Monday, December 26, 2016

First Photographs - Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7

I adapted this Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7 lens to my Samsung NX1 using a Fotosay KR-NX adapter,  I picked this lens up at a local pawn shop for around $20.  This mid-1970's SLR lens has a pretty good rap out there - I posted some links below for further exploration.

I find that AllPhotoLenses online provides a nice concise summary of these vintage lenses.

Below are some photos I took around the downtown neighborhoods of Phoenix, Arizona using the Samsung NX1 with the the Konica 50mm.

Note: This 50mm lens is 75mm on the Samsung NX1 based on the APS-C Sensor's crop factor for attached full frame lenses.

All photographs handheld.  No filters were used and the photographs as shown 'as-shop' (no post-editing). Applied JPEG compression for web display.

Outdoor shots here were in the late winter afternoon sun.

 f5.6  /  1/320  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO100

 f11  /  1/320  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO100

  f1.7  /  1/320  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO100

Note the extensive fine-grain Bokeh in the image with the lens fully opened to f1.7  Not the sharpest shot because the cat was moving while I was manually focusing the lens.

  f8  /  1/320  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO100

I like the authentic color and sharpness of this photograph.

f5.6  /  1/320  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO100

f5.6 /  1/320  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO100

f5.6  /  1/60  /  0 EV  /  ISO100

I was curious to see how this lens would capture holiday lights - nice.

f5.6  /  1/60  /  0 EV  /  ISO1600

Amazing ISO1600 image composition 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vivitar 35mm f2.8 - Lens Photography Test

Another find; A Vivitar 35mm vintage SLR lens (52mm equivalent on the Samsung NX1), this time in a display case of old cameras and lenses at a used record and DVD shop in Tempe, AZ.  The price $14.99 !!   The lens was a Nikon mount, so I picked up an adapter on Amazon for about $15. You can see it in the photo below.

Note: On this Nikon mount lens were two protruding guide channels that I had to grind down flat to the mating surface in order to attach the adapter.

I found out this this lens was manufactured by a little known company Japanese company.  Notice the first two digits on the serial number "28" in the photo below - That's a clue.  I went to the following link:  and discovered the manufacturer was Kimone Co. Ltd.  For an interesting look at this obscure company follow this link:

One 'mechanical' interest of note with this lens is that the aperture ring on this lens does not index from stop-to-stop.  It's smooth.  I assume something broke, but actually that's a cool feature now if I use it with when making videos.  I can adjust the aperture while filming to create an effect.

Ok, onto the test photo shots.  I took the NX1 out in downtown Phoenix, Arizona with this lens about 15-minutes before sunset to test it in low angle light and 'dusk' with no direct sun. 

Note: All the following photos were taken in the manual-mode, with f-stops ranging between f2.8 and 5.6.  The images were not re-touched or edited (as-shot) with JPEG compression form the NX1

One of the things I noticed with this lens is that it suffers from obvious 'perspective distortion' that you can see in the photo below.

This next photo was taken without a flash through a window of an art gallery.  This image is soft and the colors are muted yet warm feeling (f2.8, ISO 400, 1/125sec)

This photograph was taken of a mural on a side of a building was taken after the sun went down (f2.8, ISO 400, 1/60sec)

The photo below was taken from the 10th floor of a high-rise showing a SE view of downtown Phoenix  (f5.6, ISO 100, 1/125sec)

Last light high-up a tree. I like the light and texture of this photo.(f2.8, ISO100, 1/125sec)

 View of Third Avenue, looking south from Roosevelt Street (f4, ISO 400, 1/60sec)

A good photo to assess color, artificial light and reflection (f4, ISO 400, 1/60sec)

First impressions:  Wow, what a find! Nice lens with an 'analog' feel. Natural texture to the images and warm colors.Compact lens despite the addition of an adapter.  No fungus (lens spotting) seen in these photos and no scratches on the lens - Good! 

One problem to report.  The focus was really off from the calibrated markings.  Possibly due to the adapter changing the focus point on the sensor. Therefore when setting the focus manually, I had to find just where the out-of-focus points begin by rotating the lens both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Then estimate the middle point between the two.  That's ok if you have time, but forget taking this lens out on a shoot where something is moving.  These old SLR lenses are all manual on modern digital interchangeable lens cameras.

Next time I'll go out in full light and see what the lens can do with a Bokeh effect.

For more information and other photographer's images that have used this lens, follow this link:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Rokinon 85mm in Tough Light

This photograph was shot with a Samsung NX1 and a Rokinon 85mm Lens (no filter). I used a tripod. The NX1 handled this shot well since the subjects were in shadow under a ramada.  Bright sunlight was present in the background. No adjustments were made to this photograph in post.

Specs:  f/5.6    1/500sec   ISO100    EV -0.3

Monday, October 3, 2016

First Impressions: Soligor C/D 80-200mm MC MARCO Lens

The Soligor f/4 C/D 80-200mm MC MACRO, is an 80's-vintage SLR  lens - mounted on a Samsung NX1.  Apparently, the C/D means computer designed and it is believed Tokina may be the manufacturer of this Soligor lens.  What I look for from the lens is what 'texture' results from its optics and glass.  The camera/lens setup is an impressive amalgam of an analog-era SLR lens joined with the latest digital camera technology embodied in the NX1 (below).


 This all came about when my wife came home from a thrift store with a worn camera bag that contained an 80's-vintage Olympus OM10 SLR and three SLR lenses. For about $50 at the thrift store, it was a quality find.  An Olympus OM-mount to NX-mount adapter was purchased to install on the Samsung NX1. 

 Below are some specs on the camera I pulled from the Internet.  If I come across any other insights, I'll update.

Just to note that a 'circular-polaring filter was added to the lens for all the photographs shown here.  The lens was 'manually'-adjusted during use and I didn't use a tripod. However, for the landscape shots I steadied the camera on top of a fence post.

This first photo is a portion of the Cerro Colorado Mountains just North of Arivaca, Arizona.  I made some basic adjustment with the image's brightness, contrast and gamma, bring-out the features in the photograph.

         Lens set at 130mm   f/11  1/125sec ISO100  EV -0.3 

The second photo below showing Baboquivari Peak was adjusted later in Photoshop Elements.  I like the resulting texture in that shot.

         Lens set at 130mm   f/11  1/125sec ISO100  EV -0.3 

The following shots in the historic town-site of Arivaca, Arizona are just hand-held 'street shots'.

(Below) Main Street Arivaca looking West, South-West with the Soligor at about 90mm.  This is my favorite shot from the shoot.  I can see using this lens in certain situations when shooting digital film. 

Additional settings below. Manual focus with the NX1 camera in the "Center Weighted Average" mode.  

 f/5.6  1/125sec  ISO100  EV -0.3 step

Below: People Assemble at Virginia's Taco Stand.  I took this hand held shot quick.  In hindsight, I should have thought more about setting the focus.

f/5.6  1/125sec  ISO100  EV -0.3 step

 The lens was adjusted to 90mm for this photograph.  I was interested in seeing detail and handling the white plaster walls in the sun.

                   f/11  1/125sec  ISO100  EV -0.3 step

Overall, it was a rewarding walk-around today with the Soligor f/4 C/D 80-200mm MC MACRO on my Samsung NX1.  These are just my initial photographs and more to come.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Vivitar SMS 28mm f1:2.8 MC

Yet another pawn shop purchase for around $30 was a Vivitar SMS 28mm f1:2.8 MC lens with a Minolta mount.  The filter diameter of 49mm is compatible with my collection of ND, circular-polarizers and UV filters of that size.  I picked-up a Fotasy MD-to-NX adapter for mounting to my NX1.

I was stunned by the first several photographs with the Vivitar 28mm.  Two are shown below.  The shot directly below was taken just as the sun dipped beneath the mountains here in Arivaca, Arizona 

This is a photo of 'Sundog' in his garden. Click on any image to enlarge.

                                                          f8    1/60sec   -0.3EV   ISO100

The second photo below shows good skin tone on Sundog's face with a nice contrast of the white shirt and compared to the lush green background, darkening with the setting sun.

1/250sec   0EV   ISO100   f5-6

Another shot just after sunset. I forgot to note the aperture setting on this one.

Rokinon 85mm f1.4

I picked-up this Rokinon 85mm f1.4 at a pawn shop for about $116 (retail approx $300).  The lens was in mint condition. The lens was for a Canon EF lens mount, so I purchased an adapter for my NX1. The photo below shows the lens mounted and also purchased a rubber lens hood.  The filter diameter is 72mm.  


The photo below of "Sundog" in Arivaca proudly displaying part of his organic garden harvest with the Rokinon 85mm.

f8    1/60sec   ISO 100  -0.3EV

Friday, September 9, 2016

Kalimar 50mm f1.7 Lens - First Impression

Stopped in a pawn shop downtown Phoenix to see what they had for vintage lenses.   I saw this unfamiliar brand - Kalimar 50mm f1.7 for around $30.  It had a Pentax K Mount, for which I had an adapter to mount to my NX1.  Then I noticed the lens was made in China.  Although I prefer lenses made in Japan, being Chinese made actually heightened my curiosity as to whether the lens has some type of artistic quality for my digital film projects.  So I picked it up enthusiastically. 

The bottom line: Excellent color, sharpness when it counts and attractive bokeh.  I'll have to try it with video next!


Before I get onto the photos, here are a few 'specs' for the techies:

Pentax K (PK) to Samsung (NX) mount adapter: KECAY Mount Adapter 18011

Mounting the lens went without a hitch.  Switched to 'Manual" mode and I'm ready to get my first shots.

Note: All photographs are presented 'as photographed' (not edited or enhanced, but each image was resized for web posting from their original 23.6MB JPEG setting).  Additionally, all photographs were handheld camera.

Photograph 1: Spider

Soft background with nice color.  The spider is the focus point for the eye, while the web provides subtle intricacy.

f4   1/50sec   EV+0.3  ISO100  Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 2: Cactus Garden

This photograph was taken just at sunset - no direct light - yet the cactus seems vibrant in some visually attractive way.

f4   1/40sec   EV+0.3  ISO200       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 3: Mt. Wrightson View

I used a circular-polarizer for this shot.

This photograph shows a nice interplay of light and shadow in the foreground and good detail in the distant mountains.  The camera kept warning me that the bright white on the building at mid-range was blown-out; but it doesn't look too bad.  I tried closing the aperture 1-stop to reduce the blow-out, but it darkened the foreground shadow too much. 

f5.6   1/250sec   EV-0.3  ISO100       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 4: Unfocused Cactus

Lately I have been enjoying certain out-of-focus images and this cactus shot is no exception.  Can't explain!

                        f4   1/60sec   EV 0    ISO200       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 5: 

I took this photo for color and depth of field.   The sun was low in the sky about 1/2-hour before sunset.  By manually focusing on the sign at close range, the mountains appear soft in the distance.

                          f4   1/60sec   EV 0    ISO200       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 6: Light and Shadow

The photograph below sold me on the Kalimar 50mm lens.  The image is sharp.  Nice light and stripe shadows.  The texture on both the Agave on the left and the Hedgehog cactus on the right is gorgeous!  
                     f5,6   1/400sec   EV 0  ISO100  Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photographs: 7 & 8 

Flowers are a good way to see how a lens works with primary colors standing out in the 'greenscape'.  The color in these two photographs seems a little over-saturated. But I love the bokeh and how my eye seems to hunt to find areas of focus, yet wanting to dissolve into the background.

                       f4   1/125sec   EV +0.3    ISO100       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

                       f4   1/125sec   EV +0.3    ISO100       Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Photograph 9: Palm Row

I was testing a circular polarizer with this image.

f5.6   1/250 sec   EV 0.0    ISO100   Focus Metering: Center Weighted Average

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Kalimar MC 50mm 1.7 lens on Digital Video

I found this test video of the Kalimar MC 50mm 1.7 lens on YouTube , shot with a Canon 500D/T1i.

I really like the color tone...As if from a time we remember but can't pinpoint. I wanted to have this test footage as both a guide, comparison and future reference. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Vintage SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5 Lens on NX1

SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5

I started looking into Pentax lenses after purchasing an early 1980's Pentax K1000 SLR film camera. I picked up this 135mm lens on ebay for less than $50.  The K-Mount has been the standard for Pentax for over 3-decades. Besides for use on the K1000 film camera, I knew I could easily locate an adapter for my Samsung NX1.
This lens was manufactured in Japan either from the late 70's or early 80's.

This link leads to the Pentax Forum where specs on the lens and a member discussion and photos can be found.

For a definitive information website on Pentax lenses, see link here:

(Below) The subject Pentax lens shown attached to a Pentax-to-NX mount adapter.  Exciting to have these options for lens collections.
Looks nice on the Samsung NX1...

The photos below were street photography taken beginning about 1-hour before sunset, downtown Phoenix, Arizona.  All photos are shown as they came out of the camera.  All shots were handheld (difficult to steady at 135mm or 202.5mm - 35mm Equivalent for APS-C Sensors)

COMMENTS ON THE LENS: I'm really happy with these initial photos using the SMC Pentax-M 135mm F3.5.  The photos appear sufficiently sharp and nicely textured with natural color. Sweet!

Photo Collection Title: 
"My Neighborhood - Downtown Urban Phoenix"

all photos by Bart Santello