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Thread: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    I thought some more about adapting LF lenses to Nikon, have decided to give it a try.
    Suggested approach for experimenting:
    - Get a cheap F-mount bellows, they are as low as $25.
    - make a hole in a Nikon body cap to fit a Copal 0 shutter.
    - Mount lens.

    I have two lenses that should work (small rear element): Apo-Symmar 100/5.6 and Digitar 120/5.6.
    I want to do this partly to see how well these lenses would perform on a D810 sensor, and also for the prospect of using lenses with apochromatic performance.

    Later steps:
    - I also have a 47 SAXL and a 65 SA - these are wideangle lenses so the rear element is too large to fit into the F mount diameter. Possibly the front standard can be modified, and the bellows replaced with a bag bellows to handle wideangle lenses.
    - There's really no need for the Copal shutter so a plain lens barrel could replace the shutter, if I can find one.
    - Maybe there's a good way to mount my Nikon onto my Ebony SW23 baby view camera. Also a possible way forward - I just need a 6x9cm rear plate with a Nikon lens bayonet.
    If this all works out then a possibility is to get a Nikon PB-4 bellows to get front shift and swing movements. But that's much more of an investment.

    Any thoughts?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    I wonder if you will get those lenses to focus because of the approx. 47mm flange to focal plane distance? I tried getting my 65mm, 90mm and 150mm but the rear lens element would bump up against the flange. Once I got the 210mm on there it was simple although I did it a different way and not at all what you are trying to do. Curious to see if it works. Joe

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    Quote Originally Posted by jsf View Post
    I wonder if you will get those lenses to focus because of the approx. 47mm flange to focal plane distance? I tried getting my 65mm, 90mm and 150mm but the rear lens element would bump up against the flange. Once I got the 210mm on there it was simple although I did it a different way and not at all what you are trying to do. Curious to see if it works. Joe
    Right - Bellows go to maybe 40 mm minimum I think, so my 100 and 120 should be fine. These are not wide-angle lenses so rear element is small, or in the case of the Apo-Symmar 100, tiny.

    Another option is a rear 6x9 board with a Nikon bayonet for my SW23. that setup would have even longer minimum extension though - camera is 47 mm, adapter maybe 40 mm (to help camera protrusions clear rear standard), and minimum extension on my SW23 is 46 mm. A recessed board would shave off 10 mm but sum is still 123 mm.

    I ordered a $25 bellows and a 5-pack of Nikon body caps for $7. Dremel is standing by.
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    I'm thinking go Cambo X-Pro or similar with the Nikon lenses or perhaps Actus with a mirrorless camera and LF lenses?
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I'm thinking go Cambo X-Pro or similar with the Nikon lenses or perhaps Actus with a mirrorless camera and LF lenses?
    Well, thinking is one thing, making the investment is another this is just an entertaining experiment to reach next decision point.
    But an A7r is certainly much more suitable due to the extremely short flange focal distance and great sensor.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    This could be an interesting path as well - Cambo bag bellows with a Nikon bayonet at the back:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...lows_with.html
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    If you already have a body like the d800 and I know you have the LF lenses, the Cambo Ultima system looks like a winner. $5299 is a bit much on the one hand but way cheaper than any tech camera. I had bought a Fotodiox adapter for my Cambo to mount my Nikon body onto it. It works fine at 210mm and longer. A careful stitch would give me a digital file from hell but gosh the quality was unreal. But what I wanted was wide angle images. The Ultima might just do the trick. But I would think that the Sony with its shorter flange to sensor distance is probably the way to go. But at that cost you could buy a Pentax 645Z and have 51MP and a convenient system. Keep us apprised with the experiment. Joe

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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    I used to use a 47 XL with my Hasselblad CFV39 back on Technikardan 23. I had to use a recessed board and wide angle bellows but it worked quite well. I used it quite often for architectural assignments and it performs very well on digital. I also used a 58 XL and 35 Apo Sinaron (Rodenstock) and they performed equally as well. The 47 and 35 were my main lenses for interiors.

    I made quite a number of very large prints for clients and had no complaint about how they looked. When you can shoot a 12 story building and see every brick in it with clarity, it's a sharp lens.

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    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    I use a Sinar P2 as a "go-between" for the Rodenstock lenses on my Oly and Pana 4/3 cameras, with this (Nikon F-mount) adapter : http://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Moveable...gAAOSwFAZTuk8k

    Works very well !

    CU
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    Lars,

    Look up the Nikon PB4 bellows unit -- it has a front standard with swings and tilts

    I also had a Sinar P adapted to my Canon IDs years back; rear standard had an RRS clamp on it, bag bellows with camera flange, front standard accepted whatever lens. Worked great for flat stitching, and IIRC, you could hit infinity with the 80 XXL.
    Jack
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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    Yep - I've been eyeing a PB-4. For me the utility of shift/swing using long lenses would be marginal though. I have also looked at old Hasselblad bellows, as they are larger and can accommodate larger lenses.

    Stepping back a bit to look at what's feasible:

    - Shortest LF lens to use with a Nikon F body is probably the 80 SSXL. Its rear element has a 40.5 mm thread so it's comparatively tiny. Wide angle lenses like the 65 SAXL has a large rear element which makes it incompatible with a DSLR mirror box.
    - An F-bayonet bellows has a minimum focus draw of about 30 mm, add the 46 mm F mount distance and the shortest lens you can focus at infinity is about 75-80 mm. An F-bayonet bellows also limits the size of the rear element to just a few lenses.
    - Using a Nikon F body adapter board (6x9, 4x5 or other), on a view camera adds about 20-30 mm extension as there has to be room for the camera grip and prism/flash housing.

    So in summary
    - Short lenses < 80XL: No way.
    - Small lenses 80-120 mm: mount lens in an F lens bayonet, use on F bellows.
    - Longer/larger lenses: Use an adapter board on a view camera.

    I have made some progress on adding an F bayonet to an LF lens - pics to follow.

    Obviously with an unlimited budget there are lots of options including getting an A7r or various tech cameras, but unlimited budget is really missing the point of this exercise.

    So far I'm out $34.80 - not $348, $3,480, or $34,800 - and I have a system that works. It's awkward and flimsy and I hate using it and there is room for massive improvements, but it actually does work.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Adapting large format lenses to Nikon mount

    Measuring up my Ebony SW23, using a recessed lens board I can get the minimum focusing down to 36 mm. Adding the 46 mm of the Nikon body and a Nikon adapter with about 15 mm clearance for the body to clear the back of the camera adds up to 97 mm. So it might be possible to use the 100 Apo-Symmar on the SW23 - the 120 and any longer lens should not be a problem.
    Those Nikon F to 6x9 cm adapters are about $90 shipped from China.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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