Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera: Vintage Lenses 2, WideEye Adapter

As I mentioned in the first Vintage Lens article, I had more of my original 1980’s FD lenses coming down from New York and they finally arrived.  In particular I was really excited to test out the Quantary Quasi Fish Eye lens adapter to see if it would help with the crop fracture of the BMPCC.   It looks like it does.

The Quantaray is not a standalone FD Fish Eye Lens, it does not have the proper mount on the back to attach directly.  Through an adapter, it screws onto the end of any FD lens, adding much more width to any lens but with minimal distortion.  Maybe that’s what the “Quasi” stands for, not quite so extreme of a bend.

Quantaray 2

Qualide 49mm Adapter ring and the Quantaray Quasi Fish Eye Lens..

I have a Qualide 49mm adapter that screws onto the back of the Quantaray and then the entire assembly attaches to the front of any FD lens.  You can probably still get adapters to attach this type of Quantaray to an array of lenses.

Quantaray Quasi Fish Eye lens attached to the front of the Canon 50mm FD lens.

Quantaray Quasi Fish Eye lens attached to the front of the Canon 50mm FD lens.

The entire assembly almost looks like a small zoom lens.   There are not adjustments at all on the Quantaray, all focus and zoom (if available) is made on your original lens.   Now let’s look at what the Quantaray does.   For this test I shot a hummingbird feeder with four configurations, 50mm and 28mm lens with and without the Quantaray.

I was standing in the same spot, 5 feet away from the feeder for every one of these images.

Here’s the Canon 50mm lens straight up.

Canon 50mm Lens on the BMPCC

Canon 50mm Lens on the BMPCC

 

Here’s the Canon 50mm lens with the Quantaray Fish Eye attached.

50mm FishEye

Canon 50mm with Quantaray Quasi Fish Eye attached to the front.

 

Here’s the Canon 28mm lens straight up.

28mm Normal

Canon 28mm Lens on the BMPCC

 

Here’s the Canon 28mm lens with the Quantaray Fish Eye attached.

Canon 28mm with Quantaray Quasi Fish Eye attached to the front.

Canon 28mm with Quantaray Quasi Fish Eye attached to the front.

Remember I’m standing in the exact same position for every one one of these images.  Pretty impressive how much more flexible the 50mm is again with the Quantaray with minimal apparent distortion.  Others have recommended that I purchase a Speed Booster which will help with the crop factor on this camera and regain some of the image area of these lenses.   That may be a future purchase, but for now, it’s looking like the Quantaray will add a lot more usability to our current lenses, especially the 50mm which was almost useless in a studio setting unless we went WAY back from the subject.

I was going to do some more testing outside, but the viewfinder screen on the back of the camera is darn near impossible to use outdoors without some sort of cover.   So far that seems to be the one of the big issues to deal with on this camera, very difficult to use outdoors even in shaded light, to see clear enough to know if you’re focused.   I have the viewfinder turned all the way up and while you can see the image decently, being able to see focus is quite difficult outside.   I’ll be looking at some alternative viewfinders that can be used with this camera while I’m at NAB 2014 for sure.  In fact I need to put together a bit more of a rig to really make this camera field ready, like a cage and some powered mics.

Overall though, it’s quite cool to be able to just drop all my 1980’s gear onto this camera.  Heck, I can even drop the camera into my 1980’s camera bag!  I’ll keep sharing our adventures with the BMPCC as we play!

Quantaray 5

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