"Impossible" uses of hardware…

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    I’d been using an old Nikon SB-50DX as a “dumb” slave flash for a bit before I decided that I needed some way to mount the darned thing on a mini-tripod so I could aim it a bit better than just laying it on something.

    When I asked the guy at the local photo store for a “dead shoe” mount (flash mount to tripod) he said they don’t carry them any more because nobody asks for them, but he could order it, and asked what I was going to mount.

    I explained that I’d be using it to mount the SB-50DX to a tripod mount, and he said that wasn’t possible – the SB-50DX didn’t work with a Nikon D80.

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    I used the SB-50DX on the ground to the left of the statues. It works fine as a “dumb slave.”

    He was a bit surprised to see that.

    Has anyone else used “obsolete” hardware in ways the guys at the camera store haven’t considered?


    I think he might have thought the 50DX can damage your Nikon (as some older ones can) but he may not have known that came out with the D1x and is compatible. The other point may have also been there’s no automatic flash or swivel head. It is a bizzar strobe and many folks don’t like it. For instance, manual mode means being stuck in full power. What’s the point of that? Regardless, it lacks a lot of features.

    I’m a noob and the only weird thing I’ve done involved sticking a Nikon DX lens (cropped) on a 35mm SLR. It took beautiful pictures. No one could tell a difference and there was no vignetting whatsoever. It proved the DX lens can work on a 35mm. The odd part was 18mm on the DX came out like 12 in the picture. It was ultra-wide. That was about the biggest discrepancy.

    Have you been to the Strobist web site?


    I use my Red Sox hat as an improvised french flag when doing long night exposures… As for old gear I have shot thru the veiw finder if my OM10 using my 20D. I know for a fact that isnt a common use of a old body. It was a real pain and I was REALLY bored… (i’ll see if I can find the photo’s outta my 12K+ library)


    About the only impossible thing that I manage to do on a regular basis is long night exposures free hand without any vibration reduction. So far my best is two seconds free hand with almost no blur at about 11PM.

    I have steady hands I guess. 🙂


    My “Curves” photo this week was done by reversing an old 2×3″ Press/View camera lens onto an old 200mm manual telephoto on my D70.

    Mounting a lens backwards on the front of a lens mounted normally on a camera can give high magnifications without the same degree of light loss you get using extension tubes/bellows. The reversed lens acts like a powerful close up diopter, except it’s much better optically than the standard single element ones that screw in like filters.

    I have a coupler (ring with filter threads on both sides) that allows me to screw them together, but you can also do it with tape, rubber bands, etc. You generally want a telephoto with a small front element on the camera (you’ll get all kinds of vignetting if you use a wide angle), and a fairly fast normal/short tele lens as the reversed one. Naturally, the reversed lens doesn’t have to be compatible with your body (and you can get old manual focus 50mm f/1.8ish lenses on ebay for practically nothing)

    This can also be a fairly easy ways of doing true macro photography with a compact digicam, if you can find a lens that fits (the “macro” mode on most of them isn’t even close to real macro territory, although there are some exceptions).

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