Tag Archives: Photography

photography is for me an expression of art

Das Objektiv, Meyer-Optik Görlitz Orestor 2.8 135mm (1)

Der Name Meyer-Optik-Görlitz ist mehr als das

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Today an adventure started, it arrived on a rainy day (typical). A perfectly restored Meyer-Optik Görlitz Orestor 2.8 135mm. It in such a good condition that it is practically impossible to judge its age, many thanks to Maziar Moarefi for this fine work.

My edition of the Meyer-Optik Görlitz Orestor 2.8 135mm is manufactured with the M42/Pentax mount, which makes it perfect for my A-Mount Sony Alpha A99V camera. It is one of the earlier versions with the typical zebra look (black and silver stripes). The lens was produced by the Meyer company in Dresden East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, in the 1960ies. It is the 15 aperture blades iris.

First Impression

It’s solidly built, with a no-fuss preset aperture and satisfyingly smooth and very long-travel focus action. I like the long focus travel, while it makes for an easy manual focus. The focus seems very accurate compared to the Pentacon. It’s quite compact, and again compared to the Pentacon, about half a centimeter shorter.

Value

I do not buy lenses as an investment, though in this case the glass will continue to increase in value as they are not very simple due limited availability in good condition. It has therefor become a bit of a collectors item and the price of these lenses has gone up significantly in recent years, I forsee this trend to continue.

Why I got it

I was looking for this lens due to its attributes. It is renowned for its amazing bokeh which should spectacularly good at pretty much any aperture, due to that beautiful, perfectly circular 15-blade iris, it carries a hell of a good contrast with soft tonal transitions. These attributes is surely the reason why it earned its nickname “Bokeh Monster” and the “Bokeh King”. The lens highly loved as a portrait lens, but due to its flexibility it has many other appliances as it fit for all types of artistic photography where shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh are key.

A first few shoots

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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

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