The Nikon WebCam

What do you get when you put a Logitech QuickCam in the hands of a geek with a bunch of Nikkor (Nikon) lenses? He is dissatisfied with the quality of the optics. Why not replace it with a Nikkor lens, he thinks. It was with me the work of a moment, and now I get excellent optics, good focussing action, aperture control for those difficult lighting conditions, and a super-fast telephoto! The Glen Park Cam no longer works, but here's a gallery of past images.

I built an adapter with a Nikon "F" lens mount at one end (of course I'm not going to make any modifications to my lenses) and a QuickCam fitting at the other, with the whole thing on a stand. The flimsy stand a QuickCam comes with is not going to support a heavy lens at the other end, so the new stand is on the adapter and supports both the lens and the camera. It has a tripod socket too!

This is the adapter. The 26mm lens backplate to film-plane distance of the "F" mount is preserved, so the distance scales on lenses are accurate. (Thumbnails click through to larger images.)

Here's the QuickCam (sans lens) mounted on the adapter. The camera's stand has been removed.

The sensor on the QuickCam is about 5mm on the diagonal. That means with this Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 attached, it has the same angle of view as a 250mm telephoto. My 100mm f/2 lens becomes the equivalent of a 1000 f/2 — any guesses on the price of a 1000/2 lens for 35mm?

Of course it has a tripod mount too!

Large (116K, 1024x768)

Construction: I made the "F" end by cutting a hole in a rear lens cover. The stand is the kind used for slave flash units, which happens to have a 1/4" threaded tripod socket. The back of the adapter is the focussing thing on the front of the QuickCam. The body of the webcam can be rotated on the mount, so switching between portrait and landscape modes is easy without dismounting the thing from the tripod.

Copyright © Shamim Mohamed, 2003