Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Street after dark with an adapted vintage Konica Hexanon AR 40 mm f/1.8 Lens

I chose the 70's-vintage Konica Hexanon AR 40mm F1.8 lens to undertake some nighttime street photography along Congress Street area of downtown Tucson, Arizona.  

Knowing the location and time, I was looking to chose a fast prime with the photography being at night.  

I adapted the Konica lens to the Samsung NX1, photographed most images at the full-open aperture of f1.8, in the NX1's 'Monochrome' setting.

For the images posted below, they are presented 'as-photographed' meaning no adjustments to the images with the exception that some images may have been cropped to achieve an optimized visual for artistic intent.


Photo of camera by Adam Ray

Tucson, Arizona

Database resources for this lens can be found by exploring the following links:

Konica Hexanon AR 40 mm f/1.8 Lens

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f1.4

I was gifted this excellent condition Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 SN3869894 manufactured by the Asahi Optical Company (Japan).  This is the 7-blade configuration, that contains a radioactive lens element.

The lens was mounted to the NX1 using a Fotsay M42 Mount Adapter.  The lens came off a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic 35mm film camera.


The following hand-held photos are presented 'as-photographed' (JPEG's). No post adjustments and no in-camera (filter) effects settings were employed.  For the black and white photographs, the NX1 was set to 'Monochrome'.

Saturday morning walk downtown Phoenix, Arizona







Monday, March 27, 2023

Vintage Soligor 28mm F/2.8 Wide-Auto MC Lens on the Samsung NX1

I found this very good condition 1979-vintage SOLIGOR 28mm f2.8 (SN 4793243) lens at a thrift store ($8)  Paired it with my Samsung NX1 digital camera using a M42-to-NX adapter, set the camera to manual and headed-out to do some street photography downtown Phoenix about 1-hour before sunset.  All images straight from camera sensor.  All in-camera effects off and no 'post' manipulation.  

First photo I call the new look of Phoenix.  Wow! Right from the first image, this lens produces images with subtle color tones that are very pleasing to the eye. 


Settings: f11, ISO-200, EV0, 1/125s

So what's this lens's story?


Name on Lens: Soligor 28mm F/2.8 Wide-Auto MC Lens

Manufacturer: Sun Optical Co.
Mount: M42
Aperture: f2.8 - f22
Filter diameter: 58mm

Material: Metal
Focus ring: 270 degrees rotational throw, moderately firm and smooth
Aperture ring: 1/2 stops, except full stops at F2.8 and F16, F22
Serial number decode: 

First number is the Manufacturer (4 = SUN, Sun Optical Co. Ltd)

Second and third numbers are the decade and year (in this case 79 or 1979).


In the 1950s or 1960s, the company was using the English name Sun Optical Co., an independent Japanese lens maker wbased in the city of Ichikawa (in the Chiba Prefecture, at the East of Tokyo).  

The company began as Kajiro Kōgaku Kenkyūjo in 1939 selling lenses under the K.O.L name and then renamed to Gojō Kōki in 1941. 

The company ended in 1945 but was soon revived as Sun Kōki, selling lenses under the Sun name with "Sun Opt" or "Sun Optical" often appearing on lenses.  Sun made many lenses under their own name as well as producing products under contract for other companies such as Soligor.   

In the late 70's or possibly early 80's the company became 'Gotō Sun' and continued to sell lenses until some time in the late 80's when they appear to have been absorbed by Goyō Kōgaku Shōji also know as Goyo Optical.

I photograph the changing urban landscape here in Phoenix.  In the photo below, I like how this lens along with the camera produce a subtle (low contrast) shade, then transition to bright light.

Settings: f8/11, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

Straight out of camera - This Soligor lens produces an eye-pleasing texture with rich yet subtle colors.

Settings: f5.6, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

A common scene, people using the murals, architecture and the general urban landscape as a backdrop for photographs.

Settings: f8, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

New clubs, bars and restaurants to accommodate university students seasonal/event visitors and a growing urban population, shape the downtown culture

Settings: f8/11, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

Settings: f8/11, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

Alleys are an integral part of an urban landscape and a contributing factor of a city's character. For some a short-cut, others a place to take a break from the main street

Settings: f8, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

Settings: f5.6, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s
Stopped-down the aperture to the lens's minimum of f2.8. I wanted to see the len's bokeh effect on far away objects.  For the photograph below, the background bokeh is pleasantly blurred very fine.

Settings: f2.8, ISO-100, EV0, 1/1000s

New high-rise apartments rise from empty lots and economically obsolescent properties that are demolished.

Settings: f4/5.6, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

Settings: f5.6, ISO-100, EV0, 1/125s

Settings: f5.6/f8, ISO-400, EV0, 1/160s

Construction Cranes dominate the landscape as federally legislated 'Opportunity Zones' provide a tax free shelter for wealthy investors through real estate investment funds.

Settings: f16, ISO-400, EV0, 1/160s

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Ernest Leitz Wetzlar f4.5, 200mm (Leica Telyt 1935)



Photo Above: Subject lens (foreground) mounted to the Samsung NX1 using a bellows for both infinity and MACRO focus assist. The lens is a M39 screw mount.  I used an M39-to-M42 step-up ring to attached to a M42 mount bellows.  The camera end is a Pentax mount which I adapted to the NX1 with a PK-to-NX mount adapter.

The 20cm f/4.5 Telyt of 1935 was a quality lens for its day. It had a 5-element, 4-group design and a 20-blade iris diaphragm behind the 3rd element (see photo below).

This lens was designed with an achromatic doublet
at the front which brings red and blue light to the same focus.  Known as an achromatic lens or achromat, it is a lens designed to limit the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. Achromatic lenses are corrected to bring two wavelengths (typically red and blue) into focus on the same plane (see illustration below).


The 20cm f/4.5 - f36 Telyt was designed for mounting on the first Leitz Reflex housing for screw-mount Leicas and was subsequently used on the original Visoflex (see illustration below.

The lens was made with milled or scalloped focusing rings. It has aperture settings from f/4.5-36, a rather long minimum focus distance of 3 meters (9.8 feet), weighs in at a hefty 550g (1.2 pounds), and bears the inscription Ernst Leitz Wetzlar Telyt. Total assigned serial numbers over its entire production run indicate that only 17,100 were made, making it fairly uncommon. (Source #leicasociety Instagram)

Serial number of the subject lens is #272404 which historical documentation shows the lens was fabricated in the second year of production (1935) and only 1,000 were made (below table).

 SN Start  SN End      Product         Year     Total
 230001    230300  20 cm 1:4.5 20cm    1934      300
 272001    273000  20 cm 1:4.5 Telyt   1935     1000 


The photos below are shown 'as-photographed' (except as noted), with no in-camera picture effects or filters.  Due to the long focal length a tripod was used. 

7/14 Update: I performed a simple adjustment in a photo editor to align the black and white levels to match the histogram for most of the photographs below.  I posted them below their unedited counterparts.

                                F18 /  1/125sec  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO200

                            F12.5  /  1/250sec  /  0EV  /  ISO200

 I noticed that when even using the camera's histogram to better dial-in exposure, images with this lens for the most part came out slightly over exposed producing a hazy look. It is noticeable in both the photograph above and below.  

              F18  /  1/80sec  /  -0.3EV  /  ISO200

Below: Corrected image above for (black/white) levels,shadow

                                         F36 / 1/30sec / 0EV / ISO200

                  F12.5 / 1/250sec / 0EV / ISO200

                                  F6.5 / 1/60sec / 0EV / ISO200

                                              F4.5 / 1/60sec / 0EV / ISO800

Note that image below was corrected for (black/white) levels and shadow.
 F12.5 / 1/100sec / 0EV / ISO200

Below: Enlargement of photograph above to show level of detail sharpness.  Note that image below was corrected for (black/white) levels and shadow.

                F18  /  1/125sec  /  -0.3EV  / ISO200

The following three photographs were taken with a full open aperture (f4.5) and close range to express the background bokeh. The 20-aperture blades of the lens produced a beautiful uniform bokeh as shown below:

               F4.5 / 1/500sec / -0.3EV / ISO100

                                 F4.5 / 1/500sec / -0.3EV  / ISO100


              F4.5 / 1/500sec / -0.3EV /  ISO100

The photo below shows that with the lens fully 'stopped-down' dust particles or fungus are present in the lens.

                                 F36 / 1/30sec / 0EV / ISO200

Comments: The best aspect of this lens is the bokeh as shown. It's built solid and both the focus and aperture dials are smooth and firm.  The dust and fungus discovery is a bummer, but the lens elements can always be cleaned.   

Practical use is another issue.  As shown mounted to the camera you need a bellows for proper focusing and a tripod, so it's no run-and-gun street-photography lens.  

Exciting to find this lens was one of the first years of production (1935) with only 1,000 made that year.  The first year there were only 300 made, so 1934 the first production test-run year.  

As noted the lens produces a sense of slightly hazy or overexposed results compared to what the camera's histogram suggests. However, I provided a 'mastered' (we'll call it that for simplicity's sake) copy for most of the photographs, where black and while levels were balanced to match the histogram for the image.  The result were images that reallyt popped.  It changed my thinking on the potential for this lens on a modern digital camera.

Comments welcome.

 #leicalens #SamsungNX1 #NX1 #lecia #Leitztylet #bartsantello