will fit in the mirror chamber? Also, I'm not familiar with the adapters - do you know whether ROM lenses can be used with them or whether they foul the contacts? (Not that I have any ROM lenses - I like the SL2 too much to get any. Three-cam is the way to go.)

Cheers,

-Topi Kuusinen, Finland

LUIS A GUEVARA
OP LUIS A GUEVARA Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

Topi wrote:

Luis,

Your conversion looks quite a bit like the same I've been planning to
do to my SD10. However, instead of butchering the camera body mount,
I've been thinking about getting a spacer of the neceessary thickness
between the EOS -> R adapter and the body.

That would work .However the back of the mount has several precission drillings that ensure position and centering that ,unless you are a good machinist , are hard to make and you can find SA mounts on old models of film Sigma cameras.

BTW, the SD10 won't work properly, either, if you remove the dust
cover. So it seems just the SD9 that's "Summilux enabled".

Well , not necessarily , you could still use them with a Hot Mirror

Do you know whether the 19 mm Elmarit will fit in the mirror chamber?

I dont know about the 19mm Elmarit but I use a 16mm with a slight grinding on the rear end , but with the Dust filter in place it reaches Infinity by pushing the filter in very slightly. Since I wanted to use the Summiluxes I removed the Filter and enlareged the mirror box opening.In this image you can see the circular scratches where it touches the filter:

Also, I'm not familiar with the adapters - do you know whether ROM
lenses can be used with them or whether they foul the contacts? (Not
that I have any ROM lenses - I like the SL2 too much to get any.
Three-cam is the way to go.)

I disagree. ROM is the way to go . They are the latest Optical incarnation and they can be found for less money in the used market since most people have misconceptions regarding their usability. Yes you can use them without damage to the ROM contacts ,my 35 Summilux is ROM.

On future postings I will include some more relevant pictures ,in the mean time here is a closeup of the mount:

Thanks for your interesting points.
--
http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/galleries
http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

sunflowerflyer Contributing Member • Posts: 974
Re: Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

Think you could make an SD14 into a straight canon mount with the correct offset? What would you charge?

sunflowerflyer

Topi Senior Member • Posts: 1,485
Re: Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

LUIS A GUEVARA wrote:

Topi wrote:

Luis,

Your conversion looks quite a bit like the same I've been planning to
do to my SD10. However, instead of butchering the camera body mount,
I've been thinking about getting a spacer of the neceessary thickness
between the EOS -> R adapter and the body.

That would work .However the back of the mount has several precission
drillings that ensure position and centering that ,unless you are a
good machinist , are hard to make and you can find SA mounts on old
models of film Sigma cameras.

Thanks Luis, did not know that. I'm still stuck with too much work and hence too little time together with crappy tools - I don't want to destroy the flange screws with soft tools.

Also, I'm not familiar with the adapters - do you know whether ROM
lenses can be used with them or whether they foul the contacts? (Not
that I have any ROM lenses - I like the SL2 too much to get any.
Three-cam is the way to go.)

I disagree. ROM is the way to go . They are the latest Optical
incarnation and they can be found for less money in the used market
since most people have misconceptions regarding their usability. Yes
you can use them without damage to the ROM contacts ,my 35 Summilux
is ROM.

Well, as I have both an R8 and an SL2 of which the latter is the favourite and both of which still get some use, for me three cams is the way go. I'll just have to try and somehow live with the knowledge of inferior resolution and older optical formulae ;-).

Cheers,

-Topi Kuusinen, Finland

LUIS A GUEVARA
OP LUIS A GUEVARA Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

sunflowerflyer wrote:

Think you could make an SD14 into a straight canon mount with the
correct offset? What would you charge?

sunflowerflyer

-- hide signature --

This is an exellent question that I have also been asking myself since it would solve most of the problems of Sigma lens usability , considering that there are plenty of different adaptors to fit third party lenses to EOS cameras . Unfortunately I cannot answer it YET, since I do not have an EOS camera mount to analyze. I am looking for one though and will post my findings when it happens. Luis.

http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/galleries
http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

Francesco Gianni Senior Member • Posts: 1,044
Re: Leica-R mount for Sigma SD9,SD10 cameras

I tried removing the SD14 dust protector and using a 486 filter on th lens, but unfortunately all images caome out with a strong magenta cast (somehow correctable with SPP 2.3) so I think the SD14 Dust protector starts to cut at shorter wavelenghts than the 486, another option is the 489 but the curve is less steep so I am not sure it will be good enough (and it has a filter factor of 1.2 instead of 1)

If you find a filter that suitably replaces the SD14 hot mirror please let me know.

LUIS A GUEVARA wrote:

but
I understand than on the SD14 this filter doubles as an IR cut-off
filter, so to use Summiluxes the SD14 would require external Hot
Mirror filters (Infrared rejection filters ). I am waiting delivery
of an SD14 and when I have more information I will update this post.

-- hide signature --

Ian Gianni

tammons Veteran Member • Posts: 6,251
Its already been done

EOS mount on a SA camera that is and the guy got all the electronics working.
Its around here somewhere. Look back about 1-2 years ?? maybe.

Looked like it was a real PIA to convert, lock pin is on the wrong side, much bigger hole etc etc etc.

I have been harping on Sigma to do a universal lens mount so you could mount whatever. They would sell more cameras but less lenses and thats where they make their $. They will never do it. Matter of fact I doubt selling camera bodies
makes much profit at all, considering the R+D involved.

JW PHOTO Veteran Member • Posts: 3,059
Re: Its already been done

tammons wrote:

EOS mount on a SA camera that is and the guy got all the electronics
working.
Its around here somewhere. Look back about 1-2 years ?? maybe.

Looked like it was a real PIA to convert, lock pin is on the wrong
side, much bigger hole etc etc etc.

I have been harping on Sigma to do a universal lens mount so you
could mount whatever. They would sell more cameras but less lenses
and thats where they make their $. They will never do it. Matter of
fact I doubt selling camera bodies
makes much profit at all, considering the R+D involved.

The truth is that if the EOS mount were on the SD14 they would sell a whole lot more cameras and in the end sell a whole lot more lenses, but it just goes against the grain for a camera manufacture to adopt something that is not theirs. I would like to see them adopt the 4/3's lens mount on the SD14 or newer camera. After all they are a member of the 4/3's family! They could keep the same sensor and yet use just about any lense, including theirs, on the camera. What a perfect set up that would be. JohnW

 JW PHOTO's gear list:JW PHOTO's gear list
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JW PHOTO Veteran Member • Posts: 3,059
Luis

Good to hear from you again! I have been working on the LeicaR conversion, but things haven't went as smooth as I had hoped. I tried taking my LeicaR to 4/3's adapter and converting it to Pentax K-mount. I removed the 4/3's lens bayonet off the adapter and replaced it with one from a 50mm f2 SMC Pentax lens. It was a near perfect fit. I then tried it out on the SD14 and everything hooked up just fine, but I couldn't focus to infinity. So, I gave up on that idea and started looking at the Leica lens itself. I took the bayonet mount off my 90mm f2.8 Elmarit(watch out for the little bearing indent and spring) and replaced it with the Pentax K-mount. Viola! It worked just fine, but now it focused well past infinity. I really hate pulling the Leica lens apart, but I see it as the only way, short of replacing the SD14 body mount with the EOS, of getting the R lenses to work on the SD14. I, personally, would rather take the SD14 body mount out and replace it with the EOS mount, but my camera is still under warranty for about a year yet. I think I will probably just get a Sigma to M42 adapter for each one of my LeicaR lenses and rework each one. This process is always reversible in case I wish to sell them. Also, if I use film it will be medium format and not my Leicaflex SL so I won't miss the Leica lenses anyway. I can't do anymore until my first M42 to SA adapter gets here and that should be anyday now. JohnW

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LUIS A GUEVARA
OP LUIS A GUEVARA Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Its already been done

JW PHOTO wrote:
.......... I would like to see them adopt the
4/3's lens mount on the SD14 or newer camera. After all they are a
member of the 4/3's family! They could keep the same sensor and yet
use just about any lense, including theirs, on the camera. What a
perfect set up that would be. JohnW

-- hide signature --

Although I see your point I sincerely hope that they dont and instead keep the natural trend to a Full Frame sensor that we all want and that is what we should encourage.Luis

http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
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http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

JW PHOTO Veteran Member • Posts: 3,059
Re: Its already been done

LUIS A GUEVARA wrote:

JW PHOTO wrote:
.......... I would like to see them adopt the
4/3's lens mount on the SD14 or newer camera. After all they are a
member of the 4/3's family! They could keep the same sensor and yet
use just about any lense, including theirs, on the camera. What a
perfect set up that would be. JohnW

Luis,

I'd love to see a full frame 24mm x 36mm Foveon sensor. It would make Canon and Nikon set up and take notice. What I would really like to see is a full frame sensor with the larger 4/3's lbody flange, but since most of the 4/3's lenses won't cove full frame I'm sure we'll never see that So, I guess I'll keep plugging away at trying to get my LeicaR glass on my Sigma camera. JohnW

http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/galleries
http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

 JW PHOTO's gear list:JW PHOTO's gear list
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tammons Veteran Member • Posts: 6,251
Re: Its already been done

They would have to license the mount from canon and I doubt that would ever happen. That was one reason I was interested in an open mount. A tiny bit bigger than canon then sell adapters for whatever lenses.

It would be a big technical hurdle though.

LUIS A GUEVARA
OP LUIS A GUEVARA Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Luis

Francesco Gianni wrote;

I tried removing the SD14 dust protector and using a 486 filter on th lens, but > unfortunately all images caome out with a strong magenta cast (somehow > correctable with SPP 2.3) so I think the SD14 Dust protector starts to cut at > shorter wavelenghts than the 486, another option is the 489 but the curve is less > steep so I am not sure it will be good enough (and it has a filter factor of 1.2 > instead of 1)

If you find a filter that suitably replaces the SD14 hot mirror please let me know.

I believe the 486 is specifically tailored to the Leica M8 imaging characteristics , It is not Neutral. I use Canon Standard Hot Mirror filters and my tests come out neutral but since the filter only reflects IR in an angle of about 30 degrees around the lens axis I do occasionally see some magenta tint on the periphery of the image when the sun is on the side .

I believe that what you need is the 489 according to B+W;

-- hide signature --

Infrared-Blocking Filter 489 [KG 3]
This IR-blocking filter suppresses infrared radiation ≥780 nm. Because

it gradually begins to absorb infrared radiation at 600 nm, long-wave red light is slightly weakened, so that this filter has a subtle green tint. But in CCD applications, this can be readily corrected electronically.
Its filter factor is approximately ¡.2.

JW PHOTO wrote:
Good to hear from you again! I have been working on the LeicaR
conversion, but things haven't went as smooth as I had hoped. I
tried taking my LeicaR to 4/3's adapter and converting it to Pentax
K-mount. I removed the 4/3's lens bayonet off the adapter and
replaced it with one from a 50mm f2 SMC Pentax lens. It was a near
perfect fit. I then tried it out on the SD14 and everything hooked
up just fine, but I couldn't focus to infinity. So, I gave up on
that idea and started looking at the Leica lens itself. I took the
bayonet mount off my 90mm f2.8 Elmarit(watch out for the little
bearing indent and spring) and replaced it with the Pentax K-mount.
Viola! It worked just fine, but now it focused well past infinity.
I really hate pulling the Leica lens apart, but I see it as the only
way, short of replacing the SD14 body mount with the EOS, of getting
the R lenses to work on the SD14. I, personally, would rather take
the SD14 body mount out and replace it with the EOS mount, but my
camera is still under warranty for about a year yet. I think I will
probably just get a Sigma to M42 adapter for each one of my LeicaR
lenses and rework each one. This process is always reversible in
case I wish to sell them. Also, if I use film it will be medium
format and not my Leicaflex SL so I won't miss the Leica lenses
anyway. I can't do anymore until my first M42 to SA adapter gets
here and that should be anyday now. JohnW

--I have the same feelings about my own intended SD14 conversion, however modifying each of your Leica lenses seem to me more risky . The cheapest of my Summilux purchases was the 80 f1.4 , used for $1200 . the Summi 35 ROM used was $1800, My 280 Apo Telyt f4 was a whoping $3500 used.

The SD14 from Cameta instead was only $669.

Just hang on a bit longer. My SD14 will arrive soon and I will report my initial findings as soon as it arrives .

Here you can see that the two Sigma mounts dont differ sustantially;

AND TO OPEN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC APETITE:

Luis
http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/galleries
http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

jrdigitalart
jrdigitalart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,899
Re: Its already been done

JW PHOTO wrote:

I have been harping on Sigma to do a universal lens mount so you
could mount whatever. They would sell more cameras but less lenses
and thats where they make their $. They will never do it. Matter of
fact I doubt selling camera bodies
makes much profit at all, considering the R+D involved.

The truth is that if the EOS mount were on the SD14 they would sell a
whole lot more cameras and in the end sell a whole lot more lenses,
but it just goes against the grain for a camera manufacture to adopt
something that is not theirs. I would like to see them adopt the
4/3's lens mount on the SD14 or newer camera. After all they are a
member of the 4/3's family! They could keep the same sensor and yet
use just about any lense, including theirs, on the camera. What a
perfect set up that would be. JohnW

I don't know what you're smoking there, John, but whatever it is, it's causing you to lose the ability to reason things out.

Sigma make a camera body without bells and whistles, something that users of the mainstream products would not use in a fit. They'd all be suffering withdrawal symptoms quicker than you could say OlyNiCanPanaPen.

-- hide signature --

Sincere regards, Jim Roelofs

The world looks better with Foveon!
Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/jrdigitalart/

JW PHOTO Veteran Member • Posts: 3,059
Re: Luis

I have the older 2 cam lenses so the danger is less expensive. I really hope you can do the modification on the SD14 and I don't know about anyone else, but I'm pulling for ya. JohnW

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JW PHOTO Veteran Member • Posts: 3,059
Re: Its already been done

jrdigitalart wrote:

JW PHOTO wrote:

I have been harping on Sigma to do a universal lens mount so you
could mount whatever. They would sell more cameras but less lenses
and thats where they make their $. They will never do it. Matter of
fact I doubt selling camera bodies
makes much profit at all, considering the R+D involved.

The truth is that if the EOS mount were on the SD14 they would sell a
whole lot more cameras and in the end sell a whole lot more lenses,
but it just goes against the grain for a camera manufacture to adopt
something that is not theirs. I would like to see them adopt the
4/3's lens mount on the SD14 or newer camera. After all they are a
member of the 4/3's family! They could keep the same sensor and yet
use just about any lense, including theirs, on the camera. What a
perfect set up that would be. JohnW

I don't know what you're smoking there, John, but whatever it is,
it's causing you to lose the ability to reason things out.

I don't smoke at all. Not even that whacky tabacky. I'm just stating what "I" believe to be a fact. I'm not saying it should or will happen. I'm just saying I know they would sell more cameras and lenses with an EOS or 4/3's mount on their bodies.

Sigma make a camera body without bells and whistles, something that
users of the mainstream products would not use in a fit. They'd all
be suffering withdrawal symptoms quicker than you could say
OlyNiCanPanaPen.

That's one of the reasons I really like the SD14 is the KISS factor. I read the manual in about 45 minutes and understood everything I read. Try that with a Oly, Canon or Nikon manual. I started my photo career about 40 years ago and find it refreshing to manual focus, spot meter and just plan drive the camera myself. Now, if I were shooting for Sports Illustrated I'd be using a Canon Eos 1D mkII or better, but I'm not and therefore the SD14 fits my style(slow and easy) very well. It just has a couple little annoying bugs, but I can work around those. Now, where did I put that darn pipe and baggie? JohnW

-- hide signature --

Sincere regards, Jim Roelofs

The world looks better with Foveon!
Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/jrdigitalart/

 JW PHOTO's gear list:JW PHOTO's gear list
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jrdigitalart
jrdigitalart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,899
Re: Its already been done

JW PHOTO wrote:

That's one of the reasons I really like the SD14 is the KISS factor.
I read the manual in about 45 minutes and understood everything I
read. Try that with a Oly, Canon or Nikon manual.

With you all the way with the above, John. We're on the same page there in fact. However, as we are apparently in the minority, what with modern day shooters expecting bells and whistles because the leading manufacturers say they need them, Sigma has a job to do.

And we can play our part by taking the time to prove these shooters wrong.

However — and I know I'm repeating myself here — The main manufacturers continue to build dSLRs without the need for aperture rings. So, as lens sales for these bodies are Sigma's main bread and butter, they are compelled to follow the herd.

-- hide signature --

Sincere regards, Jim Roelofs

The world looks better with Foveon!
Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/jrdigitalart/

-- hide signature --

Sincere regards, Jim Roelofs

The world looks better with Foveon!
Please visit my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/jrdigitalart/

LUIS A GUEVARA
OP LUIS A GUEVARA Regular Member • Posts: 413
Re: Luis

JW PHOTO wrote:

I have the older 2 cam lenses so the danger is less expensive. I
really hope you can do the modification on the SD14 and I don't know
about anyone else, but I'm pulling for ya. JohnW

-- hide signature --

Great! In the mean time I had received my Sd14 and began to examine it . The first item in order of priority was the usability of the camera with the Dust Filter removed . Here is what i found;

I was hoping that the Hot Mirror filters that I had for the SD9 would work, but clearly they do not. We need to find a filter that works as well as the internal one as it seems inevitable that the dust filter would have to go in order to use the Summiluxes and Ultra wide angles.

It would help me a lot if Everybody that is interested on this modification could start experimenting with the different Infrared cutoff filters available until we find one that is equivalent to the internal one. This weekend I intend to remove the camera mount to evaluate the difficulties on the mechanical side of the conversion.

Luis

http://photo.net/photos/Luis-A-Guevara
http://www.pbase.com/luis_a_guevara/galleries
http://luis-a-guevara.deviantart.com/

http://www.summiluxart.com/
http://www.sigmacumlaude.com/

luis@sigmacumlaude.com

Francesco Gianni Senior Member • Posts: 1,044
Re: Luis

Have you managed to try a 489?
--
Ian Gianni

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