July 9, 2012

Forget Expensive PL Glass, Pairing a 100-Year-Old Large Format Lens with a RED EPIC

The fact that interchangeable lens cameras have given rise to the usage of increasingly older lenses is immensely fascinating and has produced some rather fantastic results. By far the most interesting setup that I've see so far is from Jeremy Osbern who sent me this contraption he built using a lens designed for Kodak by Bausch & Lomb. Originally the possibly 100-year-old lens (or older) was designed for large format cameras, and thus Jeremy built a type of bellows system to achieve proper focus. Check out some of the photos and the video he made using the lens below.

Here is very quick video he did (more to come):

This is what he had to say about making it work with his EPIC camera:

For our test, we devised a quick Do-It-Yourself rig to hold the lens in place and slide it back and forth on rods to find focus (19mm Rods off of the EPIC, two Mafer Clamps attached to each other with a small 5/8 pin, bubble wrap to protect the lens in the clamp, and a gel tube cut to the right focus length for this particular shot).


We aimed at the first thing in the line of fire, which was Jon’s motorcycle towards the other end of my equipment warehouse. Found focus, rolled camera, Jon jumped on and rode off.

Check out some pictures of the lens and the setup:

Just as our own Ryan Koo is using his Scarlet with some older lenses, many out there have decided to take advantage of this ability to attach almost anything that gathers light in front of our cameras. If you're wondering, you don't need a high-end digital cinema camera to do this, there are plenty of lower-end options like the Panasonic GH2 and the Sony FS100 which have very short flange distances between their mounts, and thus allow almost any lens ever made to be attached as long as you can get an adapter.

Head on over to Jeremy's site to see more info, as he will update with more videos using this lens when he has the chance.

Has anyone attached any particularly interesting lenses to their lenses?

Link: Jeremy Osbern - Shooting with RED EPIC using 100-year-old LENS technology!

Your Comment



July 9, 2012 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Thanks for posting Joe! A couple months ago I experimented with custom homemade optics and made a short experimental film with my T2i.
There's so much room for experimentation with these cameras, it's really fun.

July 9, 2012 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


That's pretty cool, I find lenses fascinating.

July 9, 2012 at 6:55PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Joe Marine
Camera Department

Me too. Getting a new one (or a 'new' old one) is kinda like getting a new set of eyes.

July 9, 2012 at 7:26PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Wish I could find some really old antique lenses with Nikon mounts on them.

July 9, 2012 at 7:09PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I've been using my 5D on a Sinar P2 view camera for the past few years with amazing results with a bracket made by Kapture Group. It allows you to mount any EF camera body directly to the rear standard of the rail system. We have a ton of old Nikkor and Schneider glass we use regularly. We also use the Fujinon lenses off of our Fuji GX680MKIII.

July 9, 2012 at 10:30PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Hmm... I have a Sinar F and a bunch of lenses sitting in a box... and a spare m43 adapter I'm not using... and a machine shop... hmm...

July 10, 2012 at 2:50AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


I was home for Christmas and found my Dad's old 35mm SLR from the 70's. I found an M42 to e-mount adaptor and his 55mm Honeywell Pentax lens and 135mm Leica lens have become my favorite lenses. Having manual iris control is a plus and with f-stops of 2.0 and 2.8 they put the kit 18-200mm Sony lens to shame. I plan on getting some older Zeiss lenses from ebay to add to my collection of old lenses as well.

July 11, 2012 at 11:42AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

John S

I've been using Minolta Rokkor-X's from the 70's (that I got for very little at a pawn shop) on my T2i for quite a while. They're pretty fabulous in my opinion.

July 12, 2012 at 9:34PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

David N.

Yep, you definitely need a 4K 30k$ plus camera to record such images.. ridiculous.

July 13, 2012 at 6:48AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Right, because anything but the most expensive modern glass would just give it character and an organic feel that might make it stand out from the thousands of others who shoot with the "right glass" ... Argh, indeed.

July 20, 2012 at 3:43PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


player dosent work!

August 7, 2013 at 5:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

John Drake