That Other Lens

Why other? Because it wasn’t made for the camera I use. It’s the first non-native lens I bought, a Takumar 50mm f1.4, produced for Pentax Spotmatic cameras from 1964 – 1975. My copy was made in the 70’s and is coated with Thorium, an innovation at that time, meant to reduce glare. No longer in use, the coating is slightly radioactive. I hope I haven’t alarmed you – it’s a very nice lens.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

1. In this photo taken after a rain shower, you can see what’s called smooth bokeh – the almost musical lilt of the out of focus areas – and the decently sharp focus on the middle twig and raindrop. You also may notice a slight yellow cast overall, and “problems” in the colors, e.g. the twig in the lower left corner is unnaturally red, and some others are greenish. This lens isn’t sharp the way modern lenses are and may produce flare and artifacts, but I like it.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2. A spore-heavy fern frond leans toward the ground near the Fidalgo Island shoreline. In the distance is Lopez Island, one of the San Juan Islands.  Words don’t readily convey the different feeling this lens has but I’d say the colors and background have a mellow, warm softness, and the fern leaf here is cleanly rendered.

 

It’s fair to say I still am a novice when it comes to photography, especially the technical aspects.  I never took a photography class, though I did go to art school. Until about ten years ago, photography was essentially a documentary process for me, and I only used basic point and shoot cameras.  When digital came along I bought a simple digital camera and adapted happily – after all, I didn’t miss a darkroom experience that I never had in the first place.

As I became more and more interested in photography for its own sake, I upgraded to an interchangeable lens camera. I went through several of them as I looked for the best combination of features for my situation. My current camera, an Olympus OM-D EM-1, is old by today’s standards, but it works for me. It’s relatively small, has excellent image stabilization, is weather-sealed, accepts a host of lenses made by Olympus and Panasonic, and is solidly made.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

3. It’s not only about bokeh; this lens does a beautiful job with sharply focused subjects, too. Two ferns intermingle here – the brown fern (Bracken) will soon decompose on the ground; the green one (Sword fern) stays green all year. The photo was made using a smaller aperture, but because the lens doesn’t “talk” to my camera, there is no data to tell me what aperture I chose. You could always make notes as you shoot if you wanted to evaluate apertures.

 

4. Heavy rain creates an intermittent stream that will aid the decomposition of leaves.

 

After getting the OM-D EM-1 with its standard kit lens, I began exploring different lenses. I was curious to know just how using a different lens affects the outcome of an image. I learned that prime (fixed focal length, or non-zoom) lenses are generally sharper than zoom lenses. The kit lens was a zoom and I wasn’t crazy about it, so I bought a prime that I could use in a variety of situations, a 20mm f1.7 by Panasonic. On my micro 4/3rds camera it’s like a 35mm or 40mm on a “normal” camera. I loved the 20mm and used it often – for travel, landscapes, closeups, you name it. I was getting the bug. I saw what changing a lens can do.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5. After rain, in my yard, mid December.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6. Another photo from the same day, looking down instead of up, using a smaller aperture.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

7. Thistle plants silhouetted against thin December sunlight at Deception Pass State Park.

 

As I read about different lenses I began seeing discussions about a certain vintage lens with a very enthusiastic following.  My curiosity was piqued. It sounded like the kind of lens that would render outdoor scenes with a certain poetic finesse, and I was drawn to that idea. I do like the technical bells and whistles that make modern lenses render scenes with great veracity, but I think there’s a place for both kinds of photographs – those with a more impressionistic look and those with a perfectly documented look. Of course there are many looks besides those two; that is just one polarity I tend to be very aware of.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

8. On an overcast December day the mood is somber, with a particularly soft beauty the vintage lens conveys well. I was attracted by the layers of texture and color: the dark water of the pond, the reflection, the cattails’ broken leaves and tall flower spikes, the lichen-covered fine twigs and tree branches behind them, and the hidden depths of the forest.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

9. A raindrop hangs suspended from the tip of a Redcedar leaf.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

10. The same tree, another raindrop. Using spot metering, and pointing the camera at the leaf in the first picture, and at the sky in this one, results in photos with altogether different moods. Spot metering is one of those exciting discoveries that opened up many possibilities for me.

 

I found the Super Takumar lens I’d read about on Amazon and bought it (in 2014) for $145, with tax and shipping. These days you can find it for less than that – a bargain compared to modern lenses. I bought an adapter online too, which set me back another $10 or $20, and then I was off and running!

Getting used to the lens was a challenge; for a long time, the focus seemed wobbly. I missed using autofocus and knowing my image would be sharp where I wanted it to be sharp. Maybe the lens wasn’t attached to the adapter properly, but in any case, after a little fiddling and by returning to the lens over and over again, I got used to it.

Each frame requires focusing. You must set the aperture, too. That’s a great way to make you slow down and think before shooting. Pretty soon changing the aperture and focusing the lens both become second nature. The all-metal lens has a satisfying, solid feel and is heavy for its small size. You feel like you’re holding something worthwhile. The mechanics are a joy – being a tactile person, I appreciate the smooth feel of the well-engineered focus and aperture rings.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

11. A fallen leaf comes to rest on driftwood in my yard.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

12. A narrow patch of woods between my house and the house next door is overgrown with blackberries.

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

14. Thin blades of grass that grow out of the rock dangle from a cliff at Deception Pass State Park.

 

15. Next to the cliff, a sandy beach strewn with driftwood and strands of Bullwhip kelp is pockmarked from morning rain.

 

16. A cyanotype made in Silver Efex Pro of a mass of broken reeds, also at Deception Pass.

 

17. Lace lichen caught on the tips of Douglas fir tree branches could be mid-air calligraphy.

 

I go back to the vintage lens when I want to shake things up a little, or when I recognize conditions are good for using it. I think it has a special affinity for spring greens and the warm colors of autumn leaves. Not so much for snow. It’s recognized as a great portrait lens; maybe I’ll explore that one day.  For now, it’s a lens I appreciate for its unique rendering and for the way it helps me see the world a little differently.

A review of the lens is here.

I’ve shown photos made with this lens before here.

 

 

18. Even in December, mushrooms appear in the grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


70 comments

  1. I love “slightly radioactive” the best.
    I love “spore heavy”.
    I love “You could always make notes as you shoot if you wanted to evaluate apertures.” with the implied “But why?!”
    I love “intermittent stream(s) that will aid the decomposition of leaves.”
    I love ” looking down instead of up”.
    I love the name, “Deception Pass”.
    I love “a certain poetic finesse”.
    And #9?
    All I can say is “HOLY FRICKING SCHNEIKIES! I HAVE TO GET ONE OF THESE!”
    That is a simply stunning image.
    Maybe it’s the beer, but much more probably it’s the conversation that I just had with my philosophy professor buddy over a couple of beers about framing and image and Cartier-Bresson and color-blindness and attention to pattern and texture and the exact discussion we had about “broken leaves” and yes, “the hidden depths of the forest” but I think, no, it is just the stunning-ness of this image that makes me stop.
    Right here.
    Before I wax poetic deep, deep and deeper into the night……
    ….until I simply disappear into a foggy cloud of rich, bokeh-ridden, temperate-rain-forest rich, slightly radioactive warmth…..

    (heading immediately to ebay………)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that words don’t really convey the different feeling this lens impart. It really is difficult to find the words. It’s almost dreamy – like your able to observe someone else’s dream. I find it interesting that back then people were probably saying that they needed technological advances so the lenses would render ‘better’ and today we use them because of their ‘imperfections’ . Sort of like going back to Holgas and Diana’s when back then people got them because they couldn’t afford better cameras. I could look at these images of yours all day long!

    Like

    • Those are great comments – I should add them to the text above! The technical advances we keep making are addicting. When I looked at the wetland scene in #8, I wished I had a different lens with me. I did what I could with the failing light and the vintage lens, and look – it turned out beautifully. Not every image has to be noiseless and tack sharp. I need to remind myself of that, in spite of my love for the more offbeat images, because worshiping at the altar of technical perfection is so pervasive that we all get caught up in it. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Howard.

      Like

  3. Enjoyed this post…and my main camera is an OMD EM1….had a couple of repairs so far, but while it keeps going, I shall keep it, I have an older EM5 too. I love the size and function of these cameras

    Like

  4. Long sighs of pleasure as I soaked in these beautiful shots. And occasionally I felt my toes wiggling! (Ferns, intermingling – and washed sand) I am very un-technical myself and therefore hugely admire your very considerable skill – so grateful to be able to bask in the experience of looking and looking at your beautiful pictures!

    Like

    • Any time I can wiggle someone’s toes, I am pleased as punch. Thank you for your thoughts and reactions….just remember that technical skill is easier to learn than a talent for the poetic is. It will come. Enjoy your weekend!

      Like

  5. Thank you, Lynn, your album was such a treat this morning. Very interesting to see the difference using the Takumar lens – it reminded me of those wonderful shots you’ve taken, looking through the glass of a greenhouse.
    My father still has a Honeywell Pentax, but the built-in light meter quit years ago – he’s been using a Sony A3000 digital camera and loves that almost as much.
    These experiments looking through different screens are really interesting. The effect of the lens and Thorium coating, on colors and the overall cast, reminded me also of some lamps in my parents’ house, made by a relative, using some glass tiles from a turn-of-the-century storefront that was torn down. I think the tiles were made by the Luxfer Prism Co., and are ribbed on one side (the ribs were supposed to function like tiny prisms, to direct more light into the shop). They used manganese or boron (I remember nothing from chem class) in the glass, and after a hundred years exposure to sunlight, the chemicals have given the tiles a purplish tint, actually kind of nice.
    But it’s not just the lens or coatings, your writing and descriptions convey warmth and love of nature, too. Beautiful shots and a fantastic impressionistic feeling.
    So thanks again, and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!! 🙂

    Like

    • As always, your comments are intriguing. How nice to hear that these remind you of the conservatory photos; I appreciate that. Sony’s are nice – I had a Nex for a while and loved it, and I think their newest model (A7?) must be terrific. Those lamps sound so interesting – next time you’re there, please photograph them, maybe from both sides if you can, that would be cool. I’d like to see them. That made me think of glass bricks, which I always loved, and old mica lampshades. 🙂 I’m glad you feel warmth on your end….thank you again, and best wishes to you too, for an excellent 2019 full of new experiences.

      Like

      • I forgot to add, that among all these poignant scenes, I studied the ferns, leaves, and especially the lace lichen, which I’ve never seen, and merely glanced at #8 (I have after all, seen a whole lot of cattails, living in central NY) but when I went back, realized how cool that shot is, it seems to have at least six planes, or layers, as you said. Pretty neat. OK, sure as can be, we’re gonna need a whole new sack of superlatives for your 2019 collection

        Like

  6. Thanks for explaining your #1. Before reading your caption, I was only going to say that I like the colors, the tonal contrast, and the wild abstraction, but having read it, I wonder if you like the surprises this lens gives you. Or are they not surprises—can you see what it will do with the colors when you look through the viewfinder or at the screen? In #2 I like the bend of the leaf juxtaposed with the curves of Lopez Island. The intermingling of the ferns in #3 seems like an affectionate nuzzle. What you wrote after #4 makes me wish I’d brought my only prime lens (a Nikkor 50mm) with me to Florida. Oh, well. March. Ooh, #7! My favorite, though, is #8. The lichen-covered fine twigs are such a lovely addition. There’s so much depth in this photograph! Who but you would have taken #14. So glad you did. I like the pock marks in #15, and the color and shape of the driftwood. Number 16 appeals to my liking for lines—lots of them. The cyanotype look reinforces the sense of lines for lines’ sake by making the photo more abstract. I wish we had lace lichen where I live! In your #17 it looks to me like doodles in the air as well as mid-air calligraphy. All these photographs have such clarity! They are tack sharp. I love that. Another great post.

    Like

    • Exactly, Linda, I like the surprises. I do know that getting close, and shooting wide open and into the light often are good things to do. I have some idea from looking through the viewfinder and at the screen, but still, it’s different when you see the photo on the computer screen. The results can be unpredictable. I just emailed you a quote from an article about what’s real and what’s not in photography….it connects, in a way, to this discussion.
      An affectionate nuzzle, yes, that’s what’s going on out there, in plain sight! Re lenses and regrets, please see the reply above to Howard’s comment. I hear you, but….
      I’m glad you singled out #8. I didn’t think it would work as well as it did when I took it. And I agree about the cyanotype – that was the idea – it was such an obvious abstraction from the get go, so get rid of the distracting color.
      You know, I didn’t know Lace lichen existed until I happened to look a little closer one day. I’d looked at it and, photographed it, as I had many different lichens around here. But I didn’t really see the detail at first.
      Sometimes the sharpness is great with this lens, sometimes I miss because of the manual focus. I should subtly rock back and forth, taking 3 or 4 photos as I go, then one will be in focus. 🙂 Anyway, where sharpness is wanted and isn’t quite there in the original, I either use the alt key with the masking slider in LR sharpening, or if more is needed, there’s Detail extraction in Color efex, but it can get too heavy. Typically, I admire the sharpness of your photos a lot. 🙂

      Like

  7. Very nice the effect of the lens! Soft and warm, beautiful pictures!! Like you said, probably good for autumn leaves and things that want a warm touch 🙂 My brother explained to me lately what functions my camera has. So many good things, but I don’t like to study all these technical explanations….but it would be a pity not to use it, so I will give it a try. Soon, hopefully soon 😉 (and maybe I wait for the day they use a more suitable language for me, haha)

    Like

    • I know what you mean! I have 3 or 4 buttons on my camera that I never use. I guess we find out about them when we feel a need for them, or want to try something different. I read about this lens and saw photos other people took, and I liked the look, so when I learned it wasn’t expensive I had to try it. As for the language, there must be a good video online about your camera, that’s the way to go! Have a good weekend and get some rest. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a good point: you were interested in it and so you worked with it. I find it difficult to learn something about the camera and to practice it on (boring) objects. The other point is I have a kind of resistance against the camera techniques because I want to take the pictures on an intuitive basis. If I could use the different buttons by heart it would be no problem. But I have to start someday somehow to learn something…..hm, I will look if I can find something which interests me the most 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your results with this lens. I tend to like softened images or extreme delineation of detail such as Ansel Adams is famous for. I especially like 8. and 11. today. 8 for the deep complexity – full of texture and yet somehow soft throughout, and 11 for the sumptuous colors and intriguing textures. Beautiful collection and thanks for the information as well.

    Like

    • It sounds like you’re drawn to some of the same styles as I am. I was happy with the way #8 turned out, though there was little light and I didn’t think I’d get a decent image. You never know, you just have to try, right? #11 was in the yard, and I need to learn these trees – what is that leaf, I want to know! They really can’t be that difficult. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Sheri, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your collection for this post stands as an excellent example of what a good photographer can do with whatever equipment she happens to have. Not that I am denying the value of your camera and lenses but it is up to the artist to create the images with an understanding of the technical aspects but a creative eye being more important. You’ve shown us both.

    Like

  10. An interesting post, Lynn. I remember Spotmatics in use in the late 1960s, when they were cutting edge. And I had a Super Takumar 135mm years ago. But as for your image 1, well I can see all of the points you make but, really, I would simply have looked at it and thought it a good image, irrespective of the details. For me, personally, its more about the overall look/story/message of an image, rather than the details/nuances.

    This thing about zooms and prime lenses is probably true, but modern zooms are so much better than earlier ones – and its a question of how much sharpness is actually necessary, especially if prints/displays are going to be less than A3 size. Haha, yes, spot metering, you are I are disciples both!!! What a useful tool!

    Interesting point that you make about the weight of the lens being reassuring. It seems to be a general human trait that we value things more if they’re weightier.

    I very much like images 5, 11 and 14, but 15 is ohhhhh! A 🙂

    Like

    • Interesting – I appreciate your thoughts. I bet you’re right about modern zooms not being so bad, and software can do a lot. Maybe I was buying into the hype, but I have to say, two of the regular primes I have (i.e. made for my camera) both seem to give better results than any of the zooms. I think I started using spot metering after you talked about it. 🙂 And the weight – it’s not just that, it’s a solid feel, too. But again, maybe there’s a good bit of nostalgia operating there, since I’m old enough to have grown up with objects that had that feeling.
      I bet we could debate all day long about the overall look/story/message of an image vs. the details and nuances. I hear you about the overall look but the details play an important part in getting there. You have waved the flag for the story of a photo, which reaches one’s emotions, vs. a technically perfect photo that may satisfy intellectually but may not move one emotionally. I have been listening. 🙂
      As always, thanks for being here and adding your two cents – um, two pennies?

      Like

      • Very good to hear from you, my friend, and I’m glad my thoughts are of use. But haha!!! not “two pennies”, for today we have NEW pennies >>> and I’m old enough to remember the days of the big old pennies, the days when pennies were actually worth something – and when as a schoolboy I could have the pennies of 2 queens and 3 kings in my trouser pocket! A 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. You managed to get some excellent photos with the 50mm f1.4. I had a 50mm f1.4 (a Nikor) many years ago but I had to sell it with my dead Nikon to pay for a newer Nikon. I have always missed that lens. I did get an adaptor mount (Nikon lens to Oly camera) for my old Tamron macro lens. Although it works fine, the combination is not a great one. The lens weighs almost three times what the camera weighs and the balance is very difficult to get used to. Also, the lens has the same problems that it had on the Nikon – lens creep. If the lens is pointed downward, the front elements of the lens move forward, making focusing difficult. I don’t use it much anymore.
    Numbers 8 and 9 are my favorite here. These photos remind me very much of my home. I think you would be very at home here in Webster, (Where life is worth living). And we’re not that far from Syracuse!

    Like

    • Lens creep is one of those technical issues I don’t know about, but it sounds discouraging. And I get what your’e saying about a lens being too heavy for a camera. The EM-1 seems to be big enough to balance the old lenses, as long as they’re not a foot long. 🙂
      I bet Webster – where life is worth living, sez you – would feel very familiar. I was in Syracuse only 6 years but it was all of elementary school, so it feels like that’s where I grew up. That snow!! It was fun as a child. 🙂
      I can see where those two images have a look that could be found around there too. Thanks for your comments, Ken, and enjoy the weekend!

      Like

  12. What a lovely post, Lynn! I think you already knew I would love this 🙂 I don’t have words to describe what’s so special about these pictures (except what’s already been said above), but I do love them all ❤

    Like

    • Thank you, Louis. I wasn’t sure about #6 at first – like some of the others, including #8, there’s a fair amount of darkness, and noise. But I’m learning to worry less about those “faults” and think more about the overall look, which is what you’re getting at too, in your comment. So again, thank you.

      Like

  13. Hey Lynn,
    again a great series ! And with the Olympus you are on the right side…great lenses since the analoge times…because the sensor is too small for me (as a advertising photographer ) i went to Canon…they have the 11mm-24mm Zoom which is sharper than the Zeiss fix 15mm lens…so i try to shoot everything with this lens (except portrait 🙂 but at the end of the day the photo is the point, not the technique or the equipment … By the way, all the best for you in 2019 , have a great start ! Jürgen

    Like

    • Thank you SO much for the generous, interesting comment. It must be nice to have that super sharp zoom, becasue it covers a lot of territory! And like you (and other people here) say, in the end it’s the photo that counts, no matter how you got there. Wishing you a fortunate and creative 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A bit of lens envy here with #3 for the sharp clear focus through the DOF. Oddly enough I’ve been thinking about a prime lens, but haven’t looked into availability or prices… I’m afraid the one I’d like to have for birding might break the bank. #9 that more impressionistic look, or misty/ dreamy sort of feel that I love so much. As if you’re looking at the scene through sleep blurred eyes. #14, the same feel as #9, but different. Can’t say I prefer one over the other. Both are unique while creating the same mood. As is #17… perhaps it’s telling me I need to take a nap (just kidding! but it is that dreamy, soft focus feel that was so underrated by so many -my impression when I first started following photo blogs). The composition in this last one is superb. I definitely lingered here awhile.
    Reading comments or replies:
    “worshiping at the altar of technical perfection is so pervasive that we all get caught up in it.” I need to print that up on 3 inch tall letters and stream it around my room!” Thank you for saying/writing it!!! There’s a blog I follow where the technical perfection is utmost, but somehow all the images start to take on this “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” feel. Something I don’t experience with your offerings. Couldn’t explain why that is, but it’s there.

    Like

    • One frustrating thing about the vintage lens is that I don’t know what the aperture was for #3. It may have been 5.6 though, or 5 or 4.5. There are plenty of prime lenses out there that do NOT break the bank. I’m blanking on the camera you have – Sony? but I bet you can find something to start with that’s affordable. The old Takumar 50mm (this one) plus an adapter shouldn’t be too much either. For both #9 & #14 I shot wide open, or very open (small number aperture) into the light. A good thing about these darker days is it’s a good time to shoot into the sun or the bright, overcast sky. 🙂 In the summer it’s harder, maybe you have to find more shade. And #17 come by the dreamy look more from the subject and light, I think, than anything else. I think I used a smaller aperture in that one. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about “technical perfection” – such a trap to get caught up in, even as we do need to keep honing our skills. I guess we need to slow down and feel the poetry.

      Like

  15. I confess I haven’t read all the comments, so you may have addressed this, but I’m curious. Knowing how much post-processing you sometimes do, I’m wondering whether the effects shown here all are due to the lens, or is some due to the processing? On a different subject: I’m becoming less and less happy with my images, and I suspect that a primary reason is that I’m not taking time. I’m always feeling hurried now when I’m out with the camera. I’m not sure why that is. It may only be the very short days, and having to carve out sunlit hours for both work and play. But there’s no doubt that I need to slow down — and NOT take friends along with me. No matter how patient they are (and they truly are) I still end up feeling the pressure: “so take the photo, already!” There certainly is more than equipment involved in this endeavor, as you express so well.

    And by the way: the images are lovely. I especially like #14, and #7. That surprised me, but there’s something magical about it.

    Like

    • I almost didn’t include #7 (because of sharpness issues) but it was different so I did, and I’m glad now. Glad you liked #14, too – I’ve come to love shooting into the light wide open, with that narrow bit of focus – something that may be easier to do up here, where it tends to be darker than where you are. As for processing, it varies, but for example, in #1 there isn’t all that much difference between the final result and what came out of the camera. I cropped a little, sharpened (selectively) and smoothed the highlights vs. dark areas so there was less contrast – but just a little. The overall look is due to the lens, and how I used it. I think you’d enjoy playing with one, and they’re not expensive. It can add a new way of taking pictures to your repertiore. Photographing with other people is really difficult – I rarely do it, and don’t ever feel that I can truly get into a “zone” with another person there, however patient they are. The shorter days are a big pain, aren’t they? I think the answer is to figure out how to make it work for you – maybe start taking photographs in the evening. Weather’s been a factor up here lately – lots of rain and dark, overcast days. But one day I photographed out the car windshield in the rain and got a great-looking impressionistic image. (On my flickr page) So just keep playing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • That lens is great for scenes with a very limited depth of field – it’s what attracted me to it in the first place. I’m glad I have it – it eases you into seeing the world a little differently, something I like to do!

      Like

  16. Happy New Year Lynn.

    I like these images and the way you have taken advantage of the lens characteristics to make the most of the subjects.

    I have that lens, or a similar one. In fact I have 2 or 3 of them, on different mounts. Not all Takumar 50/1.4 lenses have thorium in them (it is actually in the glass, not as a coating), and not all of those that do have it are yellowed. I think also that only one or two of the lens elements had thorium, not all of them. I have one that looks like I have quite a dark yellow filter on it (it is like a filter factor 2 or 3, or even 4). I have shot it with black and white film but not on digital. One of mine is very soft, especially wide open, but I think something is probably out of alignment as these lenses have a reputation for sharpness (especially from f1.8 or f2). It looks like your one is only slightly yellowed and it sounds like you appreciate the warming of tones that it gives. So you probably don’t need to know that you can get rid of the yellowing by exposure to UV light – there are various methods described on the internet.

    One of the great things about the mirrorless cameras like yours (I use a slightly later model Olympus for field work) is that you can adapt many lenses that won’t work on a DSLR. If you come across any of the Canon FD primes for a good price, they are well worth adapting and lots of them out there. They won’t work on a DSLR as they need to stick too far into the camera body and so block the mirror with dire effects; thus they tend to be less in demand and a bit more affordable. You might want to keep your eyes open for a Takumar 35/3.5 – they are really small and nice optically, though kind of slow. Their size is the main selling point. And, your adapter will work on them too, so need for a new one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this detailed comment, Al. I do know that not all these lenses have the thorium – you’re right, I’d say mine is slightly yellowed. I chose not to get rid of that. In a few photos I don’t like it, but in others I love it. I don’t think I could do anything in Lightroom that would give quite the same effect as that strange golden tint, which is especially nice in spring and fall.
      I was only vaguely aware that it might be harder to use other lenses on “normal” DSLR’s. Another reason to like my camera, good! 😉 I haven’t looked into or read about the Canon FD primes so thanks for letting me know.
      It’s funny that you mention the Takumar 35mm f3.5 – I found the Takumar 28mm f3.5 at a local thrift shop. I brought my camera in and tried it before buying. (Nice to support a local charity too). It’s also a little slow but it’s small too, and I like it very much. I find it really hard to put into words what the difference is between a lens like that and a digital lens with a similar reach. There’s a certain warmth – not literally – and a feeling I can only call classical, but that seems the wrong word. Anyway, I haven’t used the 28mm all that much because it can be too dark, but this conversation reminds me to take it out again. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I communicated poorly – what I meant was that only some lens elements within your lens have thorium in them. I don’t think they are the ones closest to your face, though don’t recall anymore.
        The 28/3.5 is a very good lens – I had one, but it would not mount on my DSLR with a large mirror so I gave it to my son who has one with a small mirror (it protrudes into the camera a bit, catching my mirror).

        Sounds like you just need to shoot at a slightly higher ISO when using that lens 😉 I too like the feel of these manual lenses. I was just shooting with a Takumar 50/1.8 (excellent lens) on my DSLR as I bought a bag of 49mm filters at a local thrift shop (I love supporting them). I paid about 30 cents each and there are some weird ones like one that softens the focus except in the middle of the shot, and another than vignettes all but the very middle by a stop or two. Another is a bifocal filter – it sharpens a very close foreground even when focused on the background. Anyway, I wanted to experiment with them and needed a 49mm filter thread which nearly all my Takumars have.

        Liked by 1 person

      • No worries about the thorium – I’ve read enough about it not to be concerned for my safety. So you know the 28mm 3.5 too – of course you do. 😉 You’re right, I just need to up the ISO, and I’ve gotten used to auto ISO so I tend to forget that sometimes. Those filters sound so cool! The thrift shops here don’t seem to have camera-related items very often but I’ll keep a look out for filters. I do have a lensbaby, and some attachments for it, but it can get overwhelming to deal with so many different lenses and effects, in addition to the subject itself, which is often fascinating enough for me around here. I hope you post some of the experiments with those filters – that would be cool. BTW, I have taken some great photos (to my way of thinking) with temporarily fogged up lenses, like when I walked into a conservatory on a cold day. That can be a wonderful look.

        Like

  17. here’s my little story…about my lemon…on dec 16th I was reading your post and looking at your images…and my screen went purple and green…it went crazy…so to the Apple store I went…and now I have new hardware…glad I had apple care…as this little computer of mine has had a mine of her own both with software and hardware…now I sense she is running fine 😂🤓 technology 🤓✌️ I do love your work…and I hope you have another productive and creative year Lynn…many smiles ~ hedy

    Like

    • I don’t know what to say, Hedy! Please don’t be scared to come back. 😉 Yes, good thing you had some “insurance” becasue it is very worrisome when those things happen…..so may your pomme not get frite again. Ha! I just made that up!

      Like

  18. Stunning work. The lens is indeed a gem. But as Ansel Adams said, the most important piece of camera gear is 12 inches behind the camera. No matter how good the lens; no matter how sensitive your camera’s sensor—your eye outstrips them both. And thanks for the follow on my blog.

    Like

  19. Fantastic images you’ve captured with this vintage lens! In spite of upgrading lenses, I have never been very happy with most of my results from my Nikon dslr (though my husband takes good pictures, so it’s obviously not the camera! He has also used vintage lenses and even a bellows unit with our dslr). I’m also not a fan of editing in post because I tend to obsess. As such, I enjoy taking film photos more than digital, and mostly (lazily) use my iPhone otherwise. I actually did a blog post about this recently. Do you ever shoot film?

    Like

    • Thank you Marsi, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I don’t really shoot film. A collector of vintage film cameras sent one to me and I shot a roll, and a few images turned out well. There’s another roll in there and I haven’t used it in many months. So there you go. I really like the concept of shooting film and the look, but I am so entrenched in digital, and it’s such a different mindset. Also, I happen to love the processing piece. I wonder if there’s a way your tendency to obsess can work more to your advantage. 😉
      I have a smartphone that doesn’t produce the best images, but they’re OK. I often use it. I really like it for certain things – especially if I’m outdoors and don’t have a really wide lens with me, and I want to capture a wide scene with a lot of detail. I hope you find a camera you’re more comfortable with. I use an Olympus OM-D EM-1 – it’s smaller than dslr’s and not terrible expensive, but has a number of features I love, like excellent image stabilization.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know that blog. 🙂 There are a few others too, but I can’t think of who they are right now. I’ve had the camera over 8 years now and I’ve been happy with it. Playing with lenses keeps it fresh, too. BTW I have an older version – they recently came out with an update. It’s possible that the older, basic OM-D EM-1 is available at a good price, especially on ebay.

        Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s