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Weird, kooky but interesting old lenses for mirrorless adaptation
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
peterm1
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Weird, kooky but interesting old lenses for mirrorless adaptation

Just a thought.....

On another thread (The "What have you just bought" thread) I posted a response about a lens I just purchased, this being a Steinheil of Munchen Quinaron 35mm f2.8. It is a beautiful looking lens to my eye but never the less a bit kooky looking due to the large "block-house" structure on the side - the actuating mechanism for the semi auto aperture.

And I also recently bought a nice old East German lens - the Carl Zeiss of Jena Triotar 135mm f3.5. Which to modern eyes is a bit weird looking too - long skinny overall but a bit pudgy in the mid section.

It gave me the idea there must be scores of such slightly weird, kooky looking (but often never the less nice lenses, even handsome in a homely kind of way) that people have put to use again (or would like to) now that adapters for M4/3, NEX etc have become so ubiquitous. Well folks, I for one would love to see them. Especially if you have any photos of them mounted on modern cameras with adapters.

So lets see some of your thoughts on what lenses fit this description. Its all subjective of course and that is why I am interested in your ideas as they no doubt differ from mine and that's OK.

Here are the two I mentioned above. (All photos from the internet)

Steinheil Munchen Quinaron 35mm f2.8





Carl Zeiss Jena Triotar 135mm f 3.5. (In this photo compared with the 105mm of the same lens type and a Leica ELmar 90mm. Its a big lens though not heavy being made of aluminium.)

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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Dear Peter,

What about Vivitar Series 1 Solid Cats?

Oh; sorry; they're not mirrorless...

Cheers,

R.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
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The Solid Cats are weird for sure.

Currently the only lens I use on my Sony Nex is a Robot Xenagon 30mm f/3.5.
As a Chrome plated brass lens it is a little heavy but sharp.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
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I often use a Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 for the Rolleiflex QBM system on m 4/3 cameras. It is a pleasure to get back beautiful images from this lens.


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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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I have a NEX 6 for mirrorless photography. I use several adaptors for classic manual focus lenses.
M42 for Pentax Tackumars and others.
Minolta MD for my Rokkors
Contax/Yashica for mostly Yashica lenses
LTM for my FSU glass and Voightlander Scopar

The Sony auto focus E lenses are nice but they are costly
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Peter, I'm looking forward to seeing some of your images with these kooky lens that have been give your sui generis treatment though your special editing program: is it Corel Paintshop?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
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I bought my Sony mirrorless specifically to use old lenses on it.

Here's an old "Super Rokkor" 45mm LTM lens...

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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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There are some amazing lenses for 16mm motion picture cameras that draw wonderfully on digital sensors. The Kodak Cine Ektars are some of my favorite lenses, period. Most have Thorium enriched glass and are highly corrected, especially for their era. The 15, 25, 40, 50, 63, 75mm all are superb. Longer focal lengths aren't as fancy with their formulations or glass but still draw nicely.
Other than that, I love adapting ancient meniscus and rapid rectilinear lenses to whatever I'm shooting and have made some fun images with them.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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I have always loved the way Contaflex lenses render. Wonder what they would look like adapted to some digital camera. Only way to focus would be with your feet and youd be shooting wide open. They have a sort of odd weird quarky look about them too.

Raid I think I could sit in my room and stare at your snap for hours.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Peter, I'm looking forward to seeing some of your images with these kooky lens that have been give your sui generis treatment though your special editing program: is it Corel Paintshop?

Thank you John Very kind to say my style is Sui Generis, it is flattering (at least I hope it is flattering - it could mean unique bad not unique good ). In any event I had never quite thought of it in those terms (the last time I saw this term used I think it was in a High Court judgment. )

I will post some shots shortly (just went for a walk with the Steinheil on an NEX 7 and hope something usable will come from it).

And yes the editor is Corel PSP though I am finding it useful to use Lightroom for basic edits due in part to its ability to copy edits across multiple images quickly and easily, and also because it has best in class ability to pull back blown highlights. Nothing else I have seen matches it in that regard. but I still drop out of LR and into Corel PSP for anything more complex or demanding.

CSS 9450 " I bought my Sony mirrorless specifically to use old lenses on it.

Here's an old "Super Rokkor" 45mm LTM lens..."


Yep I think that qualifies as slightly weird looking on an NEX. I have seen these before once or twice but always on an early Minolta rangefinder. Good lenses I believe.

Roger Hicks "Dear Peter,

What about Vivitar Series 1 Solid Cats?

Oh; sorry; they're not mirrorless...

Cheers,

R."


I know what a cat lens is but what is a "solid" cat? In general though I think you are right a cat lens is pretty substantial and might look weird so mounted.

Besk " The Solid Cats are weird for sure.

Currently the only lens I use on my Sony Nex is a Robot Xenagon 30mm f/3.5.
As a Chrome plated brass lens it is a little heavy but sharp."


I would love to see a photo of a Robot lens on a mirrorless camera. I did recently see an adapter for Robot to M4/3 and that set me to wondering about them. I imagine they are pretty small.......I have seen photos but its hard to get a sense of their size.

Raid "I often use a Zeiss Planar 85/1.4 for the Rolleiflex QBM system on m 4/3 cameras. It is a pleasure to get back beautiful images from this lens."

Raid I would love to see an image of this lens mounted.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
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A couple of photos of the Schneider Lens and Zeiss Jena lens mentioned below, mounted on an NEX 7 camera. Here I am using an Exakta to M4/3 and M4/3 to NEX adapter (stacked).





Here is another slightly unusual lens by virtue of its tiny size. I had lusted after a Canon 100mm f3.5 lens for some little while, knowing that they were said to be small but not really understanding just how small. (In real life it seems much smaller than even it appears here).



And here I have made some very mundane images from this morning's walk. Made with the 35mm f2.8 Schneider. The results are pretty well what I would expect from a moderate aperture German lens of that era. Respectable enough, but not stunning sharpness together with well behaved, moderate contrast and color rendition. Bokeh is also very moderate and restrained.

My backyard



TV room



A nearby house 1



A nearby house 2

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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Unique Good.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Unique Good.
Phew, that's a relief
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
A couple of photos of the Schneider Lens and Zeiss Jena lens mentioned below, mounted on an NEX 7 camera. Here I am using an Exakta to M4/3 and M4/3 to NEX adapter (stacked).
Holy...! Do we have a forum member in Vatican City? There must be a Patron Saint for adapter stacking!


... here the Voigtl舅der Skopagon (not mine)

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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
Holy...! Do we have a forum member in Vatican City? There must be a Patron Saint for adapter stacking!
It can be a bit hit and miss. I bought the M4/3 to NEX adapter after buying a Samyang 12mm f2 wide angle lens in M4/3 mount (there was no way I was going to buy this lens in both M4/3 and NEX mounts) so I thought the few bucks it was going to cost for an adapter would be a small risk. But the adapter is a bit sloppy with the above lens. And I found it is a bit sloppy with one or two of my m4/3 adapters too so...............

However, with the K and F Exakta mount to M4/3 adapter stacked with the M4/3 to NEX adapter it all clicks together nice and tight, not in the least bit sloppy and focuses just fine to boot. So maybe you are right and I should be saying a few Hail Marys. (Or maybe I should be lighting a few candles for the K and F adapters which do seem to be a cut above the average in tolerances and seldom seem to give me troubles.)

Though I should confess that I have tried stacking a few other adapters. For example an LTM - Leica M adapter can be stacked with a Leica M - M4/3 adapter for use on an M4/3 camera and works well as perhaps might be expected.

And I even have an M42 - Leica LTM adapter that can be added to the above mix too. (Though I did have to modify this as it was not focusing to infinity properly).

Pretty much that is it - other combos I have tried have given me some headaches. But it is fun trying unusual combos like these.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
Holy...! Do we have a forum member in Vatican City? There must be a Patron Saint for adapter stacking!


... here the Voigtl舅der Skopagon (not mine)

PS the Voigtlander looks nice (as they always seem do) I used to have a Voigtlander Prominent rangefinder camera with several original 1950s Voigtlander lenses and loved both how they handled and the images they made.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Peter,
thank you for mentioning K&F In another thread I was scolding Chinese adapters, but I agree, K&F seem to be a good choice! (I have C/Y > M, Minolta SR > M, and Pentax K > M 覧 no complaints.)

Aaargh! There are so many super cool snazzy bonkers kooky lenses ready for Saint Adaptius!
Again, not mine:

Snazzy Ultron:


覧 Original:



Snazzy Distagon:





覧 Original:

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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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I've got a ton of Cine and LTM exotics. Here is my Cooke Ivotal 50/1.4. It does well on APS-C.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
Peter,
thank you for mentioning K&F In another thread I was scolding Chinese adapters, but I agree, K&F seem to be a good choice! (I have C/Y > M, Minolta SR > M, and Pentax K > M 覧 no complaints.)

Aaargh! There are so many super cool snazzy bonkers kooky lenses ready for Saint Adaptius!
Again, not mine:

Snazzy Ultron:


覧 Original:



Snazzy Distagon:





覧 Original:

Wow you have a Distagon for a Contarex. I love the lenses for the old Bullseye camera. But I guess the size qualifies them as somewhat kooky on an M4/3 camera. But then again I rather like biggish lenses. (A secret fetish).

And the chrome Ultron as well. I have a serious soft spot for chrome and black/chrome lenses. They just look so darn nice.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
I've got a ton of Cine and LTM exotics. Here is my Cooke Ivotal 50/1.4. It does well on APS-C.




Now this is interesting looking. I do not know much about Cooke lenses though of course I have heard of them. Is this specific one a cine lens or something else? I have often wondered with those how cine lenses cope with coverage of the sensor frame on mirrorless cameras as I had understood that the C mount ones cropped even on m4/3 sensors.

But you say this lens works with APS sensors.......I would like to know more if possible.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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Here I found something really lunatico:





From this thread: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3716096
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post
Here I found something really lunatico:





From this thread: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3716096
Oh my goodness, how cool, weird that is...........
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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I had the 38mm Xenar 2.8 lens from a Kodak 500 instamatic hacked to LTM. A little fussy in use, but produces lovely images.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Now this is interesting looking. I do not know much about Cooke lenses though of course I have heard of them. Is this specific one a cine lens or something else? I have often wondered with those how cine lenses cope with coverage of the sensor frame on mirrorless cameras as I had understood that the C mount ones cropped even on m4/3 sensors.

But you say this lens works with APS sensors.......I would like to know more if possible.
Hi, this is a Cook Ivotal, made for 16mm movie cameras. It covers APS-C on my Fuji XE-1 fine. There are quite a few other high quality cine lenses that will cover m4/3, and some that will cover APS-C.

Generally, a long lens, longer than 50mm will cover. So a Kern Macro Switar 75mm will cover fine. That is another fantastic, small cine lens. The 25mm lenses will seldom cover without cropping. But they have very interesting effects. I have a Kino Plasmat, Kern Switar, and other 25mms I use a lot...for their effect.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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Here are some of the other Cine lenses I've used. Mostly Cooke and Kern.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
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Without the x2 converter...
IMG_1822 by dralowid, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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"...long skinny overall but a bit pudgy in the mid section."


Hey, Peter! ...I resemble that remark!
except for the "a bit" part.:-(
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
I had the 38mm Xenar 2.8 lens from a Kodak 500 instamatic hacked to LTM. A little fussy in use, but produces lovely images.
Are you using it on m43 only, or full frame and film as well? If so, how does it cover full frame?
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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Here is a shot with the longer, slower Cooke f3.5. It's very sharp.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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And with the 25mm Kerns:



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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
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This tiny 40/6.3 "History-Prot" by MS Optics works well on my FF camera:


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Old 1 Week Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Fedya View Post
Are you using it on m43 only, or full frame and film as well? If so, how does it cover full frame?
Covers full frame well, with only a hint of softness in the corners which disappears after f4 or so. Some vignetting, but less than I expected.

This is straight out of the monochrom:

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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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The next thing is huuuuge ——





Quote:
Abstract: This is a Casio H15 converted to M42 and equipped with a larger shutter. The sensor of this camera offers 14 megapixels on a surface of 6,17 x 4,55mm. This is only 1/30 of the area of the normal 24x36 frame. So this extreme enlargement gives quite a good impression on the actual resolution power of the tested photographic objective.
http://zeissikonveb.de/start/objekti...ktivtests.html

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Old 1 Week Ago   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
Here are some of the other Cine lenses I've used. Mostly Cooke and Kern.


A very pretty looking group of lenses. Love it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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Originally Posted by Sumarongi View Post

There is something wonderful and exotic about these big old German lenses in zebra livery. Love it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
Covers full frame well, with only a hint of softness in the corners which disappears after f4 or so. Some vignetting, but less than I expected.

This is straight out of the monochrom:

Thank you, Bob.
It痴 time to adapt one then.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #38
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Quote:
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Thank you, Bob.
It痴 time to adapt one then.
If you need a 500 let me know. I have an extra. I知 happy to send it along for postage.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #39
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If you need a 500 let me know. I have an extra. I知 happy to send it along for postage.
Thank you for the offer. Very mind of you. I have one. Just need to find it.
I would like to finish adapting 50/1.2 Pentax K and 50/1.5 Kino Plasmat.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #40
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What I've always found interesting are the posh lenses fitted to ordinary cameras around the 1910's to 1920's. An example being the Kodak VPK (Vest Pocket Kodak) with a CZ Tessar or a Houghton Ensignette with a THT Cooke. The problem is that both are rare and there's no way I could justify the potential damage to them and the camera just to satisfy idle curiosity.


Of course, there might just be one in bits somewhere but you never see elderly cameras advertised as "spares or repairs" because they are usually sold as mint regardless...


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