Jump to content


Photo

Converting an SR to a Nikon mount? Doable?


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 05 June 2008 - 12:50 PM

Hey all, I was wondering if it is in any way possible to convert the PL mount on any of the SR series to a Nikon mount (the current one, I think its the F mount) and how costly it would be. I have 5 really nice Nikon lenses that I use for still photography and just wondered if it was possible.

Thanks,
Dory
  • 0

#2 Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2165 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, Illinois

Posted 05 June 2008 - 01:33 PM

Hey all, I was wondering if it is in any way possible to convert the PL mount on any of the SR series to a Nikon mount (the current one, I think its the F mount) and how costly it would be. I have 5 really nice Nikon lenses that I use for still photography and just wondered if it was possible.

Thanks,
Dory


While anything is technically doable if you have enough time and enough money, converting an Arriflex 16SR or 16SRII from ARRI bayonet mount (which is how they came from the factory) or converting an Arriflex 16SR3 from PL mount (which is how those came from the factory), to Nikon mount would be VERY DIFFICULT and VERY EXPENSIVE.

The Nikon flange focal distance is much shorter than the ARRI standard flange focal distance, so you would have to machine into the camera housing to recess the mount, not a good idea any way you look at it.

The simple answer is no.

Now if you want to pay someone thousands of dollars and potentially destroy a perfectly good Arriflex SR motion picture camera, you are welcome to try.

Best,
-Tim
  • 0

#3 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:09 PM

Hey Dory,

What I'm going to say is only opinion and nothing authoritative.

I love my F mount Nikkies. I have eleven of them for my 2-perf 35mm camera. But I think that I'm pushing their usefulness on the 2-perf frame size. They're really made for that larger 8-perf frame size. That's what their resolving power is designed for. The 16mm frame may ask more sharpness from them than they can deliver. Many people here who know their lenses have expressed their doubts for Nikkies even on an academy 35mm frame. For sure, compared to the very best cine lenses, the Nikons can't compete. They're not bad. For 35mm they're a good way to get a large set of primes at affordable prices. Good and bad are so subjective anyway.

Someone like Max could probably recommend better lenses at a lower cost than body mods on the camera.
  • 0

#4 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:16 PM

Nikons are great lenses, and I love mine, for still photography. But, I would stick to cine glass for your film camera for numerous reasons; not only based on the lens' MTF, but also the fact that cine glass can take follow focus units, is generally a standard sized front (80mm) for mattebox donuts, and the PL mount feels much more and I think the lens would be less likely to drift.
The other problem would be the F stop on your lens, from what I recall, the aperture is fully open on nikon lenses until the shutter released, and then it closes down. This is not true for cine lenses, and I'm not sure how well a still lens, or a mount, would adapt to such things.
  • 0

#5 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:27 PM

Even if you managed to make it fit and properly work on a SRII, your widest angle Nikon 35mm lens would be nowhere near as wide as a native 16mm wide angle lens. Yes, you would be using the center portion of the 35mm lens, which technically is the best part of any lens, but is it really worth it?

While I understand that it is frustrating to have all these lens/ camera mounts that are not compatible with each other, this would be the best way to destroy an otherwise perfectly OK camera.

I have a Nikon to c-mount adapter (US $30) that I use on my ACL to great, if not very wide, results. In my case I got it so that I could do super telephoto work.

With the same amount you would be spending to retrofit the SRII to Nikon mount, and potentially destroying it in the process, you could buy a S16 ACL or Bolex c-mount camera and a c-mount adapter to use your Nikon lenses with. ;)
  • 0

#6 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:40 PM

The other problem would be the F stop on your lens, from what I recall, the aperture is fully open on nikon lenses until the shutter released, and then it closes down. This is not true for cine lenses, and I'm not sure how well a still lens, or a mount, would adapt to such things.


That can be a problem with some older lenses. I have never had that problem with newer, AF Nikon mount lenses.
Most older, mechanical lenses have a pin on the mounting part of the lens that makes this feature work. On one of mine I just had to make sure the pin was in the right position as it was mounted on the adapter for the iris to work full time.

And no one has been able to spot footage shot with it as "still photo lens" footage. To me that is a non-issue.
  • 0

#7 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7116 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 05 June 2008 - 07:02 PM

I know nothing 'bout the new-fangled auto lenses for the Nikons :S. . .Give me my all manual FM10 and a nice E Series and I'll be fine (i actually loved my old E Series 50mm F1.8. .. till someone ganked it. )
  • 0


Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Opal

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Opal

Technodolly

Willys Widgets