Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Big Boys Go Modern

As a frequent reader of my blog, you might have noticed that I am into trying/doing the unusual.

Here's my trick to adapt the mirror-less camera with the worst reputation ever (not justified in my mind), the Canon EOS-M to my Plaubel PECO Supra large format view camera.

Before going into any details, let's have a look why anyone would want to do that...
Large format cameras can provide a unique look, with all the possibilities of raise/fall, shift and tilt in many direction.
Today, when you are lucky, large format cameras come really cheap. So do their lenses, in particular when the shutter is not functioning properly anymore.
Here's the good thing, when using a modern digital back, be it a DSLR or a mirror-less camera, the shutter is in the camera, in front of the sensor. (Well in most cases at least, known exception: Pentax Q). So, we don't need a functioning shutter for the following project: Add a digital camera body to a large format camera.

For my approach, this is what you need:

A lens board for a Copal #1 shutter
Copal #1 lens board

M42 macro rings, 1 short, 1 long
M42 macro rings
Adpaters for T2/EOS and EOS/EOS-M
Canon adapters

The short M42 ring mount to the inside of the camera (see photo below), while the longer ring counter-screws on the outside. 

In the recessed lens plate

Camera attached

Front side view
Here's the catch: M42 and T2 are not exactly the same threads. Don't apply any force! Your T2 adapter will be destroyed.
A regular M42/EOS adapter is too short to clear the camera from the recessed lens board.
Here are 3 options:
  1. get another M42 macro-ring
  2. get a non-recessed Copal #1 lens board
  3. fabricate a Copal #1 lens board
It might be easiest to actually make Copal #1 board from a sheet of aluminum...
For now, the setup works just fine, although I do prefer using large format film with my large format cameras.

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