22. desember 2016

4M Pinhole fun project, experiences and a small review

Whoa! I was on a Christmas-run to buy various gifts and popped into a toy-store downtown.

Didn't find any suitable gifts though, except from one for me! :)

This toy-store actually had some really cool stuff from 4M, a science and learning toy series, among them, a pinhole-kit. ^^

Had to have it. ($18)  =D

Front of box

Back of box

The instruction-pamphlet, although typed up in many languages, lacked some basics really.
The assembly is generally very easy (at least I experienced it as so), but I think they forgot a few gotchas and a little extra information.

Basic data, missing from the documentation (and the internet).

- I measured the length from the film to the lens of this camera, to be just about 55mm. This will be your focal-length.
- With a hole of 0.3mm diameter (a "typical", small hole from a needle), you get around f180 as the aperture.

Inserting the camera internal panel, with the grooves for the film-reels. 

1. This, the largest part, which makes up the inner-body section only goes in one way.
2. There are 3 small holes inside the front part of the camera and one larger one. These corresponds to the big and small knobs on the inside-piece.
3. This piece does not "snap in", it simply lays there, which I thought was a bit iffy. It's easy for it to drop out when you load/unload film and makes everything unnecessarily loose and difficult when you try to load your film.

Making the hole 

1. I fiddled with the supplied foil and double-sided tape for a while, but opted to cut out a piece of aluminum from a coke-can instead. Aluminum from a beer-can or a soda-can, is much easier to work with (watch out, it's sharp!) and my impression is that you get a more even (round) hole with that material, compared to aluminum-foil.
2. Use steel-wool to rub down the aluminum from the can after the hole is made, to rub down jaggies and loose ends at the hole, before inserting it into the camera.
3. Secure with two pieces (small ones!) of tape, use a sharpie to color both sides of the aluminum black. (prevents reflections). 
4. Make sure the hole is as centered as possible. (mine was center'ish.....it seemed! )

Measuring the hole

-This is a tough one, but if you have an enlarger ( 👍 ), you can raise the enlarger with a transparent ruler inside it, until 1cm is 10cm on the board, replace the ruler with the metal-piece with the hole and measure the projected hole with the ruler, on the base-board. Divide the measured hole by 10.
- You can also snap a photo of the hole, along with a ruler. Then enlarge that photo on your computer, until 1 cm on the pictured ruler, is 10 cm measured on the screen itself. Then measure the hole on the screen as well and divide by 10.

Loading the film

1. Make sure to feed the film trough the holes near the center of the take-up spool and secure it on the small knobs on the outside of it as you turn the take-up spool in your hand.
2. It also helps to create a very hard crease at the end of the thin leader of the film, this will keep it from sliding off too easily.

3. Get at-least one full turn on the spool, with the knobs in the sprocket-holes on the film, before putting it into the camera.
4. Keep the film under tension when inserting the spool into the camera, so it doesn't slip off. (you will loose some film with this camera anyway, so a little loss in the beginning, is irrelevant.


5. The short piece with the left most knob, is supposed to be inserted into the film-canister before you place it into the camera.


Make sure the camera is properly closed, and secured

1. To prevent the camera from popping open when advancing the film, it's imperative that the camera-back is completely attached to the body, there should be no gaps. In-fact, it should be difficult to see where the front ends and the back begins, very snug fit. The camera should not pop open when the film is inside and the locks are not locked, it should stay as-is. If it doesn't, you did something wrong. (check film-canister and check that the film isn't bounced up on the take-up spool, tighten if it is)
2. The locks on the sides, should turn "away" from the camera when closed, so that the center of each lock (where the holes are), is the closest bit to the camera when in the locked position.
This creates a solid lock, which will prevent the camera from opening accidentally.

3. The lens-part of the camera tended to slide up on one of the sides ( I think it's related to the spring below), after I had put it on the camera. To prevent this, and to keep the lens level on the camera, I simply attached a piece of tape on the side of it.

When shooting

1. Keep a finger on the rewind-knob, like a clutch, so that it gives slight resistance when winding onto the next frame with the other knob. This keeps the film under tension and straight inside the camera, it will also give you the most even spacing on the frames.
2. Put the camera on a flat surface when taking a photo, make sure it is steady, then move the shutter to open position. 
3. When the exposure is done, simply release the shutter again with no other movements, this should give you the best chances of getting a usable photo.
4. You advance the film by turning the take-up spool knob 3/4 - 1 full round (it's marked)
5. Use a light-meter app for your phone to gauge exposure. I used an app actually called "Light meter" on my iPhone, it supports apertures above f200 then it's just about measuring and shooting really.


Here are some photos and results, shooting with this camera and a 0.3mm hole.
I got round photos, not covering the whole negative. At this focal-length, you should be able to cover the whole negative with no problems.
The reason for the round photos, is that the shutter-mechanism, along with the lens-attachment, seem to mess with the coverage. To be able to get full coverage, I am either going to drill out the opening for the shutter/lens, or remove the whole arrangement completely, attaching the pinhole to the main-body and use a tape for shutter.

This was overcast and the film was Acros 100, average shutter-speed on these were 16s.

The bright streaks at the center and bottom-end of the shots, were reflections from the pinhole-plate, which i forgot to buff with steel-wool and darken with a felt-pen, so this can be corrected.

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes

4M Pinhole camera
Exposure 16s at f180
Fuji Acros in HC-110B for 5 minutes


I get it, it's a toy! However, it's also supposed to be fun, rewarding and a learning-experience. I commend 4M for making the kit, with all it's shortcomings and faults. 

It does work and it is pretty fun roaming around shooting with it ^^

I got good exposure with no hassle, since I was able to measure the focal-length and hole-diameter pretty nicely, however, I really think they should have included some pre-fabricated holes as well.
(I see the learning and fun-factor in making the holes themselves and see the effects, but the hole is crucial for the picture-taking and that process could have been solved easier).

The shutter-mechanism should not be spring-loaded in my opinion, it should have been a simple "open/close" switch, or a knob to keep it open.
This would prevent movements of the camera during exposure (the current design, demand that you hold the shutter open manually during exposure, which can and most definitely will cause extra blur to the photos)

As seen on my examples, the produced image-circle is not able to cover the whole film-frame, which kind of sucks, since pinhole-photography really only gets better the more surface-area you expose.

Negatives on light-table

When you shoot with a pin-hole, you are mostly looking at long exposure-times. Even at ISO400 during summer, the exposure-times will be around 1/4s to 1/2s, so it cannot be hand-held.

The photos aren't sharp, they never are ( 😜 ) pin-holes are always "equally unsharp", from near to far. ^^

I would recommend this to parents or relatives who want to have fun teaching their young relatives about photography, however........

-> The assembly, film-loading and operation can be considered complicated and definitely not recommended for youngsters to do on their own. There should be at least one person with some experience with film, as well as patience, and some finger-dexterity, who can help out if problems arise.
There are mixed reviews

I am going to hack this camera, to get full coverage and a shutter-arrangement that doesn't require you to touch the camera during exposure ^^ 

...and on that bomb-shell........!

This was the last blog-entry for 2016 😎 Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year! ^^  🎅🎄🎇

28. november 2016

Kodak Vision3 - Cinestill

There's a new film out!

Ok, new and new..... ;)
In 35mm still-photo land, it's new.

The film-brand in question is Cinestill and they make a couple of films, namely Cinestill 50 and Cinestill 800.

So what's up, do they make their own film?

The answer is definitely no on that one. The films they "make" are finished rolls of Kodak Vision3 cinema-stock film, which has been around sine 2007, which is very new.

So why haven't we heard of this before then? Well the Vision3 film-stock is for cinema-film and that film is processed in ECN-2, not C-41.
Vision3 also has a rather nasty remjet-coating on the back, which can be a bit messy to get off.

Cinestill is "cleaned" Vision3 film, put into canisters, ready for processing at your average c-41 lab.

Wait, didn't you just say something about ECN-2? Yes I did.
The film is supposed to be developed in ECN-2 chemicals, but it can be processed in c-41 as well, at a lab, as long as it is cleaned from the remjet before you shoot it, or at home, where you can remove it in various other ways.

What is remjet?

Remjet is an anti-halation/anti-static coating, to prevent highlights from going trough the film and reflect back into the film from the pressure plate.
This is evident when you shoot Cinestill, which has it's remjet removed, that highlights bloom quite a lot.

Some like the effect, some don't.
Cinestill 50
Bessa R3M, Jupiter 3
Tetenal C-41 
The reflection in the white material gave quite a lot of halo, with a red base.

Kodak Vision3 50D
Leica M6 Cal Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM
Tetenal C-41 
No more reflections/halo
I also feel general contrast is better

The same holds true with Cinestill 800 and Kodak Vision3 500T (also the same film)

So i prefer the Vision3 films, but I really commend Cinestill for making the film available for the masses trough their production (they are also trying to make medium-format editions of this film these days).

How do one remove the remjet then and when should it be removed?

Well, the advice varies a bit, but the general things I've picked up are:


Baking soda

Use a warm bath of water holding around 40-45 degrees Celsius and mix in around 100 grams of baking soda (natron) per liter water. Pour in, agitate, let sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute, shake -hard-. Repeat 2-3 times. Then wash until the water is clear. The film will be clean'ish after this process, but still maintain a fine haze of remjet that can be removed with your fingers under running water later.

Can be done prior to development, or after blix/bleach and fix.

You get most of the stuff off with little or no mess.

There is still remjet left on the film after the process.
I got remjet-pollution into the emulsion of the film from this process, so I had to re-clean the film afterwards (water and 5% ammonia).
If you use plastic reels, they will be quite dirty afterwards.
It's an extra step in the process.

I use a different method all together after trying the baking-soda:

Remove manually after blix/bleach and fix

I read a conversation on some forum, that you can actually just leave the remjet on and then remove it after blix (bleach and fix), before STAB.
This is done, by taking the wet film off the reel, hang it up and then wet a soft tissue with warm water and use it as a squeegee.
That is; Wet the tissue, then wrap it around the film (front and back) then clamp it tight with your fingers and drag downward in one, continuous motion. (don't stop until the film comes clear from the paper at the bottom end). 
Then find another tissue and repeat this process until there is no more black remjet on the paper/tissue.

After the film is clean, roll it back on the reel, wash 2-3 times and stabilize your film.

One operation gets rid off all remjet in one go.
Maybe less risk of getting stray remjet into your developer, but you should filter it anyway (coffee-filter will suffice).
Less risk of getting remjet into your emulsion-side, the clamped paper, prevents remjet from moving onto your emulsion-side.

A bit messy.
You need to take the film off and on the reel again, but as long as everything is wet, it's not that hard to do.
You may risk scratches on the film if your tissue isn't soft enough, so choose your material carefully.


There are people developing this film with success in RA4, which is color paper-chemicals, it has something to do that the RA4 is closer to ECN-2 than C-41. All processes will get your photo's though.

Personally, I am going to try these films in RA4 in time, so see how different they are in that developer.
ECN-2 is a process for cinema-film and both the chemicals and the labs that perform this process, is high-volume (naturally), so they normally don't take in consumer rolls, or sell small quanta.

I haven't seen kits for ECN-2, but the recipe to make it yourself, is online, getting the chemicals though, is another matter.....

Kodak Vision3 can be had from left-over cinema-stock around the web, you need to bulk-load it yourself, but it is definitely worth it.

Both the 50D, 500T and the 205D are superb films.
If you don't want or can't shoot the Vision3 stock, try out Cinestill, they cost some, but still nice films =)

Kodak Vision3 50D
Leica M6 Cal Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM
Tetenal C-41

Kodak Vision3 50D
Leica M6 Cal Zeiss Planar 50mm ZM
Tetenal C-41 
Kodak Vision3 500T
VoigtlÀnder Bessa R3M with VoigtlÀnder Nokton Classic 40mm S.C
1/30s @ f2.0
Tetenal C-41 for 3:45 (slight push) 

Kodak Vision3 500T
VoigtlÀnder Bessa R3M with VoigtlÀnder Nokton Classic 40mm S.C
1/30s @ f2.0
Tetenal C-41  for 3:45 (slight push)

The Vision3 500T really is a nice film to use, to capture city scenes at  night, and badly lit indoor scenes. The 50D seems to like that sunlight, really gives sweet results. Both films have a lot of latitude regarding exposure too.  =)

18. oktober 2016

Shooting a classic film in London, Kodak Plus-X 125

A couple of weeks back, I was able to buy some Kodak Plus-X (aka 125PX) on eBay, from a seller in the UK.

This film is one of the oldest emulsion in the Kodak lineup, but it did get a facelift some time around the start of the new millennium (or was it in the nineties??), causing it to have a new rated speed and development-times. (and some say, a different look, most disagree about the last part)

Most of the photo's in this blog-entry was shot during overcast weather (some say classic English weather ^^), which, in general, gave me pretty empty skies with little or no visible graduation.

Here's a very nice blog, dealing with the history of this film, up to it's very unfortunate demise in 2011:

St. Paul's cathedral
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160


The film shown in this blog is actually called Kodak Eastman Plus-X 5231, which is the cinema-version of the Kodak Plus-X for still cameras, the look, feel and development-times remains the same though.

Tower bridge
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

 I've seen various discussions on the internet regarding pushing this film as far as ISO 500, I have no idea if this is feasible or not (examples looked very good though), but it really is pretty dynamic and gives interesting results in stuff like diafine, pyro, rodinal and the more classic Kodak-developers, like D-76 and HC-110.
Your average pub-life
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

Chocolate bokeh in Borough Market
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

 Walking around London with the Leica and the Carl Zeiss F2.0 ZM was really easy though, this combo is very light and solid, so I was always very confident that the photo's taken, would come out just fine.

The old and the new
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

The squirrels in St. James's park are so tame that you can feed them by hand, we found out quickly that you should probably bring a few nuts if you go =D

Tourist-lady feeding the squirrels at St. James's park
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

Was fairly easy to capture quick moments like these, with the excellent viewfinder of the Leica and the smooth action of the Carl Zeiss lens.

The following shot is probably overexposed by 1-2 stops, but I really love how the tones came out. The negative looks good, so it is going to be interesting to print it when the winter sets in.

Elizabeth tower and Big Ben
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @50

Just a different take on the London-eye, the 50mm lens helped isolate the subject and constrict the shot a little

London Eye
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @50

As i mentioned, I bought 25 feet from the UK (expiration 2009) and later added another 100 feet to that. I already have some of this film in regular 35mm cassettes and 19 rolls in 120, which I secured in 2011.

Old, classic double-decker, heading for Trafalgar Square
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

Frozen, this film should keep for a very long time, I've seen people shooting and developing Plus-X from the 80's and 90's with little need for compensation for tone and sensitivity.

Buckingham palace, seen from St. James's park
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

So what's so special about this film?

To be honest?

Hard to tell:  It's a medium-speed film, not particularly grainless for 100 ISO and works very well in most developers -just like most other films.

Random street-photo with interesting walls and tones
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

But, there is something about the tones......how the inherent curve looks in various developers, how the highlight-gradation (separation) is and how the darker tones come out. Also, the spectral response also seems to be a little particular for this film. (ie sensitivity to red, blue and green and how these colors fall into the grey tones).

Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

It's a lovely film and the look is "classic", in the sense that reds tend to render a little darker than the most modern films, the results can be everything from "snappy" to "delicate".

See? It's all subjective and very hard to explain.

I shot all of the photos in this entry at EI 160. That's what I set the camera to anyway, but I suspect I've shot the roll, ranging from EI 50 to EI 200, depending on the light, since my Leica M6 max shutter is 1/1000s and I love huge apertures. ^^

The developer used, was Kodak HC-110, dilution B, the recommended development-time for this combo at box-speed is 5 minutes at 20 degrees, I left it in for 6 minutes, but reduced agitation to no agitation from 4 to 6 minutes, to keep the highlights from getting too dense.
Cafeteria-scene from when we went on the wrong bus ^^
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

Also, on this trip, I really got to use my Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM properly and I've concluded that I love that lens, really....my silver version is solid, smooth, sharp and just works, the resulting photos also have nice contrast and the bokeh (subjective) is smooth.

For a $700 lens, it really is an affordable match in heaven to my Leica M6, although 'cronopiles' may disagree. =)

City-view from St. Paul cathedral
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

There have been numerous threads around the internet since 2011 from people wanting to find a good replacement for plus-x and, among the varied answers, there seems to be one film that gets the most recommendations: Ilford FP4+.

FP4+ is an older, classic emulsion with similar spectral response, it's different, but close they say...personally, I like it, but as long as I have Plus-X and Acros, I rarely shoot FP4+......I should probably buy at least one 100 feet bulk-roll and add it to the 4 rolls i already have.

Black cab
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

The other conclusions I've seen regarding a viable replacement, is to use any film you like and process it in various ways until you get what you are after, most B&W films can be shot and processed to yield many different looks and if the spectral response is "wrong", there is always color-filters. :)

Paternoster square from the top of St. Paul cathedral
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

Anyway, I am happy with how my shots from the London-trip came out, I am going to have a good time in the dark and print several of them when the winter comes. ^^

Evening city-view from St. Paul cathedral
Leica M6 with Carl Zeiss Planar F2.0 ZM
Kodak Plus-X 125 @ 160

Indeed, it really is sad that this emulsion is no longer produced. I will keep shooting the stuff I have and enjoy it until its gone, I have no issues using this film for anything you can photograph, that's for sure. =)

Bye for now ^^

28. august 2016

How to fix a squeaky VoigtlÀnder Nokton 40mm f1.4 (S.C) classic


I wonder what kind of grease VoigtlÀnder managed to put into this lens!

Image borrowed from

My VoigtlÀnder Nokton 40mm f1.4 (S.C) classic has always been tough to focus with, not really a creamy, buttery joy at all, lately it has also begun making squeaking sounds when focusing.
Therefore, I sort of used it less and less and it has been sitting idle for quite a while now.

This is quite a common issue with this lens, from what I gather, but the write-ups online has been rather inadequate for my particular lens, so I made one while fixing mine.

I mean, it's a nice little lens, and sharp too, quite a speed-demon (f1.4) and renders very nicely.

Dog in Prague
Fuji Reala 100
Leica CL, Nokton classic 40 f1.4 S.C

Church, Oslo
Kodak Ektar 100.
Leica CL, Nokton classic 40 f1.4 S.C

Film-crew during the Oslo-marathon.
Kodak Ektar 100.
Leica CL, Nokton classic 40 f1.4 S.C

Wooden bicycle bell(?).
This is as close as you can get at 0.7m.
Kodak Ektar 100.
Leica CL, Nokton classic 40 f1.4 S.C

Man on subway, Tokyo.
Fuji Neopan 1600 in HC-110.
Leica CL, Nokton classic 40 f1.4 S.C

Outside Tsjuki fish-market, Tokyo.
Fuji Neopan 1600 in HC-110.
Leica CL, Nokton classic 40 f1.4 S.C

Anyway, the squeaky issue....yes.....!

This stems from the fact that VoigtlÀnder seem to have been using a lube in the focus-mechanism that dries out, plain and simple.

Not cool!

But, at least it's fixable with a minimum of tools! \o/

- The good old t-shirt, brightly colored, to use as a work-surface, it prevents parts from falling and then jump away from you. (usually down to the floor and under something, gone forever, until the vacuum-cleaner eats it on a dreary Tuesday without you even noticing.)

A spanner-wrench:

- Normal to "Small" Screwdriver-set (electronic type will suffice).
- Electronic cleaner, or cleaning alcohol, to remove old and dry grease.
- New lube, I use lithium-grease. Do not use too thick grease, or focus will be too stiff.

All right, here we go.

First, mark the lens-mount, so you will know if you have been able to get the lens back together again correctly. (you will know if your lens is upside-down when you mount it too, but it's cooler to get it back together again correctly before you try mounting it to your camera).

Then you simply remove the 4 screws holding the lens-mount in the lens, screw the lens mount off and then pull the focus-scale off. (wrongly worded on the photo, but you get the idea).
Important note: Try and make a mental note as to where the mount detach from the lens, this will help you getting it back together, it can enter at several different places, so turn, look, pull, turn look and pull, noting where the color-marks are, in relation to the lens (for example the aperture-marker),

Take a moment to observe what you got now.
Below, the lens mount and the focus-scale has been removed.

What you now see, is the stopping notch for the focusing-helicoid, it's aligned with the center-mark on the outer-barrel, good to know.

Yes, you can focus and see how it moves, no danger (yet).

Next, we want to take out the helicoid, since this is the part that makes the squeaky noises.
Now you need the spanner-wrench.
Remove the OUTER retaining ring with the pointy end of the wrench. The inner-ring is to actually open the rear lens-group and we are not doing that now. (mine is clean anyway).

My trick to use the wrench, is to adjust it, place it in the notches, place the lens on the table and twist the lens, not the wrench. It's more secure, but place your hand so that if the wrench slips, it doesn't jump around everywhere -for example around, on-top or over your lens!

Now you can lift off both the focusing handle and the helical.
Please note the following as you do that:
- There is a guide-screw on the rear lens-group. This screw goes into the notch, on the helical shown on the photo below. Take note on how the helical sits in the focusing mechanism.
- The retaining-ring lies inside the helical, after you have lifted the helical out, just twist it upside-down the ring should drop down to the t-shirt.

In my case, I was not able to remove the 4 black screws shown in the below photo.
Annoying as that was (since I was not able to then clean it properly), there are gaps that allow you to clean it somewhat, as well as re-grease).

The screws were simply too tight to budge, so I was screwed in disassembling it. :P

What I did was:
- First rinse and work the lens by using pressurized  electronic-cleaner. This stuff is awesome to remove grease and it dries out without leaving residue. I rinsed, then worked the helical back and fourth and rinsed again etc 2-4 times.
- Then I used pressurized air while working the lens, to make sure the electronic-cleaner was all gone, also while working the helical.
- Finally, I sprayed lithium grease inside the helical, while working the lens 2-3 times.

A final outer cleaning and the helical was smooth and done.

It's not optimal, but I am fairly confident I got out most of the old crap and was able to lubricate the unit properly.


Putting the lens back together again is very simple (this whole procedure really is, compared to my former Jupiter-exercises :P ).

However, the final lens-mount is a huge hassle to get mounted on the helical. I don't think I've ever experienced such an annoying issue. (at one point I thought I had messed up the threads and ruined the lens).

The reason for this, is that the threads are made to such an accuracy that you need to get the lens 100% aligned before it enters and that is ¤%¤#¤%&¤ hard.

After 3 hours, I finally found a technique that worked like a charm, this will save you a LOT of time:
See below photo.
NOTE: Do NOT use force, when it enters correctly, it slides in effortlessly!

When trying to mount the lens-mount onto the helical, hold it in your palms.
Then you search for the threads, but screwing the lens anti-clockwise, usually until you hear a click, then you try (carefully) to twist the mount clockwise, to see if it goes in. This is what you normally do when you hold the parts with your fingers, the difference is that you now do it, by holding the parts with your palms.

If it doesn't enter here, continue to twist anti-clockwise further and try again at the next click.

Holding the lens this way, seems to give it much more stability than holding the lens and trying to twist with your fingers.

I could have saved myself 3 hours of agony if I had known this "hold-it-in-your-palms" trick before I started, so you are very welcome :P