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01-01-2018, 12:53 PM   #301
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew_Oid Quote
Of the forty or so lenses I have, only two have been disappointing, a 30mm Pentacon that's decentered and an MOG Domiplan 50mm f2.8 that was so soft and out of focus at infinity that I threw it out.
I'm not entirely surprised at either of those. It seems like it's not uncommon for Meyer Lydith/Pentacon 30mm's to be decentered; I assume it must something about their design that makes them prone to it.

01-01-2018, 07:52 PM   #302
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Pentacon 50/1.8 MC

Just bought a very clean, largely unused (seller's description) Pentacon 50/1.8 MC for $47 shipped off eBay. While this lens is routinely dissed as a nonperformer, the sample images challenge that. I'll have it in a week or so and we'll see if like so many of these variations of optical design whether this represents the norm or an exception.

Love the dimples on the aperture blades...

Last edited by Takumar105; 03-16-2018 at 10:37 AM.
01-02-2018, 08:23 AM   #303
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QuoteOriginally posted by Takumar105 Quote
Just bought a very clean, largely unused (seller's description) Pentacon 50/1.8 MC for $47 shipped off eBay. While this lens is routinely dissed as a nonperformer, the sample images challenge that. I'll have it in a week or so and we'll see if like so many of these variations of optical design whether this represents the norm or an exception.

Love the dimples on the aperture blades...

Sample photos can be very helpful. They at least show that a lens can take some good pictures, despite whatever limitations it might also have. If the limitations aren't hard for the buyer to work around, the lens could still be very useful.
01-03-2018, 10:02 AM   #304
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew_Oid Quote
Of the forty or so lenses I have, only two have been disappointing, a 30mm Pentacon that's decentered and an MOG Domiplan 50mm f2.8 that was so soft and out of focus at infinity that I threw it out.
Some old lenses are decentered because the smaller element of a doublet group is not held by the ring, and if the lens is exposed to strong heath (or perhaps degassing from some kind of solvent used in paints) the cement gets softer and gravity does the rest...
Both the Domiplan and the Lydith/Pentacon 30mm have no cemented elements though. It could be age/vibrations loosening retaining rings, rough use, or even lousy assembling.
I have a problematic 30mm myself, and a disappointing Domiplan
Some people are quite fond of their examples, so i guess Domiplans have strong sample variation.

I completely forgot i have a Lithagon 3.5/35mm, and an almost identical one rebranded Edixa Eximat.
I guess both of us have more lenses than time to actually use them!

I see your location is Bangkok. I live in Thailand about 10 months a year.... never ben in a place with so few chances to find a decent vintage lens. Vietnam can offer many more possibilities, including highly valuable large format portrait lenses, and even Burma should offer more chances. Though i know of no other royal who has been so fond of photography as the late king. His pictures with a camera (most with a Nikon) are everywhere.

cheers

Paolo

01-03-2018, 11:06 AM   #305
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Some old lenses are decentered because the smaller element of a doublet group is not held by the ring, and if the lens is exposed to strong heath (or perhaps degassing from some kind of solvent used in paints) the cement gets softer and gravity does the rest...
Both the Domiplan and the Lydith/Pentacon 30mm have no cemented elements though. It could be age/vibrations loosening retaining rings, rough use, or even lousy assembling.
I have a problematic 30mm myself, and a disappointing Domiplan
Some people are quite fond of their examples, so i guess Domiplans have strong sample variation.

I completely forgot i have a Lithagon 3.5/35mm, and an almost identical one rebranded Edixa Eximat.
I guess both of us have more lenses than time to actually use them!

I see your location is Bangkok. I live in Thailand about 10 months a year.... never ben in a place with so few chances to find a decent vintage lens. Vietnam can offer many more possibilities, including highly valuable large format portrait lenses, and even Burma should offer more chances. Though i know of no other royal who has been so fond of photography as the late king. His pictures with a camera (most with a Nikon) are everywhere.

cheers

Paolo
Hi Paolo.

Interesting information about the decentering. I'm hoping that some day the Pentacon 30 will be repairable ^^. Physically, it's in very good condition. Twenty-odd years ago when I lived in Bangkok also, I visited several shops selling vintage gear though I can't remember where they were. (Silom Road area, maybe.) I suspect they're still there, but I'm not looking for any lenses so I haven't looked for them. And there's an eBay seller of vintage gear who is located in Bangkok, but his prices are high. I rarely go into camera stores these days, except to get the sensor of my dslr cleaned. Next time I go in I hope to remember to ask if there might be a repair shop in the city with an optical bench that can fix the Pentacon.

All the best, Bill
01-03-2018, 08:03 PM   #306
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew_Oid Quote
Next time I go in I hope to remember to ask if there might be a repair shop in the city with an optical bench that can fix the Pentacon.
Hi Bill
Don't give up on the 30mm, I've seen gorgeous pictures made with that lens!
I should try again to find a good indipendent repairman in Chiang Mai, that would be great news.
If you ever find one one in Bangkok, please remember to share the info.
I wish you an happy new year

Ciao

Paolo

01-03-2018, 08:23 PM   #307
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Hi Bill
Don't give up on the 30mm, I've seen gorgeous pictures made with that lens!
I should try again to find a good indipendent repairman in Chiang Mai, that would be great news.
If you ever find one one in Bangkok, please remember to share the info.
I wish you an happy new year

Ciao

Paolo
I will, Paolo. Happy New Year.
01-03-2018, 08:54 PM - 1 Like   #308
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Sample photos can be very helpful. They at least show that a lens can take some good pictures, despite whatever limitations it might also have. If the limitations aren't hard for the buyer to work around, the lens could still be very useful.
That is my hope, goats. However, good research is the right way to buy vintage glass. I'll be the first to admit it. But the bokeh on this Pentacon was calling my name, so here it comes. If it pans out at all, I'll be sending to my brother in the Seattle area to play with.

I have plenty of good vintage glass to play with (Zeiss, Takumars, Helios, enlarger, projector), never enough time to do so, however. Spring is always a fun time to capture emerging flora with all its awesome hues and try to create some photo art.

01-08-2018, 11:36 AM - 2 Likes   #309
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Three shots on a snowy January day, CZJ style . . ,.

Here are three shots taken on the K-1 with my newly acquired CZJ Sonnar 180 f 2.8, Star wars edition. This lens is a legend, and I consider myself to be only its temporary custodian.
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01-09-2018, 01:50 AM   #310
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
Here are three shots taken on the K-1 with my newly acquired CZJ Sonnar 180 f 2.8, Star wars edition. This lens is a legend, and I consider myself to be only its temporary custodian.
HI,
I've followed your interest for East Germany lenses (in the "New acquisitions" thread).
I think you'll be happy with their performance on analog medium format too.
This site resamples the pictures, but I still see very good sharpness!
I don't see bad fringing, but it depends very much on the kind of picture...
Can you tell us how does it perform (especially wide open)?
I've tried the Sonnar 2.8/200mm in M42 mount (which just covers FF), and I remember that the lateral CA was very pronounced. The sharpness was impeccable, though.
The 180mm could be quite different in that regard.

Cheers

Paolo

01-09-2018, 04:04 AM   #311
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
HI,
I've followed your interest for East Germany lenses (in the "New acquisitions" thread).
I think you'll be happy with their performance on analog medium format too.
This site resamples the pictures, but I still see very good sharpness!
I don't see bad fringing, but it depends very much on the kind of picture...
Can you tell us how does it perform (especially wide open)?
I've tried the Sonnar 2.8/200mm in M42 mount (which just covers FF), and I remember that the lateral CA was very pronounced. The sharpness was impeccable, though.
The 180mm could be quite different in that regard.

Cheers

Paolo
Thank you Paolo. I have followed your work and other postings and comments also, and have benefited from them so I am very honored to have you notice what I am doing. Yes, I am trying to obtain the best quality of the CZJ lenses, and also have on order several others that ought to get here in a week or so.

It is winter time here, with plenty of snow, so a little difficult to find good subjects for test shots, but I keep trying with the Sonnar, and will do so with the others as they arrive--the Arsat 30mm 3.5 fisheye and the CZJ Biometar 120mm f 2.8.

I am happy so far with the Sonnar 180. Wide open, it shows good subject isolation and what I consider to be quite excellent color rendering with more than satisfactory sharpness. The lens does not achieve the kind of sharpness of modern lens, and if that is all I was looking for I should never have bought any other lens after acuiring the Pentax D FA 50mm f 28 macro, which is tops in that category. What I hope and think I see emerging with the Sonnar is a very good overall rendering which is something difficult to quantify but which you always recognize when you see it.

When all the lenses are in hand, I will run some film either in 135 or 645 format. I have sort of gotten away from 120 film because of the expense and inconvenience of development, but feel a little guilty about it.

Take care, and know that I will treasure your future comments that I am sure I can learn from.
01-09-2018, 08:25 AM   #312
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
Thank you Paolo. I have followed your work and other postings and comments also, and have benefited from them so I am very honored to have you notice what I am doing. Yes, I am trying to obtain the best quality of the CZJ lenses, and also have on order several others that ought to get here in a week or so.

It is winter time here, with plenty of snow, so a little difficult to find good subjects for test shots, but I keep trying with the Sonnar, and will do so with the others as they arrive--the Arsat 30mm 3.5 fisheye and the CZJ Biometar 120mm f 2.8.

When all the lenses are in hand, I will run some film either in 135 or 645 format. I have sort of gotten away from 120 film because of the expense and inconvenience of development, but feel a little guilty about it.

Take care, and know that I will treasure your future comments that I am sure I can learn from.
Thanks.
I try to be useful, though I confess that many info, and most of the wisdom, come from a "master of old cameras" friend who has plenty of first-hand experience about vintage photographic equipments.
He is the same person who converted long time ago some of my Pentacon Six stuff to Pentax 6x7 mount.
He did the Pentacon 500mm and the bellows, the Arsat fisheye required plenty of work/time, so I stopped the program, sold the Pentacon Six, the Arsat, a brand new Kiev with the 80mm Vega, and the Flektogon 50mm.
I kept the two Biometars and a couple of other lenses for 35mm and digital use.
I intended to use the Biometar 80mm with a tilt adapter... that I never purchased
I still have the shift adapter I bought for the Arsat... but it didn't work as intended because defishing at that time didn't work well for architecture (not sure it could, even now).
I even sold and later re-bought a couple of them. I had the all-black late MC versions, and now I have the older ones.
The fellow who did, and still does, my conversions has two lathes, a micrometric burr, and an amazing amount of experience/knowledge of old cameras, and is a very competent collector of stereo cameras. He also owns plenty of old Leitz projectors... which of course have no use with stereo pictures. Quite odd
I remember I brought him a 6x7 macro tube to rip off the bayonet and use it to convert the Pentacon 500mm. When I got back the lens I found that the tube was still whole, and the bayonet had been painstakingly machined anew at the lathe.
He didn't want to ruin an original Pentax extension tube...
When I'm at a loss, he is the source of practical no-nonsense advice.
I am honored to share in another language/context some of the little bits of knowledge he passed on to me.

Cheers

Paolo
03-23-2018, 05:08 AM - 2 Likes   #313
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CZJ Biotar 58mm on Pentax K50

Taken this morning. Spring is here!.

03-26-2018, 08:48 AM - 1 Like   #314
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Pentacon 30mm f3.5

I took my decentered Pentacon 30mm to a repairman in Bangkok who said he could fix it in three days for $30. Three days later he gave it back to me unrepaired. I asked another repairman in the same building if he could fix it and he said he could in a week for $50. I picked it up today. My lens is cosmetically mint so I was holding on to it in the hopes it might be repaired at some time. On the way home I took a picture of a small flower I passed on the street at MFD and f3.5. Only one photo but I think I'm going to like this lens a lot. The repairman who also collects and sells vintage cameras and lenses (nicest collection I've seen) also did some tests in his shop before giving me back the lens. I was very impressed and am by the lens' extraordinary sharpness, beautiful creamy bokeh, colors and field of view. I'm glad I didn't throw it out with my copy of the MOG Domiplan . . .
Original full frame view (Sony A7) and crop.





Handheld, no PP.

Last edited by Andrew_Oid; 03-26-2018 at 08:55 AM.
03-27-2018, 11:03 PM   #315
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Pentacon 30mm f3.5

There's still a slight softness at the right and left edges. Maybe something only I would notice, but I talked to the repairman and will bring it back next week. I suspect the concave element that disperses the light rays is either a touch too close to the element in front of it or if not perfectly identical front and back is installed backwards. Anyway, I did a series of test shots this morning focusing on a near object, an SMC Takumar 85mm f1.8 lens, with the city at infinity behind. I took a photo at every 1/2 stop from f3.5 to f8, then f11, f16, and, why not?, f22. Here are the first and last photos of the series. f22 might actually be usable. There was a very evident increase in sharpness from f16 to f22. (I chose the 85mm Tak because it's physically large enough to be noticeable in a 30mm field of view and would produce an image that might be discernible in the lens, the 85mm that is.)





Oh, and I used a tripod.

Last edited by Andrew_Oid; 03-27-2018 at 11:11 PM.
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