Modifying the Canon 10-22mm lens

My personal reasons for doing this modifications isn’t really important. Long story short, I bought the 10-22 when I was using a Canon EOS 20D. I loved the lens, and it was my most used lens by far. Moving up to the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (a full framed camera) I knew I wouldn’t be able to use my 10-22mm EF-S mount – and it was my main concern at the time, but I hoped that my 28-70mm lens would be wide enough on a full frame… well I still missed a really wide lens, and since I don’t have an unlimited budget for photo gear… what to do.

I was under the impression that a lens made for an EF-S mount would never work on a EF mount, be cause the lens wouldn’t cover the hole sensor. However from other articles on the net I learned that this was not entirely true for the 10-22. From about 16mm the entire sensor would be covered on a full frame camera, and the back element of the lens would clear to a EF level from about 12mm.

I have been looking at the Canon 17-40mm L lens for a while, but where told by people owning both the 17-40 and the 10-22, that the 10-22 where a superior lens. I don’t like to start a debate over this statement, for me it was enough that the 10-22 where comparable to the 17-40.

So, how to you turn your prised 10-22mm EF-S lens into a great 16-22mm EF lens? Well as we will see later the result turned out to be a 13-20mm EF lens, where the 13 to 16 mm isn’t really usable, but otherwise a fantastic lens on a full framed camera.

If you’d like to try the same you can take inspiration from the steps below. And of course a disclaimer: If you decide to try this modification you do so at your own risk, I take absolutely no responsibility for the result.


1) Seen from the side it obvious how the EF-S mount protrude beyond what would be the base of the EF mount. The first exercise will therefore be to remove the EF-S mounts extra depth, since this prohibits mounting the lens on a full frame camera like the EOS 5D Mark II. The extension also protects the rear element of the lens between 10 and 13 mm, but prohibiting this extension is a problem we’ll address later.


2) First of all we need to remove the EF-S extension plate, this is done very easily: First set the lens to 22mm, this will retract the rear element as far back as it can, and will give you room to insert your finger into the hole, and hock it around the edge.


3) Pull firmly, but not virulently, up and the plate comes off very easy.


4) Having removed the back plate it is now actually possible to mount the lens on a full framed Canon body. And indeed this can be used as quick and temporary fix to mount the lens on a body like the EOS 5D Mark II. Be careful however: From 10 to about 12 mm the rear or back element of the lens protrudes so fare back, that it will hit the mirror of the camera, in best case creating an error in worst case damaging the mirror or the mirror mechanism.


5) Although we can do without the back plate all together, the best thing would be to modify it to a EF plate, since it protects the electronics in the lens and helps block out stray light that might otherwise bounce around in there. The problem however is that we cant just grind away the excess plastic, since there a grove around the inner tube. If we did remove the plastic we would be left with a detached inner tube.


6) Solution: Epoxy, you can get epoxy glue in small quantities in most countries, often in the form of two dispensing tubes. Mix a little, but enough epoxy (you don’t want to run out in the middle of pouring).


7) Before you pour epoxy into the groove, make sure it is free of dust and grease.


8) Pour just enough epoxy mix into the groove as to fill it completely, make sure you do not let it overflow, or sit too high, since this can hinder the plate in fitting over the electronics in the lens. Let the epoxy harden for 48 hours, or however long the mix you use requires to harden completely. If you are unsure, make a little test piece with some leftover epoxy, that you can test on.


9) Okay, so the epoxy has hardened. Now it is time to grind down the plastic plate, so it has the same height as an EF plate.


10) First of all remove the rubber ring, this comes off easily.


11) You are now left with the bare plastic. There are many way to remove the bulk of the plastic. I stated off with a hacksaw and switched to a knife, working my way down.


12) When you reach the stage seen here it is time to switch to fine sandpaper, to take the remaining surplus, and get a nice polished surface.


13) All done, that is to say you can stop working on the plate now and pop it back on the lens, or you can give it the finishing touch with a little mat black spray paint.


14) After painting, let it dry, completely – not sure what paint fumes can do to a lens, but why experiment?


15) Paint completely dry, pop the back cover back in place on the lens – step back and admire the result – looks like and EF mount to me.


16) Now, the problem of the back element extending beyond the back of the lens, and colliding with the mirror. The trick I used was to make a stop on the top of the lens, between the protective filter (you do have one on the lens, right?) and the front element. This element will extend furthest out at 10 and 22 mm. If you make a stop between the filter and the element 6 mm wide it will hinder the lens going further back then to 13mm, unfortunatly it also hinders the lens going beyond 20mm, effectively limiting the lens to a 13-20mm zoom. Personally I’m fine with this trade-off, since it ensures that I don’t accentually set the lens to 10mm and damage the mirror. So my solution: cut a piece of plastic ca 1mm thick and 6mm wide, and long enough to snugly reach all the way around inside the lens. The strip should be mat black to hinder reflections, so use black plastic, or paint it mat black.


17) Remove the protective filter and fit the plastic strip inside, and check that you have the correct limit – most importantly that the back element of the lens can’t extend beyond the rear of the lens.


18) Fit the filter back on. And check the limit on the lens again. Better safe then sorry.


19) That’s it, all done, you have converted the excellent Canon 10-22mm EF-S to a Canon (based) 13-20mm EF lens – and I doubt you’ll be sorry.


20) Okay a couple of test shots: this one is 13mm, you can clearly see that the image from the lens doesn’t cover the hole sensor.


21) Still 13mm.


22) But at 16-17mm it is completely covered, at 16mm you will see some strong vignetting, but at 17mm, like this image, it is a lot better – in fact I’m very happy with this result.


23) 17 mm again.

Eureka Springs

Just back from at trip to Eureka Springs (Arkansas) together with my wife and in-laws. My wife Kyrie’s brother, Brian joined us in Eureka Springs.  I had heard a lot about the place from my wife, who’s most important memories of the place, are of the “Frog Store” a store with thousands of frog items in stock, together with a very impressive museum of frogs – My wife has had a (big) thing for frogs since her early childhood.  Very unfortunately we discovered that the store has closed, although only in part, but the museum has been packed away in storage, and are not likely to see daylight again as a single collection.

The city of Eureka Springs – apart from the hundreds, maybe even thousands of bikers (and their very loud motorcycles) that frequent it – is very charming, it can be compared a little to Margaret River in West Australia. It is a tourist town though and though, but apart from it’s interesting location giving it it’s nickname “little Switzerland” it also has a life and atmosphere that seems very genuine.

On the way back to Kansas City we came across this abandoned farm house:

USA

In the States with my wife to surprise my father-in-law on his 60th birthday. The poor guy had no clue, and seeing his daughter walk up to him at his surprise party... well he has a reputation to protect, so I won’t go into details, suffice to say that I can report a complete success!

I’m hoping to get some photo-time in on this trip, but time again I’m faced with logistics problems. Normally they can always be resolved, when or if I express the importance  but time and time again it seems a struggle – if nothing else then on my part to communicate the desire to just being able to take off at any given moment, or to stop and concentrate on a shoot. Since we are so often in the States my wife and I have been talking about getting a car of our own, so we have something to drive in when here, without having to worry about the inconvenience we bring others in borrowing wheels.

That sinking feeling

Was shooting by myself the other day, which I haven’t done for a long while. It was nice to be able to concentrate on the scene, and not worry about companions being bored, or just drawing too much on their patience. I should say that it is purely my own hang-ups that are in my way when shooting in the company of others – my wife is amazing, pointing out interesting scenes, urging me to take my time. Well what can I say; I’m still working on being able to just concentrate on making photos, and not thinking about my fellow companions.

Anyway, back to the shoot. After having been driving around for a while, I decided to go to Esrum, north of Copenhagen. Just before reaching Esrum I noticed a small lake through trees near the road. A very nice area – I manage to get a couple of panoramas in HDR, shoot with 3×3 images at 2 stop intervals.

I chose to make the images with HDR because of the very high contrasts in the scene, sometimes that can give a good result, but I was really interested in getting the textures in the foreground (which were in the shadow), and I did not like all the fresh spring colors and the water in the background to be totally blown out.

The area around the lake is very swampy, and I actually think it might strictly speaking be a wet bog. Anyway, to position myself for the last shot (the one shown here) I had to stand in the swampy area, the camera and tripod where light enough not to sink too quickly, although it was a bit of a challenge to make the panorama HDR without unwanted camera movement, not quit so with me I certainly had that sinking feeling as soon as I where standing still.

Back from a trip to Jutland

Just been in Jutland for a couple of days. So, yet again I haven’t had time to process my images. I hope to have some new stuff up from Australia very soon though.

Saturday we went up to the very top of Jutland – hadn't been there for 20 years, and my wife have never been there. I must say it was somewhat of a disappointment. 

But let’s start with the positive experiences:

1) The House of Drachmann. Unlike the house of two other painters, this was a very pleasant experience. The house is very close both in exterior and interior to when Drachmann died, and you had this feeling of trespassing on the guy, with his clothes still hanging at the entrance and in the closet. The lady running the place also made you feel welcome, and had an abundance of information to share. Should you ever find yourself near Skagen, do have a look.

2) Lunch at the harbour. A lot of restaurants, fair prices, and very pleasant atmosphere.

The not so positive experiences:

1) The House of the Anchers. Very different experience then the house of Drachmann. For starters there where no photographing, which where pointed out to us as we entered – I hate that, in fact I think I’m going to boycott places with that policy from now on. One thing is prohibiting the use of tripods and flash, but no photographing at all! Second every item in the house had a very visible copper wire attached to it, spoiling the illusion of a home somewhat. As a last complaint, not event the hole house where accessible. And all this for twice the amount paid at Drachmann’s house.

2) The abandoned sand up church. Well… I remember it as actually having sand around it, not gravel roads, grass, trees, and a souvenir stand inside. But maybe that’s just selective memory on my part, but the magic wasn't there.

3) The town of Skagen. What can I say, it’s a tourist town for sure. I guess it can be handled worse, I've seen worse, but still it seem like what made the town a tourist town in the fist place is gone, and now there are just the tourists left. I might be too harsh in my judgement.

4) The light. My wife where most disappointed by this. Despite the all the talk about the special light at Skagen – the reason so many painters in the late eighteen hundreds chose to stay there. I've never noticed it, and my wife didn't see it. But without knowing anything about it, I can imagine the light being very different 120 years ago. First of all there where less pollution in the air, less trees and more sand, reflecting the light in a very special way. That combined with the two oceans on either side of the land (one thing that hasn't changed) I can see how it would create a special light, but not anymore – not from where I was standing anyway.

Still stitching

It’s now almost 3 weeks since returning from Australia, and I’m still not done stitching. Every spare moment I have initiated a new stitch, but with the speed my machine is working, there are still about 7 hours of bit crunching before all the stitches are done. Not all of them are worth the work though… In fact I’m thinking about changing my future work-flow. Right now it involves is adjusting and exporting the photos from Lightroom 2.2, in TIFF 16-bit format. Images that needs stitching, are then stitched as big as possible, and still in TIFF 16-bit – this takes time. My poor laptop is working overtime utilizing all of it’s power (2 GHz and 2 GB RAM) constantly. I need to see the snitched images together, no question – although I must admit that some of the stitches I’ve made, I’ve known to to be a waist of time from the start. In any case, maybe it would be more rational to stitch a low quality stitch first, then, if there is any point to it, make the high quality stitch. Now why didn't I think about that a couple of weeks ago.

A lot of taveling

This year looks to be a big traveling year for my wife and me. We have already been to Sweden and Australia, next stop Spain, later Norway, and this summer USA. And there might be a trip to Germany and one more to Sweden in the fall. I also ned to talk my wife into spending Christmas in USA, but that will require a little work… For some reason she thinks we will already do a lot of traveling this year.

In any case looking at my results from Australia, photography wise, I really need to find a strategy for taking focused time out for photography, or doing something other than landscapes. The way I worked in Australia isn't giving results I’m very happy with, I knew this but still manage to be disappointed looking through the results.

Birthday Present

While in Australia I turned the big four-o. I had mentally prepared myself for being 40 for the past year, so I can’t say it was traumatic or anything like that. And what’s the alternative… never turning 40 would also come with a 7 foot pine-box, and life is too good for that sort of thing anytime soon, if I can help it. Okay, enough of that. What I really wanted to mention was the lovely birthday present from my fantastic, loving, beautiful, talented, sexy, creative, intelligent,... (the list goes on), wife Kyrie. A Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM lens. i got it a few days before my birthday, shortly after we arrived in Australia, so I had maximum use out of it while there as she pointed out. Great lens.

Back from down under

Just back from a 3 weeks trip to Australia. So that will have to be this months excuse for not posting anything.

I’m in the process of going though my images, it’s slow progress – first of all because I have done nothing to them while in Australia, just offloaded the files (and making backups of course), second my job currently requires some overtime – but hopefully there will be some time this weekend.

Great trip, though I didn't get to any really serious shooting very often, e.g. the right time, at the right (and pre-scoped) location, with enough time (or whatever time the movement of the Sun would allow). But that was as expected, it can be difficult to combine photography and family vacation. But most importantly it was my first time in Australia with my wife, a real joy!

Upgrade done!

Well after a long and difficult (mental) process. I've finally upgraded. After reading several reviews on the EOS 50D, especially the review at dpreview.com, I came to the conclusion that the EOS 50D was not the way to go. It is a very nice camera, no question about it, but it has too many minor flaws.

The question of course was where to turn. Nikon, or maybe Pentax? Of course it meant that I had to sell all my “old” lenses, and not having a backup camera in form of my trusty EOS 20D, or keep all my lenses, and work with two different systems (at extra cost).

Enter the much awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark II. After looking at the specs I knew this was the camera for me, but I was still waiting for the review from dpreview.com, so far in vain. I know Canon have had trouble keeping up with demand, and it have been difficult to get hold of a production model, but it still surprises me that the good people at Dpreview.com hasn't put out a review yet. Luckily others have had their hands on a production model, and the reviews from these people have been very favorable. Especially the accounts from Christian Fletcher has been of high importance, since he for one is one of my favorite photographers and second because he specialize in landscape photography, of which category are the majority of the more “serious” photos I make.

I've also many times over the past years regretted that I didn't go for the old EOS 5D instead of the EOS 20D. Although the EOS 20D has served me very well, a full frame DSLR has been on the wish list for a long time. There’s also the HD video capabilities of the EOS 5D, although I've never been that interested in video, the results from the likes of Michael Fletcher and Vincent Laforet are very intriguing.

So, a no brainier it would seem… Well not quite. Yes the camera is about all I've ever wished for and more – if we for a moment forget the existence of such a thing as a digital panoramic camera – but the price tag for the EOS 5D is also twice that of the EOS 50D, hence the difficult decision. You can’t really describe the mental process of making such a decision – Well I can’t. So I won’t attempt to do so, suffice to say it took me the better part of 3 month to reach the final conclusion. I was going to go for the EOS 5D.

Next hurdle was what my wife would say to that decision. I was fully prepared to make my case in front the boss, forgetting what an absolute wonderful wife I have. She didn't even lift an eyebrow (well maybe she did, but it was very discreet). I should have known that she wouldn't oppose it, she has always been very supportive and encouraging of my passion for photography.

Okay, so all set ready to go buy the camera. First checking the prices in Australia, Singapore and USA, all countries I will be visiting within the next 6 month. As usual I didn't see any significant lower prices compared to the lowest in Denmark. I would also like to have the camera in hand a few weeks before going to Australia, so that worked out fine.

...Now, where to get it? First I tried Photografica (properly my favorite photo store in Copenhagen), but they had a waiting list of 40+, on recommendation from my wife I tried Foto/C, and yes they had one coming in the next day that wasn't promised to anyone – that camera is now in my camera bag.

Finally - Canon EOS 50D

I've been contemplating where to go in terms of upgrade. I love my Canon EOS 20D, and it has served me well. However the 8.2 MP are a little on the small side for large fine art print – avoiding the whole debate about the required resolution in terms of megapixel count. Primary problem is the limited freedom in terms of cropping with only 8.2 MP to start with. Granted, many of my photos are panoramic, more often than not created from a number of shots stitched together, thus creating a rather large file, so in that sense a camera able to produce a bigger pixel count, isn't required. However, when taking stitched photos the size buffer can actually be of some importance, since it at times can be crucial to be able to take about 9 RAW format shots in quick succession, something the 20D can struggle to achieve.

I've have had my eye on the Canon EOS 5D for a long time, as the natural step up. Apart from the fact that the 5D are due for an upgrade (EOS 5D Mark II has yet to be announced), the main problem have been one of finance. Not only does the EOS 5D cost significantly more than the Canon EOS 40D, there is also the problem of lenses: The lenses I have are either made for the 1.6 factor sensor (EF-S lenses), or are only capable of producing really good sharpness in the center - fine for a 1.6 sensor, but not a full frame. So what to do? And if I need to change all my lenses anyway, why stick with Canon, when Nikon (and others) has such good cameras to offer? I have of course also been looking at the EOS 40D, but frankly I don’t see the upgrade matching the cost.

But now all doubt might soon be gone: The Canon EOS 50D has just been announced. Looking at the specs it looks like it fits my requirements completely - now I’m just waiting for the in-depth review, to see if it delivers what I’m hoping for.

First blog entry

So, the time has come for me too to start a blog. Didn’t really think I would ever do this, but inspired by photographers such as Christian Fletcher and Flemming Bo Jensen, and the joy I have reading their blogs. I feel the time has come. And so, I’m going to follow my dear wife Kyrie’s example and start my own blog.

This blog will primarily be about photography, more specifically landscape photography, but I won’t promise that some other observation might slip in from time to time. 

As for the frequency of new entries… well I know myself well enough not to promise anything, but I will try to have new material to read for frequent visitors.