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Forum: Lens Clubs 02-27-2017, 11:53 AM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
^^ Love the chess board!
Forum: Lens Clubs 02-26-2017, 12:14 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
This lens setup is interesting. It can focus across a wide range from infinity all the way to semi short distance macro. I have a bunch of 40-58mm lenses and none of them can focus this closely. Results at infinity are a little odd, almost a plastic toy lomo lens look. Close focus is interesting as well as you cant stop the lens down from its only aperture, f/1.2. When focused at "normal" distances it looks more like a telephoto than its equivalent 52mm. I have another projector lens I am playing with. It is really interesting for close up but it does not do any distance well. Nice for flowers but not much else.

Lately I am lusting over the famous WWII surveillance camera lens, namely the huge Kodak Aero Ektar 7"/2.5 but you need a specific Speed Graphic with internal shutter which all gets expensive. This lens works brilliantly on a 4x5 camera but the effect is waisted on smaller formats. It is also quite radio active.
Forum: Lens Clubs 02-25-2017, 04:11 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
The Meopta Meostigmat 1/50 is a well known and proven contender in this arena. There are several forum threads on the web if you hunt around.

Look forward to seeing some pics!

---------- Post added 02-25-2017 at 03:19 PM ----------

A couple of new attempts...

Gasworks park in Seattle

Valentines Day rose

Quick model test

Forum: Lens Clubs 02-10-2017, 01:32 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
Went out for a fun evening a few weeks back with this lens. Tried some "night" stuff...

---------- Post added 02-10-2017 at 12:33 PM ----------

Lens update:

As previously noted I deployed a very DIY focussing system for this lens. The body of the lens was inserted into a Sony E mount three extension tube set with the actual lens body wrapped in black velvet that had an adhesive backing. This acted as a primitive focussing system. It was ok but after some time the primitiveness began to bug me.

What to do? The goofy thread on the barrel of the projection lens did not match any lens thread system I know of. I tried a few things and then found eventual success. I bought a M52 - M42 focussing helicoid adapter. I hoped the lens would fit into the M52 end. I also bought a super thin M42 - Sony E mount adapter to go on the back end of the focussing helicoid adapter.

Problem: the threaded body of the lens was just a bit too thick in diameter to fit into the focussing helicoid adapter. I thought about grinding off all the threads on the lens myself but that would mean removing a couple of inches of material. Doing that evenly with a grinder or Dremel tool was not appetizing. I then went wondering down into a part of town that had boat yards and a couple of machine shops. I found a small enthusiastic shop. After looking at the focussing helicoid adapter and the lens we decided to remove some of the inner material of the focussing helicoid adapter itself rather than touch the lens. This had to be done carefully so as not to remove too much of the inner focussing helicoid adapter which might make the back of the lens recede too far into the camera.

The shop did a great job. The lens now fits into the focussing helicoid adapter just perfectly. I can now get really close focus plus infinity focus. To make sure the lens stayed secure I added some silicone to the machined section of the focussing helicoid adapter. I also added a rubber O-ring to the back end of the system to help keep moisture out and make it it look more polished.

Bonus: I found that I could unscrew the ugly front threaded ring on the projector lens and substitute two of the threaded extension tube sections. This helps keep everything snug and tight and looking good!

The lens now focuses more easily and accurately. The focussing helicoid adapter is not as smooth as a real high end lens but it is certainly good enough for this project.

I thought about adding some kind of aperture system but quickly abandoned that idea: the fun part of this venture is the fast f/1.2 fixed aperture.

Here is how the lens looks now...

Some closeup tests (that little car is tiny)...

Forum: Lens Clubs 01-10-2017, 04:57 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
I am not sure any of these projector lenses are worth pursuing for traditional distance or landscape photography, unless part of the objective is to feature the aberrations and focus issues these lenses have. Most images you see online are flowers and such, in a very macro style. But they can be used for wider, more medium distant subjects with an interesting look...
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-08-2017, 01:42 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
When I started my newspaper career I used three Pentax LX bodies and lenses ranging from 20-400. I had these fancy hexagonal shaped Beatie focusing screens in the cameras. This was a GREAT manual focus system. The Pentax A* 85/1.4 was one of the very best lenses I have ever used.

The EOS system was a solid auto focus platform and helped me with long lenses and sports, etc. But I have always loved all kinds of lenses and got into the "Alt Lens" movement and adapted all kinds of optics to the Canon EF mount. Problem is that all of the Canon digital bodies were just lousy at manual focus, especially when using fast f/1.2 lenses like the Minolta Rokkor PG 58/1.2. You get a bright image but not enough focus accuracy feedback. It looks like you have good focus but the keeper rate was a let down, even with different view screens. Most new cameras don't even allow to switch view screens anymore.

The mirrorless EFV cameras with zebra stripes, focus peaking and manual focus magnifying buttons are a game changer. But you need a camera with a high res EFV. So far the Sony a7RII is perhaps the best option. You can also easlily mount just about any lens on these cameras with little or no modification surgery. This all helps when focusing on razor thin subjects using funky projection lenses mounted in cheap(ish) Chinese helicoids.

I have not tried it but the Pentax K1 camera looks like it pumps out super great images. I am not sure how well it does with oddball manual focus tasks though.

---------- Post added 01-08-2017 at 12:54 PM ----------

I did get the Dukane 3" f/2.5 lens. It's tiny. Right now I have it wrapped in gaffer tape and stuffed into an old macro focus rail. Looks very cool. I think I will deploy this lens for tight close up subjects though. It really does not add anything at longer distances.
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-08-2017, 12:51 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
A few more...

---------- Post added 01-08-2017 at 11:53 AM ----------

Interesting to compare how this forums' image upload system renders pics: these have noticeably reduced saturation and appear slightly darker...
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-08-2017, 12:45 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
Thanks! I used to use a ton of manual focus "A" series Pentax lenses which I totally regret selling to buy EOS gear years ago. I still use the 50/1.4 Super Tak and the M 40/2.8 pancake lenses.

I now have two projector lens projects on the go. I had no idea how addictive and time consuming this would all become. The f/1.2 lens is just fun, quite sharp/soft in a interesting way. I going to upgrade my mount system. Right now I have the barrel thread of the lens wrapped in adhesive backed black velvet which is then inserted into a open 3 piece extension tube set with a Sony E mount that I use on the Sony a7RII. The velvet acts as a primitive helicoid. This Sony is by far the most manual focus friendly digital camera I have used. My mount upgrade (waiting for parts) will be an Ultra Slim Sony E to M42 adaptor plus M42 to M52 helicoid with the lens inserted into the front of the 52mm end. I then I will use a 48mm - 49mm step up ring which will allow me to use common 49mmm filters and lens hoods. Hoods are a must for these projects...

Some pics (starting with the current lens adaptation):
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-07-2017, 06:09 PM  
The "Projector Lens" Club ...
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 352
Views: 76,218
Really impressive work here guys!!!

I picked up a Telex brand 52mm f/1.2 projector lens that was made in Japan and have been enjoying tons of fun with it. Not quite in the macro world like most of the images displayed here.

Question: if you had the same subject to lens distances what differences in rendering, bokeh, etc, would you expect between the Diaplan 80mm f2.8 and the Dukane 3" (76mm) f2.5 lenses?

{I am shooting with a Sony a7RII, but I was once a huge Pentax fan; so not sure if I should be posting images here though?}
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-30-2016, 04:11 PM  
What's your favorite K-mount Legacy lens & why?
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 64
Views: 7,946
Used to own a lot of classic Pentax lenses but my favorite would have to be the A* 85/1.4
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-30-2008, 07:26 PM  
Your All Time Favorite Pentax Lens?
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 76
Views: 8,209
Definitely the A*85/1.4.

I used to own a lot of great Pentax glass and this is the lens I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from selling.

The number two spot would be the A*200/2.8 ED and the number three spot would be the A*20/2.8.

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-29-2008, 07:24 PM  
Voigtlander Nokton 58mm F/1.4 Review!
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 500
Views: 143,681
Great thread!

It's interesting how many photographers are working with different camera and lens brand combinations.

There are some wonderful lenses that have a sort of dual character/personality: wide open and closed down.

I have recently gotten into the "alt lens world". It's fascinating. I have adapted a bunch of lenses to work with the 5D bodies. Right now my favorite is another 58mm classic: the Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 (older version with metal grip). This lens has become the "rock star" of the alt lens world. Prices are high for this lens now. But this Rokkor just blows me away with its performance. It has dreamy character wide open but at f/2.0 it's really sharp. By f/4.0 its just stunning...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-03-2008, 08:01 PM  
Travelling with Limiteds (using Film) - New York Edition
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 30
Views: 4,161
Nice thread!

And some nice pics!

Question: overall would you say the most satisfaction came from shooting film for film's sake or was it using the Limiteds in the true focal length format that they designed for?

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-02-2008, 09:31 AM  
Pentax A 600 mm f5.6
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 22
Views: 4,307
I used to have the white A* 400/2.8 and that lens began a focus stiffness problem. The focusing action was not as smooth as it once was. I found out that there were these tiny white plastic roller washer things that were part of the internal focus action. At the time I got replacements from Pentax which fixed the problem...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-30-2008, 09:34 PM  
Full length (super)telephoto portraits?
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 14
Views: 19,293
It all depends on the subject to lens distance, how much of the subject fills the frame, the depth of field wanted, the bokeh character, the price you are willing to pay for the lens, and how well a fast lens performs near wide open. In short there are a ton of variables here.

I have tried a lot of options in this arena. My most recent favorite is the rare Minolta Rokkor 58/1.2 lens adapted to a FF camera shot at f/2 which yields simply incredible results...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-30-2008, 09:24 PM  
Pentax A 600 mm f5.6
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 22
Views: 4,307
Great topic!

Generally a good 1.4x converter will be better than a 2x converter. To get the best results you need the best lens and converter combination possible.

If you are using a really long lens that is slower than f4 and a converter you will need to be manual focusing the combined system you are using. I find that many auto focus digital SLR's are poor manual focusing machines period. The auto focus system and the manual focus system are two different systems really. If you are using a modern digital camera then I would test the manual focus accuracy by shooting a long scale ruler or focus test chart wide open with a fast lens. Often the results of such a test will show that your camera's manual focus screen and shim combination will yield some back or front focus error. Adding the correct focus shim will give better accuracy when manually focusing a good lens.

In short: test your camera and viewfinder before you really suspect your lens is the problem. Do some tests and then if you can test your lens with what I think is the ultimate Pentax performer: a well calibrated Pentax LX body (probably the finest manual focus machine ever developed by Pentax)

My hunch is that your A 600/5.6 is a way better performer than you realize...

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-28-2008, 01:30 PM  
DA vs FA Limited and the question of full frame digital
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 27
Views: 4,114
I have used quite a few digital bodies with different crop sensors. I think these have included 1.3x, 1.4x, 1.6x etc.

After having used film cameras for years it always seemed disconcerting when the trusted lens you reach for seemed "different" somehow. Sure, it was a cheap and lighter way of getting a longer telephoto but the wide angles were always a pain. Even using the portrait 85mm seemed "wrong" on a crop body. I sometimes resorted to renting the Canon 1DS body for specific assignments.

Everything changed with the Canon 5D body. It did not have all of the professional bells and whistles but what a camera! The large files, large screen, great IQ and full frame capture for the price made it an irresistible choice. Canon sold tons of them. It became the club to bash Nikon with: "When will Nikon come out with a FF camera?" Once Nikon came out with their own FF camera they enticed quite a few Canon shooters with these cameras and new lenses. Many, many Canon and Nikon crop body owners have upgraded to the FF system(s) or dream of doing so.

I sold all of my crop bodies and the 5D is my weapon of choice now.

Look at the huge buzz the New 5d MK II is getting. People just can't wait to get their hands on one. It is probably the most anticipated Canon camera ever.

Most professionals and serious shooters want a FF camera. For some its the extra IQ, the focal length familiarity of their lenses, the fact that they have film lenses, bragging rights, or a combination of all of these factors.

I have skimmed through a lot of posts on this board about the Pentax FF issue. Many shooters are happy with APS cameras, many really want a FF camera option and then there are many that are just curious. But its still the elephant in the room. My hunch is that a good portion of those who think the APS system is good enough have never tried working with FF cameras or the files they produce.

Over the decades people have regarded Pentax as a company that swings into irrelevancy every decade or so. Its always "going out of business" in some eyes. But Pentax has always marched to its own tune somehow: developing some great products, producing great lenses, offering some professional systems (like medium format), etc, etc. But Pentax has always been inconsistent with its marketing strategy and product range, especially for the serious or pro shooter. Take a look at the Pentax LX system for example. This system was Pentax's real big push into the professional/serious shooter market. The LX was a stunning system with tons of options and a full line of great "A" series glass. It was expensive to produce and a real worthy challenger to the Canon F1 and the Nikon F3, but Pentax never really pushed the camera or marketed it well. Tons of shooters had no idea that Pentax had such a camera or an extensive line of lenses. When I first showed up court-side at the US Open (tennis) in New York with the "A"*400/2.8 all the media shooters were amazed that Pentax made such a lens.

These days there are serious gaps in the Pentax line. There are no FF cameras and the longer telephoto choices are no way near as complete as the "A" series offerings of 20 years ago.

If Pentax came out with a serious FF camera I think a lot of people would jump at it. But then there is the issue of what lenses would be available for such a camera? Most of the newer Pentax lenses are APS only. Could Pentax afford to produce a new FF camera AND a fresh line of FF lenses? A lot of comments say "no." The flip side is that without a FF system and new lenses a lot of people regard Pentax as a low tier company. Part of Canon and Nikon's success with amateurs was they created a buzz with the high end professional stuff: even though most amateurs would never buy the top of the line camera or a 300/2.8 lens they liked the image/fantasy of "someday" adding one of these goodies to their own kit. Pentax does not have this arrow in their marketing quiver. For Pentax its sort of a "chicken or the egg" syndrome.

In the future camera imaging chips will get cheaper/better and I think more FF bodies will be offered. A lot of amateurs think getting a FF camera as the "next step" upwards in their photography. Wether this is technically accurate or just marketing it is a big deal. Especially for a camera company that does not have one...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-26-2008, 11:26 AM  
Looking for some info on 2 older lenses (fisheye & super wide)
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 4
Views: 1,556
How cheap?

The circular fisheye is worth money if the condition is decent. Its a very limited lens though in that the novelty wears off pretty quickly.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-18-2008, 10:19 AM  
Zeiss Distagon T* 3,5/18 ZK
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 4
Views: 3,357
The lens everyone is waiting on is the Zeiss Distagon T* 21/2.8 in the Canon, Nikon and Pentax mounts. The old Contax 21/2.8 is known to be the best super wide ever made.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-15-2008, 12:43 PM  
Zeiss Jena FLEKTOGON 35/2,8
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 4
Views: 3,952
I don't know, I have never used one.

The 2.8 version is the older single coated lens. The "newer" 2.4 version is multi coated and probably better.

See this:

I think you are going to have to dig around for info and then come to a conclusion on your own...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-15-2008, 10:33 AM  
Takumars - 35mm
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 13
Views: 2,975
For the price of entry trying a decent Tak is a no brainer.

Sure a modern wide ranging zoom is easier to use. But try spending a good outing with a nice Tak and you might like the feel of the lens, its brightness through the viewfinder, the slightly lower contrast, the "dreaminess" wide open, etc, etc. The focusing on these lenses is so smooth as well.

Some cameras might not be the perfect manual focusing machine though. Quite of then the focus screen is not that accurate for fast manual focus lenses. New digital cameras also feature bright focus screens without much matte contrast, which can make fine manual focusing difficult. Sometimes folks will think a manual focus lens is not that sharp wide open, but it is usually focusing issues with the human eye and modern cameras that are to blame.

But try it. Shooting with primes lenses will make you think about framing your shots more and make you move around instead of standing there zooming back and forth...

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-15-2008, 10:06 AM  
Zeiss Jena FLEKTOGON 35/2,8
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 4
Views: 3,952
I think some of the Fleks are really nice lenses and much cheaper when compared to some of the Zeiss lenses.

You may not get much response here. I would do a search here instead: Alternative Gear & Lenses - FM Forums
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-13-2008, 11:28 PM  
shoot out DA*50-135 v.s. A50 A*85 A100 A*135
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 42
Views: 9,396
Beautiful model!!!

But I think this is not the best way to do the test of all these great lenses. There are too many variables here. I would use static subjects under the exact same lighting conditions, all focused in the same way, with the same camera, mounted a tripod(using a cable release), same white balance , etc, etc. Find a subject with blacks, whites and a good range of colors. Use proven Kodak test images as a guide of for creating your test still life.

The more you control the variables the more accurate the test will be. Using auto focus on some lenses and manual focusing on manual lenses will give misleading results. Its hard to get really good manual focus with a modern digital SLR with a really fast 1.4 or 1.2 lens. This test should not be about the camera but instead focus on the lenses.

Now go out and get your model a great treat of her choosing...

Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-13-2008, 11:14 PM  
50mm sharpness: Pentax, Cosina, Voigtlander and Tamron
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 11
Views: 4,398

Which camera are you using? Are you using auto focus on some of the lenses? Are you manually focusing the manual focus lenses and using auto focus on the the auto lenses?

Lots of variables here. Getting accurate manual focus at f/1.2 (manual lenses) is really hard with a digital camera. The manual focus accuracy is just not that good with modern cameras.

I have gone through all kinds of work in getting accurate focus with a 5D using a Takumar 50/1.4 and a Rokkor 58/1.2. Both of these lenses perform way better than I first gave them credit for...
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-12-2008, 11:13 AM  
FA*85/1.4 vs FA77/1.8 (photos)
Posted By Photomaximum
Replies: 54
Views: 14,758
Good test.

I would give the nod to the 85...
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