DSLR Bellows-mounted 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]

15 thoughts on “DSLR Bellows-mounted Lens Retrofit

  1. It’s not exactly surprising that there wasn’t much difference. It’s not like looking through that lens is going to make everything sepia and old timey.

    He should have found a way to move the lenses focal length off-axis so that he could experiment with tilt-shift and other cool aspects of the Scheimpflug principle.

    Ugh, I’m turning into a cynical “should have” commenter!

  2. He should set up the bellows so the plane of the lens can be changed relative to the “film” plane. Allowing for rise/fall and shift/tilt type operations would be very intersting. real shift/tilt lenses for SLRs are hideously expensive.

  3. Sweet. I build a similar mod back in December and, like this guy, have yet to really use it. I had to do a good bit of machining though to make mine work. Just might be time to get some shots of it up..


  4. Cool looking, but post sample shots or we have to assume it’s not functional. Steampunk gear might look good with a cape and brass goggles, but that’s about it.

  5. I have Nikon gear (D70 and D300) and bought a PB-4 bellows a couple years back second hand (but still pricey). Which basicly is similar to what he is doing. With the exception of not having to modify any hardware.

    When used with an 50mm/1.8 in normal or reverse mount you can achieve very high magnification, like a 1×1,5 mm SMD LED filling your frame.

    However, you’ll loose ton’s of light and have very little DOF to work with. So don’t expect any usefull macro shots while running through the fields.

    On the other hand to make any usefull use of tilt and shift features you’ll probably need to get creative by mounting some sort of large format lens. A camera with live view will help as well to try to achieve correct focus.

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