DIY adapter for Exakta mount vintage lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by gnarlydog australia, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    I have a couple of vintage lenses that are in Exakta (Exa) mount.
    I wanted to use them on my Olympus M43 cameras and I purchased off eBay some rather good looking and well made adapters.
    This adapter fits the E.Ludwig Meritar very well:


    When I mount my Meyer Optik Trioplan 50mm on it however the match is not to my liking.
    Technically speaking the adapter does work but somehow the two are not a good marriage, size wise. The Trioplan is way smaller than the adapter!


    Part of the appeal of M43 is the diminutive size and it really works well for me when I have to schlep my camera and lenses in a backpack, on backcountry trips, for several days.
    Here I am spending several hundred dollars more on camping equipment that is a bit lighter then the budget one, and suddenly I am bogged down by heavy photo gear.
    I thought I could come up with lighter, more compact and better adapter for my Trioplan.

    I purchased some Exa mount extension tubes, Ihagee brand (used, old school, cheap on eBay).


    The set is made up of sections and can be combined to achieve the desired extension.
    I used just the very top section of the set, the lens receiving bit.
    It is thin and weighs little.
    I also got hold of a M43 mount with 46mm male thread (used for reverse mounting lenses, using the filter thread at the end of the lens).
    Now comes the tricky/funny part :eek-31:
    I needed to connect the two, lens mount and camera mount and create the correct spacing to have the corresponding register of Exakta lenses (44.7mm).
    I could have used some aluminium tubing (lens shade) but cutting and filing would take more work than something softer. :hmmm:
    I then tried PVC, plumbing tubing. I know, I laughed at myself when I started to cut the PVC: here I am mounting a precision built lens with some plastic hacked tubes? :blush:
    Well, it turn out that the material works very well.
    I heated the PVC tube with a heat gun and then slid it over a bottle of ketchup, it had just the right shape to expand the diameter to fit the 46mm thread.
    The other end remained original diameter of approx. 42mm to fit the lens receiver.
    It was now a tapered tube; not strictly necessary but looks good. :rofl:
    I calculated the distance I needed for the extension and sanded away with sand paper. I checked and made sure that the surface would remain flat and square, no "tilt'" in the tube.
    Finally I checked the register against the camera: camera body adapter, PVC tube and Exa lens mount receiver.
    I held everything together and checked with the lens focused at infinity.
    A few tries, a bit further sanding and I got it almost perfect, slightly shorter than needed.
    I painted the PVC with some flat black spray paint and let it dry.
    I then used JB weld (modified epoxy glue) to bond the components together. :coco:


    6 hours later the glue was cured enough to do a final check before it would set like steel.
    The glue did add just a fraction of spacing bringing the flange distance to perfect infinity focus, not like my recent Fotga adapter (link here).

    I am very satisfied with the DIY adapter: fits the lens better, lighter and the camera mount is very snug (no wobbles).

    lens removed, adapter only, showing lens mount


    Since I have a couple of other lenses in M42 that have adapters that are too heavy/bulky I will now make a few more. :rolleyes-38:
    All in all, my home made adapter does cost me more than off-the-shelf one, however I believe it works better for me.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Beautiful job!
  3. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    Since this DIY adapter came out OK I have now decided to review most of my bought adapters and look at which one I am not happy with and where there is room for improvement. :rolleyes: 
    Currently waiting on an adapter for a PEN-F mount lens (it will take a while to come from Hong Kong) and started to hack something together for a temporary one.
    I am half way there and by the looks it seems that aesthetically this one will look a bit more pro and less ghetto... no PVC :coco:
    Let's see if I can pull it off...
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