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03-01-2018, 03:12 PM   #1
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Lensbaby Burnside, Lomography Daguerreotype, real old Russian lenses, or?

I guess I'm kinda moving backwards in time lens-wise. I started with Pentax A's, then to the older manuals, and now a Russian Helios, and a converted cine lens.

I saw the recent review of the two new old-effect lenses, the Burnside and Daguerreotype, and both look very interesting. But that $$ would buy even more old Russian or other lenses with interesting bokeh and other effects. Especially maybe in the larger than 60mm focal lengths (I know there's a Helios out there, 85? I think, but it's real expensive).

Or would the two new ones be worth it? I really like the effects I can get, even on landscapes, with these lenses. They have characteristics that maybe if I was better with Photoshop I could reproduce, but not always. And plus it's just really fun to use them on both my Pentax and M43 camera.

So any suggestions in this vein? Any sites where lots of these are compared?

03-01-2018, 04:01 PM   #2
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There is a Helios 40 85mm f1.5. It creates cat's eye swirly bokeh, but it's a bit of a one trick pony. You might want to keep that in mind when deciding whether you want something like that, or something more versatile like that lens baby
03-01-2018, 07:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
But that $$ would buy even more old Russian or other lenses with interesting bokeh and other effects
There are a number of brands that are now "bringing back" old lenses. Usually they are quite expensive. The problem is, we don't always know exactly what those new lenses are. Some claim to use the same optic diagram as the old lenses, but they might (most likely) use newer materials, possibly lens coatings and so on. Some other companies just use old lenses famous names, but actually have different designs. The whole thing is a bit of a mess, so you have to research the specific lens you are interested in. Check how many lens elements and groups it has and how many the original had.
A number of these have been reviewed on this forum, on the front page blog thingy. And some have been posted in threads. I dont have the links, so youll have to do some digging yourself.

QuoteOriginally posted by Oakland Rob Quote
with these lenses. They have characteristics that maybe if I was better with Photoshop I could reproduce, but not always.
Photoshop can give you muted colours or lowered contrasts, but it can not give you the specific characteristics like bokeh, 3D pop, swirl, coma, flare.. And it is better to get the results directly, instead of spending a lot of time photoshopping each photo

The reviews of these designs that were "brought back" did not convince me - i just stick to the original Soviet ones. Yes, it might be a gamble and you might get a bad one, but the cost is much lower and the effects are more pronounced. The swirlyness and dreamyness sometimes come from "poor" manufacturing and materials.
But some people clearly like the new lenses, so if you have the budget for them and some good photo ideas, go for it.
I find the Helios 44-2 is quite nice for dreamy portraits and nice bokeh. There is a Soviet lenses club thread on this forum with lots of photos taken with all kinds of Soviet lenses. Some cheap, some rare and exotic. And you can ask here if you are interested in a very specific lens and someone might be able to share their experience. Or tell us what you want to achieve and someone can suggest good lenses for that goal

Personally, I wouldn't use "lomo" or lensbaby lenses for landscapes. For landscapes you probably want saturated colours and sharp images with low low CA. These lomo lenses and soviet clones are mostly good for portraits, still life.
03-02-2018, 08:47 AM   #4
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I'm thinking of getting the new Burnside when it becomes available and we see some reviews on it. It may or may not be a single purpose lens. I have seen some great shots from Helios that do not take advantage of the swirly bokeh. I'll wait to see if the Burnside can as well. One of the reason's i am considering it is it will come in a Pentax mount and I won't have to fiddle with putting on the M42 adapter so it'll be easier to switch out lenses when a swirly bokeh opportunity arises ( or what i think is one).

03-02-2018, 12:31 PM   #5
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One of the certain thing about moving into this creative area is price won't get you the results. Projector lenses may be your thing -- The "Projector Lens" Club ... - PentaxForums.com. I have had a play with them and the result can be quite exquisite. Not sure whether you can squeeze good landscapes out of them though.
03-02-2018, 01:06 PM - 1 Like   #6
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One I had on the K1 yesterday was the Tamron 95 - 205 f6.3. This is the model T of zooms - the first affordable zoom for the masses. All the good stuff!! swirly background, soft in the corners, heavy vignetting. Also unfortunately major colour fringing. But the colour is superb and the sharpness not too bad in the middle. Whether you can apply these qualities to landscape I am not sure - might have to have a bit of a run today.
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