The Lens Doctor applies a little more magic to old lenses – FD to EOS conversions on the way

Since Lens Doctor Eddie Houston introduced the Fluid Variable Aperture on this blog a few months ago he says his business has gone tremendously well, so much so that – after an initial trial using the FVA installed into Nikon and Leica R lenses – the BBC have commissioned him to install the aperture system on all their stills lenses.

I’ve had quite a few of my lenses converted this way now and can testify to how well they work. It has worked especially well with my older Leica and Canon FD manual focus glass. I have other de-clicked Leica R lenses but the aperture on these has a tendency to move on its own due to the springs in the aperture system. The Lens Doctor version does not – a great help. After adding a True Lens Service 80mm lens donut, a Zacuto lens gear and a Leitax Leica R to EOS hard mount I have a newly ‘cinemized’ lens.

Eddie added: “I have a further development to the Fluid Variable Aperture system that is currently going through patenting. This will be the introduction of a gearing system with SLOW-NORMAL-FAST selection and it will also include the segmentation of the aperture down to 1/32nd increments. This will allow cameramen or movie makers to maintain a constant aperture if there is a break in filming for whatever reason (such as weather or light). They will be instantly able to mark the aperture where they stopped and set the same aperture value again when filming recommences – vital to cohesive filming and precise editing. This will be available in mid summer and we will be able to retrofit it on manual lenses. We have tested the system on Canon, Zeiss, Leica, Olympus and Nikon so far.

“On another note, permanent conversion of all FD lenses to EF is just about completed. This involved the purchase of precision machinery and some final tweaking should see the offering of this service in a few weeks. I’m sure this will delight older FD lens owners, especially those of the long white L lenses like the 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600mm and 800mm. These were always susceptible to poor conversions by others in the past; now with the Lens Doctor professional mount it will perform as a manual EF lens.

“There has always been a problem in the conversion of the older Breechlock lenses and I have completely redesigned the rear end of the Breechlock FD lens. It will come with a new rear mounting, completely removing the aluminum serrated locking ring.

“I have also been approached to offer the Lens Doctor service in two other countries, the USA and Sweden. Although these discussions are in early stages it looks like the service will involve vendors offering lenses fully converted with the Fluid Variable Apertures from their outlets. If any other people are interested in offering this service in their countries, please contact me at [email protected]

You can find more details of the conversions on www.thelensdoctor.co.uk.

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