Showcase Kodak Ektanar 44mm f2.8 (refitted from 1957 Kodak Signet 30)

Joined
Feb 23, 2015
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Brisbane, Australia
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Damiano Visocnik
I have a soft spot for Kodak Cine lenses: they are outstanding on Micro 4/3 cameras.
Looking around at what Kodak produced in the 50's I found the Kodak Signet 30, sporting a fixed lens Ektanar 44mm f2.8. At $5 plus a bit of shipping I couldn't go wrong.

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Removing the lens was easy: two screws accessible from the back and the whole lens assembly was free from the body.
Adapting to Micro 4/3 requires a spacer/adapter of approx. 12mm. I could have come up with some sort of adapter (maybe a M39 adapter plus some rings) but I wanted to increase the minimum focus distance from its original helicoid (2.5 feet).
I shaved the back of the lens with a hand file and glued a very short M42 macro ring on it.
The lens was now ready to be fitted to a very short helicoid with M42 thread (helicoid thickness of 13.5mm)

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Kodak Ektanar 44_2.8 by gnarlydog, on Flickr


I glued a (black) UV filter (glass removed) in the front of the lens so I can add a 37mm lens hood (needed). The lens has now a combined focusing range (lens helicoid + adapter helicoid) down to 18cm: I like that :)

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First images reveal that the les has the signature Kodak "look" (whatever that is? :rolleyes:) where the speckled highlights are rendered as painterly semi-bubbles with a hint of swirl.
The aperture is a rounded 6-blade job; I wished it would be the wonderful round job of the Kodak Cine lenses :(

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bubbly bulbs by gnarlydog, on Flickr


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Fluffy on Ektanar 44 by gnarlydog, on Flickr


P.S. No functioning camera was harmed in the making of this refit: the Signet 30 was kaput, but lens was still good... :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
3,168
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Real Name
Damiano Visocnik
Nice. I wish I had the patience and know how to refit these lenses. I love using vintage lenses but a simple dumb adapter is as far as I take it. Always appreciate your work.
Thank you.
Some are easier to refit than others and some are downright a real challenge for me. I also have mucked up one where I just gave up and end up sending it to somebody in UK so he could play with it; he is more skilled than me and got it to work just fine.
I think we all start with just the a dumb adapter and if driven by curiosity maybe advance. My main reason for loosing interest in SLR lenses was the bulk/weight and admittedly some "good" vintage lenses render too close to modern ones, just not as sharp: I don't see the point
I believe the easiest to adapt that aren't run-off-the-mill lenses are the cine ones designed for 16mm film, if you like the look of slight vignette/swirls.
 
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