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| p.4 #1 · your photography gear journey |
Started ~25 years ago with a Yashica FX-D quartz and 35-70mm kit zoom. Short time later I bought a Tokina 60-300 zoom. And a Manfrotto 055 tripod with ball head - this tripod is still my main tripod. I even bought a second copy I store at my parents home.
After these I started to buy used gear, except very few lenses.
Because of the start with Yashica I bought and still have a Zeiss Contax 50/1.7, 85/1.4 and 135/2.8. Bought some cheap M42 lenses.
About ~7 years ago I started my big update: I bought a Canon EOS 350D / Rebel XT.
Canon because there was the EOS 5D as 24x36 camera, which I know I would like. And because I could adapt my manual lenses too Canon.
I bought and used a EF 50/1.4 and EF 28-135 IS USM. After I bought a second EOS 350D I wanted to converted one of these camera as a infrared camera. Cause I still want to use it as a backup camera, and canīt decide which filter to use, I "invented" a system to haveinterchangable IR filters inside the camera.
Never need the camera as backup, but it was a good feeling to have it in case the main camera would have a problem during a photo session with nude model.
Some years later I got my first EOS 5D, and then I started to use more and more different manual lenses. And I bought a second EOS 5D, as backup.
On the newer one the mirror fell of. I replace it with a 100% reflective SLR mirrorthat was a bit shorter too.
Cause I like to tinker, and cause I like cheap lenses, I loved to buy defective lenses, or lenses with mounts that need mount conversion and such.
I work as optics engineer in the R&D department of an camera manufacturer, and this tinkering with old lenses is a good recreation from the job.
At the moment I own a lot of lenses - some in bad condition:
18/4 modified for adaption
FD 24/1.4L converted and fungus cleaned
100/4 Macro repaired and converted
300/2.8L converted and fungus cleaned - but fungus has etched the glass
800/5.6 SSC DIY adapted and cleaned internal - quality not good
28/2.8 freelensing optimized
50/1.8 and 50/1.4 "invented" simple DIY tilt mechanics
35/1.8 converted - find this lens boring
58/1.2 converted - one of my most loved lenses. Works on both 5D at infinity (even before mirror surgery).
28/2.0 and 100/4 Macro - adapted with homemade Minolta Canon lens adapter. 50/1.4 and 135/2.8 waiting to be modified for the "adaption". Afterwards they still can be used on old Minolta cameras - without automatic iris.
And other lenses from Soligor, Tokina, Sigma, Zeiss Jena, Tamron, Isco, Enna, Mamyia, Konica, Steinheil, Olympus, Novoflex, Ilex, Taylor-Hobson, Porst, Pentax, Kiev,..
Parallel to my hunt for big bokeh quantity lenses - all those fast lenses - I started to search for a better bokeh quality. The Meyer Goerlitz Trioplan 100/2.8 was the beginning. With its soap bubble bokeh I made many images I love - and others seem to love them too. I found a sibling of this lens as a cheap backup.
To get in contrary a very smooth bokeh I found a way to make a ~ Gaussian blur - with apodization filtering with different lenses, for example the Helios 44. So no need for the Sony STF lens :-)
The Nikon DC lenses where very tempting as well. As a substitute I found an old Sigma YS 135mm/2.8 lens, which allows spherical aberration bokeh control. This is current work.
Furthermore I try to get better macro images.
For this I make first experiments with three lenses (Rokkor 45/2, Vivitar 28/2.8 and a nearly defective Rodenstock Apo 75/4) with automated Canon EF aperture in manual lenses.
For macro/micro I use additional to the lenses mentioned before:
Kiron 105/2.8 converted
Nikon EL Nikkor 50mm/2.8 (fungus cleaned)
Rodenstock Apo 50/2.8 (fungus cleaned)
Mitutoyo Apo 20x (front lens chipped)
Nikon CF Plan 10x
further enlarger and microfilm lenses.
The Samyang 14 is not only one of the ~5 lenses I bought new during these 25 years, but also the lens with the shortest lifespan. Average age of my lenses is most likely more than 30 years.