Category Archives: D.I.Y.

Converting a Bolex Yvar 36mm lens to Cmount


I know what you’re thinking.. why going through all this mess when this lens is not that fast. Thing is I own a 75mm Yvar AR and I love it to bits. It’s  sharp even wide open, contrasty and it’s got beautiful colors. And it’s a vintage 50 years old lens that can still produce stunning images on the cropped sensor DSLRs.

The Bolex camera was made in 8mm and 16mm versions. It’s a precision Swiss design and a variety of lenses were made in different formats from Kern Paillard themselves, along with Canon, Schneider, Cooke, C to name but a few . The Kern’s one are A grade stuff and perhaps they are so sharp because 16mm film has to resolve more details to look decent once projected.

OCT19 adapter for LOMO lenses

LOMO lenses are the answer of Russia to Cooke lenses.

As you surely know USA and URSS fought for years for the ultimate supremacy. Cinema was a field of excellence for the USA and indeed the Russian were trying to catch up.
Cooke lenses were widely in use in US movies, URSS had Konvas and Kinor films cameras and the best lenses available were the LOMOS.

With all this DSLR craze and especially with the introduction of mirror less cameras a hunt for vintage lenses started. Prices have raised a lot in the last years but you can still find some pretty good deals.
On mirror less cameras you can mount pretty much anything and that I think it is a strong point to go vintage for video work (on a budget). Indeed the 5dmkII dynamic range is superior, the full frame aesthetics are evident but looking for vsome legacy glass is one direction of DPing the art of film-making.



Some time ago I strongly felt I needed to learn the steadycam work. You can see it in uncountable movies and it gives a boost to your narrative, there’s no way around it.

DSLR are difficult to handle when shooting, so footage tends to be pretty shaky. Even worst if you’re using non-stabilized lenses.

After some thorough research over the net I found out that the steadycam Merlin would have been the optimum solution in terms of value for the money. Many were recommending it over the Glidecam 1000/2000/4000 and the vest was available as well.
I purchased the whole kit, apparently you can’t walk away with the Merlin alone, after a short while your arm would hurt. That was indeed right.