A couple of months ago I was going back to the office after a photoshoot and when I took the camera out of the bag only half of the lens was attached to the body! Again!
I know I’m a cheap bastard but that was my third, yes, third, Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 lens that broke apart itself for no reason other than being poorly constructed as fuck.
My dear friend Filipe made me move my arse and look for another kind of solution. He lent me a Helios 44-M4 with a Canon EOS adapter with focus confirmation and told me to “use it”. (Index finger pointed at my nose!)
Of course I knew about the possibility of adapting older lenses to digital bodies, we all do. I read a zillion posts about it but… what’s the point?
Modern lenses are great and built to match digital sensors. The best ones are expensive but they are of good construction and pretty solid pieces of equipment.
So what’s the point?
What can a $20 Helios and a $10 adaptor give me so much better or so much different from a fast, accurate, solid, Canon 50/1.2?
I know some of you will laugh and some of you will think “what an arsehole” but the truth is it was love at, literally, first shot. The $20 Helios has spirit!
This was the first shot, shooting straight into the Sun. Couldn’t even get focus confirmation.
I started re-reading all those articles and I got a Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8 the following days. Again, I loved the results. I loved how the shots are rendered and I love what those Raw files can deliver in editing.
Here are some examples taken with the Takumar.
I know this is a computer screen but the images are… thick. They have depth, they have something hard to explain but very noticeable when I look at the files.
A 50mm Takumar in beautiful condition with front and back caps and an adapter, with focus confirmation, for $60!
The following deal was a Pentacon 50mm/f1.8. Yes, another 50mm. For another $60 I managed to buy an excellent condition classic lens.
The Pentacon is totally different from the Takumar. At f4, the Pentacon is razor sharp, the Takumar is round and soft (in a good way). Again, another old manual lens proving to have spirit!
Thanks to that simple adapter I’m now using new lenses and learning what they can deliver on specific situations.
Update: I now own a Takumar and a Pentacon, both 50mm.
While searching for an 85mm as a portrait lens fate put João Carlos on my path again.
João Carlos is a friend and a connoisseur. He also own hundreds of cameras and lenses and all kinds of adapters. João is also kind enough to let me try out his gear.
All of the sudden I have access to a collection of cameras and lenses that will take a lifetime to experiment. And that’s what we are going to do.
João will help me in creating posts about lenses and their use on digital bodies, adapters and yes film! Cooking Film will continue on trying to deliver, not so boring, samples from cameras, lenses and, of course, film related stuff.
With that being said, guess who has a Auto-Takumar 85mm/f1.8 I was looking for as a portrait lens? Yes, João.
Here is a fast, fast sample form another goodie. An adapter to use Zeiss/Hasselblad V system lenses on the Canon 5D! Again thanks to João!
New posts will follow, I’ll try to add something useful to the Cooking Film database.
As usual please forgive my limited English.