Can Fotodiox’s PRONTO Lens Adapter Really Give a 120-year-old Lens Autofocus?

Image of Bausch & Lomb 1897 Lens


PRONTO isn't ready for video.. yet

bohus's picture

Hi everybody! Thanks for checking out the videos on the PRONTO lens adapter. We're obviously super excited about where this technology is going. As a filmmaker, I'm anxious to get this hardware going for Sony's video modes, but for now it's just for taking stills.

I have shot video with my 120 year old lens by using the bellows attachment you seen in the video, and a conventional lens adapter. You focus by adjusting the length of the bellows, which can be a little fidgety. No rack focusing for now! I encourage everyone to try shooting with some vintage glass - nothing beats the unpredictable creativity that comes out of these experiments!


artsmith's picture

 Bellowscopes for focussing seem to have gone into eclipse. When I abandoned some of my 35mm gear for 'digital' I put two Minolta bellowscopes into storage, which 'seemed a good idea at-the-time' How right tht proved to be. Using a bog-standard mid price-range 'Fotodoix' adaptor, I now have a series of lenses, of proven performance, which I have recently resurrected, and use on a Lumix GH-5, which of course is a highly adapatible camera. Rack focussing is now a big plus with both of these devices, which were beautifully built and finished in their day. Additionally, many high-quality lenses came in short mounts and some like Leitz lenses gave the options of conventional focussing mounts for range-finder cameras, or the use of a bellows and accessory reflex viewing system which working in macro. The downside is the lack of auto-focus, which I take to be a Sony exclusive at present judging from the article. However, I have always preferred manual focus, as have done a great many other people and do not feel at all disadvantaged by the lack of auto. Konica-Minolta lenses may be obtained on the 'pre-loved' market for very reasonable prices and adapt well, with a wide range to choose from. Bear in mind though, that lenses, to be adaptable in this way must also feature manual aperture-setting. A point which must be borne in mind when vetting lenses for re-purposing. Otherwise, it is 'win-win' all the way, and the ability to focus manually, tends to 'separate the men from the boys'.

Ian Smith - Dunedin, New Zealand