Old lenses with beautiful bokeh - Ideas?
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
peterm1
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Old lenses with beautiful bokeh - Ideas?

Having adapted quite a few mainly Japanese lenses - Nikon, Canon, Pentax etc plus some Leica glass and confirmed for myself that there are some beautiful performers amongst them, I am becoming more interested in old mainly European glass. I have posted another thread touching on this but I found today some marvellous shots taken with a Dallmeyer Super-Six 102mm f1.9. I presume its for something like the Kowa Super Six medium format camera. I gather too that its a pricey lens - although I have not seen this one on eBay other Dallmeyer glass certainly is pricey. (Dallmeyer is also an old maker who's line of lenses go back to early large format cameras but I imagine that's not what I am seeing here - BTW here is a link exhibiting some of their really big old lenses - and I mean BIG and OLD! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRj17rg91GY )

This lens and some others by this maker produce superb (and slightly funky bokeh which may not be to everyone's taste). But while the "usual suspects" amongst Japanese makers produce some technically brilliant performers, I am interested in more artistic rendition even where this lacks a little in modern technical performance.

It set me thinking about what other options there may be - old glass like this that shoots nicely and in particular produces nice bokeh. A few links and samples from the i'net. Any ideas and samples you folks can offer?

http://toby-marshall.com/galleries/b...2mm-f1-9-lens/









The above samples were from this thread.

http://forum.mflenses.com/dallmeyer-...19-t77169.html
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
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Perhaps one of the more common lenses in terms of artistic bokeh is the Petzval Lens with it's signature swirly bokeh.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
Larry H-L
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The first two photos you posted, with the "soap bubble" bokeh, look similar to renderings from a Meyer Trioplan.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
Richard G
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That’s a lovely shot. I agree with funky, Peter.

Here’s a hazy old M mount 9cm Elmar.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
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Not sure if you already have a Summitar 5cm f/2 Peter? Here's mine wide open at closest focus distance:

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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
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Topcor 58mm f1.4 @f1.4, FP4+ in XTOL 1:1, LR4 (Taken with Topcon RE Super)

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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
peterm1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
Not sure if you already have a Summitar 5cm f/2 Peter? Here's mine wide open at closest focus distance:



I do actually and that's something I had forgotten about. I must get it out and try it for bokeh. I usually have shot it stopped down more. Thanks
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
That’s a lovely shot. I agree with funky, Peter.

Here’s a hazy old M mount 9cm Elmar.

And this reminds me that yes I have this lens too though it is seldom used. (My bad) Thanks
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjäll View Post
Perhaps one of the more common lenses in terms of artistic bokeh is the Petzval Lens with it's signature swirly bokeh.


I have wondered if I bought a Petzval modern repo if I would get enough use from it. Its worth thinking about though the bokeh can sometimes edge into slight harsh territory I think. But thanks for the thought - its worth considering. Another swirly bokeh one I have been trying actually is the Helios 58mm f2. Its new to me so I have not tried it much yet but I have seen some nice enough photo samples from it. And its much cheaper to buy - I got mine for under $50.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Check out the Helios 44-2:

https://www.flickr.com/groups/helios/pool/
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
Richard G
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Hazy 1932 Nickel Elmar 5cm

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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
peterm1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G View Post
Hazy 1932 Nickel Elmar 5cm


Wow I like that. You know I NEVER would have thought of an Elmar for interesting bokeh - Summar yes but not the Elmar. Very nice effect.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Visit the Bokeh thread
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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The Trioplan line of lenses is quite popular for it's "interesting" bokeh. The 105/2.8 is the one I have and it does the soap bubble bokeh (onion ring, bright edge, etc) very well. The 50mm version has similar but it's not as obvious, but significantly cheaper than the 105mm. You can find it in M42 and Exakta mount, mine is in Exakta.

The Summarit 50/1.5 is interesting bokeh-wise. Not my interest but it was a good time trying it out. I prefer my Canon LTM 50/1.2 by a wide margin.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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one of the best, most artistic use of harsh bokeh is by bill henson, where the edginess adds to the picture's meaning.



why are you just looking for old lenses with harsh bokeh? new lenses do it, too.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #16
f16sunshine
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The Canon ltm 50mm f1.2 has one a bit wild yet also beautiful oof rendering.
Buzz by Adnan, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
The Canon ltm 50mm f1.2 has one a bit wild yet also beautiful oof rendering.
Buzz by Adnan, on Flickr
That is very nice I have to say. Very soft bokeh - I like it. I have one with a rather poorly handled front element (missing quite a bit of coating) that I shoot almost always stopped down. Even then I find its very low contrast though this may be due to the above problem. Did you find it necessary to work the images tone and contrast over in post processing? That's what I fancy I would need to do to get the nice contrast you have. Even so I must try mine out open - I have been put off by its problems but should be more brave.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixcinater View Post
The Trioplan line of lenses is quite popular for it's "interesting" bokeh. The 105/2.8 is the one I have and it does the soap bubble bokeh (onion ring, bright edge, etc) very well. The 50mm version has similar but it's not as obvious, but significantly cheaper than the 105mm. You can find it in M42 and Exakta mount, mine is in Exakta.

The Summarit 50/1.5 is interesting bokeh-wise. Not my interest but it was a good time trying it out. I prefer my Canon LTM 50/1.2 by a wide margin.
I am interested in knowing more about the Trioplan(s) - they seem to go for a surprising amount of money online given they seem to be all made with what looks like a fairly soft alloy body. (Those I may be wrong in that). But I was aware that they are well regarded - your lens comes up a lot in conversation when long lenses are discussed.

Is this the one?
http://vintage-camera-lenses.com/mey...oplan-100-2-8/
https://phillipreeve.net/blog/meyer-...eview-sony-a7/

Looks good to me - I love the vintage "look".

BTW I have recently been alerted to the joys of Exakta mount lenses - for obvious reasons they are cheaper than m42 versions of the same lens (least that is my impression) but m4/3 and NEX mount adapters are now readily and cheaply available so the Exakta camera mount is no longer really a deficit that it once was (shhhh dont tell anyone ). I have bought a couple recently - a no name 35mm pre set lens that came out of a security camera of all things but never the less it is pretty sharp and renders quite well. A $5 purchase. And a 105mm Schneider Kreusnach Xenar f3.5. They are recent acquisitions so I have not had a chance to give them a solid test run for bokeh yet.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #19
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Minolta-Rokkor 58mm f1.2

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Old 1 Week Ago   #20
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Helios 40-1 (m39)

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Old 1 Week Ago   #21
Richard G
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Super Takumar 55mm f2. Close focus is 0.45m


Close up
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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A couple of old Pentax 50mm primes...


Pentax-K 50/f1.2 - Pentax MX


Pentax-M 50/f1.4 - adapted on a GH2
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Peter, I guess you've got this one too? Summicron 5cm f/2 LTM collapsible @f2 on APX100 in Rodinal 1+50


Leitz Summicron 5cm f/2 LTM collapsible at f/2 bokeh #151 by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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Beautiful Lynn.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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A quick post before bed. I just found these interesting articles. The focus is on soap bubble bokeh and some alternative get it. (I am not especially fixated on that style of bokeh but its one option).

http://www.blauvista.com/html/meyer-...n-alternative/

http://www.blauvista.com/html/meyer-...n-old-and-new/

http://forum.mflenses.com/recommenda...ns-t73418.html

http://forum.mflenses.com/meyer-opti...th-t73365.html

http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic....77092&start=25

http://forum.mflenses.com/tele-lense...eh-t73534.html

http://forum.mflenses.com/any-tip-on...es-t56797.html
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
p.giannakis
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I only use film so my personal favorites are based on lens performance on film - on digital they might be performing differently.

I like the Super Tak for M42 - nice bokeh.

@1.4


The cheap old Helios 58 f/2 has a nice old-feel to it too.
@f/2


But my personal favourite is the Silvernose Zuiko 50 f/1.4. I just love it.
@f/1.4
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
Erik van Straten
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I like the bokeh of the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 v4 at full aperture.

Leica M5, Summicron-M 50mm f/2 v4, 400-2TMY.

Erik.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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I like my f4.0 200mm Super-Takumar, this shot only shows a little of the bokeh.

Plus X D-76 by John Carter, on Flickr

I also like the 50mm Super-Takumar f1.4 and the Pentax F 50mm f1.7. This shot is the f1.7. Both have smooth bokeh.

Puerto Vallarta 2010 by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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Model by Narsuitus, on Flickr

The Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 Series E is a great portrait lens with subtle bokeh for a very reasonable price.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
That is very nice I have to say. Very soft bokeh - I like it. I have one with a rather poorly handled front element (missing quite a bit of coating) that I shoot almost always stopped down. Even then I find its very low contrast though this may be due to the above problem. Did you find it necessary to work the images tone and contrast over in post processing? That's what I fancy I would need to do to get the nice contrast you have. Even so I must try mine out open - I have been put off by its problems but should be more brave.
Hi Peter
That image actually is uploaded via Mobile from a Sony a7 in camera jpeg .
The current copy I own of the canon 50mm f1.2 is I believe quite a lucky catch.
It's made from 2 lenses. One that had a very poor front element and another with a rear group that was foggy between elements. (I gave away the spare rings/helicoid and bits here on rff so others have some bits from these two lenses also).
Now I have this lens that has surprisingly strong even at wide open.
Here are 2 more image(s). This one with the cropped sensor Fuji XE1 in provia film pre-set.



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Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Hi Peter
That image actually is uploaded via Mobile from a Sony a7 in camera jpeg .
The current copy I own of the canon 50mm f1.2 is I believe quite a lucky catch.
It's made from 2 lenses. One that had a very poor front element and another with a rear group that was foggy between elements. (I gave away the spare rings/helicoid and bits here on rff so others have some bits from these two lenses also).
Now I have this lens that has surprisingly strong even at wide open.
Here are 2 more image(s). This one with the cropped sensor Fuji XE1 in provia film pre-set.
They are nice images. Thanks. It has always been a dream to be able to get two lenses and put them together like that to make one perfect lens. I did try to buy another Canon 50mm f1.2 that had a good front element but was otherwise torched but the deal fell through. I actually like shots with quite low contrast and soft bokeh - the best older lenses give that.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I like my f4.0 200mm Super-Takumar, this shot only shows a little of the bokeh.

Plus X D-76 by John Carter, on Flickr

I also like the 50mm Super-Takumar f1.4 and the Pentax F 50mm f1.7. This shot is the f1.7. Both have smooth bokeh.

Puerto Vallarta 2010 by John Carter, on Flickr
I do have a 200mm Tak but its aperture is very very sluggish and I have never thought it worthwhile to have it CLA'd - it would be cheaper to buy a new one. But I recall it being sharp and I liked it (this was back in film days - say 20 years ago). I do not recollect it having nice bokeh but its been a while now since I shot it and I probably shot it stopped down. I may give it a run, adapted on a mirrorless where a slow aperture is less of a problem.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
Peter, I guess you've got this one too? Summicron 5cm f/2 LTM collapsible @f2 on APX100 in Rodinal 1+50


Leitz Summicron 5cm f/2 LTM collapsible at f/2 bokeh #151 by lynnb's snaps, on Flickr
Lynnb I do not have the collapsible version of this lens. I did own a beautiful close focus rigid version of the first Summicron but when I needed money to buy an M8 some years back I sold it (the lens could not be used on that camera, after all - and I did not see the mirrorless tidal wave just over the horizon). In any event I am pleasantly surprised by the lovely OOF areas of your image. Very nice.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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I like the OOF rendering from the Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 (for the Rollei QBM SLR system).



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Old 1 Week Ago   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
I am interested in knowing more about the Trioplan(s) - they seem to go for a surprising amount of money online given they seem to be all made with what looks like a fairly soft alloy body. (Those I may be wrong in that). But I was aware that they are well regarded - your lens comes up a lot in conversation when long lenses are discussed.

Is this the one?
http://vintage-camera-lenses.com/mey...oplan-100-2-8/
https://phillipreeve.net/blog/meyer-...eview-sony-a7/

Looks good to me - I love the vintage "look".

BTW I have recently been alerted to the joys of Exakta mount lenses - for obvious reasons they are cheaper than m42 versions of the same lens (least that is my impression) but m4/3 and NEX mount adapters are now readily and cheaply available so the Exakta camera mount is no longer really a deficit that it once was (shhhh dont tell anyone ). I have bought a couple recently - a no name 35mm pre set lens that came out of a security camera of all things but never the less it is pretty sharp and renders quite well. A $5 purchase. And a 105mm Schneider Kreusnach Xenar f3.5. They are recent acquisitions so I have not had a chance to give them a solid test run for bokeh yet.

Yes, the build quality is roughly on par with the lower end German rangefinder lenses, or better Soviet M42 lenses. It also reminds me of my Schacht Travenar 85/2.8 for LTM, which reminds me, I need to finish my CLA on that lens.

My 105 Trioplan was picked up in an eBay lot with a large number of other items in terrible pictures. I took a chance and after selling off what turned out to be a very nice condition Yashica D TLR and some other lower end things in the set (no other exotic or even average quality lenses), the whole deal made me money so the Trioplan was free. I have an Canon branded FD>Exakta mount adapter so I use it on my F1 where it works perfectly, or on my DSLR since I don't need infinity focus for most of what I want to do with it.

I will eventually get a Sony A7 or similar to better marry digital and my RF lens kit + SLR lenses, but it just hasn't been in the budget. Really, I just haven't felt like selling off more of my lens collection to buy something that will drop in value every time I go to use it.

As for the Canon 50/1.2 LTM, that's probably my favorite Leica lens so far. I got lucky and mine is in quite good shape, but it's still fairly low contrast at full aperture compared to the f/1.4 or 1.8 versions. The 1.5 Sonnar copy Canon is also lower contrast wide open. I generally have to overdevelop by about a stop if I'm trying to match negative contrast. I have shot some color with it and the saturation is quite soft/low/pastel in rendition. Nice for certain things but definitely not a modern look.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #36
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My sample from the Summitar, closest focusing distance:
L1020030 by Ben Sandler, on Flickr
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Old 1 Week Ago   #37
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Peter from the samples of the original post I take it that you may, above all, look for lenses that do "doughnut" shaped bubbles with a thinner outer ring as created by mirror tele lenses.

the Nikkor-S.C f1.4 5cm ( I downed clarity in LR a lot, otherwide the bubbles and their outer ring would have been quite a bit more pronounced, too harsh for my taste )

Untitled
by andreas, on Flickr

Canon LTM f1.8/85 can do it ( though bokeh is smooth when stopped down )

Harley Davidson
by andreas, on Flickr


Takumar f1.4/50mm also "can" do it

Bamboo
by andreas, on Flickr

concerning Canon LTM, the f1.4 is more contrasty then f1.2 and f1.5, but neverthless the f1.4 imo seems to produce bokeh that isn't dissimilar to that produced by the f1.2

Untitled
by andreas, on Flickr

my f1.5/50 has very low contrast, lovely, and, as imo all 50mm Canon LTMs, not bubbly:

Untitled
by andreas, on Flickr

for a low contrast but smooth bokeh Olympus Olympus OM F.Zuiko Auto-T f2 85mm, that is the first version with single coating


offering incense during Vietnamese New Year
by andreas, on Flickr

though later MC version should be fine too, other smooth bokeh, rel. low contrast include Om Zuiko f2.8/100mm,Minolta MC Rokkor f2.5/100mm, Super Takumar f1.9/85mm...

very fun, individual bokeh, cat's eye and swirly, for rel. wide angle, Pen-F Zuiko f1.8/38


Happy Lunar New Year
by andreas, on Flickr

different but fun too, Canon LTM f1.8/35mm


Untitled
by andreas, on Flickr

similar: MC Rokkor-PF f1.4 58mm

Untitled
by andreas, on Flickr
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Old 6 Days Ago   #38
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Kuuan, how did you do that with the Super-Takumar f1.4 50mm. I've used mine since 1969 and never had those rings? What's the trick?
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Old 6 Days Ago   #39
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The Zeiss Biotar f1.5/75mm creates an interesting "vortex" at mid distance (tough to focus at mid). It's quite an interesting lens for bokeh need.
vikcolorwhistlelake 2 by Adnan, on Flickr

vikcolorwhistlelake 1 by Adnan, on Flickr

Closer it's more dreamy and easier to focus.
Vik by Adnan, on Flickr
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Old 6 Days Ago   #40
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A very humble lens with nice attributes is the Canon ef f1.8/50mm (plastic fantastic).
Wide open on Digital and then at f4 on film below.
Eron by Adnan, on Flickr

Favorite garden tool. by Adnan, on Flickr
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