Know the feeling ? You parted with some lens a while ago that you now wish you’d kept ! Well, this is happening to me. Try as I might, I can’t find a suitable wideangle lens for the little GIC camera.
I’ve got an early 10mm Switar, but it’s the RX version. I’d run into focus problems, unwelcome with any non-reflex camera obviously. I’ve got an array of short TV-type lenses by Sony and Cosmicar, but they all have some protusion at the rear so won’t screw on properly. The GIC body has no room behind the lens mount, unlike say a Bolex H16M. I found one lens that would work, the Angenieux 15mm. This is a nice lens and has been used many times on my Bolex cameras. But just look how big it is ! Well, big in comparison with the camera. I’m trying to keep the GIC as compact as possible. Worse than the size: it’s quite a heavy lens. The threaded mount for the lens isn’t very robust and has just two screws holding it. So I’m not very keen on using the Angenieux. Also there’s a Century 3.5mm, but 3.5mm… are you joking ! Maybe if you were doing some Ultra Pan-8 conversion as Dom Jaeger was thinking here http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=74123&hl=
In anticipation of finding a small wideangle lens, I’ve just made a bracket for another viewfinder. This fits on to the camera door via an accessory shoe. Yes I know, it’s making the camera bigger, but at least I can quickly take off the finder anytime. At this position there’s no vertical parallax. The viewfinder itself, a Phago, is very clear and bright and gives a large image. The max field of view about 10mm. And it just about clears the front of the camera lens. I’ve also fitted a Canon EOS dioptre for my eyesight, and found a suitable rubber eyecup. One of the perks of having a shop is finding bits and pieces all the time. But why did I sell that lens ! When I find a small wideangle lens I might reduce the bracket a little. However, it actually helps to steady the camera when hand-holding.
And here are the other mods: the eyecup and dioptre for the normal viewfinder, and the new window for the counter. I’ve yet to fog-test this. The marks on the chrome are just bits of sticky tape I haven’t yet cleaned off, when glueing the eyecup etc.