Unfortunately, it’s not gonna to be available for North American snap-happy folks. Guess we’re just gonna have to stick to drooling over the pics snapped with it by our international phoneography buddies…
Steve (@stevelitchfield) and the guys over at All About Symbian have done a pretty good job of covering the sucessor to the N8, the new Nokia 808 PureView this week. I’ll be posting my thoughts on the device soon, but in the mean time I wanted to share this excellent graphic showing the relative pixel sizes of the 808 to the iPhone 4s and various “real” cameras. Fascinating to see this put in perspective.
First off, let’s get specifications out of the way. The adapter measures 6in x 5in x 1.25in and is made up of 8 pieces of corrugated cardboard ~4mm thick. The flange distance of Leica M is exactly 27.8mm, and the distance between the lens mount and the N8 CMOS on this adapter is ~24mm. Thus, this adapter will focus past infinity (keep in mind also the depth from the rear of the mount to the chip itself, which is also a few millimeters). This is indeed an issue, but not something easily remedied when working with imprecise materials.
Other things you should know about this adapter:
The original Canon EF adapter was created with a specific purpose in mind - to be able to mount the modified N8 on a Takahashi Epsilon astrograph. While the experiments with the astrograph proved unsuccessful, the adapter showed that there was potential for “conventional” usage with ordinary camera lenses. However, Canon EF lenses are not very useful unless mounted on a Canon EOS camera since they do not have manual aperture control. Leica M lenses, however, do, and this makes them much more suited for photography with the N8 for several reasons:
1. The manual diaphragm allows control over depth of field.
2. Additionally, it allows the use of the lens stopped down to the optimal focal ratio.
3. And finally, it allows the photographer to control the amount of light entering the lens. This is only important in still photography due to the shutter speeds/ISO sensitivity of the N8, which seems to always overexpose images of brighter scenes when using external lenses. (I have ideas as to why this is, but I should probably just ask a Nokia engineer about the way the camera is designed)
Concerning the adapter itself, I’ve made it deeper than necessary in order to accomodate the N8 “internally” so that it is not being helplessly suspended by two rubber bands a la’ the old Canon adapter. This results in less focus shift, and more peace of mind that the phone won’t slip and fall as easily. Additionally, I’ve also attached a wood block to the adapter that has a 1/4in hole for mounting the unit on a tripod while also functioning as a vertical grip of sorts.
This adapter is still far from perfect, though. I’m convinced I can get the flange distance a bit more precise, but I’ll probably need thinner cardboard and a caliper to measure more exactly. Also, the unit should be painted black, and have the top and bottom covered in black gaffers tape in order to minimize light leaks. It can also be made a little smaller, and have a more rigid tripod adapter affixed. The reason I’m not making these upgrades, though, is because I’m currently at a loss as to what I’m actually going to shoot with this setup. When I do figure that out, I’ll going to make a new adapter custom suited to the purpose with these upgrades in mind.
That’s about it insofar as details about the adapter are concerned. If you have any other questions, ask! In the mean time, here are a few photos:
One final thing. One of the commenters on the MyNokiaBlog post about the EF lens adapter had this to say about the odd color shifts on the N8 video:
Funny idea to use a wracked N8.
Also interesting is that it seems Nokia have a onboard color correction for the original lens.
U can see it because sample have a red coloured vignette.
This is a great hypotheses, but not true. If I can get my hands on a good macro lens soon, I’ll post a picture showing the sensor of this particular N8, which appears to have some sort of stamp mark on it. It was this way when I opened it up, and presumably is the cause of the weird purple color shifts since the pattern seems to match the stamp.