Tag Archives: Photography

photography is for me an expression of art

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.

 

 

Adapt to Vintage Glass

As you may have realized from my previous blog posts am i a huge fan of old vintage lenses. This love has grown so strong that I decided to completely switch from Sony A-Mount to Sony E-Mount. I sold my A77II, which I enjoyed for the past 2 years. But after I bought the A6000, the 77II found its place in my cupboard.

The reason for this step from A to E is the way shorter flange focal distance of an E-Mount Camera. The flange focal distance describes the distance between the last (rear) glass element of the lens and the sensor or film of the camera. As you can see in

the picture the flange focal distance of a conventional A-Mount (or any other camera with a mirror or translucent mirror) is way longer. The mirror and the flipping mechanism need space.

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Flange focal distance

In this list, you can see the flange focal distance of several mounts (Full list can be found here). I personally use Minolta MD, Minolta A, M42 and Exakta EXA on my Sony Alpha 6000. If you want to adapt old or just different lens mounts to your camera without any effect to the infinity focus or the quality its important to always keep an eye on the flange focal distances. If the distance of the lens you want to  adapt is at least 1mm longer than the one you need on your camera you may be able to find an adapter in the WWW.

Sony E-Mount / Sony NEX 18 mm
Sony A-Mount / Minolta A-Mount 44,5 mm
M42 x 1 45,46 mm
Exakta EXA 44,7 mm
Minolta MD / MC / SR 43,5 mm
Pentax Q-Mount 9,2 mm

Some examples:

“I want to adapt a M42 lens to my Sony E-Mount Camera” à No problem. Look for an M42 to E-Mount adapter. Have fun.

“I want to adapt a M42 lens to my Sony A-Mount Camera” à Maybe a little problem. There are really thin adapters to buy. Make sure to buy a “good” one that has the exact measurements. Otherwise when it’s a little bit too thick or too thin you lose your infinity focus.

“I want to adapt an Exakta EXA lens to my Sony A-Mount Camrea” à There is no way to adapt the EXA Lens to A-Mount without either losing infinity focus or dealing with an extra lens inside the adapter. It’s possible but you either lose quality and light or the infinity focus.

“I want to adapt an Exakta EXA lens to my Sony E-Mount Camera” à No problem. Look for an EXA to E-Mount adapter. Have fun.

“I want to adapt a Pentax Q-Mount lens to my Sony E-Mount Camera” à There is no way to adapt the Q-Mount Lens to A-Mount without either losing infinity focus or dealing with an extra lens inside the adapter. It’s possible but you either lose quality and light or the infinity focus.

As you can see in the examples it’s always possible to adapt a lens. The only thing you might lose is quality and light or infinity focus. There are even some “smart adapters” which you can use to use autofocus lenses (Nikon, Canon) on your Sony E-Mount Camera. (Need to be the newer models to deal with the autofocus).

Photo examples

Meyer Optik Görlitz Primoplan 58mm f1,9

  • Camera : Sony Alpha 6000
  • Adapter : EXA to E-Adapter

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Minolta AF 50mm f1,4

  • Camera : Sony Alpha 6000
  • Adapter : Sony LA-EA4 Adapter

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Minolta MD 50mm f1,4

  • Camera : Sony Alpha 6000
  • Adapter : MD to E Mount Adapter

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Adapt schema

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I hope you enjoyed this post

I hope you enjoyed this little post like I did writing it. If you want me to review a special lens out of my portfolio of vintage lenses please comment here.

Kind regards,

Daniel

feel free to visit my pages and see all of my work.

  1. www.facebook.com/danielellwangerphotos
  2. www.instagram.com/danielellwangerphotos

 

Casa de Muñeca

Scattered around the land lies small abandoned cottages, the reason why they lie uninhibited is often lost in time. At times the surroundings offer hints of why, a freeway to close to comfort, a fire, and at other times is the house simply not worth for human living due to the state of the property.

Casa de Muñeca is such a house, situated not far from a major freeway in Denmark, the cars humming is loud day and night. The house is easy accessible, parts of it has turned to rumble, yet the main part of the building still stands proud.

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I started out visiting the barn, it had a spine-chilling feeling to it, it was clear that this house was going to be an adventure. Right inside in the hay, facing a broken window was a old rusty vintage children tricycle, my mind couldn’t leave the image, and I pondered for how long it has been since this house was a home for a small family. As i went through the ruin it was like the house offered hints of its memory in form of faint signs from it former inhabitants.

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From the barn I went through small utility rooms, the structural damage of the house became more evident. Parts of the brick walls was missing, it was like someone was stripping the house from its inner. Windows was missing, leading out to what was clearly once a well kept garden.

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Everything with this time shouted time and decay, look how the door leading out from the barn is barely keeping itself on its hinges.

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The adventure led on into the house, everything was a mess. Judging from the smell, was this place used by animals seeking shelters from winter harshness. Broken windows more traces from former times. Inside on a table was a broken doll left and a picture of a child. The image gave this house a story, and I decided to use to use these elements in some of the next pictures.

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Upstairs, more traces, a old rusty 1950s baby Stroller. Setting it in context with the doll and the picture gave a ghostly, sad feeling to the picture.

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A small adventure had ended, and a story was born “Casa de Muñeca”

Warm on a Cold Night

This time I am going to share an small experience with you, and also how we solved it cheap and easy, no more cold freezing cameras and lenses.

A few nights ago we was out shooting The ride of the Valkyries, it was a blistering cold night -25c. My two sons who both was shooting Sony Alpha A65, quickly had their cameras freezing up to the point where they couldn’t take any pictures, my Sony Alpha A99V was more faithful and kept on shooting, yet still I ran into trouble. My Samyang 14mm F/2.8, did build up a thin layer of ice on its dome.

Everything looked pretty hopeless, Aurora dancing over the skies and no mean to capture the beautiful scene. Then I remembered that I had some Hand Warmers which I previously had bought with the intent to keep in a inner pocket to help keeping us warm. I used one at each camera and secured it to the lens by tying it to the lens with a microfiber cloth. To my surprise, one was enough to warm both camera and lens for 6 hours,  keeping both functional.

From now on these small heaters is going to be a standard part of my aurora hunting equipment.

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Cheers, Guldmann

Hidden Seattle: Hidden Spots I Love

As a photographer, Seattle is a treat. The city offers tons of diversity, in so many ways is the city different from other American cities. It is a place i love to visit, and I get to go there every year while my work brings me to the #SQLSummit in the town.

Visitors to Seattle know all about the Space Needle, fresh seafood on the waterfront and the world-famous Pike Place Market. However it is the those hidden, out-of-the-way gems that makes the visit to Seattle memorable.

I got no intent to describe every attraction of Seattle if you need that go get yourself a book 🙂 this blog is about the little places I enjoy so much.

Places i enjoy to visit for food a beer…

No doubt its easy to get high quality food at some amazing restaurants, yet there is some which has won my heart, places i visit every year as a tradition. You can eat for next to nothing, and with great authenticity.

Mediterranean Mix, not exactly a high-end restaurant, this establishment is very lacking in ambiance, or to the money the place looks like a dump, the food on the other hand authentic Greek food when its at its best. This is the kind of place where one walks up to a counter to order and they bring the food to your table on a tray and for 7 dollars you will have complete meal, and I swear its the best I had outside Grace. And if that’s not enough, they have a hot dog stand in front that grills the dog and offers it “Seattle style” – grilled onions and cream cheese! Amazing. This is a must-see if you are out, but not too late at night, the area is pestered with so many drunk annoying people, but in the daytime no worries at all.

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Beer is always good, and there is heaps of places where they serve good beer, the Tap House is for many people a first choice. It is not where I enjoy going, the Tap House “Grill” is like a hooters without the girls. Thus their beer is good, it totally lacks any ambiance. I prefer Six Arms situated between the pike and the Capital Hill neighborhood. They brew their own beer and its never a disappointment, especially their stout is a wonder of Seattle. Besides their usual fine selection of beers they are keen to feature special event editions which I never fail to enjoy while i am usually in Seattle for Halloween.

Another place to-go is the House of Hong. A good friend of mine took us there for some  Dim Sum. Prompt and pleasant service, a wide variety (and growing!) of dishes, and at an incredible value. One downside is the the parking, which seems hard to figure.

Merguez and Spanish chorizo, if you are up for a quick lunch, which is a hell of an experience, then Uli’s Famous Sausage at the pike might be the place for you. Its a small place, the tables and chairs is really uncomfortable but the food! the food is just unforgettable!

Photo of Uli's Famous Sausage - Seattle, WA, United States. Merguez and Spanish chorizo

Photo scenic

This topic is really difficult as Seattle is littered with American history and Surrounded with stunning Nature, plastered with landmarks, what should one choose. As a photographer I adore many of the places and the nature Seattle and surroundings has to offer. Yet there is a place i love going to. It is a small cab fair from downtown, and offers some of the most spectacular views of Seattle at night. I am of cause referring to the gas park of Seattle. The park at day if a OK place to visit for a little HDR venturing, but its full potential opens at night. It offers the complete skyline with Seattles most famous landmarks. Forget a hotel 45 dollar fee for a glimpse of the Space Needle. I got a few nice captures of the place in my blog post A good photograph is knowing where to stand. A little word of caution, I do not recommend dragging all your photo equipment to the place, it is very dark and isolated. A tripod, you camera with a wide lens and you are set, there is no reason why you want to look like a million in such places.

Where I venture with caution

I would also have mentioned downtown Seattle, but recently there has a been a change to the worse. There has always been a number of homeless people in the area, but it seems that it has changed from the usual crowd. It is not the usual mixture of people down on their luck and drunks, but also heavy crack addicts. It makes it a unsafe place to go with expensive photo equipment, and difficult to photograph without provoking certain types. It is a shame, while downtown Seattle is perfect for Monochrome photography. It has this special ambiance which is at odds with many other American cities, where you will find the center to be a concrete parking lot, surrounded with glass monsters.

Take a time to read this article to realize the enormous problems Seattle faces.

EMP Museum  and the Needle, is it worth it

For meany Seattle starts at the iconic Space Needle. View the 360-degree panorama of the Emerald City and surrounding area seen from the observation Deck. With its height of 520 feet above the ground you can see the mountain ranges including Mt. Rainier, the waterfront, the lights of downtown Seattle and more. The question is it really worth the 23 dollars in admission. For me the it is not worth going up into the needle, sure it is an impressive sight, but the observation deck 73rd floor of Columbia Center is both higher,  better and at the half price.  At nearly 1,000 feet it offers the tallest public viewing area in the Pacific Northwest. The 360 degree panoramic view includes Mt. Rainier, Bellevue, the Cascade Mountains, Mt. Baker, Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, the Space Needle and the city of Seattle.

The EMP museum is on the other hand a visit for all music lovers. I am not a big enough fan to enter the museum on every Seattle visit, but I love walking around the impressive and organic building which comes across as a sculptural form. If you do enter the museum, then make sure to visit the SCIENCE FICTION section in the cellar, it is pretty awesome.

Next to the Space Needle is the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It is a place you simply cannot miss, it is very difficult to describe how marvelous this place is. The pieces is both impressive in size, form and color. It is so impressive and so different that you wonder what substances the artist was on when he created it. I recommend visiting the museum during non-peak hours, otherwise it will be difficult to enjoy the displays with all the people around.

Seattle underground

Seattle burned down a 100 years ago and they built another city on top of the old one. Most street level businesses in Pioneer Square area are actually level two of their buildings and level 1 which used to be the street level in the old city is now the basement. Some of the sidewalks near pioneer square have glass chips which let light into the 100yr old pavements underneath them. There’s an underground tour that takes you through this linked network of underground streets. It’s quite an experience. If you take the adult tour then the descriptions is a bit more colorful.

  

Never “miss a fall”

The magic of exploring

Fall is a great time to drive around to look for spots where there’s color, you might find photographs right now, or locate spots worth coming back to later on

Do not worry if you get out too early and fog is still hanging over the fields. There is nothing like Fog to soften up and mute colors. But fog is not a bad thing, it adds mood, atmosphere and a great deal of mystery.

Do seek elevated locations, they often yield straight on views of a fall color arrays. It will give you a grander feel for how much color there is in the area.

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Time spend well

I can spend an entire day out in the woods during those cool, clear and crisp days of color. I especially love the time where the sun is at a lower angle, giving long shadows for an extended period of time.

Location and time

When it comes to Autumn photography, then location and timing is everything. Do time when you venture out. You want to maximize the period of time where you got side-lighting, and for that its early out, and/or late home. A tripod is a absolute must, personally i use a tripod for everything, so shutter speed isn’t usually an issue.

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Compliment fall colors

The is nothing like the autumn light, it will bring color and texture. Do find some images of mushrooms growing on the side of a tree and see how the colors excels. Bodies of water is effectively what you want to be looking for. It can be everything from water streams, creeks, ponds or even rivers. If you can find reflection in them you are having double luck.

Jens Jensen Efter år

 

Settings of the magic box

Cloud cover will give you less light, and because you’re photographing landscapes, generally you won’t want to sacrifice depth of field by opening up the aperture. So bring a tripod, it is often not the time you want to be hand-holding the camera.