Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
All thorughout history cameras were strictly manual focus. It wasn't until Leica (formerly Leitz) came out with several autofocusing and sensor technologies back in the late 70s that the world saw the first AF camera. But what if someone wanted to upgrade their old manual focus lens? Well, Weird Lens master Mathieu Stern has found a way to give autofocus capabilities to pretty much any lens, including one from a 120-year-old vintage folding camera with just a few modifications. See how he does it in this short video.
In order to turn a manual focus lens into one with autofocus, here's what Stern did:
- Measure the infinity focus distance
- Build tubes with that measurement
- Mount the lens to the tubes
- Adapt the tubes for the Techart Pro adapter
Everyone loves a good hack, and even though the adapter does pretty much all of the work, it's still inspiring and exciting to see an old lens gain new life with new features and abilities. And this hack isn't just a good idea for super old lenses, either. Surely many of you have at least one really great (but old) manual focus lens that would be even greater with AF capabilities, like the very popular Minolta 58mm f1.2 for example.
Have you ever hacked your camera/lenses like this? Let us know in the comments below.