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Old June 15th, 2005, 11:37 PM   #1
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My super-cheap 35mm adapter

I finished my 35mm adapter made out of parts from home depot as well as some used (and ebay-purchased) optics. Anyhow, if anyone wants to use this as a starting point for their adapter, or for reference, feel free to:

http://home.comcast.net/~wauhkies/adapter/index.html

If anyone has any recommendations (places to buy cheap high quality achromatic diopters) I'd really really appreciate it.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:34 AM   #2
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No condenser?!

I'm really surprised you get no vignetting without a condenser. I didn't think that was possible. Maybe that's down to the specific 35mm lens. Unless you've had to narrow the field of view to eliminate it? Having a narrow field of view means you may as well zoom in without an adapter IMO.

I'm still working on my adapter (with Optosigma GG), I was using a B&W NL10 Macro, $32, it allowed me to focus on the GG without zooming, but it introduces colour aberration. So I got rid of it, moved the camcorder back a little and zoomed in a little (GS400). I don't think I'll use a macro, that's presumably where your image problems are coming from.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #3
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For the most part, I applaud your efforts. It reminds me a lot of the tutorial I did before finally moving to an all metal encasing for my adapter. However, I disagree with you where you say:

Quote:
The idea is to get the thinnest layer possible that's somewhat uniform (it does NOT have to be even close to perfect to look good)...

...even major differences in thickness don't show up very noticeably once the adapter is put together.
These read like the words of someone who's done little testing with their adapter. Even the most minor anomalies in the surface of the wax will make themselves evident, especially if you slowly crawl a shot across a bright object, such as a grey wall, or clouds in the sky.

With thicker wax, this isn't so much an issue -- but at a depth of one layer of foil or Scotch tape, minor oscillations in the wax's surface due to: varrying thickness in the wax as it settles on an uneven surface; varrying layers of thickness due to stratification from uneven temperature across the surface; or minor smudges of moisture on the surface of the glass, all create optical problems.

Perhaps your method of not including a cover glass helps eschew these issues, but there's no way to tell as you haven't included any framegrabs or footage (or did I miss the link?)

At any rate, glad to have more people sharing their work -- keep it up!

- jim
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Old June 16th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #4
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Great site Matthew.
I someone needs to know were to put a condenser(s), see the top image (very similar setup): http://doublecam.250free.com/wax/wax.html

EDIT: I just read Jim's reply, which is very right. You'd loose to much light if you use a thick layer that doesn't show un-even wax thickness, but I don't want to cross post with the wax thread.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #5
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Framegrabs? Here you go:

http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/1.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/2.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/3.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/4.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/5.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/6.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/7.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~pfhorwitz/9.jpg

Only one of the pieces of static grain is in the wax. The rest is just dust that's collected on the UV filter and needs to be brushed off.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #6
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Jim, I admit I'm a beginner at this stuff. I think you're right, but I just didn't want people to be scared because of minor anomolies in the wax since they show up much less on the frame grabs than they do when viewed with the naked eye. You're right, though, but by not covering the wax with more glass, the issue is not so bad. You can tell by looking at the screen grabs how small an issue it really is.

I am using a condenser. I just don't put it on until the end. Scroll down to about 3/4 of the way through my "guide" and you'll see an $18 +10 macro from ebay.

http://home.comcast.net/~wauhkies/adapter/17.jpg

That's my whole set up. And, yes, I do get some softness, vignetting, and chromatic abberation on the edges because the condenser is cheap. If anyone knows where to get a better one, please fill me in. I hope the sample photos speak for themselves, though, because I think this is a pretty good design for well under $100 dollars.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #7
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Nice... very nice... very good shots... I like them...
Like to scream "help, wax is all around" lol
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Old June 16th, 2005, 01:07 PM   #8
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Very good images. I hope pic 4 isn't a pic of your adapter...
I would suggest to discuss technical issues on the microcrystalline wax thread. It's just my opinion, but I think it's best for future readers.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quick question...I believe there is a typo in your tutorial...and its actually a pretty significant one because I'm sorta lost as to what you were refering to.

Quote:
Then I pour maybe 1/8-1/4 or a teaspoon of wax onto the top of a clean (and I mean spotless?dust will give you major static grain and weird artifacts in the wax).
A clean what? You don't pour it directly onto the filter do you? I guess that is where I am confused...do you pour your wax or do you dip it like oscar does? It maybe doesn't matter, but I'd just like to be sure.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #10
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Matthew, good job on the pics. I think with a better lens you will see even better results, but excellent job for a first time out - much better than I have ever gotten!!
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Old June 16th, 2005, 09:59 PM   #11
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Matthew, I got mine from a slide projector and it is a pretty darn good one. Get them for about $10.00 at a charity shop, take out the lens and there you have it. Getting a condenser is a little harder - I think Oscar might know some places.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #12
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Yup! I pour melted wax directly onto the UV filter. That's why the UV filter must be clean. Otherwise, the dust in it will show up on the final image and create uneven areas on the filter. Sounds like a weird method, but since you melt it later to get more even dispersion, it works pretty well.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #13
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Have you done any tests with just the macro on the camera? Without the 35mm lens attachment on it? To see if the edges are unfocused.

I tested my 10+ macro just now and the edges are in focus as much as the center. As long as I have my camera set to infinity.

Give the barebones a try first then see if it is your adapter that needs another part of if it really is the macro.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 09:01 PM   #14
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What do you mean by setting the camera to infinity? I have a macro +10 and the edges are blurry, there is not getting around that. What have you done to your DV camera to fix that? - I am very interested!
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Old June 25th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #15
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Sorry I've been unresponsive for so long. Being busy and lazy all at once is a dangerous combination!

Anyhow, I haven't made much progress with my adapter, but I am ordering some new parts soon. My +10 macro lens has MAJOR distortion when zoomed in and the edges are messed up pretty badly...both distorted and out of focus (and full of chromatic abberation.) At different zoom settings, the issue is not pronounced. I'm going to try messing around with focusing on a 36X24mm (35mm) and 24X18mm (super 35) sized areas with different macro lenses (the +10 and the +4 specifically) to see if I can remedy this and I'll update this thread when I do. I'm also ordering a bunch of 52mm and 46mm UV filters to try and make a superior focusing screen...basically a "bosscreen" using Oscar's method mentioned here. (I've found 52mm filters for $2.99 and 46mm filters for under two dollars, and I figure these will stack well on top of each other, although they won't allow for a full 36X24mm focusing area as would be idea.) Getting microcrystalline wax is the next step. Maybe I'll just order a guerilla35, though. The images that thing produces are very nice from what I've seen, but I hear it weighs nearly two pounds. What's that all about?

Also, I've found that Canon EOS rear lens caps make GREAT camera mounts, except that they don't hold the lens on that firmly, but they fit over the PVC pipe amazingly well. Furthermore, with vaseline, I'm able to get next to no light loss, although it produces a hideous image. Since vaseline isn't too far from wax, though, I bet a thin wax sheet could do really well.

To be honest, I think a good achromatic diopter and a carefully calculated distance between focusing screen and macro lens is what is needed for high quality results. The G35 demos have the exact same edge problems as we've been having, but now they are gone. I bet they're using high quality components (century optics achromats, custom made "bosscreen," I can only assume) but--all the same--those issues have been aparent and have been solved, so I bet we can solve them, too. Hopefully the answer isn't "buy a better macro lens" but it could be. Anyhow, I'll keep you all posted.

I'm going to look into the "hama telescreen" as well. It's a telecine device that seems to be very close to what we're looking for.
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