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Day at the Park with a pair of 80 year old lenses


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#1 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

I wrote an article about the Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnars last year for "the.me" online Photographic Daily last year,

 

http://www.the.me/un...nd-m-monochrom/

 

tried to capture some of the philosophy differences between Zeiss and Leica.  John Naughten wrote the article "Why I love my Leica" in which he features a Robert Capa photograph taken on D-Day with a Zeiss Contax. I doubt the author realized that Capa had switched from Leica to Contax after the Spanish Civil War of 1936 because he found the Zeiss lenses to be superior to Leica lenses of the day. Capa used a pair Contax II with collapsible 5cm F2 Sonnars. The Leica equivalent of this lens is the 5cm F2 Summar, also collapsible. I have both lenses, and converted the collapsible Zeiss lens to Leica mount. Several Leica users had technicians do similar conversions in the 30s and 40s, the Zeiss Sonnars had higher contrast and better transmission than the Leica counterparts.

 

Today I took the pair of lenses out for a day at Burke Lake Park with my daughter. A great fun day, she has been going to this park since she was a month old. Riding the train and carousel is part of Summer.

 

First up, the Sonnar. Wide-Open at F2.

 

First shot is in the train, red lighting from the roof of the car. The Sonnar focuses to ~0.75m. I modified the mount.


Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#2 eshart

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:38 PM

Good color despite red light in #1.

 

Seems soft to me though.


Cameras:                                        Lenses:                                                        

                                                         -AF Nikkor 50mmf1.8G

   -D3200                                          -AF-S Nikkor 35mmf/1.8 G

   -D50                                              -Tamron SP 70-300mmf/4-5.6 USD VC

                                                         -AF-S Nikkor 18-55mmf/3.5-4.5G VR

                                                         -AF-S Nikkor 18-70mmf/3.5-4.5G ED

                                                         -AF Nikkor 50mmf1.8D

                                                         -AF Nikkor 35-70mmf3.3-4.5

 

 

                               Flash:

                               -SB-600

 

 

Processing:                                    Tripod:

-Lightroom 5                                     -Manfrotto 190XDB

-Picasa 3

 

 

 

                               Teleconverter:

                                -Promaster 2X

 

 

 

 

 

 


#3 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:40 PM

This Summar came on a Leica IIIa, almost 80 years old. Found at a Flea market for $15. Luck was with me, very few times in a life that you get THAT lucky. Wide-Open at F2.


Edited by BrianS, 25 August 2014 - 03:47 PM.

Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#4 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:46 PM

The Sonnar at F4, sharpens up. Again- 80 year old, uncoated optics. The glass is soft in these; this one is near perfect. I've converted a dozen of these to Leica mount. This is the best in terms of clean glass.


Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#5 eshart

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:49 PM

Last two work really well.

 

Where did you shoot these?


Cameras:                                        Lenses:                                                        

                                                         -AF Nikkor 50mmf1.8G

   -D3200                                          -AF-S Nikkor 35mmf/1.8 G

   -D50                                              -Tamron SP 70-300mmf/4-5.6 USD VC

                                                         -AF-S Nikkor 18-55mmf/3.5-4.5G VR

                                                         -AF-S Nikkor 18-70mmf/3.5-4.5G ED

                                                         -AF Nikkor 50mmf1.8D

                                                         -AF Nikkor 35-70mmf3.3-4.5

 

 

                               Flash:

                               -SB-600

 

 

Processing:                                    Tripod:

-Lightroom 5                                     -Manfrotto 190XDB

-Picasa 3

 

 

 

                               Teleconverter:

                                -Promaster 2X

 

 

 

 

 

 


#6 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:55 PM

Sonnar, again at F4.


Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#7 james23p

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:55 PM

Very nice series and great write up!

Jim

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#8 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:57 PM

Summar at F4. Daughter likes making faces at me while riding the Carousel, this was the least embarrassing...


Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#9 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the compliments. These are taken at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax county, Virginia. I have been going to that park since 1974, we have taken Nikki there since she was 1-month old. I have a lot of pictures of her taken with a variety of cameras, going back to a Nikon S2 and Canon P.


Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#10 Wheatsack

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:56 PM

Lovely images ..lovely model..Brian and you are a mine of information, thankyou.

 

Peter


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#11 Black Pearl

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:24 PM

Love the bokeh - I'd love to see some set-up sharp shots that show the lens in all its glory.


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#12 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

I'll do another test, more controlled with the M Monochrom. Both of these lenses were designed for black and white work, they are color corrected- as you need that quality for good black and white. 

 

This is not a controlled/setup shot, but is hand-held at 1/90th of a second. The 5cm F2 Sonnar, wide-open on the M Monochrom. The camera can resolve 67lp/mm, does not have an AA filter or a color mosaic filter. Shot at the Udvar Hazy museum, which does not allow Tripods or Bipods. Scaled image and 100% crop.

 

Some nice examples with a Summar used at a WW-II re-enactment here:

 

http://www.leicaplac...hread.php?t=255

 

I also posted a shot with mine on a Leica IIIa.


Edited by BrianS, 25 August 2014 - 07:19 PM.

Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#13 BrianS

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:05 PM

I've had this lens for a while, it was originally in Contax RF mount and I bought it to use on a Contax IIIa- about 16 years ago.

 

This is a shot of Nikki with it, Contax IIIa, wide-open. 

 

 


Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#14 photojazz

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:52 AM

Good series....post some more please.


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#15 BrianS

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 01:54 PM

Thankyou- I have a collection of lenses going back to 1931 or so, most for rangefinder cameras. I'll post some more of them in this forum.

 

This is with a 1936 uncoated Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm F1.5, wide-open. This is one of the best that I've seen. Converted to Leica mount from Contax mount. One of the few lenses where the faster optic is sharper than the slower version.


Edited by BrianS, 26 August 2014 - 01:55 PM.

Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.5. And maybe 100 or so other Nikkor lenses. Maybe 60 of those are on Nikon cameras right now.


#16 Ron W

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

I've been to that park many times Brian, I was assigned to that area for about 8 years back in the early 70's. Lived in Annandale. You have an impressive Nikon collection, both in hardware and knowledge.


www.ronwooldridgephotography.com

 

 

 

 





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