New cameras learning old lens tricks

[Michael H] tipped us off about this guide to using view camera lens parts with DSLR cameras and lenses. We weren’t familiar with the term ‘view camera’ but we certainly recognize the accordion-like bellows that define that type of camera. The idea is that modern cameras with their fixed lenses miss out on some types of shots. Why not work out a way to get the best from both old and new?

The concept behind the view camera is that there are two plates connected by the bellows. One plate holds the film and shutter, the other holds the lens. The two can be adjusted for focal length but can also be set at an angle to each other. This modern adaptation uses an adjustable frame to hold the two plates in position. Custom connectors were made by attaching lens rings to the plates. It’s pretty much the same connection technique as we’ve seen when trying to mate cameras with lenses from a different maker.

Behold, the Oomphalapompatronium!

Oomphalapompatronium

For over 25 years, [Len Solomon] has been performing a one-man variety show that features crazy-looking, hand-made musical instruments that operate on air. Some of his more famous instruments include a callioforte he constructed, as well as his Majestic Bellowphone, both powered by some form of bellows, of course.

His most recent musical creation is something [Len] likes to call the “Oomphalopompatronium” (try saying that five times fast). The bellows-driven Willy Wonka-esque organ looks to be built from just about anything and everything he could get his hands on. We spied a few plastic and glass bottles, plenty of PVC pipe, and a few tin cans before we stopped looking and just listened.

At first glance you might think that the Oomphalopompatronium will produce some cacophonous excuse for music, but once [Len] stepped up to the keyboard we were pleasantly surprised. The sound is that of a small scale Oompah band, much like the name implies.

We think it’s a fantastic creation – we’re just bummed that it we can’t check it out in person.

Stick around to see a video of the Oomphalopompatronium in action.

[Thanks, BoKu]

[Read more...]

Macro lens and image stacking

[Samuel Sargent] built his own lens for making stacked macro images.This project, which was completed as part of his senior thesis, utilizes a Zeiss enlarger lens. The aperture ring was broken, making it difficult to tell how much light was being let into the camera. Instead of scrapping the whole thing he turned it around, making it a macro lens when combined with a few other parts. He’s used a Nikon PB-5 belows, a PK-13 extension tube, and a body cap to provide a way to mount the lens to his camera. A hole was added to the body cap using his Dremel, and a liberal dose of epoxy putty seals all of the gaps.

After the break you can see a couple of photos that [Samuel] made of bismuth. He estimates the sharpest focal length by taking a few test shots. Next he captures a series of images, moving the bellows slightly between each shot. Finally, this set is combined using Helicon Focus image stacking software. Maybe for his graduate thesis he can build a mechanized platform to move the subject automatically.

[Read more...]

DSLR bellows-mounted lens retrofit

dslr_lens_retrofit

While digging through a pile of old camera equipment, [Jake] stumbled upon a camera that belonged to his grandfather and was curious to see what sorts of images the old lens would produce. He wasn’t interested in messing around with a film-based camera for his experiments, so he needed to find a way to mount the vintage lens on his newer Canon DSLR.

After considering several options including custom machined adapters and mounting rings built from old Canon lenses, he found a much cheaper solution. He purchased a lens adapter made to mount a particular type of lens to a modern DSLR, and then modified it to fit his lens. It worked perfectly, though he admits the resulting images are not that different than those taken with his regular lens.

Underwhelmed with the images, he decided to mount the lens on a set of bellows he picked up at the local dump. It looks pretty neat, but he has yet to get a chance to take any pictures with his new setup. Hopefully we’ll see some test shots soon.

If anyone has experience with using bellows lenses on a modern DSLR, we’re always up for seeing some sample pictures. In the meantime, check out this other DSLR/bellows hybrid project we featured a short while back.

[via BoingBoing]

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