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 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 the Rikenon 55mm with me on a work trip. I wanted to try the lens out in a normal situation wherein I take a camera with me to take some casual pictures. I am more satisfied with the focusing, I only used the focus assist of the X-t1 and that worked fine, I guess I get used to it. The lens seems to give a 1960/70s kind of vibe with muted colors and low contrast but I want to take some comparison pictures in the future. I used Darktable to edit the RAW files. Besides the standard setting Darktable applies I did the black and white conversion with it and some curves.
Today I used an other manual lens, the Rico auto Rikenon 55mm f1.4. As far as I can tell the lens is from the 60th, it’s heavy and feels really good in the hand, the focusing ring is the best I ever felt. Today I used it meanly at an aperture of 1.4 to see the results. You cannot focus really close, around 45 cm from the sensor but at that distance there is not much depth of field. Tomorrow I will try it at other f-stops and from longer distances from the subject.
So far I like what I see, the colors are nice and the sharpens seems good even though it is hard to see on most of these pictures because of the shallow depth of field and the angle I have taken these pictures. I did some more work on these pictures in Lightroom, mainly some highlight work and basic sharpening and contrast, the sun was shining bright and it was the middle of the day so the light was not at it’s best, the colors where already great in my opinion, straight from the sensor.