Still Lens Mount Swapping

The DSLR Revolution is in full swing at the moment and everyone is scrambling to get the glass they love on the camera they are stuck with. It doesn’t sound too difficult to simply change a piece of metal, but there are a lot of things to consider when attempting to change a mount. After-all, lenses are a precision tool, naturally. Lens and camera manufacturers all have their own mount system which specifies a flange depth, the distance from the mount flange to the film/sensor plane. When this number is accurate, the image that the lens produces falls on the sensor in perfect focus. Move it forward or backward by the smallest amount (.0005″) and your collimation will be completely off, throwing out your focus marks and destroying the accuracy of a lens, especially a zoom lens. All of the different SLR camera manufacturers had a similar theory and design, but just slightly different numbers for the flange depth. Wouldn’t it be great if they all agreed on a standardized mount that would allow any lens to be used on any camera? Yeah, it would be great. But that’s not how it works.

Another angle of the Leica-R 35mm f/1.4 Summilux with Leitax Eos mount installed.

The solution to the problem is to make custom add-on/replacement mounts tailored to each manufacturer specification, dozens of sizes and shapes to allow all sorts of lenses to mount to all sorts of cameras. Enter David Llado of Leitax. David, was a photography hobbyist who several years ago found himself wanting to mount an older Leica lens to his Pentax camera. He had played around with the concept using a pair of binoculars and realized the same could be done for regular lenses. There are plenty of adapters on the market that simply click onto the lens and allow you to attach them to mount to the camera with locking mechanisms, but these mechanisms take up valuable space between the lens and the camera and introduce unwanted play between the lens and camera. If there isn’t enough space between the two, the flange depth is inaccurate and proper infinity focus cannot be obtained. David proceeded to devise a replacement mount that utilized the existing dimensions and allowed his Leica lens to accept a Pentax camera mount. The result was superb. A fixed, semi-permanent Pentax mount on the back of his Leica lens. Something of a Frankenstein adaptation, the end result was nothing short of accurate.

A Duclos Lenses Cine-Mod Zeiss ZF.2 85mm f/1.4 with parts ready for Nikon to Canon mount conversion. This particular mount utilizes a spacer to achieve the proper flange depth needed for Canon Eos mount cameras. More info HERE.

Now David makes dozens of different lens mounts for dozens of different lens to camera combinations. His mounts are all made of stainless steel and include the hardware required for installation. Installation can be a bit tricky on some lenses but David calls out instructions for each model on his website. Some of his new mounts attach directly to the existing mount while others replace the mount entirely. Regardless of the type, the lens will almost always require recalibration to obtain accurate flange depth, a common practice anytime a mount is changed regardless of manufacturing accuracy. These mounts are particularly useful for converting lenses such as Leica-R series and Zeiss ZF.2 lenses to Canon EF mount for use on a 5D or a Red camera. I have to warn potential home-brew folks that these mounts might appeal to as there are a few other factors to consider. For example, the relax mirror on the Canon 5D MkII can hit the housing or glass on many different Leica-R lenses potentially damaging the lens or the mirror. If you’re thinking about doing a little DIY mount conversion, make sure you check your resources to ensure there won’t be any interference between the lens and camera and avoid devastating mistakes.

Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux with full Cine-Mod and fixed Canon Eos mount from Leitax. You can still see the original Leica-R mount that the Canon Eos mount piggybacks on top of. This particular lens is part of the Duclos Lenses Rental set. More info HERE.

Duclos Lenses started using the Leitax adapters in conjunction with the already popular Cine-Mod to allow beautiful Leica lens sot be used on Canon Eos mount cameras. Leitax also makes a mount that converts Zeiss ZF.2 lenses to Eos mount. This is excellent considering the native Canon Eos mount Zeiss lenses (Zeiss ZE series) do not have a manual aperture ring. The ZF.2 lenses with a fixed Canon Eos Leitax adapter meant that you have full manual aperture and focus control with a solid, reliable Canon Eos mount. Great! I’ve been dealing with David for over a year now and he has been great to do business with. His products are consistent and reliable. The mounts are all made from high grade, polished stainless steel and the hardware included is high quality as well. If you’re looking to take your still lenses to the next level, these mounts are the way to go. Especially with the Canon Eos mounts now shipping almost ready from RED for the Epic and Scarlet. You can visit David’s site and browse his products here: 



Categories: Accessories, Lens Guts, News, Tutorial

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5 replies

  1. You only gone and pushed me over the edge.
    I’ve been aware of Leitax for a couple of years. I was researching Leica R lenses for use on Canon DSLR’s for timelapse purposes. One thing has led to another and I’ve ended up with set of Zuiko OM lenses and a Rayqual adapter. At first the Rayqual was acceptable for edge sharpness with a 21mm f2 on a 7D. After 6 months it has seen enough wear to make it less than acceptable. Also, the lens likes to shift around in the adapter a little which seems to knock the focus plane out of alignment. Argh!!!
    Looking forward to a simple and solid screw-on stainless steel replacement for the wobbly anodized brass thing I have right know. The only downside is buying one for each lens but that is just the price of functionality and quality. Thanks for the timely reminder and endorsement of Leitax.

  2. Hi, I would like to get my Leica R set moded ( minus the EOS adapter, I already have that done with Leitax and it works great! ) I would like to get focus ring + front 80/77mm + declick.
    I’m in Bratislava ( Slovakia ). The set is very similar to yours.
    19mm vII, 24mm/2.8, 35+50+80/1.4, APO 100mm macro, APO 180mm/2.8 ( possibly 2.0) , and I am hunting for APO 280mm. ( I have had my mirror removed on 5DmII by Canon tech, so I can use all Leica glass :)
    Can you please email me for details. Thank you very much. Paul.

  3. Is there any downside to putting a ZF.2 on a canon with the Leitax? Cropping, vignetting?

    • The only downside I can think of is there is no communication between the lens and camera. But that’s not a big deal at all if you’re shooting motion pictures. Also no exif data. Leitax does sell an add on chip that will trick the camera into thinking a Canon lens is mounted and enable focus confirmation.

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