Today I write about a lens I used recently. It’s an other rebranded lens from a lens manufacturer specially made for the Australian marked. The lens is a Hanimex 28mm f.28 lens. I bought this lens for less than 10 USD. My particular lens has many small hear fractures in the front lens, they don’t seem to influence the picture quality but I can’t compare it. The aperture also changes from f22 to around f8 when I focus from the minimum distance to infinity. I only noticed this when my viewfinder and light meter didn’t change when I changed the aperture past f8 when taking landscape shots. These flaws might temper my enthusiasm about this lens but compared to the other 28mm I tested not so long ago (Orion 28mm f2.8) this lens is better. I will compare them side by side in the future but for some reason I like to take pictures with this lens. I also made some pictures of landscapes but they all came out bad. It might have something to do with the strange aperture behavior or with me not taking the time focusing accurately. Maybe I just like the focal lens on my 1.5 crop camera of this lens.
For the M42 the distance from the film to the lens mount is 45.46mm and for the X-mout it is 17.7mm so the adapter has to be 45.46-17.7= 27.76mm
I measured my adapters and the one from E-bay was 27mm on both sides, 0.76mm to short. The other two are seemingly from the same (no-)brand, one of them was 27.95mm and 27.85 so a 1/10 mm difference from one side to the other. The other was exactly 27.80mm, only a Little to big.
I put the other two away, the E-bay one is the same height around but almost a millimeter to short. When the adapter is to small it might influence your infinity setting but you have some wiggle room here. When the adapter is not the same height it influences the sharpness, specially in the corners so this one has to go.
I might buy a brand one one day but i looks like it is a gamble no matter what, at least I have one that is good. Who new it was so hard to make these things.
Today I tested an other wide angel lens from the 70/80s the Auto Weltblick. Its a strange name, its German for worldview and it is one of those lenses made by a lens manufacturer for an other that will give it its own name. In this case I think its made for Neckerman in Germany, their is not mush on the internet about this brand and lens.
On the X-T1 this lens is almost a 35mm so a nice focal length. It is well build and easy to use. My first impression is that it is sharper overall than the other wide angel I tested, the 28mm Orion but it has more barrel distortion. For now it is definitely a lens I will bring with me, I like it for architecture inside and outside and it might be good enough for landscape photography. All the pictures here are edited in Lightroom
Today I tested a 28mm lens made by Super Orion. I can not find much about this brand, its probably a copy of some other branded 28mm lens. I bought it for around 15,- USD with the hope I could bring it with me together with my 50 mm lenses. On my Fuji crop sensor it is around 42mm, almost wide angle for me. But the lens is not so good, specially not for landscapes. It is soft overall and sharpness is important in landscape photography. I took a lot of pictures today on different apertures but they are all soft and at 2.8 it is really bad, you can see some examples down below.
I also took some pictures in the museum where I work and for these kind of pictures I don’t mind that the lens is not sharp at f2.8, the aperture I used to shoot the pictures inside. In lightroom you can still make something nice out of the RAW files. There is not so much vignetting to see and the distortion is hardly noticeable. The lens also misses some “vintage picture” quality. The pictures look quit neutral with no muted colors or other charms that some of my other vintage lenses have.
The lens id nicely build, for the most part out of metal I think, it has an ensuring weight to it. I don’t think it is a lens I would bring with me, specially if I have a choice.
Today I used a lens I also bought in Holland at he store I talked about before. I was really exited by this lens because it feels really good in the hand. It is nice and heavy and it zooms from 35 to a 105mm which I like for walking around in a city for instance. It also has a dedicated zoom setting that lets you get close with a 1:3 magnification, also nice for a city walk because now you can take some nice closeups of random details. I tried to find out some more details about this lens and Revuenon but besides some reviews of other lenses from the same manufacturer I found little about the brand itself. I wanted to know more about Revuenon because the lens feels good and seems to be of some good quality mechanically but optically it is terrible, at least my lens is. There is a small crack in the front lens, something you can see on some of the photos. Maybe this lens fell down once and shifted some lens elements internally. The problem is that you can not get a sharp focus on 35mm, you have to go to 40-45mm to get something in focus. If you are at 35mm you can “turn on” the macro setting and get focus that way but it is strange. This might be caused by a lens that is shifted internally but there are other problems, the amounts of chromatic aberration, specially at 3.8 is something you don’t see anymore at even the cheapest lenses made today. The glare is also noticeable and the lens is soft overall but specially in the corners and it has low contrast. There is also a lot of barrel distortion even at a 105 mm.
Today I tested a lens, from I think the 1980s, made by sigma. I am in Holland for my holiday’s and yesterday when I was in Leeuwarden I finally got lucky and found a store where they sold several vintage lenses. I bought 3 lenses with m42 mount and one of them was this sigma 70-150mm f3.5 lens. I immediately liked this lens because the way it looks. It has the little ring to put it in macro mode where it moves the lens forward. It has the typical lines on the barrel for the depth of field settings and a zoom and focus ring in one. The aperture is a constant 3.5 which is not bad and it feels good and solid in the hand. I couldn’t find much information online besides some bad reviews on the pentaxforums.
For me the image quality is not bad as long as you don’t look to close. It focuses easily and most of the pictures where sharp. If you go for ultimate image quality you shouldn’t go for these old lenses, you should buy a moderns lens that will cost you thousands of dollars. But for the 15,- USD I spend on this lens I have probably 90 per cent of the fun taking pictures compared to the modern lens for a fraction of the cost.
Today I tested the very small Industar 50mm f3.5. It is based on an old Zeis lens design from before ww2 and made in Russia. It focuses easy but the aperture ring is not easy adjustable with one hand, the focuses will change if you try to do this.
The photos are edited with Darktable, for most of them I only changed some tone curve and the B&W conversion. The tones of the colors have this nice vintage feel and the sharpens is good but not as overly sharp as modern lenses. Combined with the manual focus you can get some great results and because it is such a small lens there is no excuse not to bring it with you. I read online that this lens is not as good on full frame camera’s when it comes to sharpness in the corners and vignetting but I cannot confirm that. I like it a lot on the X-t1 and it is a good conversation starter.
Today I stopped besides a field of grass waiting to be mowed for maybe the last time this year. I wanted to catch some of the “grass feeling” but because the Industar is a decent macro lens I got caught up by the small details.
This is one of the Russian lenses and though it is not as sturdy as the Rikenon it still feels good. I’m not a big fan of the clickless aperture ring but it is stiff enough to prevent it being moved to easy.
I love the out of focus parts of the picture, both with details close by and far away. I also get used to focusing with this lens and it might not be super sharp it is still impressive for a 50,- US Dollar lens.
I have a third 50(ish)mm lens I am trying out now that I really like. Maybe I have three 50mm lenses in my bag on my next vacation.
Today I took pictures of this agricultural machine I’ve been passing by for the last few weeks. I really like the Rikenon, compared to the Russian lenses I have this feels much better in the hand. It’s quit heavy and solid and gives the feeling it will last forever. The focus ring feels mechanically tight and smooth. They make great lenses these day’s to but not for a 150,- US Dollars. Optically there are probably things that modern lenses do much better but though I like the technical aspects of photography I never have been that interested in the optical qualities of a lens. I can differentiate between a good lens and a bad lens but that has more to do with the impression the picture gives me and not the lack of color fringing, distortion or what you have.
I like taking pictures with this lens because it forces me to take it slowly. I like the results to, even after some editing in Lightroom I can still see that the pictures where taken with this lens, maybe not so much with the B&W but definitely with the color pictures.
For consistency I used the B&W Flat preset in Lightroom with some sharpening. For the colored ones I left all the settings from the preset untouched I just put it on color.
Today me and my girlfriend went out for a drive, looking for some nice spots to take pictures of her and to test my Auto Rikenon. I get better in focusing with these manual lenses combined with my new Fujifilm X-T1. I zoom in with the focus peaking and that works great. If you get closer and especially with the lens wide open you have to time your shot because the slightest movement results in an out of focus picture.
For me out of focus is not always bad but I am glad that some of the pictures are in focus so you can see a nice separation of subject and background even when stopped down. Wide open the out of focus parts are nice with smooth colors and almost round light circles.
There is more potential in this lens and I am glad that I bought it, it gives me the change to learn new things.
Today it was rainy and windy outside so I decided to take some pictures inside with my new bellow. I took pictures of all kinds of objects and small plants and flowers so I could try out different setups. I noticed that it is much easier to move the subject around than the whole camera when you magnify it at almost 3 times. Moving it forwards or backwards to get it into focus goes great and moving it from side to side to compose the picture is easy to, now I have to find a way to adjust the height smoothly because that is not so easy.
I also wanted to do some photo stacking in Photoshop and for that I used a 2 way focus rails that I bought on E-bay. I bought it a couple of years ago to try it out, it costs around 10 US Dollars and with my macro lenses it worked OK. But now I see why this is cheap, when you magnify so much as I do now every little movement is enormous when you look through the view finder. When I use the little nob to adjust the rails it twist the glider a little bit, this happens because the tolerances are not that great. It’s not a big problem but when you want to stack the photo’s later it helps if they stayed lined up. If I want to get serious with this I have to invest in a better one and try to find a good one that goes 6 way’s to solve the problem of the height adjustment.
Today I got a new package with something in it that I wanted since I started taking pictures in the 80s, a bellow used for macro photography. It’s something about the mechanical nature of it, the wheels that move the lens and the idea that you can get really close. So as every child does I ripped it out of the package, mounted my new Industar 50mm lens on it and went outside to try it out. But I first had to slow myself down and find a solution to get enough light so far from the flash mount on the camera and close to the front of the lens. I choose to use the little flash (EF-X8) that came with the X-T1 and use it as a commander together with the Yongnuo flash in slave mode. For now I have nothing to mount it so I used it handheld and pointed the flash in the right direction when needed. There was almost no wind so I decided to use my tripod, I wanted to take pictures of little bugs and plans and not from some fixed objects. But as most of the time when hunting for little bugs the tripod is a nuisance and there was almost no wind but there was still some movement and when you get so close the bugs move from one side of the viewfinder to the other, a tripod is useless in these circumstances. So I shot handheld and with my left hand I also held the flash in such a way that it illuminated the subject. It is not an ideal situation but parts of the pictures are sharp so it’s more a matter of finding the right angels so that the (really shallow) depth of field is used as best as possible. I had the aperture set at f5.6 with the shutter at the flash sync speed of 180/s, the ISO was set at 400 and the flash strength between 1/4 and 1/16 but holding the flash at the right distance was more important than the flash strength.