Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2016

50mm1.2-0356

In the mirror with the 1.2

I have written about my love of mirrorless bodies and their ability to easily mount vintage lenses from almost any camera system. Although my money camera is a full frame EOS 5D Mk II (yes I know that body is getting a bit dated), The camera I have the most fun with is my EOS M3 mirorless body. I owned the original M body and wrote about it here. I now use the M3 which is everything the M and M2 should have been. I wrote about that camera here.

My good friend and business associate Graham has been hounding me to get a “real” lens for my mirrorless body. You know a Leica Summicron 35mm perhaps. I am a lover of fast glass and 2.0 is fast but a Summilux 1.4 is better 😉 Of course the need to have a Sultan’s cash to get a Summilux tends to push back at me. Not to mention that the APS-C crop sensor in the M3, as good as it is, will not likely show me the superiority of the Leica lens. If I buy a Summicron or even a price bloated Summilux I have what amounts to a fancy badge and bragging rights with no real advantage on the images. My friend, uses a newer Sony A7 and that camera is capable of utilizing the amazing Leica image quality. It make sense for him to have the superior lens.

20160307_095520

Look at that haze! Looks worse than it is but still…

So I own several vintage lenses and a modern M Mount Voightlander lens as well. Recently I acquired a 50mm f/1.2 rangefinder lens from the 1950s and 60s era; mine is from the late 1950s . This was an upgrade lens for Canon 7 (35mm rangefinder) buyers that could not quite make the bill for the legendary f/0.95 lens. I got this lens for a ridiculously low price but it came with the caveat that there was some internal hazing that would affect the picture quality. I decided to give it a go, just for fun. Sometimes I buy these lenses and I can clean them up myself. The hazing on this example as it turns out, is specifically located between two cemented lens elements. The rest of the glass is MINT perfect. Unfortunately my skills do not allow me to mess with a cemented group. The photos are affected particularly in backlit scenes where the haze scatters the light and kills the contrast. It also creates a soft glow on the light source. This gives a very classic vintage look to ambient light scenes reminiscent of days gone by when rendered in B/W. I love it. On properly front lit scenes the haze has very little negative effect. It is absolutely softening the contrast and maybe even causing a little loss of sharpness, but this lens is not noted for being tack sharp wide open anyway.

muffincat-0390

Muffin the Cat, EOS M3 with 50mm 1.2 @ f/2.0 800 ISO

Mint condition examples of this lens tend to fetch upwards of $700. I have to decide if spending $200-$300 to have a lens expert separate and reset the cemented group is worthwhile. For now I am enjoying the creamy, soft bokeh of a classic F/1.2 lens that I got for well less than $300.

So I am enjoying a vintage time warp of sorts as I make images that have a definitive old school feel. Even if the quality when measured against the absolute perfection of modern lens design is weak, the images are not. I have found that I can trade a little digital noise for perceived sharpness using tools in Photoshop or Lightroom.

I would love to have this lens in perfect optical condition, but I am not convinced the quality is good enough to justify the expense of “perfection”. The only shot in this series of images I have today that really sucks is the backlit shot below which has clear issues with flare and contrast. But in black and white it has a certain vintage look that is a bit raw and could be a great way to capture that feel of a smoky 1950s nightclub. With just a little bit of effort in Lightroom, I can create pretty good images with the lens despite the lens haze. It is quite amazing actually!

The take away here is that ideally we want our lenses to be free of severe haze and fungus and such, but look at how good the images can be with significant haze. Note that the image showing the haze makes it look worse than it is, but it is pretty bad and yet some of these images are pretty good despite the flaws. I am shooting with a true exotic lens for which I paid what amounts to chump change. Bear in mind that I use vintage gear, I don’t collect museum pieces. You can often find lenses with minor flaws in the glass far less significant than the severe haze this lens has for heavy discounts off a mint example. If you want to make images, buy a slightly to moderately flawed lens and enjoy it. Often there is no perceptible loss of quality even with noticeable marks in the glass. I used to buy rough condition Leica lenses because I knew the image quality would not suffer and I could own the best lenses in the world for prices that I could afford. These days, Leica lenses have become so valuable that the rough ones are being repaired rather than sold as is. Many other fantastic lenses are out there in varying degrees of condition, go try some. This Canon 50mm 1.2 is just another reason I love modern digital photography 🙂

cats3516-0387

Socks the Cat, M3 with 50mm 1.2 @ f/2.0 3200 ISO Cropped 100%

socks3516-0383

Socks the Cat with M3 and 50mm 1.2 @ f/1.2 3200 ISO Cropped 100%

Read Full Post »

Liberty or Death

An Intellectual Conservative View

SUPER MOVIE MANIAC

Latest facts, news and predictions for every Super Marvel movie nerd. Are you nerd enough? Click the Menu tab at the side for more!

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Idrona

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

The Tech Column

One guys opinion on the tech that's all around us.

SW Washington Land

Opportunities in residential, recreational, and commercial land

'Couv' Commercial Properties

Retail, Industrial and Office properties in Vancouver, USA

New Homes

Clark County Washington: Rod Sager, Realtor® Vancouver, USA

PhotoFair Camera Shows

Modern and Vintage Cameras and Photo Gear

Heidy's Online Wonderland

MMORPGs, Entertainment, Random Musings and Stuff

Comics A-Go-Go! Comics, Movies, Music, News & More!

Irresponsible blogging at its best

blurppy

Purveyor of pop culture...burdened with glorious purpose...

Holodeck3

"Fate protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise."

Bob Mayer

Write on the River

After Dark Gaming

the red eye gamer

The One-Man Trekker

And our trek has only just begun...

3 Quarters Today

A synopsis of my passions in life including pets, photography, food, and marketing

Funk's House of Geekery

Movies, Comics, Books, Games and Other Things Geeks Love

digitaldtour

A photographic journey through the Southern California car culture

Star Trek Online

Beaming in from The 'Couv'

The Scorpion and the Frog

Fiction, Poetry and Photos

LuxuryHomeMagazineBlog

In Print, Direct Mailed, Online

Journey Into Awesome

A critical look at comics and culture

Robert Jackson Bennett

Speculative fiction author, science fiction and fantasy fan, accidental horror writer, Shirley Jackson Award winner.

The Evergreen Times

More than twenty years of commentary and it just keeps coming

The 'Couv' Life

Musings of life in Vancouver, Washington U.S.A.

Wolf Shirt Extremist

The musky scent of success.

clouddomains

Just another WordPress.com site

Custom Skins by Jodi Tripp

Don't let your phone go Naked!

Portland Flooring Blog

Your flooring source for carpet, hardwood, tile and green surfaces in Portland Oregon

Broachs's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Donna's Ink Well

The source of expressed thought

Voice of the People

We, the People seem to agree on most everything...

The Lipstick Liberal

the liberal who still enjoys bein' lady-like.

fredperkins

A fine WordPress.com site

searching4serenitydotorg

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Washington State Short Sales

A fine WordPress.com site

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

Clark County Real Estate Guide

An Insider's Guide To Real Estate, Mortgages and The Heartbeat Of Clark County, WA

annetterlane

Just another WordPress.com site

thefairybookmother

A topnotch WordPress.com site

clarkcountyhousetalk

SW Washington real estate talk

Kay Hunt 4 Homes

Kay's Food 4 Thought

Clark County Weather Blog

cameras, lenses and photography

'Couv' Camera

cameras, lenses and photography

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: