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C-mount to m43 adapters (2)
  • ... what are your experiences with c-mount adapters? How do you adjust your c-mount lenses to have proper focus to infinity? I thought I just have to buy a precisely machined adapter and all those lenses will fit just how they should. Now I own about 5 different c-mount adapters (latest is the METABONES adapter) and non of them seam to match the required flange back. Do you have to loosen all those tiny screws on the lens and adjust it to your camera/adapter??

    good info I googled:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/c-mount_/discuss/72157625124961615/

  • 22 Replies sorted by
  • The lenses, weirdly, all seem to vary. It is really hard to find a good c-mount lens that also focusses to infinity.

    I gave up with c-mounts on the GH2. They are much better suited to the Nikon J1.

  • I have no trouble with c-mount lenses designed for 16mm film cameras, but plenty of trouble getting infinity focus with c-mount lenses designed for surveillance cameras.

  • What about GH1 and these c-mount lenses:

    Computar Zoom Lens 18-108/2.5 http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjcwWDQ5Nw==/$(KGrHqR,!h!E7RKNLKIEBPE+DYzRQg~~60_12.JPG

    or

    Fujinon DV10X7B-SA2 1:1.8/7MM-70MM CCTV lens http://www.sourcesecurity.com/technical-details/cctv/image-capture/lenses/fujinon-dv10x7b-sa2.html

  • @Alex I don't understand what you mean by "flange back", but with infinity focus problems it usually goes like this: As you screw your C-Mount lens into the adapter which is already mounted on the M43 camera, set the lens to infinity and switch the camera on. Watch the viewfinder screen as the lens goes deeper into the adapter; if the infinity focus gets better but doesn't quite get there, You have to use some means to get it closer to the sensor - either a slimmer adapter or, (more likely) you'll have to very carefully grind the rear of the lens barrel until you get infinity focus. If it focuses through infinity, all you need to to is make up some shims so that the lens sits further forward from the sensor while it's screwed tight. If your lens is expensive, you might settle for no-infinity-focus rather than modify the lens. Or maybe it's in focus at a smaller aperture.

  • @Roberto thanks for the tip! This is actually what I'm doing all the time. I don't get the reason why every other c-mount lens is out of focus and all the barrel marks are where you can't read them after you tightened the lens to the adapter. The c-mount flange back distance is 17.52mm. Now, if the adapter assures the proper distance between lens and sensor, there should be no problem with focusing. In fact, c-mount is just the diameter of the thread while the flange back distance is not part of this "standard". 16mm, super8, TV-Lenses, CCTV-Lenses, industry lenses, they all share the c-mount thread but have there own flange back distance ...

    some info: http://www.ptgrey.com/support/kb/index.asp?a=4&q=98
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance

  • @Alex .." if the adapter assures the proper distance between lens and sensor, there should be no problem with focusing".

    The adapter is made independently of the types of lens fitted to it. For example, most of my C-mount lenses are off my Bolex or Pathe 16mm cameras, where the film plane is closer to the lens mount thread. The M43 sensor is further back and the adapter cannot be made thin enough to compensate, nor set back with a longer lip - the camera's hole won't allow it. For info on film planes, see: http://www.giangrandi.ch/optics/lenses/focalcalc.html When it comes to getting the lens's numbers where you can see & reach them, many lenses will allow you to turn the focus-ring around and reset it. (Especially easy with Pentax 6mm CCTV lenses). This is done during collimation, also matching the numbers to the distance of the subject from the camera, once the infinity focus is achieved. I'd advise you to take a cheap lens, (maybe scratched), some duct tape, leather gloves, a grinding wheel, maybe a Dremel... protect the lens, protect yourself, clean metal dust away from lens and camera - but have some fun!

  • I am happy with my second c-mount adapter.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150676333283

    made by Big_in

    I even bought their m42 mount for a Helios 44.

    It has a tiny screw so you can adjust the ring.

    And it was cheap.

  • Before buying a particular adapter, it's simple to calculate how thin the rear flange will need to be: Carefully- carefully!! -insert the lens into the m43 camera body mount, without an adapter. (How you achieve this without risking touching lens glass to sensor is up to you, your tools & ingenuity). Buy some digital callipers. Perhaps you could use auto feeler guages to measure your max rear flange thickness. Turn camera on and manipulate lens forward & back until you get infinity focus. Use improvised shims to measure the gap behind lens barrel- that is how thin your adapter will have to be in order to do it without any machining. You may be disappointed; rarely will you achieve infinity focus without lens-grinding. Also, some adapters are of thick alloy. Many C-Mount lenses require an adapter as little as 1mm thick - otherwise the extra grinding required to bring the lens closer to the sensor would destroy the lens. The adapter has to hold the lens on, too. It must be strong. So forget machining deep into an alloy adapter. The best thin ones are of high tensile steel. Adapter sellers sometimes show measurements in their eBay listings. If not, ask.

  • Been using C mount lenses, so far so good

  • Come to think of it, I'm using the exact same adapter as @disneytoy

  • I soon will be receiving the Pentax 6mm f1.2 lens

    I've been reading that this lens will need filling to fit an adapter, but I am wondering if there has been any new adapters released more suited to cctv c mount?

    pentax6mm-f1.2.png
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  • @kujina

    For an adapter you need skinny, strong steel :-)

    You still won't get any adapter which will avoid the grinding at the end of barrel. A skinny one may limit grinding the sides.

    Once you have the adapter, get the lens cap on the lens, cover glass at rear, duct tape everywhere so no brass dust gets inside, leather gloves on, eye protection, fine grinding wheel. Grind that lens until it fits into the adapter and focuses a little beyond infinity, then make shims using blister-pack plastic and emery paper, sand them down until you get just infinity focus.

    A lot of cleaning-up and re-wrapping lens required between trial-and-error. Go slowly. digital callipers will minimise having to try on camera.

    Don't over-grind rear of lens; it can get so thin it'll fall apart or break apart while you're shooting. Do it bit by bit and this won't happen. Happy grinding!

  • @kujina, Roberto is right on. Be careful, i grinded it too thin, and the mount fell off when i screw it onto the c-m43 adapter. I had to solder it back on.

  • Thanks for the responses @Roberto & @meotai what is a good/better adapter to use, I think I remember reading that some have less space.

  • @kujina

    I have bought 2 of these adapters but cannot find from whom. See the machined lens barrel with hand-made shim?

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    ThinAdapter.JPG
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  • @Roberto

    I think I've might of bought the same adapter as you have pictured?

    When I screw the 6mm 1.2 lens on the adapter (I haven't started filling yet) it barely screws on because the lens is too wide so it sits on the front face of the adapter, is this what happened with yours? Or on a better suited adapter the lens fits into the adapter's circular recess a little bit?

    I just want to make sure I won’t need to excessively file the lens because the adapter isn't right for it.

    sku042638_3.jpg
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  • Hello guys, I'm having trouble with my Fotga c-mount to m4/3 adapter. It gets stuck and needs heavy force to be released from camera body when applied. Do you have any recommendations for good adapter that fits on Panny GH3?

  • I think @nomad had a different experience with that Fotga adapter. I just ordered one for a Canon TV Zoom that is also on its way. Just missing the BMPCC :S

  • Does anyone have one of these combo C Mount and M42 adapters to sell in the UK? : http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Mount-Adapter-Dual-Purpose-For-M42-C-Mount-Movie-Lens-to-Micro-4-3-M43-M42/1642804125.html?tracelog=back_to_detail_a

    I've got some coming from China but I could user them sooner.

  • @_gl I bought one of those off ebay years ago, it was sent from China.

    @all The problem with inf focus on C mounts is that many of them were made for cameras with a glass prism block between the lens mount and the film plane to allow for flicker-free reflex viewing. This was a development added into the later generations of cameras. The early cameras did not have reflex viewing.

    In the Kern Switar/Yvar range for Bolex, some say "RX" and some say "AR" on them. If there is no marking it's either too long a focal length to matter or was made before the prism block cameras were developed.

    It only mattered on lenses wider than 50mm and at Fstops wider than f3.2. So if you were shooting at a 5.6 it didn't matter what camera/lens combo you had.

    The faster lenses developed were "RX" lenses. In today's quest for shallow DoF these vintage lenses are getting used on cameras with a larger sensor than intended (so they're soft on the edges & can vignette), no glass prism block and at max wide-open aperture. So using that really expensive C mount you bought 'cause it's a 25mm f1.4, but the focus is hard to nail, the bokeh is swirly, the inf focus is off, could be more than just the adapter you are using. Detailed explanation of this issue: http://city-net.com/~fodder/bolex/truth.html

    IME all the C-mount adapters I have tried guarantee inf. focus, by being made to focus past inf. which is a bit of a drag. you can cut shims from aluminum foil or use acetate sheets (gel sheets for lights) and cut doughnuts out to put between the lens & adapter. buy a few cheap Chinese adapters, one for each lens, shim them to inf. focus using a big monitor to confirm your results and leave them on the C mounts.

    Another problem is the larger, fast CCTV C mount lenses are too wide to seat properly on the MFT adapter. The lenses don't go deep enough. you could shave the adapter down and some even shave the lens housing down. There are lots of picture on the internet on how to do this. The Flickr group mentioned above and some Facebook groups have a lot of info compiled already for you. Google is your friend.

  • I second the "RX" lens issue, even if i only found it to show at 25mm or below.

    Shaving down the rear of lenses helps in many cases, like with Zeiss Tevidons (not my photo, but it worked for me too):

    Tevidon_Abdrehen.png
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  • The best adapter is the Metabones C Mount as it has recessed angled sides and allows the flange to get closer than the standard adapters. Not cheap at $65 but well built.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/983715-REG/metabones_mb_c_m43_ch2_c_mount_to_micro_four.html

    http://www.metabones.com/products/details/MB_C-M43-CH3

    18055991_1895229744025593_7192475490761387400_o.jpg
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