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  1. #1

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    Odd Lens Combinations

    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. #2
    gnashings's Avatar
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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. #3
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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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. #4
    Ole
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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.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  5. #5

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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. #6
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    I thought that J-8s were also made in an M42 mount...but I can't be sure.

  7. #7
    Ole
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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...
    Last edited by Ole; 03-21-2006 at 03:21 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  8. #8
    gnashings's Avatar
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    I believe (read this in a stuffy, snotty, know-it-all voice ) 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

    Peter.
    Last edited by gnashings; 03-21-2006 at 03:44 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: flare... not haze...doh!

  9. #9
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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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. #10
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
    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.
    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.

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