A Canon Lens Is Never Too Old To Be Useful: Soldering Magnifier Hack

Canon Lens

Got an old Canon lens catching dust and are you into DIY hacks? Then this is for you. This is some serious hardware hacking.

A guy going by [Ad_w00000] on Instructables made a soldering magnifier using a Canon SLR zoom lens, the FD 70-210mm f/4, and the Canon Extender FD 2X-B.

[Ad_w00000] says:

Soldering was becoming more difficult for me and magnifying glasses weren’t much help. I saw on the net that someone used a zoom lens from cctv camera and attached it to a webcam. I didn’t have a cctv zoom lens. But I did have an SLR zoom lens! I liked the idea that there is alot of space between the lens and object. Space to work on. So I started this project. Besides I have lots of goodies lying around in my office and its getting more cluttered and now I got to use them up!

The whole thing is pretty complex and involves for sure some skills. For the Canon part of things, [Ad_w00000] took the lens out of the FD 2X-B extender. This allows to take off or change the lens without hassle. A recycled laptop webcam was fitted into a hole drilled into a Canon rear lens cap. Lens cap and lens mounted on the adapter.

The Canon FD 70-210mm f/4, with extender and mounted webcam (image courtesy of [Ad_w00000])

Curious? See everything explained step by step by [Ad_w00000] at Instructables. The story was spotted by hackaday. More Canon hacks are listed here.

If you want to learn more about this Canon vintage lens, check the video below by Mark Holtze.

[Hack] Transform Your Broken Battery Grip In A Computer, Plug It On Your Cam (Update)

Image credit: D. Hunt

Update: click here for a listing of cheap battery grips on eBay.

Ireland based photographer David Hunt had a cool idea: To modify an otherwise unusable battery grip and to fit a computer into it. He bought a Raspberry Pi computer (€35), modified the grip and managed to stuff the Raspberry Pi inside. A broken EOS 5D Mark II battery grip was used. The little computer runs on Linux, has 2 USB ports, a network port, HDMI outoput, and some more amenities. Things you can possibly do with this computers include…:

  • Wireless tethered shooting – attach a Wifi dongle to the USB port, so I can transmit pictures to a PC or tablet PC as I’m shooting.
  • Attach a USB memory key or hard drive so I can back up the images on the camera.
  • Remote control the camera using a PC, tablet PC or smartphone (from anywhere in the world).
  • Intervalometer – take a picture every few seconds for those high-speed sunset sequences, including exposure adjustment as you go.
  • On-the-fly image conversion for faster previews on remote display device (iPad, etc).
  • Add a small LCD display to give status, allow user input via buttons, etc.
  • Trigger camera via shutter release port, also allows waking up of sleeping camera, which cant be done via USB.

Doesn’t that sound cool?? It’s a prototype, no question, and as Dave Hunt states “there’s plenty of work to be done on the software side“. But the prototype is working, and the potential is clearly visible. For the time being, Dave was able to activate tethering. Hope to hear more about this.

Image credit: D. Hunt

[David Hunt, via petapixel]