13 – glass

So I picked up a vintage Vivitar 55/2.8 macro lens and adapter last week. It’s a solid lens, so-so sharp, and does 1:1 without extension tubes.

Downside, it’s heavy (relatively speaking), and being a legacy lens, it’s MF only – which is an issue since my eyes aren’t really that great anymore…and like I said, it’s only so-so sharp.

Some shots from after dinner tonight:


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPictures from this lens look…vintage. Postprocessing for a ‘vintage’ look feels appropriate. B&W conversion was the first thing that comes to mind but the cross-processed shot with the two glasses looks like something you’d pick up from the one-hour print guy from Ritz Camera. I should find an old Canon with FD mount and run some film using this lens to see what it would look like.

Anyway, though the lens is a macro lens, it’s not “bitingly sharp” like my ZD 35/3.5 macro…and I was expecting that. I should have just managed my expectations and realized that for a lens that probably doesn’t have advanced multicoatings or aspherical glass elements, it’s not going to be as sharp as the lenses that I’m used to (and I think I’ve got some fairly sharp lenses for my m4/3 kit). The lens is probably older than me by several years. In any case, it is a fun lens to use, so we’ll see how long I hold on to it.

Otherwise, I’m definitely enamored with the Samyang/Rokinon 7.5/3.5 fisheye lens, which amazed me tonight with its close focusing capability:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe front lens element was probably about 1 to 2 inches away from the top of the glass. I cropped the picture to 1:1 to emphasize the glass and to crop out the distracting stuff to the left.

The fisheye is a native m4/3 lens mount and it’s been made for digital and specifically, made for the m4/3 sensor, so the image plane relative to the lens elements is just right…resulting in optimal sharpness, exposure, and color. I didn’t have to do much post-processing with this last picture. Well, actually, I also applied stereographic defishing using LR lens profiles that I downloaded from the Web.

I now have four lenses (again) for my m4/3 kit:

– Sigma 19/2.8

– Samyang 7.5/3.5 fisheye

– Olympus 40-150/4-5.6 R telephoto zoom

– Vivitar 55/2.8 macro (FD mount with FD-m4/3 adapter)

Along with the EPM1, VF3 EVF, and a few spare batteries, it all fits into a Crumpler 3MDH.




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