Photography With Projection Lenses

Taking Pictures With Projection Lens !!!

Dear followers, love and respect. In this article, we are investigating a subject that can be said to have no source in our country. Producing photos with a projection (projector) lens! Although it sounds easy to read, it is actually not that easy. Unfortunately, it’s not like taking a photo with a cell phone in hand. As I will explain the details below, it is a very difficult job.

First of all, I have a question I want to explain. Those who are new to photography will surely think of ‘why are we dealing with projection lenses when there are normal lenses’? This question actually makes a lot of sense. Why when there are so many lenses, manual or AF? The answer is a bit about experience: Curiosity, Desire, awareness…

First of all, let’s describe projection lenses in general. The lenses mentioned are projection lenses made for slides of old 35mm elephants. In other words, it is not the lenses of today’s projectors or projectors. (Maybe with current projector lenses, but I said not because I haven’t tried it and never seen it). So we’re talking about old manual products. They are simple tubular-style lenses with a few optical glasses inside. It does not have a rotating side for focusing. It’s like adding a few glasses to a simple plastic or metal tube ? Since they are made for 35mm film, they can be used easily even on full-frame cameras. This is one of the very positive aspects.

My first curiosity started with using manual lenses in the transition from DSLR to mirrorless cameras. I realized how inadequate the autofocus lenses we bought were in fact, and I tried to experience the 50-60 year old manual lenses that I had constantly. I bought, sold, tried, used tens, maybe hundreds. As I used it, I realized that many of them have their own unique flavor. And after the manual lens, projection lenses also caught my attention for this reason.

My First Meeting with Projection Lenses

My first projection lens experience started with the Prinz ColorMax 150, a 35mm slide film camera that I accidentally got, and the 85mm Will Wetzler Maginon lens. I was reviewing the Projector. I didn’t know if it worked, nor did I know how it worked. I plugged it in and pressed the button; the light came on. It started to reflect on the wall. There were several films in the magazine; they were reflected on the wall. But the image was skewed clear. I adjusted the sharpness by turning the lens. While adjusting the sharpness, I turned the lens a lot, it came out of the lens mount and fell into my hand….

First, I brought it in front of my eyes and looked through the lens. Then I held it in front of my a6000 machine and started the machine. When I moved the lens away from the camera a little bit, I noticed that the clarity came. This image shocked me as much as lightning and winning the lottery prize.

As you can see, nothing was under my control. It was as if a hand had put things right in order as I needed to evaluate this lens. With this divine direction from the Divine Providence, a brand new adventure opened up for me. After that, I did what was necessary to use this lens more efficiently.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Pictures with Projection Lenses

Disadvantages of Projection Lens

In general, one of their biggest handicaps is that they cannot have any camera mouth structure. If they were compatible with a brand of camera, we could buy the appropriate adapter and use it on our own machines. But unfortunately it is not that easy. It needs serious modifications to use it on any contemporary machine. I’m going to talk about these in a little bit.

The second disadvantage is the absence of diaphragm mechanisms. Yes, you read it right; There is no aperture mechanism on the lenses. Therefore, it can only be used in the widest opening. Unless of course you integrate a diaphragm mechanism yourself ?

maginon , 1/320 s , f2.8
maginon 85mm 1/200 s, f4
maginon 85mm 1/125 s, f5
maginon 85mm 1/80 s, f5.6

I also said the disadvantages until we got to the heart of the matter, that those who will return while the road is close should return if there are any. It is really a laborious job to take pictures with an optic. So, why are these lenses still when they have so much trouble and there are so many alternatives? Because these lenses have character. There is dessert. Each one has its own texture. There are quirks you won’t find in any other lens. Of course, if you are also curious and excited…

Advantages of Projection Lens

1. First of all, if you find the good ones, their image quality is very good. They immediately make themselves felt in photos.

2. As I mentioned above, they have unique characters that cannot be found in other normal lenses. These characteristic situations, especially in bokeh structures, can also occur in sharpness, softness or colors.

3. As for price performance comes. They can be found very cheap. They provide services far beyond their value.

4. When they set up their mechanisms, they make it possible to produce photographs in many fields. Use the same lens for portrait, macro or street.

5. Suitable for use with any cropped or full frame camera structure. They are not like 16m and 8mm camera lenses. Once installed, they can be easily used in dslr or mirrorless devices.

Modifications and Conditioning of Projection Lenses

This is the most important part of using a projection lens when taking pictures. If you can’t man up the projection lenses so to speak, they’re useless. In order to benefit from them, it is necessary to adapt them to the cabins. I will try to write down the main ways that come to my mind for this adaptation.
1,Inserting into the helicoid adapter
2,Placing in the bellows of the bellows machine
3,Inserting into a usable lens
4,make your own modification

Modification with Helicoid Adapter

Helicoid tubes are types of adapters that are mostly used for macro shooting, are hollow, can be lengthened and shortened, and therefore have focusing mechanisms. If you place the projection lens into this hollow adapter, it is ready to use. You also get a professional focusing mechanism. How much you put in depends on some experience. You need to find the infinity focus point. Once you have focused the infinity, place the adapter in its lowest state. As you extend the adapter, the clarity will get closer and it will be suitable for macro shooting as much as the latest adapter allows.

If an external diaphragm is not added in the helicoid adapter method, it is not possible to use without a diaphragm. (I have read in a few reviews that there is a helicoid tube with a diaphragm, but I do not know if it is true) Still, at least the focusing mechanism will exist. Since the adapters can stretch a lot, it will also allow macro shooting. The easiest to modify adapter is the helicoid 52mm. The 52mm helicoid adapter of your own machine mouth will do the job. For example, if you are using Sony, it would be appropriate to buy a 52mm-nex helicoid tube.

Using a Projection Lens by Adapting to the Bellow

If you have it, an old macro blower will make your job quite comfortable. If you place it in the bellows in such a way that it can qualify as infinity in its shortest form, as I tried to explain just above, it will not be king of you. You can adjust the sharpness by lengthening or shortening the bellows. In fact, assuming that you have an external diaphragm mechanism in many bellows, it means you have a lens system with both focusing and diaphragm mechanisms.

The use of bellows is one of the best ways to use projection lenses. Both the aperture and the focus mechanism can be used actively. It is also very suitable for shooting macros. The biggest disadvantage is that it has a large volume and is not very useful, especially for general shooting. Due to these negative situations, it loses its ergonomics and causes it not to be preferred by everyone.

Using a Projection Lens with Subjective Modifications

My first use case was purely brainstorming. I told a few tradesmen about the issue. In line with the ideas I received from them, of course, using the brain given by God, I set up a unique system for myself. There is no diaphragm mechanism, but I can at least get the clarity by pushing and pulling the lens. Let me explain briefly.

Projection Lens Modification Attempt 1

I found a tube the length of focus to infinity and placed the lens in it. On one end of the tube is the tip of the lens, and on the other end I added the plastic body cap of my camera. Of course, I melted and pierced the middle of it because it was plastic. Then I colored the inside and outside of the pipe as I wanted. I continue to use my lens with pleasure.

There are also disadvantages. There is no diaphragm. The projection lens may fall when turned upside down. The system looks so simple as if it were unprofessional. For focusing, it is necessary to take the lens out of the tube, not rotate it. It’s hard to get used to but not impossible.

On the other hand, there are also advantages. It’s your lens. You can shoot macro. You can call it infinity. It is very light, very easy to carry and does not take up space.

I don’t think there is only one method for custom modifications. You can certainly use the method that comes to your mind. In fact, if you write here, other readers will also benefit.

Placing the Projection Lens in the Normal Lens

You can fit these projection lenses by removing the inner optics of an unused lens, old or new. No need to waste the original lenses just to fit the projection lens. You can get a kind of helicoid adapter by removing the unused broken lenses if you have them around.

An important advantage in placing it in the lens will be the diaphragm badness. Because if you can place the projection lens without dismantling the original lens, you can have a projection lens system with perfect aperture control and focus control without damaging the diaphragm mechanism of the real lens. Honestly, I don’t see any major downsides. It just might be a little expensive. The mechanism made with the method I mentioned below is clearly seen.

Projection Lens Modification Trial 2

I bought a Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens with the Perti analog camera. After throwing the camera in the trash, I took the lens off. I removed the windshields first and then the rear optics. already consists of 4 optics. Only the diaphragm mechanism remained in the lens. What I’ve done so far is the easy part. The hard part was putting the Maginon inside and fine-tuning it to create the image.

I tried to squeeze the maginon through the hole in the front of the lens. Enlarged the hole a bit and it worked. But this time the focus problem arose. My lens could focus from 10cm to 35cm on my sony a7r2 full frame camera. Since Pentacon m42 is compatible, an adapter had to be used to fit the machine. It was necessary to adjust the flange distance with this adapter and it was not easy.

Dia projection lens with aperture mechanism. outside: pentacon 50mm f1.8. interior: maginon 85mm f2.8

In this modification, there are 2 methods for flange distance. 1. Making adjustments by disabling the m42-nex adapter and adapting the sone e-mount directly to the pentacon lens. and 2. try to bring the optics closer to the camera by shortening the tube of the projection lens; Of course, I would continue to be unable to use the m42-nex adapter. Since I do not have a body cap (that is, the new lens will have a bayonet), I chose the 2nd way and unfortunately it was troublesome.

I cut the plastic outer tube very carefully so as not to damage the optics. I knew that I had to cut from the bottom and it was very troublesome. Then I removed the roughness with a hard sandpaper. When I tried it, I noticed that the focusing distance was about 1-10m. I rasped it a little more and got it up to about 15 m. I left it at this setting as I will be using it as a portrait.
Now my diaphragm mechanism portrait lens was ready. I did test shots right away. The results were legendary. The lens was recovering seriously between 3.5-4. He would see more of my work. I am extremely satisfied with the quality and mechanism.

It cost me about 50 dolars and 20-25 hours of work. As the pleasure I get cannot be measured, I have obtained a lens with a financial value of at least 1 thousand dolars.

Best Projection Lenses

It is necessary to use them all to find the best; but we neither have that much money nor can we find that many lenses in the country. I will write some models that I have tried and researched myself:

1.. Trioplan 100mm f2.8: When I say projection lens, this lens is the first thing that comes to mind for those who know this subject. The wonderful soap bubbles it gives, bokeh, and a softness as if it came out of the world of magic, can give the photo an effect as if it came out of a cartoon.

2. Dioplan series: There are quite a number of Dioplan projector lenses. Believe me, I don’t know the exact number. 100mm f2.8, 100mmm f3.5, 85mm f2.8, 90mm f2.8… I can’t say that the optical quality is good, but the bokeh like the trioplan is of high quality. In addition, each dioplan lens has its own characteristics.

3… Will Wetzler Maginon 85mm f2.8 : It’s a very nice lens that I use often. Its characteristic bokeh is like a swirly-swirling and it’s very good at killing the background. Especially on full-frame machines.
4… Zettar 150mm f3.0 : Having a long focal length already enhances its bokeh. It is also very good at producing soap bubble bokeh. It is rare. You have to get it when it comes.

5… Leica hektor 85mm f2.5 : An optical quality expected from Leica also appears in projection lenses. Hektor series lenses and Hektor 85mm f2.5, which is one of the best in this series, is one of the most well-known ones.

6. Carl Zeiss Kipronar 120mm f/1.9 and Carl Zeiss Kipronar 105 mm f/1.9 : Another legend from CZ… Kipronar projection lenses are one of the notorious series in this regard. Although their size is a bit large, their optical quality has proven.

7.. Triplet series: triplets are russian projection lenses. they produce bubble bokeh. Center acuity is good. There are lenses with many different focal lengths, mainly 78mm, 85mm or 100mm.

May your light be of good quality…

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