I have decided to move to BlogSpot for future posts.  It's better integrated with my Gmail account, although I like the way LiveJournal works, especially the editor.

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The Wait Is Over
It's been exactly 4 weeks since I ordered the c-mount to micro-4/3 adapter for my G1, and it sure took its time to arrive.  Absolutely the most eagerly waited adapter ever, since I have some of the fastest glasses I own in c-mount to try out.  The adapter was purchased from JinFinance on eBay.  Very well made and works wonderfully.  The only problem with c-mount lenses is that the lens to sensor register is actually shorter than the G1, so the lens has to be mounted in a way that goes further into the sensor than the mount otherwise allows.  This limitation make larger c-mount lenses unable to focus to infinity.  My JML 50mm f0.95 is one such lens.  Too bad, but at least it can focus to about 1.5 meters away.  All other smaller ones focus to infinity without problems.

Below are few pictures from some of the c-mount lenses I tried.  Very intriguing. Very different than the normal SLR lenses I have used.

Dallmeyer Speed 25mm f1.5 -- Gorgeously made lens and produces very interesting images with swirlling background:

Iris - Panasonic G1 with Dallmeyer Speed Anastigmat 1 inch (25mm) f1.5 at f1.5

Pine cone & bokeh -- Panasonic G1 with Dallmeyer Speed Anastigmat 1 inch f1.5 at f1.5.

JML 50mm f0.95 TV Lens -- I acquired this lens by pure luck.  It came with a sister lens, the 25mm f0.95, but unfortunately vignettes heavily.  In fact, it has dark corners.

Ryan -- Panasonic G1 with JML 50mm f0.95 shot at f0.95.  You can look at the 100% crop here from this picture

The extremely shallow depth of field can throw away any messy background -- Panasonic G1 with JML 50mm f0.95 TV Lens.

Kern Paillard Switar 75mm f1.9 -- One of the most popular c-mount lenses for the G1.  It's a beautiful lens.  Too bad it's not the Macro version.

Notice that it also has the swirlling background, just not as severe as the Dallmeyer.  Panasonic G1 with Switar 75mm f1.9

Please note that this will be my last post for the LiveJournal.  I am switching to Blogger starting next post.  I will post a link to the new blog when it's ready.

Ride for Heart
"Becel Ride for Heart" has been an annual event for over 20 years. Each year, part of the Gardener Express Way and the Don Valley Parkway were closed for the event. Bikers can ride the freeway without any cars sharing the road (except emergency vihecles). Millions of dallors are raised each year for the life saving medical research. This year's event was held on Sunday June 6. More than 13,000 people with bikes attended the event.

I dropped my son off to the ride at the CNE ground, where the bikers started their ride. On the way there and the way home, many marvelous and nice bikes are everywhere! Never saw so many nice bikes (and not so nice ones) in one place.

At the end, I only took a few pictures of the CNE ground from the card, since traffic was pretty bad.

Direct Energy Center, Canadian Exhibition Place -- Panasonic G1 with Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9

Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm f2.8 M42 Mount
When I first got into the manual focus lens craze, I only used M42 mount lenses because M42 to EOS adapter was the only game in town.  This was my most expensive M42 lens when I bought it four years ago in one of the camera shows.  The cost was $150.  It was in good condition but the focusing ring was very stiff (common to most old East German lenses).  It cost me another $120 to have it cleaned and lubricated.  Four years later, it's still one of my favourite lenses, along with the Carl Zeiss Jena 80mm f1.8.

Over a kilograms in weight, this lens is very heavy, but hand holding is quite possible on full frame and even APS-C sensor cameras.  Much tougher on the G1 since it's equivalent to 400mm.  For serious shooting, a tripod is a must.

What do I like about this lens?  Exceptionally sharp even at wide apertures, beautiful bokeh, and great colours. It's one of those lenses that you will never let go, especially this particluar version which is hard to find, and when it does turn up, expensive.

OK, what's the bad?  Very long minimum focus distance at 2 meters (about 10 feet).  Heavy is another minus, but fast glass mean heavy.  Lens hood is too short for the focal length, but it's better than nothing.

Despite its rather high price tag, I feel very lucky to own it. 

Panasonic G1 with Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 200mm f2.8 (M42)

Canon 1D with Carl Zeiss Jena 200mm f2.8

Pentacon 200mm f4 M42 mount
A few years back, I had a family of Pentacon lenses. All of them are optically excellent.  One of my favourite was the 29mm f2.8 and the cheaper 30mm f3.5 pre-set.  Yes, they do have odd focal lengths.  They were all sold to fund other toys and only a couple of 50mm f1.8 MC left, plus this 200mm f4.  Perhaps one day, I will buy them all back.

This lens has a pre-set type aperture, which I actually prefer, because I don't have to worry about stuck apertures, oil in blades (some pre-set lenses actually have oil in blades on purpose to lubricate them), broken springs, etc.  Typical of Pentacon (and the Carl Zeiss Jena) lenses, the focus ring is stiff, but optically I have no complains about it.  It's usable wide open, and stopped down a click, it's extremely sharp.  Most Pentcons have nice bokeh, especially the longer focal lengths.

Focusing is tricky on the G1, because it's equivalent to a 400mm f4 lens.  At this focal length, lens shake is a big problem but not unmanageable. As with most old lenses, minimum focus distance is pretty far out, and in this particular example, 2.5 meters (about 8 feet).

Build quality is not bad, but not in the class of the Takumars.  Then again, how many lenses are?

Iris -- G1 with Pentacon 200mm f4 (M42)

Steiheil Munchen Culminar 85mm f2.8
Bought this Exakta mount lens from a Camera show. Very compact lens for an 85mm focal length. Has Pre-set aperture. Exakta mount can be removed and replaced with another mount. This lens was sold with both Exakta and Leica L39 mount. Since I don't have an Exakta adapter, I put a T-mount to Minolta Mount adapter over the Exakta mount (that's how small the lens and its mount is) and managed to use it to snap a few pictures. Unfortunately, as expected, I could not focus to infinity, only to about 2 meters.

Can't really say anything about the image quality yet. I only took a dozen pictures with it, and only a couple of them turned out viewable, but I like the compactness. This lens would probably better used on full frame than on the G1.

Rust -- G1 with Steinheil Culminar 85mm f2.8

Leica Elpro 3 Close-Up Filter
Close up filters, once a very popular accessory for lenses to get macro shots without a macro lens, because they were cheap, has become a rarity today.  In fact, a lot of people don't even know what they are any more.  Doesn't matter how you slice it, a screw on close-up lens (often uncoated, or not multi-coated) may give you acceptable quality at the center, but the edge is always soft.  If you are serious about macro, there are other alternative:  A true macro lens -- most expensive but gives you the best quality; Extension tubes -- cheaper but you lose light, among depends on length of the tubes; reverse mount rings -- mount your lens in reverse to achieve very high magnification.

Some times, a well designed close-up lens can be a good compromise between quality, cost and convience.  I have the Leica Elpro 3 for a while, but never used it, because I have quite a few macro lenses.  The batch of Minolta mount lenses that I have started to use, all have 55mm filter thread, like the Elpro 3 does.  So I tried it out yesterday and today, and I am very happy with the results.  Images are still very sharp, and due to the 2X crop factor, the G1 does not see the "edge".  Below a few sample shots:

G1 with Minolta 35mm f1.8 & Leica Elpro 3 Close-Up Filter

The Elpro 3 does not seem to alter the nice bokeh of the Minolta 35mm f1.8.

G1 with Minolta MD 135mm f2.8 with Leica Elpro 3.  Very sharp lens, by the way.


It's amazing that pretty much everywhere we look, there are signs of all kinds - G1 with Konica 57mm f1.4

Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9
Continue my lens testing with the Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9.  This lens gets pretty positive reviews by many owners.  This particluar copy has a serial that starts with 37, which means it was made by Tokina.  It is a very well built lens with a 58mm filter size.  The rear element is also unusually large.  I believe it uses a floating element to improve close focus performance.  Come to think about this, a lens designed about 30 years ago can incorporate a floating element in design, and yet, Canon's flagship 50mm f1.2L costing many times the amount, doesn't even have it, and this generates a lot of negative sentiments from 50L owners, me included.

Anyway, I took the long way home again, as the sky was cloudy and with a bit of rain.  This was the best weather to photograph so I decided to photograph the Gooderham Flatiron again.  The heavy fog partially blank out the background buildings, making the Flatiron really stood out on its own.  I shot mostly around f4 to f8 so wide apertures is not tested.  The lens didn't disappoint at these apertures.  Very sharp and the colour was terrific.  Since there is no sun today, flare resistance was not tested.  Close up and wide aperture testing will be done later when time permits. 

Suddenly, with the arrival of the MD to 4/3 adapter mount, I have so many "new" lenses available to play with. 

Gooderham Flatiron, always a great place for photograph -- G1 with Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9.  Aperture is probably f5.6 or f8

Bicycle crying out for help, but the thief got a way -- G1 with Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9 at f4

Flower -- G1 with Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9 at f2.8

Minolta MC W.Rokkor-HH 35mm f1.8
The Minolta Rokkor-HH 35mm f1.8, together with the MD mount Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9, as well as the MD to 4/3 adapter all came today.  I was excited to try them out, especially the Minolta.

The 35mm f1.8 Rokkor is a big and heavy lens.  This particluar one is in near mint condition.  Very clean and everything works smoothly.  It's about the same length as the Vivitar 35mm f1.9, but heavier.  As with most wide angle lenses, this Rokkor can focus down to 0.3 meter (or 12 inches), same as the Vivitar 35mm f1.9.

Took it out for some quick snap shots to get a feel of the lens.  So far, I like it, both optically and in build quality.  Wide open, it does not seem to be as sharp as the Vivitar 35mm f1.9, but need further testing to confirm.

Anyway, I have a few MD/MC mount lenses that I want to try out, including the already mentioned Vivitar Series 1 28mm f1.9, Vivitar 35mm f1.9, Kiron 28mm f2, and a Vivitar Cult Classic 35-85mm f2.8 in MD mount.  Ahh, having new toys is always fun.

Taken with G1 and Minolta 35mm f1.8 wide open at f1.8.  I do think the bokeh is quite nice for a wide angle.

G1 and Minolta 35mm f1.8 -- aperture is probably f1.8

G1 and Minolta 35mm f1.8 -- Not sure about the aperture.  Probably f2.8


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