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Thread: Trying out an old modelscope lens attachment

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    Default Trying out an old modelscope lens attachment

    A few months ago I came across a modeling/photography accessory on Ebay that I have wanted/searched for 20+ years. When I did find them they were priced upwards of $1000 and beyond my $$ need/reach. This one was poorly described and for $100 I decided to take a chance. Unfortunately, it did not have an adapter ring to fit my Nikon. Until now. Found one in China and just got it in the mail.

    A modelscope is essentially a "peephole" lens mounted at the tip of a narrow tube, angled by mirror up and to the eyepiece or a camera lens. It puts the viewer in or on a scale model. Because they were precise and expensive, they were mostly used professionally. Engineering and Architectural model clients were given "scale" perspectives of three dimensional models to see how designs came together. Even by the time I got into architectural modeling in the mid 80's, these were an occasional novelty. The company I worked for would have it available when the architects/clients would stop by. I was entranced by the view, perspective and great depth of field.

    The following are rough test shots to see what this can do. First is the image through the camera and the others are edited and cropped.

    DSC_0098.jpg......DSC_0102.jpg......DSC_0103.jpg......DSC_0106B.jpg


    My next step will be to try and clean the lens. Then set up a more controlled set up with lighting (needs lots) and work on focus and exposures with higher MPs.
    The lens is heavy and pulls the focus ring out when in manual. Auto focus can't find a good focus point. As the focus changes it turns the direction of the "snorkel tube" lens so each adjustment requires more adjustments and refocusing....

    I think there is some potential here but will have to try it out to see. Clearly, a regular camera and lens could do a better job
    but I think I can squeeze a bit more quality out of this and the lens can go where no camera can! DSC_0098.jpg
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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  3. #2
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    Interesting perspective? But very cool!

    (God bless EvilBay!)
    N-joy!
    Tred - (USN-Ret.)
    Kansas City, KS
    (Sent using @ 1000Mbps)
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    That is very cool, haven't seen it before. It definitely shows the details!

    Paul

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    Picture 2 is amazing. If you have a couple of little plastic people, put 2 on the far end leaning against the wall or some boxes and you have one extremely life-like shot. I really like the perspective of this lens
    ~Sean


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    Nice! I would like to see the next pictures with an engine.

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    It looks like the blurry unfocused parts are around the fringe of the circle; elements in the center 3/4 of the circle seem to be in decent focus. So it may be that you always need to crop down to that interior area, which in turn my mean that you need to frame the shot by stepping further back from your subject. Neat gizmo though! Looking forward to what else you can do with it, since the quality of your modeling holds up so well in closeup.

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    That is crazy, man! I can see where that would let you get some shots that are impossible otherwise. Are you using a digital camera? It was made for old analogs right? How does it attach?

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    Wow!! I have heard of these but never seen one before. Way cool.
    Sean McC

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    who has friends." -- Clarence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile One View Post
    Are you using a digital camera? It was made for old analogs right? How does it attach?
    Yes, digital. It has an eye piece and an adapter for various lens diameters of old. It came with several adapter rings but none that fit my Nikon. Threads into the lens cap threads.

    Hopefully I can get some better shots. It is deceiving because looking directly through the eye piece everything is sharp, bright and plain cool. With the camera lens attached, it is suddenly dull and fuzzy...
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    I personally think it is AWESOMENESS! My first post to this site had to do with aperture size and model railroading! I would love to get my hands on one of these to experiment with! I really like the way it enlarges a scene. Thanks for posting and keep on posting pics! (We can never get enough of them)

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    Ron

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    Grey scale them, and it will look like a ye-old photo from the 1800's.
    Bryan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    Grey scale them, and it will look like a ye-old photo from the 1800's.
    Had already added this to the Show Us Your nSn 10th Anniversary Rolling Stock!

    thread: http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...egistry)/page6
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Recent posts concerning model photography inspired me to continue a bit of experimentation with this old modelscope lens.

    I finally realized I could take it apart and clean a bit. Fuzz and dust were seen in previous pics. The interior has a lens that resembles a drop of water in shape. About 3/16 inch in dia.

    One challenge is that the weight of the scope tends to pull the camera zoom lens out. Had to tape it temporarily as well as the focus, as it is a fixed setting. But really no way to be sure it is actually in the "best" focus position. My tripod allows the camera to be suspended upside down but the legs get in the way of either the camera body or the lighting or the picture.... Need to set up carefully. Auto settings tend to be tricked by the darkness around the actual image (remember, only a small circular image appears in the viewfinder filling roughly 1/8 the image space. So need to shoot manual and bracket.
    DSC_0320.jpg

    Here are a couple results. Still needs refining. If I could see the image enlarged while shooting, I could refine the focus. Indoor with better studio set up, might be able control a few more issues. These were quick, outdoors with late afternoon sun.




    A B&W lends a bit of atmosphere...

    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    It looks like the blurry unfocused parts are around the fringe of the circle; elements in the center 3/4 of the circle seem to be in decent focus.
    Long time to respond....
    Correct. Thinking I should up the MPs, pull back on the subject and try again... Also appears to be "schmutz" still on one of the lenses....
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler..............Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life..............Web-Folio

    The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to a carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man. -- Thomas Jefferson, 1802


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    They are great pictures as they are. I don't think that more sharpness will necessarily improve them. Nice work with old stuff.

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    Interesting story and pictures.
    You can't outrun your own legs.

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    Default Opportunity knocks.

    When I first saw the photos you posted my thought was that it made everything so clear and sharp.
    The close ups show details to their best BUT it is too sharp as it stands. Like the ties on the tracks. They are perfect.
    If you were going to submit for a contest, the modeler would want to create some fuzz on those.
    You could do this detail/lens work for other members to show what they need to accomplish to create the perfect scene.
    Well done!

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    Just curious what the shutter speed is, lens must be f/500.

    If anyone wants to risk $5, this claims 2 cm to infinity: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2M-6-LED-USB...-/281950257114
    It comes with the periscope mirror, and you can use it to get face shots of you goldfish from inside the aquarium.

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