sony vx-2000e/canon ae-1: a dirty tryst
For those who can't be bothered reading my drunken ramblings: About 8 months ago I decided to try and mount an 'old-school' lens system from a classic Canon 35mm still camera on a fairly swank Sony digital video camera. It worked.
'twas the night before the night before christmas, and josh had too much rum.
he wanted to test a hypothesis:
that the sony vx2000 has an easily replaceable lens,
contrary to what the manual says.
after about 3 hours of careful screwdrivering, my lens accidentally fell off in a kinda un-accidental way....
oh yeah, and i was kinda suprised when it still worked.
first test movie:
and here is the interesting part
the ccd fits!
it's a sonon!
the next step was to go visit mike at eyebeam, who kindly let me use their workspace and laser cutter. I used this to make some templates from mat board, then plexiglass.
using laser cutter:
testing various shapes as lens mounts:
this is what my workbench looked like... just before I used the hacksaw to void my warranty by cutting up the old lens internals to make the backing of the FD mount.
so, after i made the matching plate (the white plastic thing) i attached the FD mount to the hacked CCD mount. i also hacksawed off the front part of the metal side of the case (where the original lens used to be), this is so i can actually reach the mount point so i can easily change lenses and reach the aperture ring.
here is the view of the assembly from the front.
and the grand finale - fully assembled. you can see here i threw in another white plate to increase the lens-ccd distance as focussing was a bit tricky as above. this was the hardest part -- it really should be millimeter accurate - but its not. oh well, it seems to do the trick!
today i just opened up the ccd mount, and made some shim's from aluminium sheet. the lens-ccd distance is now within 1mm -- perfect. now it is time to buy some fancy lenses. (i have my eye on a full frame 8mm....)
Ok. I think I need to make a relay system. There is a slight problem - 35mm lenses are for 35mm film, whereas my CCD is much smaller. Hence, the image formed at the focal plane is too large. I once studied optics! I can fix this! Here is my initial sketch of how it should work:
of course, this will make the image upside-down, but i think i can tweak the LCD display to always display upside down. It already flips the image when you turn it around, so I just have to find the sensor that does that, and reverse the sense. Note, I'm also planning to switch to Nikon F-mounts as they seem to be easier to find (at least at my local camera store). As for the prime, I'm looking at the Peleng 8mm- it's pretty cheap and looks like it will do the trick.
yep. that was easy - image is now the right side up in the viewfinder (but left and right are now swapped... lesser of two evils?)
ok, after a trip to B&H (and some very strange looks) I got all the bits that I needed. But they forgot to put them in my bag, so I'm going to have to go back and get the tube. As you can see below, the system lets in a little too much light on the sides :P.
After I pick up an extension tube & make a coupler, I'll have to make an extension arm from the tripod to support the extra weight. And Then, I'll be rocking a truly tricked out camera.
ok. I couldn't find a full set of Nikon K rings, or a BR-3. So I made the missing K rings by buying 7 split lens filters, popping out the glass to make an empty tube. I made a BR-3 by taking apart a K1 and glueing it to a filter. Luckily the inside of the K1 has a 52mm flange that was a tight fit on a male threaded filter. Anyway, she is done. Well, done in the sense that all I need now is the prime lens. Ebay, here I come.
Update: So, I got the Peleng 8mm lens and its bloody marvelous. I ended up taking it to Australia in January, where I managed to drop it off a 4th floor balcony onto the road and under a truck. The lens now has a hairline crack in the prime glass, but generally works OK.
Below is a quick movie I edited that chronicles building the camera and the patience of my sweet one whilst putting up with me :)
Some useful links:
Mounting 8mm on Nikon Digitals
Camera mounts & registers
And a big thankyou to the people in the second hand department at B&H camera who put up with me asking for rare parts to be used for bizzare purposes.