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The next crazy camera mod - comments please?


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#1 richg101

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

I am about to undertake a rather outlandish project for an owner of a load of 16mm arri standard mount lenses. He wants to use them digitally (he originally used them on a arri 16mm camera), cost effectively (ie, cheaper than the ikonoskop).

Looking at camera options we are limited. we need a sensor which is close to the same size as 16mm film.


So far the Sony RX100 seems the best move. it has better image quality than the nikon 1, but has a fixed lens which will need to be removed to allow access to the sensor.

The idea is to mount a de-lensed rx100 into an aluminium chassis, with a sony e-mount fashioned onto it with a 18mm flange focal distance. applying an e-mount will mean he can then use any e-mount lens adaptor (ie. a emount to arri standard adaptor). The aluminium chassis will incluse an arri rosette for mounting of a side handle, and will also have a number of 1/4" threads on there to all evf's and other stuff as well as tripod mounting.

I will also create a sturdy fixing point to allow mounting of a loupe to use the existing screen (with peaking) as a proper viewfinder.

I'm gonna go with a footprint to match edelkrone's micro rig, so it will be around the same size as a typical dslr.




Does anyone have any comments? any interesting ideas / features I should employ?

#2 Julian

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

Good luck! I'm afraid you'll need it. Realize that the camera probably is going to give an error when you take off the lens. First thing compact cameras do after powering on is check the lens. If its stuck you'll get an error and the camera is useless. Just removing the lens most probably results in the same error.
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#3 richg101

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

thanks for the comment. very true. if needs be, the lens / or drive circuitry will be left attached and housed in a compartment. the risk is worth it IMO. being able to run a f2.5 angenieux 10-150 cine lens is gonna be lovely. and a set of Cook primes. he has a set amounting to over £3000 so gonna make it work. otherwise the only option is ikonoskop i fear. Nikon v1 is an option, but isnt a match for the image quality of the sony rx100

#4 Zach

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:30 PM

I would be happy with 24p in my RX100....lol

#5 pju

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

The RX100 applies pretty heavy filtering software-wise to get rid of its zoom lens' distortion. It's something you see when you open the raws in an editor that doesn't support the straightening. So if you'd use a different lens your pictures would be pretty skewed. I guess it would be rather hard to circumvent, or do you have an idea of how to go about that?

Good luck though!

#6 richg101

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

thanks for the comments. @pju, this is interesting. and could make or break the project

#7 Julian

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:49 PM

This correction probably is also different for each focal length. Most distortion will probably be at the wide angle. So if you can work around the lens problem (I'm really curious to see that!) maybe you could find a way to zoom it to 50mm or something, there won't be much correction going on there i suppose.

A hack to address these things certainly would help.. :)

#8 andy lee

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

I looked at doing this before with Carl Zeiss16mm lenses but its not really practical even with optical converters

So I sold the lenses and bought new ones for the camera I was using......

Andy Lee
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#9 Julian

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

By the way.. before killing a RX100, it might be a good idea to try this concept with a random cheap Sony Cybershot compact.

#10 jgharding

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

I would have thought your biggest problem will be firmware. It's encrypted and will complain about the lack of lens data. Unless you can somehow fool all the sensors and pack them away behind the E mount. It is a wonderful idea though! Perhaps Sony will release a one-inch interchangeable soon and save you the trouble...
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