DSLR Shade For Every Lens

Mamiya lens shade on a Canon DSLRProblem solving 101.

I use both brand of 35 cameras. I was tired of all the lens shades that seem to clutter up my case. They all are designed specifically for each lens and work as they should but some of them are large and take up a lot of space.  One Friday while I was shooting a portrait with my Hasselblad and Phase back the light bulb went on. Why couldn’t I do the same with the 35 like I do with my Hasselblad?  I called the folks at Capture Integration and spoke with Dave Gallagher. He let me know he had some old Mamiya Lens shades for 645 and he was willing to let me try to solve my problem.

After receiving the shade, I needed to make some modifications. I need a threaded adapters that would fit the lenses and the lens shade. First off, I standardized everything to 77mm sizing, iFront View of a Mamiya Lens Shadet was also the largest the the shade could handle that was a common size and readily available. Next I purchased step up rings for all my lenses so that they would be a universal 77mm thread. The easy part was now done. Now I needed to have adapters machined. One side to fit the lens shade and the other with a 77mm thread that would screw into the step up rings. Fortunately a friend and colleague had some machine time available so we arranged to meet for a friday breakfast and discuss the project.

After bacon, eggs, pancakes, fruit and coffee, he decided that brass was the material to start with. George bought a block of brass and proceeded to machine two adapters to fit the shade and lens.  They worked perfectly. The only drawback was being a little heavy but they were built like a tank.

After trying the brass adapters George offered to make one out of aluminum. It turned out significantly lighter, but the problem was with the 77mm threads. . Watching a tool head on a metal lathe make these little threads is fascinating. After taking it out of the lathe we discovered that the aluminum really likes to gall on such small threads. We used a real cheap block of aluminum ($3) for the build. I’m sure we should have purchased a higher quality of aluminum to fix the threading problem but we were only making one and it was just a trial.

In the end, I found that using some silicon paste and a Q-tip to put a little on the threads really solved the problem of screwing the adapter into the step up rings. Solved.

I’m using the shade on everything except for one of my wide lenses. I’m a happy camper. This shade swings both ways and doesn’t seem to mind that its Nikon one day and Canon the next.

Hope this gave you some ideas. Til next time……

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