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Old October 5th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #1
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History of 35mm Adaptors...

Alright,

I'm wanting to compile an article about the history of 35mm Adapters. This is going to be a long process, Since i don't know the second thing about the history of it.

I started my search of wanting one 2 years ago, when i first read the DVDsomethingorother.com website on a make your own one with lens caps and frosted CD's...

and now i have the Redrock M2...

So what i want to know, if you guys have any information if you have anything written up, or want to write anything up i can quote and credit you... I know most of the adapters have started here... Any and all information would be awesome... or redirecting me to a credible source.... thanks !


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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #2
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What is the purpose of this article? Will we be able to host it here on the site, or are you writing it for some other publisher?

The entire history is right here on this forum -- the concept plus all of the popular sub-$2000 35mm adapter manufacturers were either born here or have some strong connection here. This forum is where it all began, so all you have to do is roll up your sleeves and start browsing old threads.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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Yes, i was planning on releasing it to this forum, and possibly seeing if anyone wanted to pick it up... but just to bring back old memories... of what they were till now


Thanks Chris!


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Old October 5th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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I started something once and threw it out or rather it was involuntarily thrown out when the computer opted for the retirement plan.

The guts of it was something along these lines :-


INTRODUCTION:

One day, the first 1/3" chip video camera went to its first home. Its owner donned the Christmas suit, dished out all the presents and then opened his own. The new video camera was birthed out of its wrapper into the consumer world. The stork did not deliver it. Fedex did.

He then turned on the camera and hosed the view up and down, back and forth across all present at the dinner, then jellied the view along the table a few times with the zoom until he got the hang of it.

The creative juices got flowing and against all entreaty to put the thing down and get on with his dinnner, he zoomed in on the turkey and then slowly tilted up and dwelt upon granny far too long, indelicately hoping against all hope for the clack and the dropping of her top false teeth.

He came crashing to earth when she admonished him severely and told him to mind his manners.

The novelty eventually wore off when he discovered there was an accummulation of once-ever viewed family tapes and then the germ of an idea flashed across some quiescent synapse in his head.

He would try to make a movie. He discovered the camera's ability to see from here to eternity, quite handy for quick point and shoot but the view did not quite cut it for him anymore and he knew not why.

So he put down the camera and raided the kids video collection and studied.

One day the feeling of being so stupid smote him with the subtle impact of an overswung baseball bat upon the noggin. "It is all in the eyes." he said. Then he pondered the practicality and economics of running two cameras side-by-side and somehow reconciling the combined image.

His first experiment with two TV sets, side-by-side and his eyes deparralaxed by the simple device of focussing upon his close-held finger first yielded little except strange and worried looks from his youngest two children.

They fretted, went and called mom across. "Why is daddy doing that?" "Why is he cross-eyed?" Mom, replied gently, "Come away sweethearts. He means no harm. He just gets like that when he is obsessed."

The oldest wandered in upon the scene and always wanting to be helpful enquired, "Do you want me to bring the other TV down?" whereupon mom crossly responded, "Go to your room right now and stay there until you have learned not to mock your father."

It was right then and there as he pondered his inability to see his extended finger and the televisions in sharp focus that he hit upon the eureka moment. Selective focus.

An almost spiritual transformation overwhelmed him and he almost wept as he struck his brow in revelation. The fraught gathering behind him flinched to the sound of the smack like startled rabbits.


The search for a new holy grail began, for soon was discovered the inability of a 1/3" video camera to selectively focus without being zoomed right in and positioned about half a block away from the subject.


END OF INTRODUCTION:


The story subsequently :-

Early methods to emulate film look.

Film style lighting techniques.
Careful selection of camera positions and zoom settings to emulate film camera perspectives.
Promist filters.
Special filters from Tiffen for video.
Large diffusion screens erected between actors and background.
Early unsuccessful home-build attempts to view through "film lenses".
The P+S Technik Mini35.

Then came that memorable post on dvinfo.net by Agus Casse, believed to be one of the most heavily subscribed threads in history, certainly on dvinfo.net.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/alternati...m-adapter.html

Last edited by Bob Hart; October 5th, 2008 at 10:48 PM. Reason: error
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Old October 6th, 2008, 02:49 AM   #5
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What may not be widely known is that prior to the Mini35, P+S had been making video director's finders with PL mounts that complemented the usual optical viewfinder with a small 1-chip camcorder solely for the purpose of recording rehearsal shots. It was a genius idea to conceptualize that the same technology could be used with a more formidable camera. There have been many creative, bold and affordable re-interpretations of that concept that have followed but for me, the original was the hall of fame version.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #6
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Maybe you can contact some of those companies themselves?
Maybe they will be glad to tell you how it all started?
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Old October 6th, 2008, 03:46 AM   #7
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Charles.


Thank you for pointing out my omission. The meld of video tap (split) and director's viewfinder, the very original in modern times.

I read on one of the cinematographer sites that P+S was not the first. Apparently back in the days of tube cameras (valves in my native speak) there was a groundglass based 35mm adaptor made (in the late fifities or thereabouts).

The performance evidently fell shot of what was then desirable and the product apparently did not progress to commercial release.

P+S are the ones who progressed the principle to the point of turnkey utility.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 08:46 AM   #8
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Thanks guy, for the lovely story... lol

i mearly want to state the facts that erupted on this forum 4-5 years ago... until now, i don't want to mention alot about the way higher end, but how DIY-er did it


and by no means do i want this to be just my project, but a mass of all, i just want to put it on paper...

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Old October 6th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zac Crosby View Post
...until now, i don't want to mention alot about the way higher end, but how DIY-er did it
The higher-end was the inspiration for the DIY-ers; if you
leave out P+S Technik then you're not telling the full story.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #10
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One of the things that you'll find interesting is a patent analysis once you've got a few names and dates under your belt. This is something I don't discuss online as a rule, however we've fired up a few ourselves, requiring a very thorough legal analysis of the landscape. Aside from the information provided in your other forum posting, feel free to call me during the day Zac :-)

Cheers,
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:18 AM   #11
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My post above of course is a fiction.

However, if you go by the thread and the different enquiries and contributions of information here and there, there were a lot of people hacking away in back sheds, home workshops and kitchen tables even. Some of this activity may have bordered on the obsessive and possibly even stressed some relationships.

I think it is safe to say that those who built these things learned a whole lot more about the film-making process than just making their own adaptors.

As Chris correctly points out, it all started with P+S Technik's Mini35 setting the benchmark. It was a little too expensive for us of the humble unmoneyed masses.

Then there was Movietube, which is not to be forgotten because the parallel development of fixed groundglass designs sprang from that. Alain Dulon?? put the first fixed groundglass home made together if my feeble memory serves correctly. It became kown as the ALDU35.

A few of us even tried moving wax groundglasses with mixed outcomes.


That's my lot.

Last edited by Bob Hart; October 6th, 2008 at 11:24 AM. Reason: I included some URLs which appear to have become extinct.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #12
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Alain Dumais. That thread is http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/alternati...ic-aldu35.html.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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Chris.


Thanks again for correcting my error for which I can make no excuse except for incipient dementia. This also means my entry in the Sticky above is also incorrect.

My apologies to Alain. I mean no disrespect. ( On reflection, I think the name DULAY might be that of a visiting actor from France who mained here alongside our John Waters in the popular TV series "Rush" in the early seventies or thereabouts.)
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Old October 7th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #14
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Actually now that I think of it, Zac you should offer Bob a jar of Vegemite, crackers, and ask him for the history. No one on the planet has posted more material on the 35mm adapter genre than Bob Hart :-)

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Old October 8th, 2008, 12:05 AM   #15
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In fairness, all I can say is that on very many occasions, I repeated or paraphrased other past contributions which were buried well back in the original thread.

Brett Erskine - related to corrective optics like condensers and Jim Lafferty - for wax and synthetic groundglass experiments come to mind.


FOOTNOTE: A random subsequent thought.

Because so many people have become enthuised and revisited the wheel and re-examined some of the dead-ends, small things that might have been missed or abandoned have seen the light of day. Without the competitive derivates of experiments and re-engineerings that went on here and became commercial, P+S Technik and Movietube pretty much had the game to themselves.

I am imagining that the emerging competition, initially regarded as falling short of the benchmark standard, began closing the gap fast and offering some custom alternatives.

Movietube subseqently offered a revised flip fixed small-camera GG adaptor which superficially resembled the Letus flip arrangement.

I furthur imagine that competition re-invigorated the R&D team at P+S ( probably including the man there they fondly call "The Doctor" ). New products and improvements appeared, namely improved leak resistant bearing lube, new Nikon positive lock mount, improved groundglass and the Mini35 "compact" designed for reduced light loss for the JVC GY-HD250 and other cams which offer in-camera flip function.

Last edited by Bob Hart; October 8th, 2008 at 12:58 AM. Reason: added text
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