Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Russian Glass

One nice thing about having a Contax  or Leica camera is that there are some really cheap lenses out there.
Not Zeiss or Leica glass, but Russian lenses made from German tooling gotten from after WWII.
Lot o'glass made in Leica M39 mount or Contax mount is available as the Russians, or Soviets if you will, made/stole cameras based on German designs.
Okay, they copied.
Sort of.
Or something.
Anyways, nice lenses can be had for very little compared to the 'real' German stuff.
For instance this nice Contax mount Helios lens:

The lens fits on my Nikon S2 because the mounts are basically the same and lenses below 50mm will work on both cameras.
The Nikkor 5cm lens runs about $250, the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar about $175 and this Helios 53mm f1.8 cost me $32.
The Russian versions are basically Zeiss clones made on tooling won/stolen during the war.
The quality seems to be hit or miss, but this version seems to work pretty well:

I think for the price even if you get a bad version, it's not really a bad deal and one can always get another to test out.
I mean this is for film so in my case a little quirkiness is a good thing.

For $32 it's a lens I can go out with and bang around and trust me, my stuff does get banged around some, and I wouldn't have to worry about it breaking.
Leave that collectable expensive glass at home.
Or to just shoot something different.
I got more coming in, a couple of Jupiter lenses, and we'll take a better look at them later.
I've been busy recently putting some stuff together at work.
If you remember last year, I did a digital media thingy that didn't work out too well but what the hell I'm doing it again.
This time we're going to add some 2D work and I'm going to try and add a juried photo exhibit too.
I'm also trying to organize a tri-school photo exhibit, but that may not happen; I'm meeting this week with a person in charge of a space I want to use.
For sure the tri-school show is happening next year though, I already got gallery space reserved for that.
Busy, busy, busy!
Well okay, not that busy.
Truth is, I've been posting over on Ello, a new social thingy.
It's mostly artsy folks and it's add free so it's pretty interesting.
I think if you click the link that takes you to my page, you can roam about a bit, or maybe not as the place is still invitation only.
Lemme know if it's interesting and you'd like to try it.
I got invitations.


Chandra said...

These photos are terrific.
I like the fronds in the last photo.
If you scroll up and down the page fast, the individual pieces (leaves) of the frond seem to move in a funky way - psychedelic baby!
Have a Great Day!
Peace :)

John Romeo Alpha said...

That shipping container w/door is wonderful. I don't know exactly why, but it's great.

Steve A said...

Personally, I prefer the M42 lenses as made in the DDR in Jena and Dresden. Lots of Russian lenses fit this mount as well, in addition to the Pentax screw thead lenses.

Steve A said...

For example, my Pentacon 50mm lens is EXCELLENT!