Discussion in 'Competitions, Themes & Blogs' started by Chris Bennett, Apr 13, 2019.
If not, you'll have some slightly more dramatic skies in you B&W shots from now on!
Much of my renewed interest in photography over the last year or so has been fuelled by exploring old manual lenses on my Canon DSLR. This is a pastime which, despite my extreme lack of financial commitment has yielded lots of fun and self education through shameless opportunism! As I mentioned above, I have since bought a Sony mirrorless camera too, for taking on cabin-baggage-only trips.
Three recently arrived lenses are vying for my attention at the moment. Firstly, I wanted a good, solid lens in the 28 or 35 to 70 or 80mm region. I love the old Pentax and Takumars and I already own an A 35-70 and my wife has an M 40-80, which I have fiddled with in the past.
The Pentax lenses didn't really do it for me for some reason, so I did a bit of research and it seemed as though the Minolta 35-70 mm (constant f/3.5) might be worth a look at. The going-rate price is a bit more than I wanted to pay (I did say that part of my MO is minimal financial commitment, so £35 was way more than I was willing to spend!)
Another avenue to explore seemed to be the Canon FD 35-70mm (constant f/4), which doesn't have quite the buzz about it on the internet. This idea was also attractive to me because I haven't been able to try any FD lenses on my Canon camera and having an Alpha NEX meant that this would be opened up to me (a similar situation to the Minolta lenses, as these both need adapters with optical correction on an EOS camera).
A search of Ebay turned up quite a few with a wide range of prices and described conditions. I spotted one with a low starting price being sold by a bricks and mortar camera shop with what seemed like an honest description. A bid placed with 9 seconds to go secured it for me for under 20 quid - whoopee!!
When it arrived, it turned out that it had been mis-described as this was the plasticy f/3.5-4.5 model. Checking the photos again, & there it was, plain as day on the front ring of the lens - 3.5-4.5. How did I miss that? Anyway, it went straight back and the seller was good about it, very apologetic and quick to refund.
Another quick look and I spotted one that had just been listed for £1 less than the previous one. It was clearly the correct model this time! Whoopee some more!!
On the day that arrived, I was poking around in a charity shop looking for books and CDs, when I found a nice Yashica 50mm f/1.9 on a ropey looking SLR. Alongside this there was a UV filter in it's case for £4.50. This seemed quite good value but I didn't buy it, as there was another identical one on the lens. The silly part is that the camera and lens (with filter) were only £8.50! I put a fair bit more cash into the tin on the shop counter before I left, as I felt a bit like I was stealing it!
A few days later, not intending to buy anything at all, I was just spending a few minutes looking on Ebay at sales with just a few minutes to go. There was a lens listed and described extremely badly, as a Minolta Hoya Skylight lens - no bids so far. This seller's mistake is one that I have benefited from a couple of times in the past. A close look at the photos and I worked out it was a 50-135mm. Minimum aperture was indiscernible from the evidence though. A bit of hasty research and I realised that it might be the sister lens to the Rokkor 35-70 that I had shied away from, this one also, with a constant f/3.5. I realised that, coupled with the Canon, this pair could make quite a good set for travelling light with. The research also stated that there was an inferior 3.5-4.5 version, just as there had been with the Canon! The auction had only a minute of so to go. Waiting for my usual 9 second sniping position, I placed a bid of under £20 and got it for the starting price of £7.50. Thrice Whoopee!!!
The Rokkor arrived this morning and, sure enough, my gamble paid off because it's the f/3.5 version. It's pretty much immaculate and it came in a rather nice Lowepro case that is probably worth a good few quid on it's own.
I'll post a few images taken with each of the lenses in the next couple of days.
Here's one taken with the Canon FD 35-70 f/4 on the NEX 5
Interesting write up, Chris and a fine shot of the unusual garden feature! Looking forward to seeing what you get from the Minolta lens.
It feels a little like the Minolta and I are going to have a long, meaningful relationship Pete. A few shots fired off willy-nilly this afternoon look to be very promising indeed. As stated above, the condition is utterly superb and there is no creep on the zoom mechanism. Colours look good and the ergonomics feel 'right'.
I'm just back from spending a week in Kefalonia with the FD lens and I have to say that I like it a lot. It feels solid and natural to operate. All of the things I have read about it say that it is weird because of the way the front element retracts into the outer body as you move up through the focal lengths. It's different, but so what? I think it would be great on my 50D but backwards compatibility was, apparently beyond the grasp of the Canon designers when they developed the EOS mount. That's one of the reasons I love the Pentax stuff!
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