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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Older unusual lenses

Since I acquired a special M42 mount adapter for my camera a couple months ago, it's opened up a whole new world of imaging possibilities for me to explore. There are a large number of lens manufacturers that produce lenses with the M42 screw mount. Carl Zeiss, Pentax Takumar and several other Russian and German lenses as well. The greatest thing about it is that most of these lenses are not very expensive, yet they have excellent quality optics. A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a few of these at a big camera swap and sale. One of those lenses is a Meyer Optik Gorlitz lens, which I purchased for a mere $10.00! It's a 50mm lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, and it has a very close minimum focusing range, which I think is great! Here, you'll see I've compared it with a Pentax Takumar 50mm f/1.4. Both lenses are shot with their aperture wide open and both at their minimum focusing distance:

Here's the Pentax Takumar:

and here is the Meyer Optiks Gorlitz:

As you can see, they have distinctly different characteristics. The pentax is sharp, and even wide open it has fairly minimal halo effect distortion. It's an excellent, fast and sharp lens. But the Meyer Optiks lens has a lot of halo type distortion and an extremely narrow depth of field. I actually really enjoy this type of distortion, as it's quite a nice artistic effect when applied to the right subjects. I'll experiment further. By the way, the Meyer Optiks Gorlitz lens is a German Lens from the mid to late 1960's.

Monday, October 10, 2005