Author Topic: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?  (Read 412 times)

Macro_Cosmos

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Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« on: February 08, 2018, 08:58:26 »
Hello everyone! Greetings from Kangaroo land.

I have with me a Laowa 12mm f/2.8 lens, have been using this for over one year now. I would like to explore the possibility to chip this lens for both correct exif (Nikon doesn't let us set 12mm in the non-cpu lens section), and for aperture control on the camera via dials.

My initial conclusion is that due to the design of this lens, chipping will be very hard. It has a weird mount mechanism that covers all areas required for a chip. The lens however has ample internal space.

I took the mount off, it looks like this:

DSC_2495 by Macro Cosmos (DH), on Flickr

DSC_2494 by Macro Cosmos (DH), on Flickr

The internals:
DSC_2492 by Macro Cosmos (DH), on Flickr


Photos may look weird and flat, forgive my 30 seconds of post processing.

Erik Lund

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 09:10:52 »
Quick solution is to glue a Dandelion CPU onto the rear like any other lens.


Second option is to buy a CPU from Bjørn, if any are left in stock.
You would need to remove the light baffle and the rotating aperture activation plate with the ball bearing, cut romm for the contact block and reassemble,,, not too complicated.


I like that the mount has the TC cut out in the flange  ;D
Erik Lund

Macro_Cosmos

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 07:50:58 »
Quick solution is to glue a Dandelion CPU onto the rear like any other lens.


Second option is to buy a CPU from Bjørn, if any are left in stock.
You would need to remove the light baffle and the rotating aperture activation plate with the ball bearing, cut romm for the contact block and reassemble,,, not too complicated.


I like that the mount has the TC cut out in the flange  ;D

 :) Thanks for the light Erik!

Yep, the 12mm does have a "TC accessory", it's the MSC that turns it into a 17mm f/4 shift lens, works on Sony bodies. The MSC is basically an optical device that enlarges the image circle. It also has another accessory for Fujifilm GFX, allowing it to be used as a 17mm f/4 medium format lens. Pretty darn versatile in my opinion.

What is the exact difference between dandelion chips and Bjørn's G-series CPU chips? Does dandelion chips allow focus trapping? I saw Bjørn's post on a dandelion chip breaking, that's scary to me. The lens might fall off and bits falling into the lightbox, scary stuff.

The long shaft is connected to that rotating bearing ring, and that would be required to set aperture. Taking out the bearing ring would mean the shaft goes away too. It seems to me that due to the fundamental design of the rear, it would be hard to chip it. A custom rear mount will have to be designed to make all this possible. Am I right here? 

Erik Lund

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 08:02:46 »
No, you misunderstand.
See this thread:
http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,32.0.html
it's almost the same procedure your lens will take some more work,,,

First you disassemble
Then you modify it by cutting room for the CPU.
And then you put it back together again, ball bearing and all.

This is not a easy DIY job, sorry if you got that impression,,,

Here is a link with explanations for CPU's

http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,36.msg128.html#msg128

The other type is the "do all" Dandelion, a CPU and print board build into an ready to install contact block.

The block consist of two halves glued together around a print board with the CPU and with coil spring loaded contact pins.
It is glued onto the mount using a supplied jig that holds the contact block, and if necessary a small distance piece, in place during the hardening of the glue.
After installation the CPU is programmed via a series of combinations of shutter and aperture settings performed with the camera.
The Dandelion CPU can only emulate a manual focus G-Type lens, it has focus confirmation and will work in P, A, S, and M mode.
You can't use the Dandelion for Ai or Ai modified lenses it will result in wrong exposures due to the non-linear movement of the aperture leaver.
The Dandelion is a very fragile design, easily damaged or knocked off by impact.
These CPU's are similar in size to the 5 pin AF contact blocks, but without the lower part that rest against the inside of the F-mount.
Erik Lund

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 08:12:36 »
Just got to thinking about it and it would be very similar as to chipping an APO Lanthar 125mm, here is a how to with images:


http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,2832.0.html
Erik Lund

Macro_Cosmos

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 08:38:47 »
Just got to thinking about it and it would be very similar as to chipping an APO Lanthar 125mm, here is a how to with images:


http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,2832.0.html
:o :o :o :o :o
Dang, scary! You are certainly one brave and crafty individual! I will never have the guts to mess with such a gemmy piece of art. I still feel like knocking myself out with Tofu for not getting the Voigt 125mm when they were somewhat reasonable.

I read the post, speechless! I do not have the skills to perform such an operation  :'(
Does seem similar, so worth a try when I have access to the tools and experiment on some nikkors myself. An alternate I can think of is sending the lens mount for chipping and paying for it  :D
Not sure if anyone is willing to give it a go. Or perhaps I can send the lens altogether so the person has an opportunity to play with it. It's a lovely lens, fun to use. Obviously I will be paying postage and the work that goes into it. May I kindly ask if you or Bjørn are still up to performing such operations? I'd be happy to give it a spin. I can even get spare parts from Laowa directly if anything messes up, but I am 120% certain nothing would go wrong  ;)

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 10:01:48 »
Due to declining lack of interest in lens 'chipping' over the past years, I have ceased production of these CPUs and just sold off my inventory. No plans of making a new batch as there is significant financial investment involved and the risk of not getting a return on such investments is high.


Chris Dees

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 11:22:37 »
Pity, so now we're doomed to the Dandelions. :(
Chris Dees

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 11:23:21 »
Pity, so now we're doomed to the Dandelions. :(

I only needed 3 more.
Chris Dees

Bjørn Rørslett

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 14:33:43 »
Let's see what the recent cleaning-out of my digs has precipitated in terms of undiscovered hardware ...

Chris Dees

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Re: Possibly to Chip the Laowa 12mm D-Dreamer Lens?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 17:00:42 »
Let's see what the recent cleaning-out of my digs has precipitated in terms of undiscovered hardware ...

That would be great.
It's for a 25-50/4.0 AI-s, 50-135/3.5 AI-s and a 200/4.0 QC (AI-d). AFAIK not the most difficult ones to chip (I'm thinking of the 55/1.2 SC :D )
Please take your time, I'm not in a hurry. :)
Chris Dees