Get Your Poise On

One night, Justin and I kidnapped KJ and brought him to a undisclosed location where he would be brainwashed.

I met my match, a Minolta lens geek who did some frankenstein lens hacking.

Guess what lens this was shot with!

Yes, it’s the old Minolta MD W.Rokkor 35mm F1.8. He duct-taped a MD-to-A-mount adapter to its base. It is beautiful wide open.

Then came this wonderful softie…

…the famous bargain, the Jupiter-9 85mm F2.0 lens in M42 mount. It has 15 aperture blades! However, it did nothing for bright-line bokeh… unlike the Minolta 85mm F1.4G which has one of the best bokeh renditions of the A-mount auto-focusing lenses. (The 135mm F2.8/T4.5 STF does not count despite being the best bokeh lens ever because it’s manual focus only.)

Now when I say bokeh, it’s a subjective term, but I mean a bit more than just “ooo wow big circles in the background!” The big circles have to be non-distracting.

Also, note that the Jupiter-9 did not have great separation when wide open. Good separation means that the background looks 2D and creamy, and not too contrasty… while the subject is 3D and has a pop that stands out from the background.

Speaking of which, the picture of the Jupiter-9 above was taken with my Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4.0 EX at 35mm F4.0. Here, you see that the image is 2 distinct layers – the lens being held by my hand, and the blurred out background. The Sigma shows good separation here… and often looks better with better light.

Then there was this oddity…

…a frankenstein made of two lenses. The geek (who shall remain unnamed) combined a broken Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 with something else. I can’t say it was of functional use, though.

Then, we stalked a shop across the road!

This was a T-mount Maksutov MC MTO-11CA 1000mm F10 lens (note the DIY handle). The little dude next to it is my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye (originally T-mount but with a T-mount to M42 adapter and M42 to A-mount adapter).

Catadioptric mirror lens!

Some kind of monster. The brand name is not even written on the lens!

Beware KJ for he is armed and ready to shoot.

Top: Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 on Tamron 1.4x teleconverter on Kenko 2x teleconverter on Sony Alpha 100 for 1100mm F16. Autofocus light enabled, focal length reported so it can use Super SteadyShot, can zoom, doesn’t have donut out-of-focus spots, lighter and heavier towards the mount which is good.
Bottom: Maksutov 1000mm F10 on Sony Alpha 700 for 1000mm F10. Focal length not reported so it can’t be stabilized, but it’s way brighter at F10. The lens is so big it is a challenge to fit your fingers in between to hold the camera grip!


Exactly 1 week later, Justin and I found that we had succeeded in our brainwash mission.

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