Thread: DIY Lens "Rehousing"

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  1. #1 DIY Lens "Rehousing" 
    Junior Member JamieW's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Maine, USA
    Hey REDUsers,

    I'm sure a lot of you are in the same boat as I am right now - stuck quarantining with uncertainty surrounding future work and the if/when life will return to normal. In my current boredom, I was thinking about the possibility of "rehousing" a set of Canon FD lenses I have.

    The idea would be to model a sleeve designed to fit over the existing lens in CAD, and then 3d print prototypes to beef them up (95OD fronts, geared focus ring, maybe geared iris). If all works well, I would like to send the CAD models to a CNC machine to get them made in aluminum or other metal for a more solid/polished look.

    I'm fairly certain that Cinematics lenses you see on ebay (Sigma 18-35 "rehoused") do something similar to this.

    Has anyone ever done this before? Any results? Or any suggestions for people who do proper rehousing at a good price?

    Thanks in advance.
    - Jamie
    Gemini Owner // Photographer // Director
    @JWalter1337 // @PamolaCreative
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Bastian Meier's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Graz, Austria
    I had similar ideas, but with an actual rehouse. I do service Leica-R Lenses, and so I came up with the idea to actually start designing my own housing for them. But I guess till you have found out a way how to do a good rehousing it won't be any cheaper than getting a rehousing from someone Like GL Optics.

    Filmproduction & Filmservices

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  3. #3  
    Member Cole Sprague's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    Los Angeles
    I did something similar to an Angenieux 12-120 to be able to use a matte box since it has a rotating and telescoping front. It worked with the 3d printed version, but it was rather unrefined as there were extremely difficult to print overhangs involved.

    I’m not sure the real benefit of doing a full sleeve on those lenses that a set of focus and iris gears can’t accomplish while being easier to design and significantly lighter. 3D printed gears work perfectly well, I use mine everyday on a number of different lenses.

    As for the 95mm OD front, there’s plenty of readily available threaded versions on the market, or you could design a version that uses the lens hood mounting tabs to lock on. That’s what I do with my Sigma Art zooms to bring them up to 114mm.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2011
    I highly recommend GL Optics for rehousing. Super smooth focus, solid build and totally pro.
    Director of Photography, Colorist
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2007
    If you just want to make sleeves, then that should work, but you beter have a pretty nice 3d printer to get any kind of resolution that isn't going to look lousy and feel crunchy on the gears. You would probably be better off just buying gears for them, and maybe printing fronts to play nice with your matte box.

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