While browsing an antique shop, Nick Morganti came across a Kodak slide projector with an absolutely huge lens hanging from the front. The ISCO optical system made in Germany is nearly a foot long and has a front end diameter of about four inches. It costs only $10. The only tricky part is how to use it on modern SLR cameras.
After removing the lens from the projector, [Nick] noticed that the diameter of the back seemed to be almost the same as that of the threaded M42 bracket popular for old film cameras. Fortunately, he already has an adapter that can use the old Soviet M42 lens on the camera. The line spacing doesn’t match at all, but by holding the lens on the adapter, he can experiment with the focal length and take some test shots.
Inspired by these early tests, [Nick] set out to design a 3D printing adapter. His first attempt was just a pair of concentric cylinders, focusing like an old-fashioned hand-held telescope. This is feasible, but it is quite picky to use already clumsy lenses. His second attempt to add internal threads to the mix made it easier for him to control focus. After he was satisfied with the design, he stuck a small ring on the adapter so that the lens would not loosen all the time and fall accidentally.
For us, this project is the perfect application of desktop 3D printing. [Nick] can conceive a unique design, test it, iterate it, and get the finished product, all without leaving a comfortable home. Not to mention the complex design of adapter, it is difficult to produce through traditional methods. Maybe some people’s good time is to cut a lens bayonet with wood, but it’s definitely not ours.
Therefore, it may not be surprising that we have seen many similar projects over the years. There seems to be a healthy overlap between 3D printing and photography communities, from terrible deformation adapters to upgraded optics for game console cameras.