Sunday, 2 February 2014

ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 [projector lens]

Finally, my camera is back! It was over a month, but it was worth waiting. I got some new customized gear that I'll soon share with you.
Also, I recently got access to a 3D printer. Nothing really fancy, just a dual-head RepRap-alike, but a great opportunity to design custom lens mounts and unusual adapters. Definitely a good shot for me! :)

My first project was to adapt an old ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 lens to Lumix G2 body. I got it quite a few years ago for free from disposed 16 mm projector and since there I was wondering if that's even useful for photography or filmmaking. After taking some freelensing footage it turned out it covers Micro Four Thirds sensor perfectly, so there's an option to adapt it. The best idea was to make an adapter :)
ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera.ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera.
ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera

At first I must say I got a great help from nhfoley on mu-43.com forum. I used a D-mount to M4/3 adapter, which you can find on Thingiverse for my MFT flange. Thank you very much!

The rest was a piece of cake: take some measures, design a model, make few mistakes, print it and finally spend an hour sanding the inside, because the printer wasn't set up properly :)

ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 with 3D-printed adapter for Micro Four Thirds (MFT, M4/3) camera.
ŁZK Lucar 50 mm 1:1.6 with 3D-printed adapter for Micro Four Thirds camera.


3D-printing Micro Four Thirds adapter

Parallel view of Micro Four Thirds Lucar 50/1.6 adapter model.
Parallel view of Micro Four Thirds Lucar 50/1.6 adapter model.

I designed a piece of thread. Why not all of that? I couldn't get blueprint dimensions, so I decided to add 2 full turns to have smooth control on the focus and, in case I measured it wrong, there was not much work removing it.

Cross section of Micro Four Thirds Lucar 50/1.6 adapter model.
Cross section of Micro Four Thirds Lucar 50/1.6 adapter model.
As a print material I used black PLA. Why? Frankly speaking, because that's all I got. Sure ABS or nylon would work better, but all I got was PLA and it worked well.

It turned out just fine. I used a very thin support structure (same PLA) for M4/3 mount bayonet to avoid any distortions. Then I removed it with a knife - no problems there. After some serious inside sanding and cleaning, with acrylic paint I marked the red dot mount mark and it was ready.

Lucar 50/1.6 3D-printed MFT bayonet close-up (red dot mount mark).
Lucar 50/1.6 3D-printed MFT bayonet close-up (red dot mount mark).
One last thought about construction. My winter outdoor shooting showed that there are some issues with material reaction to low temperature. As it was -4°C outside, after about a half an hour, revolving the lens was a bit harder to proceed, yet still usable.

Mounting and focusing of Lucar 50/1.6

All you need to do is to screw lens in and focus at the desired object. As simple as that.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for MFT - close-up protrusion.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for MFT - close-up protrusion.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for MFT - infinity protrusion.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 and 3D-printed adapter for MFT - infinity protrusion.
This is a projector lens, so it has a sing lead thread with rather big pitch of ca. 3 mm. The advantage of this solution is that focusing is rather fast and very accurate. What's not so desired by filmmakers is fact that focusing takes about 4-5 full turns to focus from close-up to infinity. Personally I find that OK, most of the time I'm taking photos, so it doesn't bother me that much.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens)
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens)
Photo above show that it's possible to focus even, when object is moving, in this case a walking person. It wasn't a set up, a you might think.

(No)Aperture

Not much to tell here. No aperture designed. If anyone needed it there's also an option of adding black plastic (or thick paper) rings to front lens. Magnetic or adhesive tape - feel creative ;)
Therefore all samples are taken on F1.6 aperture.

Samples of Lucar 50/1.6

Finally! The most interesting part of the whole post.
Camera: Lumix G2
Mount: custom adapter
Aperture: 1.6 (the only possible)
Edit: PS CS6 50% scaling

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) on Lumix G2 Micro Four Thirds camera. Used with custom adapter.ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) on Lumix G2 Micro Four Thirds camera. Used with custom adapter.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) on Lumix G2 Micro Four Thirds camera.
Used with custom adapter.

Image centre is very, very sharp. I could compare it to Olympus Zuiko 50/1.8 OM lens. Colours are as vivid and contrast is perfect. I didn't expect much from a 4 lens in 2 groups gear, but it surprised me nicely! I suspect it's a very simple Petzval construction, designed for 16mm or Super-16 frame, which makes it really interesting on Micro Four Thirds. Much more appropriate than other Petzval's designed for full frame.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - swirly edge bokeh example, close to infinity focus.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - swirly edge bokeh example, close to infinity focus.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - swirly edge bokeh example.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - swirly edge bokeh example.
I really like the bokeh on structured background. It reminds me of common Fujian C-mount TV-lens 35/1.7 or similar Fujian C-mount TV-lens 25/1.4. It's swirly near the edges and creamy in the centre.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - swirly edge bokeh example.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - very thin focal depth sample.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - very thin focal depth sample.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - very thin focal depth sample.

Focal depth is really thin, especially on close-ups therefore it makes it a perfect 100 mm equivalent portrait lens.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - portrait.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - portrait. 
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - portrait.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - portrait.
Shortest focus length is ca. 20 cm, which, of course, could be adjusted to macro by adding a 1 cm longer hood and moving thread closer to front.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - close-up sample.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - close-up sample.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - close-up sample.
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - close-up sample - ca. 20 cm from object.
One the greatest surprises about this unusual lens is the fact, that it doesn't show any sign of flares or ghosts, even, when directed into the source of light. I have spotted neither hazy outcome nor colourful rings.

ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - lens directed into the sun (max. shutter speed, lowest ISO).
ŁZK Lucar 50/1.6 (16 mm projector lens) - lens directed into the sun (max. shutter speed, lowest ISO).

Poor man's Tevidon 50 mm

Concluding, great sharpness and unusual for 50 mm swirly bokeh makes this lens, what I'd like to call a "poor man's Tevidon". Why poor man's? Because I've recently found this lens for sale for like $10! All you would need to do is download the model from above, print it, buy sanding paper and use it well.
And enjoy your snaps of course!

2 comments:

  1. I would like to congratulate you on this nice piece of engineering and ask you some questions if you do not mind.
    Did you buy the D-Mount adapter to use just for measurements or did you attach it to the adapter you had printed?

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    Replies
    1. Dear Daniel,
      thanks for kind words! :)
      I used 3D model of D-mount adapter from here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:124098
      Then I remodeled it (removed D-mount thread and added cylinder for my lens) and 3D-printed. What you can see is the final result. Not best I must admit, because it was one of my first prints, but it works very well.

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