Today I used four different lenses to shoot insects. I used a flash for some extra light even though It was a sunny day. I shot at ISO 400 and an aperture of f1, I had to adjust the flash strength when I moved into the shade but for the rest I didn’t change settings. I also used a small and lightweight tripod for some extra stabilization.
Today I took some random picture during my break at work. I used The Mir 37mm again. The four colorful pictures are edited more in a stile I like, colorful, punchy and no blue in the sky. I like these results and I don’t think I would be more satisfied if I had taken them with one of my modern lenses. There are of course all kinds of (technical) things wrong with it if you look closer, or even if you don’t but I had fun making them, manual focusing, making sure the aperture ring was set and finely editing them. I will remember the time and place of when I took these pictures when I see them again in the future and relive the moment in a small amount, what more do you want. I would use this lens for a paid assignment, they hire me for my style and not for my technical skills. The other picture of the museum I work for is almost straight out of the camera and it captures perfectly the mood of the day, misty, grey and silent. I had to put some contrast in it because that’s something this lens misses.
On E-bay you will find different version of this lens for around 60,- US Dollars. I bought mine here in Norway where I live now for a similar price. The quality of my particulate lens is not that great, there is some movement in the focus and aperture rings and is used quit a lot. Optically I looks fine but I have no other MIR-1 to compare it with, I don’t see fungus or dust inside the lens.
Today I used the Mir-1b with a 12mm extension tube to see how it goes as a macro lens. The first thing I have to say is that even with my smallest extension tube you get really close with this lens. This is no problem if you want to take pictures of small flowers, they can not be bigger than 5 or 6 cm if you want to fill the frame but taking pictures of insect is more of a challenge because you have to get so close. The quality of the pictures is not bad but it is not as sharp as my dedicated macro lenses. I like the flower pictures, but even with f11 there is not mush in focus, as expected.
I bought a cheap reflector for my large flash on E-bay. It focuses the light straight forward or down if you want to. There are three reflective surfaces to choose from, i choose the gold one. It was sunny and with the shutter on 180/s and the lens closed down to f8.0 or f11 I didn’t need a flash but It provided some subtle light. I have to use it more but for 6 dollar you can’t go wrong.
The pictures are edited in Dark table, I did some extra sharpening and some levels but not much more.
Today I used an other vintage lens, the Mir-1b 37mm f2.8. These old lenses are great to play with and are relatively cheap to buy. For the money you can buy a new Fujifilm 35mm lens you can buy several old lenses. This one is not so easy to use, the ring to adjust the aperture has clicks but you can also adjust it freely with an other ring just underneath it. This is not so bad, specially if you use it to film but the focus ring is close to the it and I kept changing the aperture. This is something I will probably get used to but I noticed it.
The light was really harsh today, around noon, when I had some time to make some pictures. I found an old lens hood that fitted but there was still a lot of light “bleeding” in. It has also to do with the lens I guess but I will find that out when I use the lens in other circumstances. The closest focusing distance is not that close, around 65cm, I can’t wait to use it with some extension tubes, the background blur suppose to be quit nice.