DIY diopters? Need a diopter for a Bronica ETRS...

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Dr.Pain-MD, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    Hey, everybody. I am currently borrowing a Bronica ETRS to try out from a friend who wants to sell it to me. The camera is your standard ETRS body/120 back/75mm/regular prism and everything is in great condition. However, the only problem is that the prism is missing the stock -1.5 diopter. Now, I have 20/20 vision and have been borrowing a diopter from my photo club's ETRS, but if I do decide to buy it (and I want to as I enjoyed using it so far) I will need that -1.5 diopter because I can't use it otherwise. It also seems that finding an official Bronica -1.5 diopter is pretty much a lost cause because they rarely pop up and when they do, they're expensive (as are all ETRS viewfinders, jeez!).

    I found a post here from a while ago about crafting out your own diopters out of cheap glasses, but I stopped by three dollar stores today and could only find glasses with +ive "ratings". Now I am puzzled as to how I can obtain a -1.5 lens. Anyone have any tips or ideas? I've thought about asking a store that specializes in prescription eyeglasses, but I'm not sure.
     
  2. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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  3. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    KEH is not really an option if I were to buy something so cheap as the cheapest shipping option would be almost $50. :sad: I'll keep an eye out on ebay though, but I'm not really counting on it either.
     
  4. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Well of course you'll be ordering a lens or two, bringing the total up, maybe some other stuff you been putting off?
     
  5. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Go see an optician, they have pre-ground lenses in various powers. It would have to be cut to size. Or do you know anyone who is mildly near sighted, -1.5 is around when people start getting glasses. Someones old pair may be just the ticket.
     
  6. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    Thank god that I am perfectly satisfied with everything for my only system camera (Nikon) because GAS is way too dangerous. I would order a bunch of stuff to justify the shipping, but I already have more stuff than I need and I have to pay for my university tuition and all that other junk. :laugh:
    That's what I was thinking, yeah. How expensive do you think it would be to get a prescription lens? Also, has anyone out there already tried making their own diopters?
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I made a few from +1.5 dollar store reading glasses, they work well on the F3 and other cameras I have. I used a sanding drum to sand away at the plastic lens to shape it into a small circle. Masking tape protected the lens and was perfect for drawing the pattern on.
     
  8. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    A -1.5 dioptre lens is nothing very special... many opticians would be able to provide a blank which cut be cut to size, although I'm sure they'll want paying for the job. But surely an optician must scrap lots of lenses? I'd talk nicely to your local optician.

    Being a minus lens, it is of course concave rather than convex, the sort of thing used to correct short sight. Reading glasses do the opposite, they correct for long site (or at least the inability to focus close) so are of no use.

    I've just searched for 'concave lens' on eBay and got lots of hits for all sorts of lenses... something may well suit your needs.
     
  9. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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  10. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Check with Koh's Camera, too. They could have a used one. They have only charged me actual shipping for the small items I have bought from them-for instance, a padded envelope New York to California cost two dollars a couple of years ago.

    www.kohscamera.com

    You're going to have to start out with a diopter of some strength or other, so you will have the frame. As you know, the standard prism has a rectangular frame which is held in by a screw, not a round screw-in type like some other ETR-series prisms.
     
  11. Dr.Pain-MD

    Dr.Pain-MD Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, everybody! I developed my first roll of Tri-X from this badboy today and they look great, although several shots are blurry as I'm not used to such a heavy beast after being accustomed to my super light Rolleicord. :laugh: I'm going to go to the optometrist store/place tomorrow and inquire about a corrective lens and then I'll also see if I can give Koh's Camera a call sometime. I'll let everyone know if I manage to get a corrective lens.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Sometimes a diopter from another manufacturer can be adapted. In this case I got a Contax branded negative diopter lens that matches my perscription for a few dollars on e-bay. I attached it to the back of a Rollieflex with some silicone glue. It could be removed if I so desired.

    In another case I found that the Nikon round diopters screw right into the back of the BESSA R camera viewfinder (note: the Nikon diopters are purposely marked 'wrong', see Nikon website for details).

    [​IMG]