taking lenses apart then crying then getting ideas

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    You know how sometimes you have an old lens and you think “I could totally clean this”, so you take it apart, but you drop a nearly microscopic screw, so you throw all the other screws in anger, and now you can’t put it back together? Happens all the time, right guys? But then, I found this!
    In which a guy shoves a lens and a reverse adapter into an inner tube to make a ghettoer-than-the-original lensbaby.

    Awesome, totally what I want. … … …Except three things.
    1. I’d like something to keep the lens’s ass from crashing into the mirror.
    Duh, put a haze filter or something on the reverse adapter.
    2. Somehow (magic?) a bar should come through to control the lil aperture controlling lever.
    Duh, cut the innertube, push the lil lever through, then solder a lil bar on it.

    3. Maybe something to push it out a bit automatically.

    Surely there is some kinda 3d printed tilting, shifting base just waiting for lens to be popped in.

    (editor’s note: I couldn’t figure out how to use strike)
    (How this thread looks in my mind.)


    Wow! The video test at the end looks like it straight from the J J Abrams school of cinematography.


    I actually have a 50mm I wanna try this on. Any clue how to tell me how to unscrew the lens the way he did, without breaking anything? I tried a few weeks ago and got scared and stopped before anything budged. . . or broke.

    I’ve been pricing Lens Babies and tilt-shifts on Amazon and figure this has got to be worth a try.


    Autofocus lenses are a bit trickier to take apart, so you probably can’t do it the way he did. I also never got this to work very well.
    Clearly it works better when all the lens elements are together tight and compactly, the one I was using is about 2″ deep which is so very poorly suited to this.
    So, you know, look up the diagram for your lens online and see if all the elements are together.
    Then, get an idea of how far infinity focus is from its closest focus. Think long and hard about how practical that is for this. Canon’s 50mm f/1.8 moves like this [___] much, which is not so practical.

    youtube is full of videos of people taking apart 50mm lenses, which should help, even if you don’t find your lens on there.
    Lens-makers love using super tiny, headless screws, so work in a tray or something to catch them before your carpet does.


    To answer the question you asked, start by unscrewing from the lens mount itself. If all the optical elements are fixed together, you should be able to tell from looking at it from there. From there, just work your way down with whatever screws are visible, focusing as needed to bring stuff closer or further. If you don’t see any, poke a tiny screwdriver into any holes and feel if it’s a screw. They often don’t have heads. If you still don’t see anything, just try twisting stuff. If you see flat plastic with circuit board style metal in it, those usually aren’t glued and pull right out.


    It’s an old manual lens, probably the kit lens for my old FE. If/when I go back to using that camera, I’m more likely to use the 28-70 or one of the screw mounts with the T-adapter.

    I wouldn’t think of trying to do this with anything as complicated as an AF, not with mw propensity for mucking things up on the first try.


    also look for tabs to use an optical spanner from the front element end.

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