50’s Rage

The 50’s are in! From left, Olympus Zuiko 50mm F1.8; Canon 50mm F1.8 Mk II; Minolta 50mm F1.4 (pre RS), Fujinon 50mm F1.4 (without body).

I recently bought the Olympus from Mustaffa, a friendly guy who teaches black-and-white film processing! (Which is what every self-respecting B&W shooter does, pushing and pulling, dodging and burning, and having your own darkroom with funky chemicals.) Learning that would save a lot on film processing fees, so if you’re interested, email him at mustaffaaziz8@yahoo.com.

Sure, you could shoot black-and-white on digital but you don’t get the same contrast range.

From left: My Olympus OM-2000, Mustaffa’s Leica M6 TTL, his Olympus OM-2.

I finally got to touch a Leica rangefinder! Yes, it was way brighter than Kingsley’s Yashica Electro GSN 35, and the yellow secondary image was very obvious. Its film winder was a lot more refined and discreet, and he installed a soft shutter button.

The cloth shutter, of course, was very quiet.

The OM-2 was also an amazingly engineered camera, with fabric shutter, air cushion dampeners, and various springs to make its mirror so much softer than any other SLR. I couldn’t find the air tunnel they claim softens the sound.

My Olympus family. From left: Vivitar 2x teleconverter, Vivitar 24mm F2.0, Olympus Zuiko 50mm F1.8, Olympus Zuiko 35-70mm F3.5-4.8, Olympus Zuiko 70-210mm F4.5-5.6.

The Olympus Zuiko 50mm F1.8 is amazingly sharp! I think this was either F5.6 or F8. Click on the picture for a bigger view.

I love Fujifilm Superia film. This was the ASA200 version. Gotta love them emerald greens!

Using the 50mm F1.8.

24mm F2 (colors and lightness not adjusted. I love how the contrast is there, but doesn’t kill the shadows. Or maybe my OM-2000 overexposes just a bit.)

Near Burger King, Desa Sri Hartamas.

And now, guess what this is!

Below it, lies this. Yep, Jeff of Ampang Park had a broken Canon 50mm F1.8 Mark II lens lying around, and let me try my hand at fixing it. Note the 5-blade circular aperture.

The front element.

The front element, when reversed in front of another lens, gives awesome barrelling distortion and a closeup factor of about +20, I think. Shot at 35mm F36 ISO1600 with flash (to get enough focus to reach Jeff!) Yes, the Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens was already at infinity.

Switching the lens to Manual Focus disengages the gears.

The front element, mounted on my infrared-modded Fujfilm Digital Q1.

20mm, F22, 1/60, ISO400 with flash.

18mm, F3.5, 1/10, ISO400. Focusing changes the strength of the effect.

45mm, F5.6, 1/15, ISO400.

50mm, F22, 1/80, ISO400 with flash.

This is goood sheeet.

Oh yeah after I was done playing with it, I just applied some force and popped it back on. It worked like magic and focused when I tried it on a Canon EOS 5 at Jeff’s the next day! I didn’t intend to disconnect it again though it had a cool effect. However, if you do permanently disconnect your Canon 50mm F1.8 Mark II, you know you could use the front element for some funky stuff. 😀

9 thoughts on “50’s Rage

  1. wkcheang Post author

    o_O Where can I sign up for lens-hack classes?

    That’s some collection of Zuiko’s you’ve got there. Very wide, very normal, standard zoom, telephoto zoom. Not to mention a TC. Envy overload.

    What was wrong with the EF 50 1.8?

    How did you figure a figure of +20?

  2. Albert Ng Post author

    hedonistan: Thanks!

    Chapree: Shots #5 to #9 were all using Fujifilm Superia. Photoshop can simulate that with the help of Uncle Google. You can find out where your camera is the sharpest by changing to A (Aperture Priority) mode, then shooting one shot in every aperture from F2.8 to F11. At home, examine the shots and you’ll know where your lens is the sharpest.

    wkcheang: The Canon 50mm F1.8 Mark II was decapitated; the front element snapped off. When reversed on a lens set to infinity, focus was at 5cm.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *