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Rehousing: CONVERT Your Vintage Lens into a Cinema Lens

8/07/2021 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

The Film Look Team have found a way to convert and upgrade old vintage photography lenses into cinema lenses by 3D printing new parts. In a captivating endeavor, they embark on a journey to transform a classic vintage photography lens into a sophisticated cine lens. Their weapon of choice? The innovation of 3D printing.
The new rehousing improves the functionality of the lens by adding features like focus gear rings which the lens didn’t previously have.
Thingiverse Re-Housing Creator:
Reviving Vintage Excellence:

The spotlight of their creative venture is the venerable Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 lens, renowned for its signature swirly bokeh effect. With an impressive 85% of their short film "60 Seconds" captured using this four-decade-old gem, the duo discerns an opportunity for enhancement. The vintage lens, despite its age, boasts undeniable brilliance.

The Power of 3D Printing:

Rob and Rich immerse themselves in the intricate process of lens rehousing, fortified by the capabilities of 3D printing. They meticulously craft six distinct parts, each bearing a unique hue, through the innovative technology. These components constitute a novel shell that effortlessly complements the lens, elevating both its aesthetics and functionality.

Creating the Rehousing:

The mastermind behind the transformative 3D design is Edward Park, a distinguished contributor to Thingiverse. The meticulous printing process spans approximately 22 hours, yielding tangible three-dimensional components. The assembly process requires a delicate touch, with each part sliding into place under calculated pressure.

Achieving Precision:

The rehousing operation relies on precision, where small grub screws secure the individual parts in symphony. An equitable tightening approach ensures impeccable alignment and flawless operation. The culmination is a robust assembly, fortified by the cohesive embrace of the black outer housing.

Enhanced Functionality:

Rob and Rich's ingenuity births remarkable upgrades. The increased diameter facilitates more accurate manual focusing, complemented by new gear rings facilitating the attachment of a follow-focus mechanism. An iconic advancement emerges in the form of an enlarged aperture number ring, a game-changer in manually adjusting f-stop settings.

The Creative Transformation:

The metamorphosis of the lens transcends the visual realm, embracing professionalism and sophistication. The initial toy-like semblance has now matured into a protector and enhancer of the lens. A meticulous sealing of the number rings ensures resilience against unsightly drywall marks.

The Cost-Effective Journey:

The financial aspect of their DIY odyssey proves reasonable. The aggregate expenses for 3D printing materials, including screws, tally to a modest two pounds. Their comprehensive setup reaches an approximate cost of 300 pounds. For those without direct access to 3D printing, alternative avenues like professional 3D printing services or resourceful hobbyists provide accessible solutions.

Embracing the Future:

This remarkable undertaking serves as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of vintage and modern technologies. The inherent optical prowess of the lens remains unmarred, a testament to its enduring excellence. The future holds promise, with designer Edward Park offering an array of vintage rehousing designs, including the tantalizing prospect of a rehousing solution for the revered Jupiter 9 85mm lens.

Join the Journey:

For enthusiasts eager to traverse the realm of filmmaking and creativity, Rob and Rich extend an invitation to join their Patreon community. Here, access to exclusive bonus content and participation in a dynamic Discord community fosters collaboration and mutual growth. By supporting their creative endeavors, patrons play a pivotal role in nurturing knowledge dissemination and fostering inventive DIY escapades.

In summation, Rob and Rich's immersive exploration of converting a vintage photography lens into a cine lens via 3D printing represents a harmonious fusion of past and present. Their journey symbolizes innovation's power to breathe new life into the classics, making the pursuit of lens rehousing a voyage worth undertaking for those seeking to combine craftsmanship with modern technological ingenuity.

🌐 3D Printing Links Helios-44-2 58mm f/2 - 3D Printing Files:


Text, image and video via The Film Look