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Thread: adding tele lens to cannon md160

  1. #1

    Default adding tele lens to cannon md160

    Im hoping that someone out there could give me some advice on getting a tele lens to fit my cannon md160 digital video camcorder. I'm new to this game, and had the camcorder for 6 months. Really pleased with the camera,but i want to extend the optical zoom. I film my friends out surfing,so i want to get closer to the action without getting wet! The 35mm zoom is great, but alot of my footage is done on maximum zoom and the quality is not as sharp as i would like.I have seen lots of different types of add on tele zoom lens's that you can either screw or clip on. My camera has no screw threads on the lens casing,does anyone know if there is a lens that will fit that wont break the bank. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    This is what I've made up for shooting kitesurfers, well almost:



    In reality the front, the bell shaped end, is best to not be there.

    Before I expand on that though, your comment about the images not being sharp at full zoom worries me, as all a device like this will do is multiply the focal length, not correct a sharpness problem.

    Have you some existing footage at full zoom I can check out?

    And before you do that, what kind of support are you using for the camera, i.e. tripod etc?

  3. #3

    Default tele zoom on cannon md160

    Thanks Jerry for your quick reply. I use a tripod for my filming,its nothing fantastic but its pretty solid. Will try and send you a couple of video stills,one on full zoom, the other about half zoom. The video stills are just over 1mega pixel, will this be why the stills on full zoom are not very clear. Any adice would be welcome. Thanks, Tom

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    Before you do that, we are talking optical zoom are we not? If you're trying to work with digital zooms, the harsh sounding advice is forget it, it's always no good. Using converter lenses is the answer.

  5. #5

    Default tele lens

    Cheers Jerry, Yeah i only use the optical zoom. Still live in hope that there is a tele converter that will fit my camcorder.Cheers Tom

  6. #6
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    A lot depends on your access to fabricating skills and materials. Take it from me that, within reason, any converter lens can be made to fit any camera, what's needed is a means to hold both in position.

    The TCON300B above does not use filter threads to fix to the camera, including the one it was intended for. As far as I can tell this was to prevent damage to the front of the camera lens, due to the sheer weight. So let's discuss how we could mount such a thing to your camera, bearing in mind this principle can be applied to other lenses, so long as we have the means to provide a mount that fixes to the lens.

    The idea in my picture at the top of this thread is the use of a bracket between the two, the TCON300 has a tripod mount already fitted, so that stage is done, we just need a bracket to join that to the camera. So here's mine, a WIP as said, from that rig above:



    It's just some aluminium plates, sandwiched together to make up the two heights needed. There needs to be some reasonable accuracy here, but not crazy numbers, within a millimeter off axis is fine I think, this one is about .5mm off at the moment. This will be made up by protective rubber or something when it's finished under the low side, in this case the camera.

    The lens has a hardish rubber hood on its rear, with a recess which takes the front of the lens it was intended for. The filter thread on the camera lens is a 62mm, so by matching the inside and outside diameter of the normal lens we have the start of a means of coupling the two. The simple solution here is a step-up ring. These rings could also be used to reduce the hole size of the back of the 300, you just need to experiment a bit to find the right filter size that will allow a reasonable fit of the periphery of your Canon lens, with reasonable light blocking. I'd be tempted to look at rubber lens hoods too, they have tapered backs, and if you get one small enough you could trim off the back of it to the right distance to allow a snug fit over the ring that's around the outside of the lens on your camera. It may even be possible to get a rubber hood that is big enough on the front side to sit in, or over the rear of the TCON300. We need to get the lens as close to the camera as possible, but some gap in there is manageable.

    The Canon MD160 has a tall body, so there's going to be a need for a big step in any bracket you make, but this is just about degrees.

    The TCON14B could also fit your camera by the same means. This does have a 62mm filter thread, but our same step up ring will fit this too. All we need is a suitable means to mount it to our bracket, and the answer is one of these:



    Coincidentally the rear end of the TCON14B is the same diameter as the Canon lens this was intended for, so this will give us our tripod mount to fix to our bracket.

    When you come to check the alignment when making your bracket, set your video camera to max wide angle, this will introduce vignetting (all teleconverters do this), use the vignetting to aid centralising the camera to the lens.

    You'll need to do some sourcing for suitable screws for the camera and lens mounting, and here's a lecture about this particular screw thread;

    Our American cousins are generally under the illusion that the thread for tripod mounting is a 1/4" UNC (Unified Coarse), this is an American threadform, but here's the fact, The actual thread is a 1/4" BSW (British Standard Whitworth).

    1/4" UNC has the same pitch, the number of turns per inch, as the same sized BSW threads up to 1/2", but the actual form of the thread is different. Basically the angle of the threadform is 60 degrees on UNC, but 55 on BSW, this manifest itself as deeper threads on the BSW version. The net result is that only the tips of UNC screw threads will be in contact, this over pressurises the thread, and can lead to your stripping the tripod socket on your camera! Somehow Americans have convinced themselves that it's a threadform of their making, this tosh is all over the net, please don't fall into that. When you trawl the net for 'tripod screws' make sure it's either proper tripod screws, or search for 1/4" BSW. There's quite a few on ebay, in particular look for 'thumbscrews'.

    Lecture over.

    Remember that having consumed our tripod mounting holes that we will need a new one in the bottom of the joining bracket, for this you'll need a 'tap' of the right size, or if you can find something that has a female tripod screw hole in it, like a flash bracket etc, then bolt that on instead. The find the right place to put the tirpod hole, assemble the rig and holding it upside down find the balance point, that's where your hole needs to be.

    To aid the steadying of long focus lenses I've made what is simply a balance beam, the arched shaped thing in the pic at the top. This adds weight and therefore stability to the moving camera. These are available commercially, but a bit of bent metal with adjustable weights on it is something I'm reluctant to pay over a hundred quid for to say the least. The commercial ones are called, er, 'The Trig Balance Beam' (inspirational!), and they can be seen here: Beam

    I can expand on that if needed, but it's simple enough really. If you can make the bracket to fix your teleconverter, you can make that too.

    Is that a help?
    Last edited by Jerry Hill; 09-07-2008 at 10:03 PM.

  7. #7

    Default tele lens

    Thanks jerry, Can see what your saying, and now got some ideas on what to do. Looks like i will be spending some late nights in the garage working on it. Thanks for all your help,i will let you know how the project gets on. Thanks again.

  8. #8
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    http://www.waveform.eclipse.co.uk/RA...ON314%20SM.jpg

    Jerry that is so uber cool - looks like a 5mw blaster - at least.

    ( and btw I never thought you were a girl - lol)
    Last edited by Mark W; 09-07-2008 at 11:36 PM.

  9. #9
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    Mark,

    It's getting there. I'm sort of torn between the philosophies of 'if the lens can't see it, it doesn't matter what it looks like', and 'if you're going to do it, do it properly' !

    My name causes Gender confusion too. I booked a table I normally have at a restaurant once, we usually just go in and sit down, but a newbie waiter took the booking and was there when we sat down, he took exception to my sitting there because Jerry Hall was expected!

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