Wednesday, 6 May 2009

new FD lens adapter for G1

I've been happily using an adaptor purchased from a fellow on eBay called ciecio7. As noted in a previous post of mine the FD lens adaptor is a little long (fractions of a millimeter) but means that turning the lens around to infinity does not exactly reach infinity (using a 50mm lens @f1.8 worked out to be somewhere around 50 meters away and using a 28mm more like 15 meters).

I brought this to the attention of cieco7 and he offered to send me aonther adaptor. In the mean time my solution to that issue was to carefully "lapp" the lens side of the adaptor to reduce the length. I've documented that here as an appendix in the above mentioned post.

I mentioned this to ciecio7 and suggested that he did not need to send me another adaptor (why waste postage?)

He wrote back to say that he would send me one which was slightly shorter anyway.

So, this is that adaptor. I'm writing this blog entry because not only is the adaptor perfect out of the box but has undergone a few modifications which I think make the adaptor a much nicer looking bit of gear as well as more functional.

Where there was an engagement pin there is now a ledge running right around the inside of the adaptor. It has a gap in it to engage the pin for coupling the Aperture IRIS.

To mate with the FD lens and make the lens aperture ring functional there is a small lever on the back of the FD lens which needs to be engaged by the adaptor.

This is done when mounting the adaptor onto the lens by:
  1. bringing the adaptor to meet the lens at the red dot shown below, at first the adaptor does not feel like it properly engages
  2. then, turning the adaptor to the other red dot on the left of the alignment dot.
  3. at this point the adaptor can be felt to 'drop in' to the mount now, and you turn it all the way till it clicks inside the lens (IE mounting an FD as one normally does).

Below is the older system (which has a pin instead of the ledge the new adaptor has), and you can perhaps see that the pin may miss coupling with the iris lever this way.

In the past the adaptor was different to this one and instead had a simple pin arrangement to engage and activate the iris mechanism of the FD lens, as you can see on the image to the right.

This works, but allows you to incorrectly mount the lens leaving an inoperative iris.

The new system makes it impossible to mount the lens incorrectly, as if you don't go through the steps above then the adaptor won't fit on the lens properly. I'm sure he has had some complaints about this issue (indeed I contacted him about it when I first got the lens as it wasn't intuitive to me (not being an FD lens owner before).

So its good to see that he is not only making good products (at lower prices) but is also making them better in an iterative cycle of improvements.

So, why am I writing this?

I have always regarded the free market as kind of related to democracy. I vote with my cash and I pass on information about traders (good and bad). They say that bad reports travel 9 times faster than good reports, so here is my attempt at balance. I guess that this is my input into Adam Smith's Invisible hand.

In a harsh economic world which hardly ever caters for small markets and enthusiasts with specialist needs it is good to see a business which does not only cater for this need but a business which makes ongoing developments to its products rather than just sit there turning out the same thing. Having seen Nikon dis-continue the LS-V and LS-5000 film scanners (in what seems like a lot of demand at least in Europe) I am even more inclined to support those businesses which move photography more towards an "open source" method (which it once was) and away from the locked down proprietary (rip off) that it now is. For instance, tried buying a battery for your digital camera recently?

1 comment:

Bryan C said...

Enjoying your site! I just received my ciecio7 FD adapter, which I chose based on advice from the GetDPI forum discussions. Your explanation made the align-and-twist maneuver much clearer.

FYI, it also cleanly stacks with my existing FD body adapters, including M42 and, especially nice, Exakta. The native Exakta-m43 adapter is currently rather pricey.