Odd Lens Combinations

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by AndrewMc, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. AndrewMc

    AndrewMc Member

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    I've been looking at a lot of photos recently online, many of which are taken using DSLRs and since I've been trying to get a couple of lenses on evilbay without success, it made me think of things.

    There was a few cameras that I didn't like the look of at all, they looked trashed and probably not that great in the first place
    but they had excellent lenses which I fancied getting a K mount adaptor for.

    The DSLR photos that I've seen all kind of look the same.
    I don't know exactly how to describe it but there's something about them that I don't like. They lack something. Very good photos for sure but I'd like more contrast or bokeh or brighter colours saturation or Something!

    So I wondered if there are people out there who shoot with odd combinations of lenses/bodies. And if so what sort of results that you get from it?
     
  2. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Andrew, the digital "look" is something that more than anything else keeps many of us faithful to film. I think I know what it is you speak of (I may be wrong of course), and I do not think that the quality you describe is a function of lens, but rather one inherent to images taken with a matrix sensor rather than grains of silver. You could probably impart a more vintage look on your pixelographs with a really awful lens - I have seen lens cap/Holga hacks for dSLR's that give the soft, vignetted look - but if you are after the glow and intangible quality of a film image, the best (and only) way to get it is by using... film.

    Peter.
     
  3. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    jlw on rangefinderforums.com gave me an idea because I am incredibly fond of the look I get from a very crappy $2 point and shoot camera: mount the lens on my Canon P. I'm not quite sure how to do it yet, but I've thought of numerous possibilities: sacrificing a beat-up old Russian lens, sacrificing the extra green filter I'm getting, fashioning something completely from scratch... Pretty sure I'll end up doing it sometime. The lens itself is nothing more than a piece of plastic. It shouldn't be that hard to get it to work.
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've been playing around with a Pentax MZ-5n, M42 adapter, bellows, a M42 to M39 adapter, and an Industar 90-U 75mm lens. Great for close-up to macro. :smile:
     
  5. AndrewMc

    AndrewMc Member

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    LOL@ pixelograph
    I agree about using film. One of my personal pet hates is digital B&W.
    I spent ages messing around in photoshop trying to work out how to fake it and how to make it look good.
    Then I gave up....
    ....and bought some film instead.

    I love the look I get from russian lenses. I love the colours and the whole 'look' of the photos you get from them. Hmmm That sounds interesting Ole. does that mean I can use my jupiter 8 on an slr body? would that even work. sounds like fun to try anyway.

    I think you all understand what I mean.
    To get a look and a feel of something. Just to give it some life
    and to do it by doing something unusual.
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I thought that J-8s were also made in an M42 mount...but I can't be sure.
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Pentax cameras are great for "mix-n-match", since they have retained compatibility with ALL Pentax lenses - including 42mm screw through adapter. Most M42 lenses will focus to infinity on any Pentax camera, including the d*gital ones.

    M39-lenses generally won't - but an enlarger lens or macro lens works fine on bellows. I got a M42 bellows just to make it easier to find adapters...
     
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  8. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I believe (read this in a stuffy, snotty, know-it-all voice :D) that a true classic is the Makkinon 24mm f2.8! It is unlike any other lens, and I now have a 28mm as well, hoping it has the same magical qualities... but I doubt anything can match the 24! Its multicoated, which seems to have no visible effect on haze(uhm - flare), but a great one on colour rendition - I am sure intentional. Anyone who has not tried this gem is seriously missing out!

    As to lens hacking, I know that most of the truly simple lenses I have seen grafted onto an SLR involved a body-cap and some glue (like the Holga lens). I have even seen a body-cap plus three (yes 3!) Holga lenses stacked together to make a hybrid SLR/Holga Macro Machine! These are all second hand news, as I have not tried them myself.

    On the less extreme side, and more seriously speaking, I have no doubt that my E-series Nikon 50mm is a better piece of glass in every way, yet the f2 50(?)mm Helios attached to my Zenit (via a M42 screw, I believe) makes the most wonderful, creamy images of all the standard lenses I have. Is it as sharp as a Canon 50mm f1.4 SSC? Heck no, but it certainly holds some magic when shooting people (for photographing the corpses afterwards, you see.... JUST KIDDING!). One thing that comes to mind, with a mount like M42, or many of the old, classic mounts, it seems like hacking the lenses is almost redundant, as decent bodies you can use are to be had for next to nothing (ie, a Zenit like mine).
    Of course, if the tinkerer bug is in you, logic has very little to do with your decisions, and I am certainly not fit to be throwing any kind of first rock in such a scenario :D

    Peter.
     
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  9. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Russian lenses have a charm all their own. I sold a Canon 50/1.8 black-and-chrome rangefinder lens and kept my chrome J-3...that should tell you *something*, anyway.
     
  10. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Jokes aside, the biggest downfall of Russian lenses is quality control as applied to consistency, mainly. Some of the glass is out-rigth phenomenal, in my humble opnion. The problem is, another lens of the same make and size can be down-right mediocre... But if you get the good one, you're good as gold! I have a pair of Russian military surplus binoculars (well... you could buy anythng from Russian soldiers for the right amount of vodka back then... scary as it is), and I have tried many multi-hundred dollar pairs of binoculars in those sizes (I have a 7x35 and 10x50), and while all of the looked more modern, etc., I have yet to find a pair that hands down bests my Russian glasses in any way. I wonder if the same would apply to regular, store-bought binoculars - the army did get the best.


    Peter.
     
  11. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The lenses I have now (J9 85/2, J-3 50/1.5, and J-12 35/2.8) were all either adjusted or will soon be adjusted. The 85 is focusing just a little off, methinks, and that is the one I need to send to someone. :wink:
     
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    If you really want to get into odd combinations and you don't mind leaving 35mm, an old Bronica S2a is a great camera to hack lenses onto. It's got a focal plane shutter so all you need to figure out is how to mount a lens to it. The camera has three (yes, three) separate mounts on it...a bayonet on the body itself, a bayonet on the focusing helicoil to which most lenses are mounted, and a set of 57x1mm threads on the helicoil. Of course, you can ignore all of those and just tape a lens to the body of the camera. Or make focusing tubes out of PVC pipe...two tubes, one inside the other with the lens mounted on the end. (You can do a lot of the same things with most 35mm SLRs, but the Bronica has the advantage of giving you much bigger negatives and a much larger body to loop rubber bands around and to stick tape onto.)

    If you search the web for "Plungercam" you'll see where I got some of my inspiration...a focal plane Hasselblad with a loupe for a lens. I've put large format lenses on my Bronica, loupes, 35mm lenses, single-element lenses...just about anything I can find that'll focus an image. Unfortunately none of this stuff is scanned, but once I get moved in with my fiance' this summer I plan to spend some time scanning my existing work. (I'll be without a darkroom for a few months...ACK!)

    One other note: There seem to be a lot of adapters for sale on eBay for mounting other lenses onto Canon EOS bodies. I know that there are adapters for Nikon, M42, Contax/Yashica, and Leica-R lenses, and there are probably more. If I was looking for a body on which to mount lots of different 35mm lenses, I'd think seriously about a Canon EF-mount body.

    Thanks for bringing up this subject...you really put a smile on my face just reminding me of all of the weird combinations of lenses and cameras that I've tried over the years.
     
  13. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Dave,

    I was hoping you would chime in here! If there is a lens hacking idea out there, you either tried it, heard of it, or can tell someone whyit won't work! I want to see some of those super fast apperture lenses hacked onto a camera!

    Peter.

    PS:
    You know, the funny thing is, the hardest to find, really, really scarce is a FD lens to EF body adapter... I have seen just about everything else, but those rarely if ever... Funny, huh? I would think Canon would think of thise when they changed mounts - but I guess that's why they made so many of their users so angry... and why I chose the FD mount and all that cheap, cheap glass! :smile:
     
  14. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    You evil, evil girl! Plastic lenses on a Canon P? If you must commit such a sin, extension tubes for that Canon mount should be available on ebay. Plastic lenses can be retained by a couple of sleeves held by friction within the front extension tube. When the desired focus is determined, the sleeves can be glued in place. An SLR is much better for this work, especially if it has the M42 mount. Such cameras should be give-away items to a good home. Making an adaptor from lens mount to PVC pipe will make such experimenting easier.

    The easiest way to experiment with odd lenses will be with a 4x5 that takes a flat wood lensboard. The lensboards can be cut on a table saw and glued up from Masonite or plywood. 1/4 inch Baltic birch plywood from hobby shops is elegant for this. Of course there may be a few purists that will look askance at such evil.
     
  15. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Jim, I don't look askance at the evils you and Stephanie advocate and perhaps even practice, but they puzzle me. I can't understand what's so appealing about setting up to make fuzzy images on film. Why not just get a $10 digicam and be done with it?

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, the easiest way is to get one of these:

    It's an old plate camera, 13x18cm (takes 13x18cm or 5x7" film, and 4x5", 9x12cm and 6.5x9cm film with adapters), with a universal iris lens mount. Anything can be mounted on this camera, as long as the diameter is less than 8cm and greater than 8mm. If the back focus is less than 20mm or more than 600mm I'll have to use another camera, but I have that too. Only with less film size adaptability.
     

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  17. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Shutter, Ole?
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hat? Packard shutter? For small lenses (like the 180mm Dagor in the picture) I have a Thornton-Pickard rollerblind shutter I can put on the front of the lens.

    But most of the time I use slow film, small aperture and a hat.
     
  19. rml

    rml Member

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    Try an Epson R-D1 with an M-LTM adapter, with an LTM-M42 adapter, with a Zenitar 16mm fish eye, or a Meyer Optik 30/3.5. Odd? Maybe but it works, and for me the 30/3.5 is a fine lens with a nice image result. The whole setuo, however, does get quite big. More in the size of an SLR than your average rangefinder. :smile:
     
  20. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Well, obviously because its a different, more soulful type of fuzzy:D
    The logical side of my brain agrees with your sentiment 100%, yet I have to say, in the end I like "beautiful flaws"... Something too clinical about technical perfection.
    Or, most likely, in my case the flawed lenses cover for my shortcomings as a photographer. Perhaps I'll grow out of it...

    Peter.