Putting an SLR lens in a shutter?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Emil, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Emil

    Emil Member

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    For a long time I have been looking for a way to duplicate on 35mm film what I can do with digital: To shoot with an ultrawide lens with flash at high speeds. This has been very useful for action photography, in a sort of "skate video" style.

    With film, this would require the use of a leaf shutter. I have never seen a camera with a focal plane shutter that could sync with flash beyond 1/250th s.

    And then on the other hand I have never seen a leaf shutter lens that was any wider than 28mm.

    I know that the situation is slighty better if I move into medium or large format, but for this application that would bring with it too many new problems and inconveniences.

    So my thoughts keep returning to the idea of procuring a large format leaf shutter and a 20-24mm slr lens and mating the two in some obscene way, likely including some hacksawing and some super-glueing.

    So two questions:
    1) Is it feasible? Or is there a reason no manufacturer has done this?
    2) Is there not an other way to get [ultrawide] + [high sync speed]?

    All input is appreciated. Emil
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Usually the reason to use high speed sync is to balance flash with daylight. The alternative to high speed sync (i.e., reducing the ambient exposure) is to use a more powerful flash or multiple flash units (i.e., increasing the flash exposure) with the maximum sync speed you have. Would that work for you?
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The Canon 1D synchs at 1/500. They are as cheap as dirt these days too.

    Getting an ultra wide AOV is easier with film than with digital, so I don't understand what you are saying.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    A junk lens would be easy to come by. But if, say, a Packard pneumatic shutter were to be had for a cheap price, I would gouge my eyes out for a crack at it without it being butchered. No disdain, just want one. That's all. (These experimentalists . . .) ;p
     
  5. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    There is another way you could do this: Get a camera like an old Nikon F, which can sync with FP-class flashbulbs at up to 1/1000th of a second. This way you wouldn't need to modify any lenses. You'd also need a flashgun such as Nikon's BC-7. Some months ago Cress Photo was posted here on APUG as a source of flashbulbs, they probably have the right kind of bulb.
     
  6. Emil

    Emil Member

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    As is the Nikon D40 I have been using for this purpose. I am looking for a film camera to replace it
     
  7. Emil

    Emil Member

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    I don't think the power output of bulbs can match an electronic flash. I am already using multiple flash units. Dunno though, I will look into it
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Think again! The standard small-medium-sized flashbulb (Sylvania #25 or G.E. #5) will completely blind the standard small-medium-sized electronic flash.

    Are you going to like holding your small format focal plane shutter open on bulb, then firing the big leaf shutter that you have front mounted on your lens (It would have to be to cover an extreme wide lens.), then releasing the body shutter for every shot, so that you can advance the film? Unless there is a way to override the meshing of film advance with shutter cocking on your SLR, this will be the procedure you will have to follow.

    I think you will find that medium format is the way to go, despite what you believe about it being an expensive hassle. For what you have spent on your D40, the lens, the computer, the software, etc., you could have an outstanding darkroom and a beautiful medium format camera setup with a leaf shutter. Digital is largely a consumer con designed to transfer lots of your money to others. It is best for those who need to take a whole lot of bad shots in order to get to the one shot that matters. Film is incredibly more economical, and gives you about a billion times more equipment variety.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Olympus OM-3 or OM-4 with F-280 flash. Synch speeds up to 1/2000 sec.
     
  10. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    RB67, 37mm fisheye lens (or the RZ) do the job quite well from what I've seen online. Plus you get a much larger negative to play with.
     
  11. Emil

    Emil Member

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    Actually, my plan was to remove the mirror and shutter from the slr, so that I would only have to worry about cocking the shutter on the lens and advancing the film on the camera body. Also, only the smaller shutters go to 1/500th so it would be mounted inside the lens between elements, hence the hacksawing and superglueing.

    Medium format is mostly out of the question for me because of a few things. 35mm gives me much more resolution than I need. I have about a mile of 35mm in my freezer and I would prefer not to have to learn to use a new film. Also, I need as much depth of field as possible in these situations, which medium format can only give me at smaller f-stops, thus increasing the needed flash output.

    About the digital thing - I appreciate the concern, but there is no need to worry for me. I borrow the camera from my brother, who bought it used for almost nothing, I have the computer already and I only use free software.




    On a completely different note I just realized that flash bulbs and FP-mode flash isn't really useful for me, I need the very short duration of the regular electronic flash to freeze the action. Also, I use two to four flash guns at a time, making the use of flash bulbs very cumbersome

    Still no opinions as to whether it is possible to make an ultrawide lens with a leaf shutter?
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Have you looked into leaf shutter SLRs? They had their disadvantages (mostly complicated mechanical designs), but they exist. I've never used one myself, but look up the Contaflex, Bessaflex, Topcon, Retina Reflex, Nikkorex, and there was a Kowa. Generally, leaf shutter SLRs were more common before the age of ultrawide retrofocus lenses for 35mm SLRs, so I'm not sure which of them if any would suit your needs, but you might see what's out there.
     
  13. Emil

    Emil Member

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    I have. There does not seem to be anything wider than 28mm available for them. Otherwise they would be perfect for the job!
     
  14. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It is possible to mount a leaf shutter on the front of a lens, but any leaf shutter with a large enough opening will be huge and therefore will have a top speed of around 1/50 sec.

    I'm still favoring the idea of bigger strobes. If you want a 35mm SLR and an ultrawide lens and you want to balance strobe with full sun, the lighting is the easiest thing to work with. Alternately, you could shoot when it's not so bright out.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I think the F100, F5 & F6 will synch all the way up with a couple of the top end Nikon flashes. Don't know about the output though it uses a repeating flash system.(real strobe)