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leslie

el nikkor 63 enlarger lens

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ok so i have had the el nikkor 63mm enlarger lens for over a week now. been waiting for the m39 to m42 adapter to arrive. i also had 3 m42 extension tubes already as per tito's video review  . well the m39mm adapter  got here yesterday been playing with it today and all the other bits as well.

watched tito's video several times then tried to do the same with my camera and lens and no joy. i have a canon 60d, tito set up his on a canon 5d mk3. considering we both use m39 to m42 ring adapter then a m42 to ef adapter i would expect set up to be similar. when i use the shortest extension tube i have to screw it all the way out and it actually falls off the camera before i achieve infinity focus. if i use the next size up extension tube then i go close to acheiving focus however it doesn't quite screw in far enough. i'm thinking there's plenty of metal on the  mid size extension tube and i can screw the m39 in quite a long way into the mid size extension tube so i think i can grind some metal off the end to achieve focus it shouldn't be more than 1 mm or maybe two mm i'm judging it by eye at the moment. 

i am mostly curious as to why my setup is going to end up different to tito's considering both cameras are ef mount. do you guys think the issue is the difference between the full frame of the 5d and the crop from the 60 d ? the only other thing i can think of is the my extension tubes are different lengths to tito's perhaps well that's about it for now i will have to post some photos shortly

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I think you're right @leslie that your extension tubes must be a slightly different length to the instructions you're following.  m39, m42, and EF will all have standardised flange distances so those are not variables in play.

Grinding off a bit from one of the adapters sounds like your best bet, just be careful that you can still screw it together again and that you don't get any metal filings in anything.  Looking forward to seeing some images!

I've seen a few projector or enlarger lenses that caught my eye but the lack of aperture makes them impractical in the field to run-n-gun like I do, plus they all look really heavy.

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Sounds close to correct.
I use the smallest extension tube and then a spacer (O-ring) I made out of some thin plastic cutting board. Titos method of putting wire in-between is pretty ghetto and unexact IMO. You can wrap some tape around it afterwards to stop the lens spinning (it kind of turns even when tight).

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er... i'm embarrassed to say that the issue was with me. i was being lazy and doing the test inside against a far wall . so i wasn't really at infinity focus. once i took it outside and focused on some trees i did get the enlarger lens to fit onto the threads of the smallest extension tube. now that i have that sorted i think i will put a spacer on the side between the extension tube and ef mount that should move the extension tube forward  little and allow me to screw the enlarger lens further onto the extension tube. giving me abit more confidence  in rigidity and and the fact there is more than one thread holding it altogether. heres the el63mm and the two smallest extension tubes

el63.jpg

el63-extension.jpg

spent the afternoon grinding down the middle extension tube. run out of thread to hold onto the m39 ring sadly. got about two threads left on the middle extension tube there's plenty of material left just not enough thread to hold onto so thats a bust unless i somehow center the m39 adapter and glue it in  perhaps . bit disappointed was hoping i could just grind it down till i hit infinity focus.  here's  before and after shot. the  first shot has the m39 inserted to the edge of the thread  the third shows two threads left. last shot shows the el63 the two extension tubes one ground down and the m39 to 42 step up ring 

el63-extension-ring.jpg

el63-grind.jpg

el63grinddown.jpg

el63set.jpg

took a couple hours to grind it down most of the time was spent dropping the tube into water to cool it down then cleaning and drying it before screwing it onto the camera check for infinity focus. grind, rinse and repeat

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im away for the next couple of days, so its on hold for abit i'll give it some more thought might have to use the smallest tube and work some spacers out for it as i dont think winding some wire to take up the slack is a particularly elegant solution. it works ok just not pretty and im not sure about marking the el63 and maybe dropping its resale value

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@leslie nice to see progress - we all make mistakes - the smarter we are the more bone-headed the mistakes seem!   I've also played the "modify it, clean it, test it, repeat" game and there are definitely less frustrating ways to spend time that's for sure!

You've already modified the middle ring, so if gluing it is an option then it might be a good one?  I'm not exactly following the details on how it all fits together, so maybe it's not a good idea.  But if you wanted to test it, maybe try hot-glue?  It's messy to work with, but cleans up very easily, should hold nicely if you get enough of it on there, and if you ever want to take it off then just heat up the part until the glue melts.  Assuming you can screw the adapter in, even just a few dabs of it from the outside (like tack-welds) might help?

 

  

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good thinking i will try hot glue first. i was thinking 2 part epoxy but that's a bit permanent.  my concern is that i have seen some other tito's vids and he did colour the insides of one lens which did affect the lens colour, so not sure what alot of hot melt glue would do to reflected light i have some concerns there. ideally i want to be able to reach infinity focus with out marking or doing anything that would affect the resale value of my el63 just in case it doesn't work out as expected. going to look for some shim material while i'm in the big city might be able to use that to center the m39 inside the m42 extension tube it should get me horribly close to a center

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If you want to make spacers, just use thin plastic chopping board (for the kitchen) and cut out whatever size you want. Stack bits together if you need it thicker. If you cut them neat you wont even see it. I do this all the time for different projects.

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gentlemen we have met with Success 😀 

part two,  i continued with the middle extension tube

i screwed the m39 as far  into the m42 adapter as i could till there was one thread holding it on. As there is about 10mm of space at the back and where the thread starts. Then mixed up some two part epoxy and let it drip onto the threads and into the adapter space then let it dry. which gave me another 5mm to grind off. i wanted the m39thread in there to keep the el nikkor lens parallel for testing purposes while i ground everything down.  I spent another hour or so grinding, cooling, cleaning, checking, rinse and repeat. i attached the whole contraption to my canon 60d with an m42 to ef mount. my canon has a katzeye microprism screen in it. So i picked a tree far enough away to focus on, as material was removed the two halves of the tree grew closer together. when i was close i refocused on a  fluffy cloud and used the micro prisms to  judge infinity focus. one other benefit of using the canon was i got the focus confirm when i hit infinity. which made me really happy, as i know that i had nailed it then 😀

I have about 2 threads left of the original m39 threaded ring as  you can see  i also squeezed some black pen ink into the 2part epoxy i made up. its quite black in the threads and the gap at the back, but on shiny alloy it goes reddish as you can see in the photo. I may have to do something about that when i hook up an anamorphic lens perhaps time will tell. Overall i am quite happy with my achievement and i like it a bit better than tit'os mod  as no wire or duct tape is involved and the el nikor remains unmarked but there is a lot more grinding and testing to achieve infinity focus. All up i'd say i spent about four hours on it but i went slow and steady to minimize the chances of screwing it up.

i have to thank tito for the original inspiration... so thanks tito 😉

 

el-nikor-adapter.jpg

elnikor-mount.jpg

elnikor-mount1.jpg

63elnikonmod.jpg

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Got some pics of the moon through the canon and the bmp4k with the el nikor 63mm. I am happy with the infinity focus through the canon and m42-ef mount. I get a halo round the moon with the bmp4k and el nikor on the m39-m/43 mount. not sure if its my lack of exp with the bmp4k or the el nikor isn't quite at infinity focus, more testing required over the next couple of nights while the moon is around.

This pic is from the el nikor 63mm mounted to the canon.  i think the 63mm with the 1.6 crop factor makes for about a 100mm lens. The photo is cropped about 50% i think. Not going to bother with my attempt from the bmp4k its kinda  atrocious i will post when i have something more suitable.

I did win the olympus 15mm body cap lens i was bidding on. So that should turn up in the next couple of weeks

el63CanonMoon.jpg

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