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Legacy glass: first use and experiments

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tanngrisnir3, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    I've had some Minolta/Rokkor lenses that I received as gifts for a few weeks now, and traveled to SEKI & Yosemite this weekend, finally having the time to experiment with them.

    I had some reservations about the abilities of older glass, because a lot of the pics I've seen from legacy lenses have had relative poor contrast, poor color reproduction, i.e., they've been relatively mundane in the actual photo properties compared to native lenses.

    My hesitation/reservations are all now completely in the past.

    I tried to find the most difficult shots to make over the weekend (and, believe me, SEKI & YNP did not disappoint) in terms of contrast and color, and was greatly assisted by some of the worst air pollution in memory in the Central Valley.

    Just a couple of no-brainers that I'm still getting used to:

    A. Remembering to adjust the aperture ring. Having learned on AF lenses, this is harder than it sounds.
    B. Remembering to focus by using that tap feature on the touch screen.
    C. Legacy glass can be HEAVY, and in high wind, the need for a better tripod is evident.
    D. For all practical purposes, the DOF crop factor governs everything one shoots. While a Rokkor 200mm f/4 is a really nice lens, having to effectively shoot with a prime 400mm lens in, say, high mountain valleys, is just ridiculous. Having a 50mm shoot like a 100mm is really difficult to get used to, but not impossible.
    E. Taking notes for each shot to remember settings sucks.

    One of the good things, however, is that as a landscape guy, I can leave almost all the lenses at juuuuuuust below infinity for focusing and that's it, since most of what I'm shooting at is far away. Sort of the Ron Popeil "Set it and forget it" method.

    All of the following shots were made with either a MD Rokkor 50mm 1.7 or a 135mm 2.8, and they're from around 1982 or so. All of them had rudimentary processing as jpegs from Photoscape, and were not done in RAW/LR. Normally they would, but I haven't fixed my main PP computer, so the full potential of these hasn't been reached yet.

    135mm 2.8, shot looking due west, sunset, about 1/2 up the staircase at Moro Rock. This, I think, shows off particularly well how the lens has great IQ, but also addresses contrast issues. There's the air pollution down low, then clouds, sunset colors and then the last bit of blue sky.


    Moro Rock Sunset #1 by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    50mm 1.7 at 1.7, 29 second exposure. Shot well after dark, and likely exposed too long (it was FAR darker than this), but I wanted to see how sharp the lens was wide open. I can't ever see a reason now to get a lens faster than 1.7


    Wide open test, Rokkor 50mm 1.7 by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    Just after dawn, Giant Forest, 50mm 1.7


    Giant Forest, Post Dawn by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    135mm 2.8, likely around f/8. Tioga Road, looking NW.


    Tioga Road, Sunset, NW by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    135mm 2.8, West Ridge Wall, El Cap Gully. Or, if you prefer, East Ridge Wall, Ribbon Falls Amphitheater. This is where having a fixed 270mm lens sort of comes in handy. Shot from Tunnel View where, if you've been there, you know the HUGE vista shots that are available. The rock face at frame right is the western face of El Capitan.


    West Ridge Wall, El Cap Gully by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    135mm 2.8 Classic shot from Tunnel View, but at 270mm. That's Half Dome in the upper right.

    6712632241_e3b59d487e_b.
    Tunnel View at 270mm #2, B&W by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    135mm 2,8, Light on trees, Wawona Road.


    Light on Trees, Wawona Road. by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    50mm 1.7 Finally, good, old California chapparal country, bottom of the Grapevine, near sunset.

    6712666561_15e79952fa_b.
    Last Light, Tejon Ranch, Rokkor 50mm 1.7 by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr

    Can't wait to get my box up and running again, esp w/Lightroom 4 coming out, and use the two ridiculously long primes (135 and 200) at Death Valley in a few weeks.

    Overall, I was nervous about using old glass for reasons that turned out to be completely unjustified, and am looking forward now to scrounging around the pawn shops of LA for quality legacy gear.
     
    • Like Like x 18
  2. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Straw clutcher

    605
    Aug 10, 2011
    Nice indeed

    Great shots !:smile:
     
  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Excellent stuff!
     
  4. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    Sorry, forgot one. Too big for Flickr (grrrrr......) so I had to Photobucket it.

    50mm 1.7, likely shot at around f/11 or so.

     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. punkman

    punkman Mu-43 Regular

    151
    Dec 30, 2011
    Europe
    Great photos, must be nice camping up there in the mountains.

    By the way, what's the limit on Flickr?
     
  6. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    If you don't have a pro account (and I should. It's only $25), you're limited to 11 visible pages.

    Your pics will still be there as you add more, but you can't see them.
     
  7. Leesound

    Leesound Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Feb 12, 2011
    London
    V Nice - organic!

    Like playing a new guitar V's an old 50's Telecaster - yes the old one may hum , but boy it's alive lol - the old glass v new glass lens discussion so reminds me of valve v transistor - old analogue synths v's DX 7's lol - IMHO the old stuff adds so much character - wether you need that is another discussion! :) And aye have some 50's Fender and Gibson and yes some of it is truly **** lol BUT some of it is magical - that extra sparkle you can't get now - like some lenses
     
  8. Fantastic stuff. I really love the last three images in your first post.
     
  9. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    140
    Aug 31, 2011
    @tanngrisnir3: Which adapter did you use to connect your Minolta Rokkor lenses to your MFT camera?
     
  10. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Glad you remembered because that's my favourite :smile:

    Fantastic shots! I'm yet to quite get a hand on my SMC 135/f2.5 - the 135mm length just doesn't seem to work for me...
     
  11. punkman

    punkman Mu-43 Regular

    151
    Dec 30, 2011
    Europe
    I meant the file size limit, which I found out is 15mb for free users and 20mb for pro. I used to have a Flickr Pro account a few years ago, but now I'm trying out 23hq.com. Costs about the same and I like it a lot more. Not much of a community yet though.


    I got a Soligor 135mm the other day and I'm finding it a bit hard to use. Trying to focus with the magnified view and having shaky hands, it's not a good combination.
     
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Very nice! That last one in particular!

    Death Valley is awesome in winter. Make sure to find a clear day to go up to Dante's Point. Perfect place to use the 200/4, especially if there's snow on the Panamints.

    DH