PLEASE NOTE: The instructions on this page pertain universally to our VAF/IR-BMD-MFT filter. The Micro Cinema Camera is used in the examples below; the installation process is exactly the same for all supported cameras (Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, Pocket Camera, 2.5K MFT Cinema Camera, and Studio Camera HD).
The filter itself is very easy to install: It just snaps in place inside the camera - see below.
ATTENTION - HOWEVER - PLEASE NOTE: If you are using the filter with the Micro Cinema Camera and a Speedbooster, then installing the shim kit is REQUIRED.
With any of the other cameras, or with the Micro Cinema Camera without a Speedbooster, installing the shim kit is optional. We always recommend installing the shim kit, since with the shim kit, all lenses will focus normally with our filter. But for lenses longer than about 20 mm focal length, good performance can be achieved without installing the shim kit - it's acceptable to just snap the filter in the camera, mount a lens, and start shooting video.
HOWEVER, for the Micro Cinema Camera + Speedbooster combination, the shim kit MUST BE INSTALLED to use our filter.
To see clearly how the filter snaps in place, please have a look at our introductory video:
The further instructions following below, describe the installation of the shim kit components.
Shim Kit InstallationThe following instructions show specifically how to install the MFT shim kit that ships with the VAF/IR-BMD-MFT filter. We strongly recommend installing this shim kit for any camera using our filter: It preciselly corrects for the shift in back focus induced by our filter, so that all lenses will focus normally, just as they did before our filter was installed. But for lenses longer than about 20 mm focal length, good performance can be achieved without installing the shim kit - it's acceptable to just snap the filter in the camera, mount a lens, and start shooting video. (HOWEVER, again, please note that as stated above, if using a Micro Cinema Camera + Speedbooster in combination with our filter, then installation of the shim kit is required - it is not optional in this case.)
The filter ships with two precisely machined shims, and all the tools necessary to install them:
Do not install the filter at first: Install the shim components FIRST - and then install the filter itself afterwards.
Begin by removing the camera's MFT flange face. PLEASE USE THE SPECIAL HEX DRIVER BIT THAT WE SUPPLY, along with the screwdriver handle (or one of your own). We supply this special hex driver bit for a very particular reason: The flange screws that Blackmagic uses in their cameras, are made of a soft metal, and their hex sockets are not sized accurately. Furthermore, Blackmagic often puts a thread-locking compound on the screw threads, making the screws difficult to remove. In the past, we have had several customers strip the hex sockets of these screws in trying to remove them, by trying to turn the screws strongly with a normal hex driver. The screws then become very difficult to remove - nobody is happy when this happens! Therefore, we now supply the special hex driver bit shown. This bit is slightly oversize, and has a tapered tip. Align the tip carefully in the screw socket, and press it firmly into the socket as shown. This wedges the tapered tip to bind very tightly in the hex socket - in this way the screws can be reliably loosened, even if Blackmagic has threadlocked them in securely. PLEASE TAKE CAREFUL NOTE OF THIS DETAIL:
After removing the four screws, hold the lens locking button down when removing the flange face. Try to avoid removing the lens locking button itself - there is a small spring under it that is easily lost, so it's best to leave this button in place.
Then remove the circular, stainless steel spring shim, and the small odd-shaped black pastic part shown held by the tweezers here:
Beneath the "odd-shaped black plastic part", you will see a small Phillips-head screw. Loosen this screw 2-3 turns - you don't need to remove it:
Using the 1.5 mm hex key, loosen the two, black, socket-head screws retaining the electrical contact block. Again you don't need to fully remove these screws...
Only loosen the screws 4-5 turns, just enough to free the electrical contact block, so that you can gently pull the contact block slightly forward with the tweezers, as shown here:
Now, using the tweezers, place the white contact block shim under the electrical contact block. Note that the white shim has two slots to make it easy to hold with the tweezers:
The white contact block shim, should slide easily under the contact block with no force necessary. It should seat fully under the contact block - the white plastic fully out of the camera's optical / light path, as shown below.
Then, re-tighten the two black socket-head screws in the contact block, with the 1.5 mm hex key. DO NOT STRONGLY TIGHTEN THESE TWO SCREWS - the contact block is made of a soft plastic. Only tighten them very gently, just enough to hold the white shim in place beneath.
Now, re-tighten the single Phillips-head screw beneath the "odd-shaped black plastic part".
Then, look carefully at the shimmed contact block - it should look straight and even as shown, slightly forward of its original position:
Now you can reinstall the "odd-shaped black plastic part":
Now to install the actual optical shim - the machined bronze circular shim.
HOLD THE LENS RELEASE BUTTON DOWN DURING THIS PROCESS - everything will be easier with the lens locking pin retracted out of the way.
Now place the bronze optical shim against the camera body as shown. Please observe closely in the following image - the inner perimeter of the bronze shim has a recess machined into it, which faces AWAY from the camera body:
Continue to hold the lens release button depressed, and install the camera's original stainless steel spring shim on top of the bronze shim. Look closely in the following image - the stainless steel shim fits fully down flush inside the recess around the inside edge of the bronze shim.
When the parts are all placed and aligned, look carefully again: the front faces of the bronze and stainless steel shims, should together form a nice, clean, flat plane, which the MFT flange will rest against:
Now you can replace the MFT lens flange itself. You should feel it come cleanly into position on the camera's alignment pins, against the flat shims.
You can move it gently back and forth, feeling it sitting in its correct flat position. At this point, hold the MFT flange in place; then you can let go of the lens release button, and re-install the four flange screws:
Tighten the four flange screws all together, a little at a time. Watch carefully around the perimeter of the MFT flange, making sure that it is remains flat and cleanly in position against the camera body.
Finally you can fully tighten the four flange screws. THERE IS NO NEED TO TRY TO MAKE THESE FLANGE SCREWS VERY VERY TIGHT - just enough to snugly secure the MFT flange in place against the metal shims:
Finally, you can install the optical filter itself - just snapping it gently in place in front of the camera's blue-green glass. You can adjust its position precisely with the tweezers, making it straight and centered over the image sensor:
Finally, if you are using a Speedbooster: Our filter seats precisely between the rear-facing "snout" of the Speedbooster, and the camera's blue-green glass. By design, the Speedbooster does not contact our filter, when it is correctly installed inside the camera sensor cavity.
We supply a special, precisely-machined gauge, so that you can confirm correct placement of the filter, before mounting a speedbooster to the MFT flange. With the shim set and filter installed in the camera, place the gauge gently against the MFT flange as shown. Look down inside the sensor cavity: The gauge should be resting flat against the metal MFT flange face, but it should not quite make contact with our filter. If you look closely, you should see a small gap between the gauge and the filter (though this can be difficult to see clearly, down inside the camera):
Likewise, you can place the opposite side of the gauge against your speedbooster as shown. In this case the result is more easily visible - the gauge rests flat against the MFT flange face, and there is a small gap between the gauge and the central "snout" of the Speedbooster optical cell:
This confirms proper placement of the filter and shims, and proper adjustment of the speedbooster! We hope you enjoy our filter; please contact us if you have any questions!