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Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality Motion Picture lens-- 75mm f/3, on Nikon D3


Here you will find information on my use of soft-focus and Pictorialist lenses, and my techniques for mounting, using, and processing images from these lenses in this very digital world.

In addition, I will expound from time to time on the subject of "The New Pictorialism", and the development of a reflective style in current circles. Topics from Google Plus posts will find a home here, and perhaps some relative permanence in the ever-renewing world of social networking.

--Bruce Hemingway

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A smaller mount for old lenses

While using a Linhof as a shift-tilt camera mount for a Nikon D3 (previous post) is useful, it is also bulky and heavy, and requires a tripod. I came up with this setup to use the same Linhof III lensboards.

In making my Linhof setup shown in the previous post, I had bought two scrap Linhof III bodies for parts, along with many used lensboards and blanks. I was able to put together one complete camera from the parts, and had a front standard left over. I added an old M42 bellows unit, some extension tubes, and a Nikon mount adapter. I used a series of step-up rings to obtain a front opening large enough to accommodate the lens opening in the Linhof board holder and epoxied the rings to the board holder.

Detail of lens mount and bellows, with Darlot PillBox Meniscus lens, about 180mm


  • This setup is no harder to hand-hold than a 300mm f/2.8 telephoto lens, and can be dropped in a shoulder bag when on an outing.
  • It is quite sturdy, and accommodates lenses of at least 12" focal length. I can add more extension tubes if necessary.

  • Only the center 24mm x 36mm of the image area is available to the camera. Many of these old diffusion lenses vary in their lens qualities from center to edge, both in diffusion effects and in fall-off. The larger image area is the biggest advantage to the full Linhof-Camerafusion-D3 combination.
  • No shift or tilt. I was not able to include those parts of the Linhof front standard because of space constraints. The full rig gives me the Linhof lens movements. For even more movements and longer draw, I can use the Camerafusion back with a Cambo 4x5 body, with extended 35" draw, and Linhof adapter board. That rig will accomodate much larger lenses.
This simple rig has proved to be an excellent solution to using smaller classic and soft-focus lenses with my available cameras. Now, where did I put that Universal Iris Lens Clamp?

L-R: Pulligny Adjustable Landscape lens w. case; Imagon 200mm; Graf Variable 8.5-9.5"; Verito 7-1/4"

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for this post, I have been a great help.