Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fotodiox Pentax 645 to Fuji G Mount Adapter

First I got my camera, no lenses available, but I have a full set of Pentax lenses and Fotodiox announced availability of their adapter at the same time. I ordered one, picked up my camera, and waited. It took about a week which is not unreasonable crossing international borders and clearing customs.

When the adapter arrived, I was delighted to note that the shoe has the necessary grooves for Arca Swiss clamps - very handy for my lighter tripods.

The shoe was slightly loose on the body of the adapter (hollow tube) with lens mounts. I tightened them but noticed that after one day, the screws were loose again, and this was all that is holding the camera and lens to the tripod (though the shoe). I was concerned.

I used some loctite on the screws and that seemed to help, but did notice some vibration through the shoe and to the lens and camera body. I planned to use a block of wood to fill the gap between the L shaped shoe and the tube of the adapter.

Over the weekend I cleaned up the garage and got access to my tools so today I made a suitable block in maple and epoxied it into place. I got a tiny bit of epoxy on the lens release lever and wiped it off and all seemed to be well.

After 10 minutes I couldn't budge the release lever - I really didn't think the small amount of epoxy I got on it would cause problems as it was entirely external, but nothing budged the lever.

I elected to remove the lens mount ring (four small phillips screws), and that went smoothly and I was able to take the ring off.

I couldn't believe how much epoxy got into and around the long arm of the release lever, well away from where I was working - seems that the epoxy used to hold in the wooden block wicked in between the ring and the tube and then around the lever. It hadn't been the tiny amount I spilled.

A lot of scraping and I was able to get the lever working just fine again thank you, and went to remount the lens ring. Of the 4 screws, 3 had stripped - I can only think that in pushing downwards to get the phillips screwdriver to grip the small screws, this damaged the aluminium - sigh.

SO now I've removed the ring, inspected it and see that there is a fairly large bearing surface between tube and ring, and that the springs located around the ring are inboard of where any glue would go. So, with little to lose, and the lens going to fall of the tube taking the ring with it, I elected to glue and bolt the ring.

I cleaned the ring with alcohol to improve bonding, made up some more epoxy and carefully replaced the ring. I dipped each of the four wiped bolts into epoxy and then screwed down the ring (as best I could with the stripped threads in the tube), and the adapter is now sitting with a wine bottle weight on the lens making sure I don't create a maligned lens ring. Oh, yes, and the lens release lever is working just fine now thank you and has some electricians tape over it so light can't enter the tube and onto the sensor.

Don't know if I can ever fully trust the adapter from here on out, but think I will try to locate some bigger bolts, after all this thing has to hold my 300 mm. lens off of it. Fortunately the 300 is a f5.6 lens and is quite light for what it is.

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