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Roger Hicks
05-04-2008, 23:27
I've had a disproportionate number of good landscapes from an odd combination: Nikon F/Vivitar Series 1 200/3/Soviet-era orange filter/ Ilford HP5 Plus. It's not a combination that would naturally have occurred to me, but I tried it once and it worked remarkably well.

Who else has had similar experiences with unexpected combinations? And who else has a superstitious fear of changing any part of it? (When I broke the filter, I had to find another 72mm Soviet to replace it.)

Thanks to Tom and his 180mm lens for prompting this query.

Cheers,

R.

payasam
05-04-2008, 23:47
A hardware combination at which people would laugh -- Canon FTb, Vivitar 2X tele-converter and Canon FL 35/2.5 lens -- gave me quite decent portraits.

zuikologist
05-04-2008, 23:59
A hardware combination at which people would laugh -- Canon FTb, Vivitar 2X tele-converter and Canon FL 35/2.5 lens -- gave me quite decent portraits.

That sounds terrible!

My "worst" so far is a Sirius 18-28 zoom M42 zoom (1980s era?) and Canon 350D. Lots of distortion even on a cropped DSLR, but quite fun.

F456
05-05-2008, 00:31
Dear Roger,
Thanks for picking up on the idea for the thread. My natural tendency is to think moderate wide to standard rather than long/tele. Maybe this has something to do with those first years with a compact Olympus Trip and its fixed 40mm lens. Conditioning if you like. The same camera has probably also conditioned me to prefer rangefinders to SLRs: handling a camera with a direct viewfinder seems more familiar ( I also like the Nikonos-V for the same reason).

So could it be that by conditioning I don't naturally reach for the longer lens - say 75mm and above - when going out to shoot whatever I happen to see? But if I do take it, perhaps just for a change from the usual diet of shorter lenses, its selectivity brings greater impact to the pictures.

At one time I shot some pictures (like you, with HP5plus at 400ASA) in Treptower Park, the enormous Soviet war memorial park in East Berlin. The colossal figure of Mother Russia and the sculpted stone panels down the sides of the park would suggest wide-angle treatment. But it was the 105/2.5 on an F3HP that got me the shots I liked. The same again at Colditz Castle, at the time a mental institution, where the size of the building and the courtyards would suggest wide-angle. The 180 you mentioned stayed in England because it was too large to hoof around with. The choice of camera - SLR - was dictated by the choice of lens. I doubt I'll have time to find and scan the negatives to show on the forum, but it's given me an idea for some shots to put on a website if I start one at some point.

So, in summary, I get a pleasant surprise when shooting with something more selective but it can feel uncomfortable to start with. I'm talking here of course of walkabout photography - for outdoor sport it would feel natural enough to reach for the long stuff.

Best wishes,
Tom

Spider67
05-05-2008, 00:46
A Nikon FM and a Helios 58mm/f2. At first I used it on my Nikon FG as it hasn't the button for aperture control. Then I started using the FM and still used the Helios. I liked it as my drag around portrait-standard lens as I also could get closer with it than with my Nikon E 50/f1.8.
Interstingly the M42 adapter gave only good results with this lens it failed catastrophically when I tried it on 2 J9 lenses...

oscroft
05-05-2008, 00:54
Perhaps not too unusual, but reading this has made me nostalgic for an old favourite camera/lens combination. Living in SE Asia in the 80s with my main combination being a 28/3.5 SMC Takumar on my SP500, I went in search of something wider, and in Hong Kong I got a Tamron SP 24-48. I loved the SP500/24-48 combination - a lot of the photos on my site were taken with it.

F456
05-05-2008, 01:05
A Nikon FM and a Helios 58mm/f2. At first I used it on my Nikon FG as it hasn't the button for aperture control. Then I started using the FM and still used the Helios. I liked it as my drag around portrait-standard lens as I also could get closer with it than with my Nikon E 50/f1.8.
Interstingly the M42 adapter gave only good results with this lens it failed catastrophically when I tried it on 2 J9 lenses...

Dear Spider67,

Interesting you find the 58mm sufficiently long enough for portraits in contrast with the 50mm. Must try that more with my own 58mm, which was designed more specifically for shooting bright point light sources in low light conditions - the Noct Nikkor f/1.2.

Best wishes,
Tom

Roger Hicks
05-05-2008, 02:22
A 58 is surprisingly different from a 50 for portraits. One of the handful of lenses I wish I'd never sold was the 58/1.4 Nikkor, and my current 58/2 Biotar is very agreeable too.

It would be interesting, too, to have back the worst lens I ever owned, a 90-190 f/5.8 [sic] Yashinon from the 60s. In those days I was even worse as a photographer than it was as a lens, but today I'd be interested to see if I could get anything good out of it.

Cheers,

R.

Spider67
05-05-2008, 03:03
....reading the title I instantly thought of "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" where Tuco (played by Eli Wallach) made a Revolver of his own by combining parts of several weapons offered in a shop......
I was told that the Helios is a Biotar copy....Perhaps I should try that out....unfortunately the M42 Biotars do not fit in adapters....so I had to buy two odler Prakticas

F456
05-05-2008, 05:32
This one looked ridiculous, but it did a good job. Before I had the interchangeable lens cameras, my only camera was the previously mentioned Olympus Trip 35 with fixed 40/2.8 Zuiko. I found the lens to be pretty good.

I was asked to shoot a party and knew all about the effects of direct flash. So I borrowed a Metz hammerhead flash (45CTsomething?) for the power with the bounce feature and used the PC socket to connect it. A lot of people laughed but it worked - the OM Trip has manually adjustable apertures, specifically for flash use. The shots were on Kodachrome 64.

Looking back I realize how well provided the apparently simple camera was: not only adjustable apertures but also adjustable film speeds, so when shooting without flash you could at least override the auto setting or bracket your shots for slide film. A PC socket (any modern compacts have that?) and no battery for the metering - one up on Leica!

Might be worth going out and getting another one - about £20 max perhaps?

Tom

shadowfox
05-05-2008, 09:39
I was told that the Helios is a Biotar copy....Perhaps I should try that out....unfortunately the M42 Biotars do not fit in adapters....so I had to buy two odler Prakticas

Biotar 58/2 won't fit in some Pentax cameras like the Spotmatic, the metal rear-element "guard" will catch the mirror on the way down.

But there are other M42 cameras that will, I use my Chinon CM3 (cheaper and better than a Spottie, IMHO) just for this purpose. My brother recently start using the Biotar on his Canon 20D.

This lens is too good not to be used. It's just THAT good. :)

JonasYip
05-05-2008, 10:43
I've had great success with a homemade single element lens mounted on an FM2n.... indeed an exhibition of that work is forthcoming (Taipei, September-ish, if any of you happen to be there).

And in my other mounting the wrong lens on the wrong camera experiments, I've found that a Noctilux mounted on a Nikon DSLR leads to some really creamy/painterly macro effects.

j

payasam
05-05-2008, 23:36
Zuikologist: "That sounds terrible!"

Exactly what other people said. However, a focal length of 70 mm plus an apparent free play of aberrations gave me a pretty effective "portrait" lens of the old kind.

Another thing, not so crazy, I did back in the 1970s was rig up an SLR, extension tubes, adapter, enlarging lens, and a stack of carefully cut and glued together pieces of mounting board to make a slide duplicating rig.

Spider67
05-06-2008, 00:36
another combination, but more of an experiment: A Bessa R + M39 extensionring + 37 Mir lens for Zenit C. I had to scale focus but it worked out well. It did not work out with an M42toLTM adaper extension rings and a 29 Prakticar.....

kshapero
05-06-2008, 15:04
For me this was unusual: I shot my first roll of Ilford with my new Leica IIIa w/ CV 21mm lens
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3203/2470096046_9bd2922cab.jpg?v=0

David Goldfarb
05-06-2008, 15:25
100mm/f:3.5 Medalist Ektar (one of the great medium format lenses of all time) from a defunct Medalist II kludged to a Canon New F-1. Fantastic combo.

Henryah
05-12-2008, 13:33
Sorry for being late at this thread.
Unusual combo: A Zorki 4K and a 50mm Wollensak f3,5 (Leitz NY) lens. During the cold war it made me feel I was beating both the Kreml and Pentagon.

Roger Hicks
05-12-2008, 23:42
Sorry for being late at this thread.
Unusual combo: A Zorki 4K and a 50mm Wollensak f3,5 (Leitz NY) lens. During the cold war it made me feel I was beating both the Kreml and Pentagon.

Nice story!

Cheers,

R.

Henryah
05-13-2008, 16:00
I came to think of another odd combination I used: An old uncoated 105 mm f:6,3 enlarging lens mounted on aLeica body cap, novoflex bellows and a Chinon CE 11. I used it for portaits.
Lots of flare and abberation. Girls loved it (of all ages). Dreamy images with almost no wrinkles. The cheapest Tambar yet? The lens was resqued from a dumpster.

raid
06-20-2008, 16:12
I have been quite happy with results from the inexpensive Steinheil 85mm/2.8. Another surprise was the LF Xenar lens on a Nikon FE2 body.

mabelsound
06-20-2008, 16:35
I spent my day mounting SMC Takumar screwmounts to my 40D. Awesome results! I would like to try getting some LTM lenses on there too, despite the lack of infinity focus.

OldNick
06-20-2008, 16:40
I have been quite happy with results from the inexpensive Steinheil 85mm/2.8. Another surprise was the LF Xenar lens on a Nikon FE2 body.

I have also had good luck with the Steinheil 85/2.8. Another odd combination that worked for me was a Pentax Takumar 50/1.4 with a Vivitar 2X extender, used for close-ups of flowers. Everything beyond the selected focus is a complete blur.

Jim N.

charjohncarter
06-20-2008, 16:46
Mine is not so unusual, but for some reason when I use it, I like the result. Olympus Stylus Infinity (around 1990), Tmax100 (dxcode), HC-110h and here is one of many I liked, it is a lanscape because I think Roger mentioned landscape:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2273/2078478093_10bf51b99e.jpg?v=0

nikon_sam
06-20-2008, 18:15
I've had a disproportionate number of good landscapes from an odd combination: Nikon F/Vivitar Series 1 200/3/Soviet-era orange filter/ Ilford HP5 Plus.
R.

Roger,

Sorry I don't have an odd combo to share but I do want to ask how you like the Vivitar Series 1 200mm 3.0...??? :D

Roger Hicks
06-27-2008, 03:34
Roger,

Sorry I don't have an odd combo to share but I do want to ask how you like the Vivitar Series 1 200mm 3.0...??? :D

Very well indeed. It's my favourite 200 -- and you can still find them silly-cheap. The unusually close focus is very useful, too. The only drawback is the big filter size.

Sorry for the delay in replying but I only got home last night after 18 days away.

Cheers,

R.