A stroll through Bologna la Rossa

Walked into Bologna and felt my heart swell with happiness. Its almost like you can almost feel the city pulsing with life through the camera lens, which by the way was thee Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm (The Jewel). The streets is breathtakingly beautiful, yet rough around the edges. with its well over 37 kilometres of porticos Bologna is a unique city in the world. These porticos make it easy to stroll around the city centre, go shopping or walk from one museum to another under a safe shelter away from the scorching sun. Continue reading A stroll through Bologna la Rossa

Zuccherificio – Porto Tolle, Veneto

Today we visjted the Zuccherificio in Porto Tolle. Though the factory itself is in sorry shape, it’s remarkably free from overt graffiti and vandalism while a host of curious industrial relics remain in situ.

This sugar mill was built in 1924 by an independent company called Zuccherificio “Delta Po”. As the name suggests, the factory was located within the Po river delta. The surrounding area of the Po river is a very fertile agricultural region, and today largely turned into a naturpark. At the time, the sugar mill was among the largest in the country with a beet processing capacity of 1800 t/d. The complex, which included an alcohol distillery and a private loading dock, was supplied through a long aerial ropeway passing over the river. The factory was closed/abandoned in 1986.

The factory from 1960

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The factory today 2017

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Inside the main building, undergrowth is growing among broken glass and concrete

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The rusty window frame, is bend, some of the frames is still with glass.DSC01629-HDR

The factory yard behind the main building, once the location of the mighty chimney, which got demolished some 10 years ago.

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Looking into the store facility

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Spaghetti allo scoglio – Il Covo

Ones in a while you come across something special, you know it immediately and enjoy every minute of it. We came across such an experience today in Hotel Ristorante Pizzeria Il Covo. They served “Spaghetti allo scoglio” for us, it is a combination of mussels (clams, scallops and plenty mussels) with plenty of garlic, saffron and white wine served over fresh homemade pasta. I had the “grande” edition, but could have been very happy with the medium edition 🙂

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M42 Adapters to A-Mount

If you followed my last blog posts on using inexpensive lenses like the Carl Zeiss Jena 35 on my A99V you might have been wondering on how to make it fit.  The way you pull this off is with a M42 to A-mount adapter. The adapters is fairly inexpensive, ranging from a flat piece of thin piece of metal with a Sony/Minolta A-mount bayonet fitting and a threaded opening for a M42 lens to .. yes the same with confirmation chip glued to them.

The benefit of using the slightly more expensive chipped versions is that the confirmation chip communicates with the camera, telling it that there is a real Sony lens attached. The camera then reads the information from the chip, and applies this knowledge when it determine how to react. The direct effect is that camera will let you use Aperture Priority automatic exposure, so you can select the aperture and the camera will select an appropriate shutter speed. The draw back is that you cannot just use any chipped adapter with any particular lens. The chips information on focal length has to correspond with the lens focal length and f/stop. That’s why I usually end up using a cheap non-chipped adapter, where I can use any M42 lens.

I got 5 different adapters, and each just slightly different in thickness. The cheaper versions has no chip but to be honest it is not the chipped I prefer. You might also be able to see that one of my adapters was a few thousands of an inch to thick. Causing the lens to move too far away from the focal plane, with the loss of infinity focus as an result. The problem got solved by sanding the adapter until it brought the lens close enough to the sensor to focus at infinity. My Chipped Lenses tells the camera that a 50mm f/1.7 lens is attached to it, only problem that its rarely the case.

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The adapter attaches neatly to the camera, and is almost invisible once the lens is attached.

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Your are about to step into a world of inexpensive, high quality M42 optics. Lenses for this mount has been produced for more than 70 years. There is communities on Facebook that offers clean and restoration of lenses if needed. All it takes is that you are willing to forget modern convenience, become a better photographer by mastering your camera in total manual mode and forcing yourself to think carefully about each frame.

Word of warning

Be very careful when selecting a lens, even though T mount lenses also is 42mm, is not the same, forcing it can result in damage to either the lens or the adapter.

Some lenses has a aperture pin which comes dangerously close to the mirror or connector pins in the A-Mount. On any account this pen has to be pushed down since the aperture control won’t work unless the aperture pin is pressed. For me the solution has to super glue this pin.

 

 

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.8 (Part 2)

‘back to the future … Part 1

Tthe Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon (CZJ) is an old lady, produced  between 1955 and 1961. It has 6 elements which is placed in 5 groups.

its imperfections gives a wonderful potential. I am of cause talking about how it is prone to flair, how depth of field lens effects the light and gives crazy Smooth Bubbles. The lens is produced in different versions, this one has 9 aperture blades, but there is rare versions with 12 blades as well. Great center sharpness and it’s really sharp all over from f/5.6 and above.

IMG_0539I like the fact that this lens is prone to lens flare, for some it might be seen as an undesirable effect on the image. I see it differently, for me it is often the element that brings emotion to my picture. It could be an effect of romance, life, depth. My advice is to seek to use them deliberately, rather than being annoyed by these what technically just is diffraction artifacts. It is true lens flare can show itself in more than one way, as long as it only manifests itself as visible artifacts in the shape of the lens iris then I do not mind. It can also appear as a haze across the image and in such situations am I the first to head down in my camera bag to retrieve a lens hood to avoid that washed out look with reduced contrast and color saturation. Diffraction artifact becomes especially interesting in digital cameras, When the sun is shining on an unprotected lens, a group of small rainbows appears. This artifact is formed by internal diffraction on the image sensor, which acts like a diffraction grating.

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Using the CZJ 35mm f/2.8 with a extension tube

Extension tubes is perhaps one use-scenario which I had overlooked the most, and which I am totally nuts about. All the qualities of the lens comes to life combined with a really close macro experience. Do notice how the understated colors is still in play, and the sharpness right on the money, not looking overly sharpened yet very well defined. This shoot of the flower is straight out of the camera, shoot handheld and with no postproduction with no Photoshop magic or cropping

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I’ve had more people suggesting me to look into M42 bellows rather than using extension tubes, they usually sell for similar prices and give both greater flexibility and a wider range of magnification.  I got my extension tube practically for free, but should I purchase one for the full price, my choice had possibly tipped the other way, while the bellows is both easier and more flexible to use. Finally, and not to be considered lightly, bellows are WAY cooler looking than tubes! Impress both friends and strangers!
the math is simple:

  • magnification_change= extension_change/focal_length short lens = big magnification.
  • working_distance_change = focal_length(1/new_magnification-1/old_magnification) long lens = big working distance.

 

 

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.8 (Part 1)

like a child with a new toy! I mounted my new lens to the (m42-to-AMount) adapter and is about to embarge on a journey involving a fifty years old lens.  The glass is a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon in such a perfect condition that is is practically impossible to judge its age. It is masterly restored by Maziar Moarefi, and stands like a jewel with its bright chrome barrel (if you are interested in how then I think the best advice is “dont” this lens seems really complex and not a place to start). There is a luxury aura to it, which is making it painfully obvious that this is a gem that should be treasured for the next many years. The build quality of this piece of glass simply puts it in a league of it own. All metal and every moving part feels great. The aperture ring moves freely, and due to the brillant state of my edition it has very little resistance to it.

This version is known to have a really pleasing bokeh, I am ecstatic to see if I can produce some of the same results i see on the web with my edition. After all who does not love a very creamy, delicious bokeh. The accurate colour rendition of this lens, which many has come to know as the Carl Zeiss colour, should excel in the way that they should come out perfectly ‘real’ and gorgeous in an understated way. At the same time the contrast is known to be excellent.

Mechanically, this lens has a 9 aperture blades, which is preferable to the newer edition with only 6 blades. The blades are rounded and are superior to all, while allows the blade to resemble something that is closer to a perfect circle, giving the more perfect bokeh. The aperture goes from f/16 to f/2.8, smoothly, and without click stops. I guess that is something I need to get use to, as I am unconsciously counting the stops in order to know where in the aperture range I am. The focus is amazing, I tried it yesterday, very long walk on the dial, allowing for very accurate focus. The near limit allows this lens to be sharp from 0,36m (1,2ft) to Infinit.

It is difficult to describe the great experience this lens gives on my camera. There is little doubt that this is an absolutely stunning lens.  I hope you will follow my adventure with this lens…

Take me to Part Two

.. a few shoots from my garden…

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HVIS JEG KUN MÅTTE EJE DET ENE OBJEKTIV (Danish)

Samyang 85mm f/1.4 versus Volna-3 80mm f/2.8.

Hvis jeg KUN måtte eje det ene af disse to objektiver, så havde jeg haft et meget svært valg at træffe.

Jeg sidder og kigger kærligt på mine 2 nyeste erhvervelser, et full frame objektiv Samyang 85mm f/1.4 til Sony A-Mount kamera og et mellemformat Volna-3 80mm f/2.8 til Kiev 88 systemkamera.  Jeg skulle egentlig kun købe et Samyang objektivet af en ven, men gik derfra med begge disse dejlige juveler…

Egentlig havde jeg ikke de helt store forventninger til russeren, da mit kamera er et spejlløst Sony A6000 med en lille crop sensor, så  min forventning var nok at et objektiv til fullframe skulle fungerer fint –  Men et mellemformat objektiv på et kamera med crop sensor – det vil næppe levere kvalitet .

Forskellen på formaterne er jo enorm. Et mellemformat objektiv vinkler lyset /motivet ind i en anden vinkel og det bliver fordelt over en helt anden større flade, så derfor må der jo gå en masse information tabt. Et optik bygget til min kameras sensor størrelse har den korrekte vinkel og samler alt information indenfor den korrekte dimension, så alt logik siger mig at dette eksperiment vil gå galt.

For nogle foto entusiaster er drømmen at have et smukt perfekt sæt af ny indkøbt kamera og objektiv. –  Alt i perfekt stand, kosmetisk i tip top stand og med markedets bedste specifikationer man kan opnå.

Sådan har jeg det ikke… mine mest skattede objektiver har set bedre dage. – en bule i filterringen, malingen slidt af på kanterne og med misfarvning af glasset , dårlig eller næsten ingen coating. med flares og andre unoder som resultat.

Jeg elsker dem som et par yndlings jeans, der er fantastisk at gå i, men er på nippet til at gå helt i stykker efter mange gange vask og slidtage…

Derfor måtte jeg straks finde en DIY løsning – altså en gør det selv løsning – for at montere Kiev 88 objektivet på Sony kameraet. Så den køreklare Samyang måtte pænt stå i kø og vente på opmærksomhed.

– en lang historie gjort kort, så blev løsningen en helicoid m42 – NEX adapter, som kan varieres i længde og den korrekte afstand til sensor kan opnåes

Til manges skræk og rædsel så bruger jeg en ofte stor limpistol til at samle med – men bare roligt, intet bliver ødelagt og limen kan fjernes helt igen

Voila, med stor forsigtighed og lidt flid og erfaring, så sidder det hele sammen nu… OG SIKKE EN OVERRASKELSE … Volna optikken og Sony kameraet har et kærlighedsforhold uden lige, en vild flirt og romantik i luften, sikke et par…

Volna laver de dejligste fotos, alt gør det godt : skarpheden, farverne og baggrundssløringen , ja og især bokeh er vild, det bobler og blinker, så jeg selv bobler indeni af begejstring…

I de næste dage så zigzagger jeg imellem at lade Samyang 85 1.5 og Volna 80 2.8 danse kinddans med kameraet på tur. Hvem skal det være ? Hvem danner par ?

GISP      Hvis jeg kun måtte eje det ene, hvilket skulle det så blive ?

Heldigvis gælder samme etiske regler  ikke for objektiver, som det gør i et menneskes kærlighedsliv. Mit kamera behøver ikke leve i et monogamt forhold til ét objektiv. – Jalousi eksisterer ikke iblandt fotoudstyr. – Så begge optikker bliver i min ejendom..

Samyang er lysstærk –  skarp som en kniv på selv 1.4 –  gode farver og klar kontrast – Modlys håndteres tilfredsstillende og baggrunden sløres rigtig flot og der er pæne bokeh bobler. En rigtig fin og sikker arbejdshest.
Volna, kære Volna.. du er en forførerinde – okay, kun blænde 2.8 som maksimalt  – jo jo  – god skarphed, ikke for skarp og ikke for blød. Den rigtige balance – farverne er gode ogmættet, som en god fyldig vin, masser af gode kvaliteter, uden af være grelle eller for dunkle. Baggrunden sløres smukt og fint, så den kan matches enhver moderne optik .

Volna laver bokeh bobler, jeg elsker bokeh boblerne, og de kommer frem, uden at jeg skal knokle og arbejde hårdt med afstande og vinkler, ja, så kommer de dansende imellem træernes blade eller på refleksioner i græs og blomster ,  de popper frem i gadelamper og billygter,  i drikkeglas og blanke flader på bestik…  det er en perfekt miks af pentacons objektivers vilde bokeh bobler og tilsat en knivspids af de klare og luftige bokeh ringe fra en trioplan .  Enhver fotonørd vil glædes over denne lækre Volna – en sand gourmet ret af visuel oplevelse.

Er jeg forelsket i denne Volna. det kan I bande på! mit gamle nørd hjerte banker hektisk som en nyforelsket ungersvend

 

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Ovenfor   Disse fotos er taget på nærgrænsen for samyang 85 1.5, som havde den dårligste nærgrænse. Begge foto er  med samme iso, hvidbalance og lukketid og på blænde 2.8, for at kunne sammenligne og vurdere om blænde 2.8 på et mellemformat optik og et fullframe optik giver identiske resultater på et kamera med crop sensor.   – Bemærk hvor kraftig kontrast imellem lyse og mørke områder er på Samyang, imens Volna mere gavmild deler ud af informationer og detaljer i de mørkere områder, en slags naturlig hdr billede i light udgave, – tak Volna..  Værsgo, drag dine egne konklusioner om sammenligningen

Nedenfor Igen er der stor forskel på skyggeområderne, jeg synes at der forskel på dybdeskarpheden på de to fotos, tiltrods for identisk opstilling og indstillinger. Volna vinder denne sammenligning efter min ydmyge mening.

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This blog mainly focus on my daily life, my passion for Information Management, Photography and Food.