Many older lenses can’t simply be attached to DSLRs like my D7000 because the flange focal distance (lens mount to the focused image) is too short. DSLRs have a mirror, which gets in the way and makes the FFD almost 3 times as long.

My solution is to attach another lens to focus on where the sensor would be for the primary lens. To minimize length, I turned the secondary lens into a macro (close-focusing) lens by mounting it backwards.

My friend Matti and I made a rail system to hold the camera and lens with his laser cutter. Special thanks to Station House Studios for lending me the lens that inspired me to make this adapter.

Project Steps

Acquire parts!

I found my macro lens on eBay cheap. The shorter the focal length and larger the aperture, the better.

Attach your secondary lens to your DSLR using the reverse-mount adapter. Then attach the macro extension tube to the other end of that lens.

Cut out boxes for rail system. We made one that mounts to the camera, one to the tripod, and the other has a support for the TV lens. These are our design files. Remember that they will need to be modified to fit the diameter of your rails.

Align the lens. I used a meter stick, which is convenient because the minimum focal distance for this lens is 1 meter. Put an object at the end of the ruler, set to focus to 1 meter, and get it as sharp as you can. Preferably, your object will have text or something distinguishable.

Note: On the D7000, you can “zoom” in Live View. This will help you see if the image is in focus or not.

Go shoot! This lens has amazing zoom range, macro focusing, and a ginormous aperture. That all makes for some interesting photography. These are some shots I did of (what’s left of) fall around here.

The other great thing about having this lens on my D7000 is that I can shoot video!


Will attach design documents soon!