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Detuning DSLR Lenses yourself


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Has anyone done lens modifications themselves?

I am shooting mainly EF S35 cameras and it's hard to find funky (vintage) super wide angles as most vintage lenses are Full Frame from the film days.

I thought about scraping the coatings off of a Tokina 11-16 and add some filtration. Ideally I'd love to mess with fall off and bokeh, but I don't even know where to start that. Any hints on how to start my custom lens journey is welcome 🙂

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Lenses from the old stills world much below 24mm tend to be rare, expensive and not wonderful. I have a Tokina RMC 17mm f/3.5 in Nikon F mount - hardly a speed demon and nor are they cheap.

If you're using cameras with a suitably shallow mount, such as Sony E or Micro Four-Thirds, you might consider a speed booster, which will effectively shorten the focal length of whatever you're using as well as recover some speed. Optical performance can be variable but it doesn't sound like you're particularly bothered about sparkling corner performance! Put a booster on that 17mm, and if the operator's got big ears, they're in shot.

That said I'd take a fairly cautious view of home detuning. Removing coatings is not something you should attempt outside a facility set up to polish lenses to their precision curved finish; it's not like stripping paint. They're hard to get apart, and harder to reassemble without including dust and hairs. The iris mechanism is very delicate.

You might try what IronGlass do with the coloured coatings inside the barrel, for tinted flares, or shaped apertures for interesting bokeh, or threads for linear flares. There's also nothing stopping you using filtration, including putting things on bits of glass to see what happens. Some of the filters people sell for big money seem a little fanciful, sometimes:

https://www.ibe-optics.com/en/products/cine/artistic-tools/effect-filters/ibe-effect-filters-10563

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19 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

Lenses from the old stills world much below 24mm tend to be rare, expensive and not wonderful. I have a Tokina RMC 17mm f/3.5 in Nikon F mount - hardly a speed demon and nor are they cheap.

If you're using cameras with a suitably shallow mount, such as Sony E or Micro Four-Thirds, you might consider a speed booster, which will effectively shorten the focal length of whatever you're using as well as recover some speed. Optical performance can be variable but it doesn't sound like you're particularly bothered about sparkling corner performance! Put a booster on that 17mm, and if the operator's got big ears, they're in shot.

That said I'd take a fairly cautious view of home detuning. Removing coatings is not something you should attempt outside a facility set up to polish lenses to their precision curved finish; it's not like stripping paint. They're hard to get apart, and harder to reassemble without including dust and hairs. The iris mechanism is very delicate.

You might try what IronGlass do with the coloured coatings inside the barrel, for tinted flares, or shaped apertures for interesting bokeh, or threads for linear flares. There's also nothing stopping you using filtration, including putting things on bits of glass to see what happens. Some of the filters people sell for big money seem a little fanciful, sometimes:

https://www.ibe-optics.com/en/products/cine/artistic-tools/effect-filters/ibe-effect-filters-10563

Ha! I own the 17mm 3.5 and shot this spot on it (and Speedbooster plus Pocket4K)

I now own a BMPCC6K Pro which I would want to shoot the upcoming project on, so no Speedbooster which is why I thought about using the Tokina 11-16 2.8 to get wider and faster.

But maybe you are right, before polishing of coatings I am gonna order a couple 4x5.65 Clear filters and try to do what they did on with the ibe optics filters.

 

 

 

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