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Thread: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

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    Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    I know that Andrew Nemeth once had a Nikon film body mount converted into Leica R, but is there any other solution like that available? I know that the Leica R and Nikon R flange to film distance is within 1mm, so most adapters are not possible, but has anyone converted any lens mounts or looked at the cost of converting a Nikon body to take R lenses? I am curious because I have several excellent R lenses, but I am getting more dubious about an R10, as much as I might like one. I know canon is easier, but I have never been the biggest fan of their digital bodies. Now with Nikon doing full frame, I am getting more interested. Anyway, the possibility of a lens conversion might be better as that way you could still use Nikon or Zeiss lenses on the body.

    Well, if anyone has any ideas or information, I would like to hear them.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Stuart, maybe Sony would be an alternative adapter solution, I dunno ... ??
    Some Flange Distances
    http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~wes...-register.html
    Leica 47 mm
    Nikon 46.5 mm (too close to Leica)
    Sony (Minolta) 44.6 mm
    Canon 44 mm
    But then again there's also the diameters of the camera mount and the lenses ...
    Just a thought.
    Best, Steen

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Thanks Steen,

    I think I would probably go for Canon over Sony...I am mostly interested in full-frame solutions. I probably will not do anything until after Photokina. That way I will know whether Leica has decided to do an R10 or not. I was just curious to see if anyone here had ripped the mount out of the D3 and made a Frankenstein's monster of a camera -- Nikon body, R lenses.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    If someone were willing to do it, and had the skills, I would subsidize the camera, and of course, I wanmt it back, with the R mount!

    THEN you can can sell to everyone else!

    Any takers?

    I have been looking at D3 vs 1DsIII and the Nikon/Canon difference in terms of depth and life in the image is as great as Leica and everything else. I also think the Zeiss lenses on Nikon are quite impressive

    I am LOATH to put an R on a canon instead of the DMR, but the ISO and the FF would get me buying the D3 in a HEARTBEAT IF I could use Leica R on it.

    SOmehow the excess processing and/or AA filter problems are much less than Canons. in spite of the higher measured resolution.

    The D3 images just LOOK better (see the comparison on that "not to be named site" of D3 and III. ALso on LL, though the MF backwards site example in the thread are quite uneqivocal!

    Victor

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I know that Andrew Nemeth once had a Nikon film body mount converted into Leica R, but is there any other solution like that available? I know that the Leica R and Nikon R flange to film distance is within 1mm, so most adapters are not possible, but has anyone converted any lens mounts or looked at the cost of converting a Nikon body to take R lenses? I am curious because I have several excellent R lenses, but I am getting more dubious about an R10, as much as I might like one. I know canon is easier, but I have never been the biggest fan of their digital bodies. Now with Nikon doing full frame, I am getting more interested. Anyway, the possibility of a lens conversion might be better as that way you could still use Nikon or Zeiss lenses on the body.

    Well, if anyone has any ideas or information, I would like to hear them.
    Stuart and Victor, this thread with illustrations of the coming 24Mp 24x36mm Sony Alpha "900" has already been posted here earlier.
    http://masterchong.com/v2/sony-alpha...dslr-a900.html

    Now combine it with this thread about changing the R mount to A mount on R glass.
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...7889520&page=1
    If you go to the bottom of page 1 and the top of page 2 you can see how it is done.
    At least it looks like it can be done, which is quite interesting in my opinion, since the R10 may turn out to be a tad too expensive for my taste.
    Of course we will also have to wait and see what the price point of the Alpha "900" will be.
    /Steen

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    There is little chance that the Alpha mount would allow an adapter to use R lenses. That 0.6mm is a very big distance than the numbers indicate.

    The realistic option is to wait for a cheap enough Nikon FF body to appear ()
    and change its mount from F to R. Still, this would only be a stop down metering/manual focus outfit.

    Horseman digiflexes offered possibilities to use Nikon lenses with FF digital backs. These had a lot of limitations.

    No. Realistically it is better to forget one system and to change completely to another.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    I know SK Grimes will do conversions. Had a chat with Lloyd Chambers of www.diglloyd.com fame and he is thinking of converting some Leica glass to Nikon - including a 90/2 APO he acquired from RobSteve. May want to talk with him.

    Looks to be a reasonably simple job for any competent photographic machine shop - replacing the R mount with a custom F mount - or a donated Ai/S mount and spacer. That or convert a D3 to R mount - but that's an option that comes with a price - either as a 2nd body or if done to your primary body.

    You could do the conversion on any future D300 w/FF sensor - but then you'll likely be stuck with one of my pet peeves - at least one etched AF point (e.g. no clean VF option) at all times - IF they even make the camera in the first place (and give it a nice VF). Personally I have my doubts it will come to pass. Unlike Canon and how they differentiate pro vs pro-sumer, the D300 is very close to the D3 in many ways and adding the D3 sensor into a smaller D300-style body would eat away at D3 sales - while the D3 is a current production model.

    OT: I keep pondering moving down from my 1Ds2 to a 5D and putting the $$ into glass, etc - but one of the big hesitations is the #$% way Canon handled the VF - etched AF points permanently in place. Put a split/prism screen in there and it looks like a meeting of the UN taking place.
    Last edited by robmac; 2nd June 2008 at 05:08.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Few quick snaps from my converted 50/2 Summicron (first version) on D300 (check exif for other data).

    First 2 at f/2. The last at minimum focal distance at ~f/5.6. All handheld.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Vivek, you have actually already changed the mount on a Leica R lens to F mount and obviously with a very convincing result. Those captures look very nice !
    Pleeaase tell us all about it and did you illustrate the surgery ?
    /Steen

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Yes, it is a very interesting conversion. Do you have infinity focus as well? I assume the stop-down is manual...

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Will post the details in a bit. It is trivial if a proper F mount is chosen. The lens becomes unusable for R mount again. That is why I chose the 50/2 as the test case (plus there are a few more reasons, I will explain along with the pics of the hacked lens bits- I have to gather them to make the snap shots).

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Here are a few snaps of the hacked lens.

    As can be seen from the first photo, all the cam bits are gone in the hacked lens.

    The second shows how much of the rear element protrudes into the mount.
    This still clears the mirror on all the Nikon bodies I have used it on (yes, infinity focus is achieved with ease). It may vary for other R lenses.

    The 3rd shot shows the lens on a D300. As the diaphram indicates, it is changeable and allows for stopped down metering.

    The key was the F mount. After trying about a dozen different mounts (from old lenses, tubes, etc), I found the cheap Russian made Nikon F to M42 adapter does the job. This (only this) allows for a tiny bit of space for the aperture ring to move freely while covering the entire rear section of the Summicron. The aperture ring has lost the click stop ability and is stepless.

    Why version 1 Summicron?

    Well, apart from this being the cheapest R lens (this particular sample was missing its red dot, so it was a bargain! ),
    this is the only 50mm lens made for any 35mm SLR that incorporates 3 uncemented plano-convex lenses in its design. This implies a whole lot of spherical aberration. Good bokeh! Also, this version was tested to deliver a whole lot of details (>150lp/mm) than the much touted 55mm f/3.5 Micronikkor (~100lp/mm) (I have detailed references to the preceding information and if anyone is interested, I can dig it up).

    I still need to change the filter from Serie 7 to 52mm on this lens.

    It is also a superb lens for IR shooting.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    HI Vivek
    You take my breath away . . . . . . what do you do when you're bored?
    Whatever, that was fascinating . . personally? I think I'll stick to my voigtlander 58mm f1.4!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Thanks Vivek, kudos for the impressive work and creativity
    Still, it sounds like it is somewhat easier to provide the R lenses with a Sony Alpha mount (Minolta mount) according to the dpreview link mentioned in my above post # 5.
    /Steen

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Jono, You have a wonderful way with the words! Sure, there are many fast lenses. The 50/1.2 AiS is still my favorite. I was going to chip it. Bjorn Rorslett kindly offered a custom chip for it. I did not as I did not see any use for it on D200/300, etc. I also have a 75/1.5 CZJ Biotar for the F mount, a 98mm f/1 (odd and rare http://www.flickr.com/photos/vivek-iyer/403455534/ no details on that one, I am looking for another sample ) for the F mount. Different characterestics from each one.

    Steen, Perhaps the alpha body is better suited. The only down side is that one will have to buy a Sony system for that. I don't know what advantages Sony provides over a Canon.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    (...) Steen, Perhaps the alpha body is better suited. The only down side is that one will have to buy a Sony system for that. I don't know what advantages Sony provides over a Canon.
    Well, it's not a Canon

    It's just me, Vivek
    I went through four Canons, the last one being a 5D with three L lenses. I was never really happy with the results. I only got blurred images with dull colors in general and ugly reds in particular.

    So I simply ended up disliking the greasy haze of smeary softness and the laminated look of the flat and waxy Canons files. Problems I'm sure you can deal with if you are good at postprocessing. But i'm not good at postprocessing.

    So I went Nikon and found that the Nikon files had a different clarity, like looking through a cleaner windowpane, they simply had more sparkle and punch.

    Actually what I really wanted was Leica, but that's a different story. Unfortunately the R9/DMR combo was too expensive for my taste being a digital body with a life-cycle of let's say five years or so ?

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Steen, I love Canon because they are good competition to the lethargic Nikon.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Vivek, in that case I suspect you may soon get to like Sony as well
    Btw. the really interesting part about Canon and Sony is that they both make their sensors themselves.
    Just think of what will happen when they find out how to make larger sensors (say ~36x48mm) at larger numbers with a big success rate and optimized performance, and at affordable prices ...
    "Time will tell"

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    The only way to use the Leica lens on the Nikon DSLR is to convert the lens since there is no possibility to create an adapter that is 0.1 mm in thickness. However, I cannot convince myself to take my Apo 2.0/180 and make the conversion since other alternative is still available like the Canon 1Ds Mark III while I am waiting for the Leica R10 to become available.
    ALPA (MAX, STC, TC) | CAMBO (Actus DB2, WRS-AE) | CONTAX | HASSELBLAD | LEICA | DB (CFV-16, CFV-39, IQ180, IQ360, IQ3100, P45+) | Lens (Canon, Fujinon, Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Rodenstock, Schneider, Zeiss)

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    I would never adopt a Leica lens for a Nikon (and BTW no other vendor as well). I do not like half function and I think Leica lenses belong on Leica, Canon on Canon and Nikon on Nikon etc.

    I had the same bad experiences like others with the quality of Canon DSLRs and lenses. I have much, much better results with Nikon, especially the D3.

    I also liked my DMR but it was no solution with any future, so I sold it as I could get reasonable money back. I am somehow waiting for the R10 and the future AF lens lineup of Leica, but I have the feeling that this will not become any cheap solution. So wether I will invest in this I do not know. The older I get the more lazy I get and the more I want to make things simpler. Which means I am finding myself to like more and more P&S cameras of "relative high" quality, if this really exists. But there are some models which start already satisfying my needs and expectations.

    So I really think the future lies in a small FF DSLR with good zooms and reasonable pricing, wide aperture no more needed, because of great high ISO performance possible today, especially in FF DSLRs. And yes, for the one or the other situation a 1.4/85 or similar will be good, but not a general type of lens to carry around. So a great zoom for FF from 28-300 would be best for my needs - Tamron at least starting to have such things today.

    I am looking forward what Sony will bring in this range together with Carl Zeiss. I think they have significantly higher potential in the future than others. even Canon, because they manufacture their own FF sensors and they also build all electronics and camera processing FW, which Leica will never be able to do. Combine that with Zeiss lens quality (which I always put above Leica glass anyway) then you should have a pretty winning combination for a reasonable price. And enough high end niche solutions if you need so for special purpose.

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    Re: Is there any Nikon solution for Leica R lenses?

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I know SK Grimes will do conversions. Had a chat with Lloyd Chambers of www.diglloyd.com fame and he is thinking of converting some Leica glass to Nikon - including a 90/2 APO he acquired from RobSteve. May want to talk with him.

    Looks to be a reasonably simple job for any competent photographic machine shop - replacing the R mount with a custom F mount - or a donated Ai/S mount and spacer. That or convert a D3 to R mount - but that's an option that comes with a price - either as a 2nd body or if done to your primary body.
    I sent my Leica-R 90/2 APO for service and it just came back looking like new--I asked for the internal dust to be cleaned (it's gone), optics verified, etc, and it just sparkles. Gorgeous! Price was reasonable at $320, given that it actually had to go back onto the production line in Germany (APO lenses require this).

    Now I have to decide whether to let S.K. Grimes have a go at it to irrevocably convert to Nikon F mount (about $450). The benefit of converting to Nikon mount is that I can use it on both Canon and Nikon; it's a bummer being restricted to Canon, since I really prefer the look of the D3 images vs the Canon 1DsM3. On the flip side, I can already use it on Canon with an adapter for both the 1DsM3 and my 5D-IR. And already the Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar offers gorgeous images, though it’s not APO; the Leica 90/2 APO behavior offers striking results with out-of-focus lights and blobs that simply isn't there with any non-APO lens I have. (see my review).

    Bottom line for me is how lenses draw, and the 90/2 offers unique properties. Part of it is the unknown risk factor: can even the best conversion avoid any misalignment isuses? S.K. Grimes has a good reputation, so maybe the risk is low, but that concern lingers for me.

    So I suppose I will vacillate for a while, then decide...

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