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whoisjsd

I made my own "Anamorphic Shop" Rangefinder.

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So, I made an "Anamorphic Shop Rangefinder".  I had been sitting on this Bell & Howell 2X for months. It has a cracked anamorphic element and I planned to harvest the focusing elements and make one. I recently got an Aivascope and it lit the fire under my ass to give it a shot. And speaking of fire, I literally had to light the Bell & Howell on fire to get it open. First I wet the seams with paint remover, let it soak, then went at it with a stove lighter. (DO NOT TRY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE A SAFE PLACE TO DO IT AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING) Took some real strength and grippy gloves to get it, but the snap it made when the threads came loose was sooo satisfying.

I made the 3D inserts in Tinkercad and had them printed locally. Took some sanding (I was really careful, as I wanted the glass to have a tight fit) but it wasn't too bad. Once I got the glass elements in and aligned and when I got infinity it was SOO DAMN SATISFYING.

I am shooting with it on and off. I will be posting more tests soon. First impressions? It's damn good. Crushes the Focuser 8 and even the SLR Magic Rangefinder in quality. I was very pleasantly surprised.

I designed my inserts so the glass will never fall out. If it somehow gets loose the elements will fall "in". The spacers are glued to the helicoid. It was some work, but here's the cost:

Broken Bell & Howell 2X on ebay: $60 shipped
Pixco M58 17-31mm Helicoid: $20
3D Printing: $9

Getting an "Anamorphic Shop Premium Rangefinder" at better quality and a 5th of the cost and without dealing with Anamorphic Shop? Priceless.

More tests to come. Got an Aivacope shoot this week and parts for my Baby Kowa too. FUN FUN FUN.

599163590_2018-09-1921_21_49.thumb.jpg.fd054275a71d71f5ae7a33ad450987b2.jpg

585788149_2018-09-1916_44_56.thumb.jpg.a10fc0e8b03c4fd3997ebd2bab6cf58d.jpg

ASRA.thumb.jpg.fdd84d4a7fea894917101033c7633235.jpgBolexASR.thumb.jpg.c42ab0b780c7df090ea32c54237245bc.jpg

Also, for reference, I am calling this the B&H Focuser from here on out.

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Sure, but I haven't had time to redo them to make it easier. These need sanding to get a good fit. The outside of the rings not so much, the inside where the glass goes need a bit. But I played safe so I didn't have to pay for more prints.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4vwken2qm1u6jbi/AAAK3VIZzB8gZ44vci29HuqQa?dl=0
 

The lip on the inside of the rings faces out on both rings. The outside shouldn't need much sanding except to get rid of the shiny aspect of the plastic. The inside front element ring needs a lot of sanding. Just be careful and take it slow, you'll be fine.

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4 hours ago, leslie said:

have you made provision for fitting filters to it

It already has 58mm filter threads :) I have have some 58mm "Lens filter protector" caps coming. A 58-72mm step ring is pretty much flush to the circumference.

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As far as loosening the B&H on top of the stove:  I have used a similar method to get them apart:

I've had a couple lenses where the front retaining ring was stuck tight.  I put the lens in the oven at the lowest setting (175 F) for 15 minutes.  Using some thick rubber gloves, I took them out of the oven and applied the lens wrench, and voila - they came apart easily.  The temperature was high enough to looosen the parts but not high enough to affect the lens coating or anything.  I didn't even have to lubricate the seams.

Something to consider for those anamorphic tinkerers who are having trouble getting their lens apart.

 

16 hours ago, whoisjsd said:

Getting an "Anamorphic Shop Premium Rangefinder" at better quality and a 5th of the cost and without dealing with Anamorphic Shop? Priceless.

This.  A thousand times this.

 

Thanks for sharing your work whoisjd!

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17 hours ago, whoisjsd said:

It's more common than you think, according to Bold

I don't know if it's all that common.  However these lenses are old and they sometimes arrive with threads that are caked with years of grit or gunk.  So take great care to slowly & carefully clean them (particularly the silver ring on the back of the B&H).

In my case, I bought a B&H with a projector lens still attached, and there was so much grit that when I tried to remove it from the anamorphic, it jumped the thread.  This essentially locked it to the B&H anamorphic.  Further attempts to remove the projector lens from the anamorphic lens resulted in cracking the rear glass of the anamorphic.  But I salvaged the front element, which was still intact.

I definitely would not recommend separating a B&H in good shape, just to get the front glass to use for a focuser.  That would be a waste of a great anamorphic lens!

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Hey @whoisjsd nice work man! I am going slightly off on a tangent here, but wouldn't this also work with glass harvested from wideangle adapters?

I have a Fujinon wide-angle adapter that I disassembled to try holding the glass to focus and sure enough it works. Only challenge now is to create a functioning helicoid to put them in.

Any pointers for that based on you work done with teh B&H parts?

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7 hours ago, whoisjsd said:

@Timotheus Pixco makes M58 and M65 helicoids. You can just use one of those and then make 3D spacers for the glass. They work well enough.

Thanks, will look into this. Big glass though, around the size of the Rangefinder glass, hope it'll fit...

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On 4/21/2019 at 1:50 PM, whoisjsd said:

No. Only the Bell & Howell 2x has this glass.

Hello whoisjsd!

Sorry, I'm new to anamorphic so please, can you describe all components?

I don't understand from your post what element you are putting inside helicoid, is it a diopter?

Thank you!

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16 hours ago, Rikoshet said:

Hello whoisjsd!

Sorry, I'm new to anamorphic so please, can you describe all components?

I don't understand from your post what element you are putting inside helicoid, is it a diopter?

Thank you!

Yes, it is a variable diopter. It's the front variable diopter from a Bell & Howell 2x single focus projection lens. The anamorphic glass on mine was damaged, so I took the songle focus elements out. I do not suggest doing this to a lens in good condition.

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On 4/28/2019 at 8:16 AM, whoisjsd said:

Yes, it is a variable diopter. It's the front variable diopter from a Bell & Howell 2x single focus projection lens. The anamorphic glass on mine was damaged, so I took the songle focus elements out. I do not suggest doing this to a lens in good condition.

How did you get the second element (inside one) out? I can't seem to get it to come loose.

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1 hour ago, pureaxis said:

How did you get the second element (inside one) out? I can't seem to get it to come loose.

Everybody who has done it will tell you it's the hardest thing to do ever. Both of the B&H lenses I had came with damaged anamorphic blocks, so I didn't care what happened to those. I set the lens on fire (controlled) after letting some paint remover soak into the seam of the screws. Even then it took a LOT of force. You might need some rubber pipe wrenches to get it open even after that. I don't recommend doing what I do unless you have experience heating parts and metal. Even then, it's the least fun thing I have even done in lens modding.

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On 8/7/2019 at 11:03 PM, fabe.z said:

Hello

Do you know if is it possible to find the focusing element of the bell&howell elsewhere than in the bell & howell ?

Thank you

fabrice

I replied on my website as well, but no. Not really. I mean, you can use some wide angle adapters, but they have their own problems. The only other anamorphics with variable diopters are Iscoramas, and they're a bit pricey to take just the glass out of.

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