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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:54 PM   #1
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DIY Nikon SLR lens Adapter?

Hey all,

So in my myriads of searches, I have come across 2 kinds of XL to Nikon SLR adapters. There is the Letus XL, way above me budget, close to a thousand; and another kind sold from Videogear.com in the UK for £185, which doesn't translate nicely into USD ($380, YIKES! For a round piece of METAL!).

So, seeing as it seems like there's no inexpensive kind out there (like under $200, or even $150), is there a way to build one myself, stick a Nikon lens on, and just pop into the XL1s body itself? Or are there other adapters out there that I don't know of? Oh, are there any Nikon adapters without the 7.2 magnification thing?

-Alex

***EDIT***
Just realized if I made one myself, the lens and body probably wouldn't electronically communicate, soo nevermind. I'd have a 'Check the Lens' warning all the time... don't want that...

So, are there any other lens adapters I don't know of?
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 11:37 PM   #2
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I'm using a non-electronic adaptor I made myself for < $10 :) It consists of the body cap from the XL1 and a back cap from a nikon lens. cut the cap off and JBWeld the two pieces together so the back of the lens is straight (lots of twiddling with hack saw and a file) and the right distance to the chip (focus to infinity on the lens, then hold the lens against a wall the distance that it becomes clear, measure and make the adapter hold the lens that far from the ccd.

This works, the camera will tell you there's no lens, it's stupid so ignore it...you'll want really wide lenses to be useful as there's a 7.5x (?) magnification with a 1/3" chip. So my 50mm I have (just make sure the iris will stay where you set it without the electronics, or find old lenses that don't have electronics...cheaper anyway) is like a 450mm equivalent, so you'll want an 18mm or something to be able to frame something closer to you. The change in picture quality is stunning and really sold me on the fact that the glass really does matter...an old $20 used 35mm lens is hugely better than my standard super auto zoom lens that came with the camera.

Keep in mind there's nothing to keep the lens from spinning if the focus is sticky or whatever, but hey, it cost less than $10 :)
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 08:59 AM   #3
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Interesting approach Cole. Thanks for sharing. I believe there are ways to eliminate the "no lens" warning discussed in one or more of the XL1 Watchdog articles, but I forget which one.

As the the ~7.2x multiplication. This is referenced to / applies to the the field of view of the the camcorder image as compared to a 35mm film frame field of view.

The focal length of the lens remains unchanged. The camcorder's sensor is just ~7.2x smaller than the film frame, effectively "blowing up" the center of the film frame to create the full video image.

The focal length range of the XL1's standard lens is 5.5 mm to 88 mm. Thus using an 88mm focal length 35mm film lens will provide the same field of view as the XL1 standard lens at full zoom.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 12:04 PM   #4
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yes, but the 50mm lens on a 35mm camera produces a drastically different picture than the same lens on my XL1s...so the often abused 35mm equivalent is what I like to go by as all of the BTS resources use the numbers in reference to 35mm cameras, so comparing my 5.5mm to a 40mm picture from a 35mm camera doesn't click for me.

On the XL1s, the frames you'll see compare to the 35mm world as 39.6mm - 633.6mm (using the 7.2 multiplier). When I see framings I want to emulate on the lens tests in the BTS for panic room, I need to do the math to get the image to behave similarly.

While the math is absolute, the image it produces changes from a 1/3" camera to a 2/3" camera. As this is a visual process, any math that discounts the effect on the image seems wrong to me. I use this argument with DoF considerations as well (iris vs. chip size vs. telephoto). Using the 35mm equivalents gives me a lingua franca that is based on photographic history and is familiar to me.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #5
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Hi Alex, I purchased two adapters one for nikon and one for canon fd, from the same guy, the cost was 100$ each, plus 10$ for delivery.
Both are 'dumb' and not perfect but they do the job.
Interestingly they are different. The nikon adapter actually has a locking lever
to release the lens (the lens is locked), but it is a bit loose.
The canon fd adapter is plain metal. I don't have a link to his website but can fetch his email.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassi Haham View Post
Hi Alex, I purchased two adapters one for nikon and one for canon fd, from the same guy, the cost was 100$ each, plus 10$ for delivery.
Both are 'dumb' and not perfect but they do the job.
Interestingly they are different. The nikon adapter actually has a locking lever
to release the lens (the lens is locked), but it is a bit loose.
The canon fd adapter is plain metal. I don't have a link to his website but can fetch his email.
Cool! Can you message his email to me? I figure a $100 professionally made, albeit ipmerfect, adapter is probably better than anything I could make!
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