Sunday, April 17, 2016

Toronto Camera Show - April 2016

I was looking forward to this show, but at the end, it was a huge disappointment.  Oh well, higher expectations would yield bigger disappointments.

I was hoping I could find some nice large aperture rangefinder cameras that I could get to play with, but all I got was a Canonet 19 and a Konica S2, both with a stuck aperture.  Not exactly a bargain at $15 each, but hopefully I can use them as practice pieces to fix the apertures.

Canonet 19 and Konica S2 with stuck apertures.

Picked up a Topcon Uni with a 35mm f3.5 UV and a 100mm f4 UV.  The 100mm f4 is the only reason I bought, since I already have a 35mm f3.5.  I did not know the 100mm f4 even existed.  I am not a big fan of UV Topcors but I could use the mount from the body to make an adapter for my A7.  $30 seems like an OK deal.

Topcon Uni with 100mm f4 and 35mmf 3.5.

I seem to have a couple of A. Schacht lenses so I picked up the 50mm f1.8 Edixa-S-Travelon-A to expand this new family :)  The lens has a slight dent on the rim, a small disappointment.  Hopefully it's not de-centered.  Way overpaid at $50.

A.Schacht 50mm f1.8 M42 Mount.

Lastly, a Russian Industar 75mm f3.5.  At first I didn't know it was an enlarging lens.  This lens has a very nice built-in hood that's not removable.  I like the focal length so why not.  $20.  Hopefully it will be a nice picture maker.

That's it.  In a way, I am glad I didn't spend too much money at the show.  On the other hand, I am disappointed that I didn't get anything interesting.

Another, larger camera show next month.  There is hoping, again :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Photo Equipment Repair Advice Needed

When our beloved gear falls to the ground, our heart will sink with it, usually both break on impact.  Anyone who has done any out-of-warranty repair work will know how expensive it is to get photo equipment repaired.

Last June my D810 with the AF-S 28-70mm f2.8 fell to the gravel ground when the tripod toppled.  It was a short fall as the tripod legs were not extended, and both camera and lens didn't seem to suffer any damage, and both were working.  But few months later, the lens would not focus; it just racks to infinity and stays there.  Of all the wide angle lenses I have used, the AF-S 28-70mm f2.8 is my favourite.  I had used the Canon 28-70mm f2.8L, as well as 17-35mm f2.8L, 17-40mm f4L, 16-35mm f2.8L and 16-35mm f2.8L II, and none of them were as sharp as this one.  I have gotten some very fine images from this lens with the D810 and I really want to get this lens fixed, but I keep putting it off.

Frankly, Nikon repair costs scare me.  Their estimate and repair cost often is half cost of a new lens, and I am left with two choices for repair in Toronto: Toronto Camera Service or Sun Camera Service.  Both have very good reviews.

Toronto Camera Service is very close to me, but I have never dealt with them before.  One the other hand, I have good experience with Sun Camera.  I once sent the 24mm f1.4L to Canon to remove a large piece of metal shaving from inside the elements and Canon sent it to Sun Camera, which is an authorized Canon Repair centre, and they did a really good job.  I also had my Canon 135mm f2.8 Soft Focus lens that was dropped with broken AF switch and wouldn't focus, and they fixed it for $99, that included cleaning the lens elements that had a lot of dust, which I think is very reasonable.  But, they are just so far away from me.

If you have ever repaired an Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f2.8 lens, how much did you pay for the repair?  I want to get a ball park figure before going for an estimate, which carries a fee from both repair centres.

Sugar Beach in the Morning - Fujifilm Fujinon 4.5cm f1.9 Rangefinder Lens on Sony A7.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To Lathe or Not to Lathe

As many of you know, I have been doing pretty much all of my lens conversions, modifications with glue, tape, and filter rings and a Dremel.  It's getting to the point where I am not happy about this BAND-AID solution any more.  I really want to use the right tools, such as a lathe, and a milling machine, but I have zero experience with either, so I started reading more about these tools, especially the mini-lathes.

To start with, what I want is really simple.  A tool that allows me to create a tube/ring that can be securely mounted on a lens, like an enlarging lens, and then mate to a helicoid or a lens mount, with precision, and if it looks nicer, that would be a bonus.  I probably don't even need to do threading initially, but I would love to be able to create threads like M39 or M42 that can easily work with other standard parts, but cutting threads is probably not easy with a mini-lathe.

The world of the lathe is full of confusion for beginners like me.  The dazzling variety of them is already headache inducing, but it's the accessories/tools needed to make the lathe work, that really screw my head and sometimes I feel I am slipping into a coma out of helplessness. One resource I highly recommend, is Frank Hoose, whose site is an excellent source of information.  However, I am more of a visual person, and Frank's Youtube videos are detailed, easy to understand, and well presented.  If you are thinking of getting a mini-lathe, be sure to check out his site/videos.  I learned a lot from him.  But, reading and watching video can only help so much.  There is no substitution for learning by doing, so I have decided to jump in with both feet :)

Buying a lathe is not like buying a camera or a lens, that you can hide from your significant other, so it's probably a good idea to clear that first with him/her.  I talked to my wife, with my oiled tongue, extolled the virtue of a machine that can do amazing things, like making useful household gadgets for the home.  Unbelievably, she went with it, and even encouraged, as long as I can cough up the money myself, which means I have to sell some of my toys, er, tools first :)

The tough part, of course, is deciding what to get.  I have a small house and space is limited.  Noise is a factor too as I share walls with neighbours. I don't want something so small that it's uses are severely limited, but on the other hand, not something very big and noisy.

At first, I thought about the micro lathe/mill combo that you can put together like Lego blocks. These usually have a small 30-60 Watt motor, which really is not suitable for working with metal.  But, they are very small, and relatively cheap at around $350.  Great for teaching kids or learning, but probably not able to do what I want.

My next target is the Taig Micro Lathe II.  This is an extremely popular lathe for home hobbyists and is available in Toronto through Lee Valley Tools.  It's very compact, well made and crafted in the USA.  The basic kit is reasonably priced and there are immensely vast number of accessories/tools available to make it into a full blown CNC lathe/mill machine.  But, in its basic form, it does not have power feed, thread cutting, etc.  Adding these features costs a lot of money and for beginners like me, might be a challenge to setup.

The last group of machines I consider is either a 7x12 or 7x14 mini lathe.  7x12 or 7x14 describes the size of material you can work with, which is 7 inch high by 12 or 14 inch long.  In practice, the length is 2 to 3 inches shorter, as you will need to account for the chuck and the centre that support the stock/work piece.  Usually, these machines have power feed and thread cutting with a variable speed DC motor.  On the Taig Micro Lathe II, speed is set by using different sized v-bells on an AC motor, although one can make a DC motor option for the Micro Lathe II.

What makes finding the right mini lathe so frustrating is the lack of availability of low end models in Toronto, unlike in the USA, our lucky southern neighbours, or our friends in China whom I envy for having such affordable and variety of lathes.  There used to be more variety of models and cost a lot less, when I looked at them few years ago, but now very few machine/tool shops stock low end metal lathes.  The lowest price ones I found is the Taig Micro Lathe II, costs around $380 without the $150 motor, and the King Canada 7x12 (probably made by Sieg of Shanghai, China) for a cool $1000 CAD. When the Micro Lathe II is configured to have the features of the 7x12 lathe, the price is probably more, or close to $1000.

I am leaning towards the 7x12 mini-lathe.  If I am not able to find a reasonably priced used one, this is probably the one I will get, but it will probably be a couple of months before I get one, and it would take even longer for me to get familiar with it to make it useful.  But, I am excited and look forward to the new tool.  There are so many possibilities!

True Love Cafe - Nikkor-H 48mm f2 rangefinder lens from Nikkorex 35 on Sony A7 at f2.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Commlite Smart Adapter Update

The other day I realized that my Sony A7's firmware was still on version 1.1, and the current version is 2.0.  I updated the firmware to 2.0 and briefly tested the Commlite EF to E-Mount smart adapter and see if there are improvements.

Below are the result.  Please keep in mind that it's a very brief test.

  • EF 35mm f1.4L Mark I - Auto focus works.
  • EF 40mm f2.8 STM - Auto focus works.  No longer has the strange aperture issue.  
  • EF 50mm f1.2L - Auto focus works.
  • EF 85mm f1.2L Mark II - Auto focus works
  • EF 100mm f2.0 - Auto Focus works
  • EF 100mm f2.8L IS Macro - Auto focus not working at all.  Works reasonably OK in manual focus, although the aperture setting still can not be set to f2.8.
  • EF 135mm f2.8 Soft Focus - Auto Focus works, but not in soft setting 1 or 2.  This lens did not work well at all with old A7 firmware version 1.1.
  • EF 135mm f2.0L - Auto focus works, but not always accurate.  This lens didn't work with old A7 firware version.
  • EF 180mm f3.5L - Auto focus does not work at all.
Conclusion: It's definitely an improvement after the A7 was upgraded to version 2.0 firmware.  The AF seems slightly faster on all lenses and the big surprise is that the 135mm f2 is now working reasonably well.  If your A7 is still on old firmware, it's worth upgrading to version 2.0, at least if you  are using Canon AF lenses and the Commlite adapter.

Gas station at night - Sony A7 & Canon EF 135mm f2.0

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Thought From A Lens Hood Addict

I think everyone should practice safe photography and always use a hood.  Shooting naked will make you vulnerable and exposes you to all kinds of nasty negative side effects, like flare, damage from unintended impact to your lens, not to mention the disapproval and even wrath from fellow photographers who religiously practice shooting with hoods.

A hood is not just a practical tool, it mates to your lens like two lovers with a kindred spirit, sharing a single purpose for that perfect union.  A lens with a hood tells the mindset of the photographer that s/he is serious, cares about his/her art, and the attention to details.  Even if you lack the original hood, and you improvised a Frankensteinish contraption equivalent, it's made with love, to perfect the sacred act of art creation with photons (or silver halide).  In fact, it would draw awe from fellow hood addicts with admiration, and respect for your unyielding dedication.

Mery-Optik Trioplan 10.5cm f4.5 with the perfect hood!

We don't know what the lens designers were thinking when they drew up the lens design, some lenses were never designed with a hood in mind, let along came with one.  If you possess one of these lenses, it's usually a time of frustration, at least initially, because nothing seems to fit.  No amount of glue, electrical tape would help.  If you have one of these lenses from hell, don't despair, persevere, and you will eventually see the light, and could even be intervened by the divine! I will give my personal experience for such a lens.

The Meyer-Optik Trioplan 10.5cm f4.5 is lens that is not kind to hoods. None of the 253 [figuratively speaking, could be more, or less] hoods I have fits.  I tried Krazy Glue, LOCTITE, JB-Weld, metal screw but nothing helped.  Electrical tape is out of the question as there is nowhere for the tape to adhere to.  Time to give up?  No way!  Nothing can stop a hood addict from mounting a hood on the lens, however impossible it might be.  Eventually, after months, I was directed to a piece of brass rod.  A perfect piece of rod that's correct in size, length, and is blackened inside, and most important, it fits perfectly.  Tears filled my eyes.  It's clearly a sign of divinity. There is a Lens God that listens to prayers and pleads from frustrated hood addicts.  Morale of the story?  If all else fails, don't give up.  Pray to the almighty Lens God.  In other words, keep looking until you find what you are looking for.

Anything Goes.  Minolta hood on Leitz Lens.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pentax K-1

If you are a loyal Pentax fan, you must feel like a proud parent.  For many years, Pentax fans have to endure one bad news after another.  Pentax was tossed around, first sold to Hoya, and then Ricoh.  All these changes surely hampers product development.  Add to the fact that Pentax came to the digital SLR party quite late and it was not able to carve out a sizeable market share, although many of its DSLRs are very good.  I owned a K-10D and a couple of *ist bodies.  The K-10D was a stand out, but the *ist were too also ran.  Over the years, loyal Pentaxians patiently wait for a full frame body from Pentax, who first teased its fan with the 6MP MZ-D full frame in 2000 photokina, but suffered the same fate as the Contax Digital N, and never made it to market.  Further ptrototypes of the Pentax full frame appeared over the years but it always turned out to be a disappointment and the camera never materialized, until the announcement of the K-1.

In many ways, I admire Pentax as a company but the digital camera market has not been kind to it.  They don't have the resources as the bigger camera companies do, but always managed to introduce interesting products that appeal to photo enthusiasts.  Not the best specced, but balanced and usable at a fair price, like the K-1 full frame.

I expect the K-1 to sell well at this price point.  Many Pentax faithful will upgrade, no doubt, and many others will be drawn to this camera for its low price and good features.  I think Kajiwara-san would be most pleased.

Sunset over Toronto - Pentax-K 28mm f3.5 & Sony A7.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM Pancake on A7

I failed to mention, when I wrote about using Canon AF lenses on the Commlite smart adapter, is that if you set the APS-C to Auto in the A7's menu, the A7 will default to APS-C mode when shooting with this adapter.  Please beware.

The 40mm f2.8 STM is the first pancake EF lens that Canon makes, and it was the first to employ the STepper Motor (STM).  This pancake lens is a huge success, judging from what the owners have to say; it's almost universally praised, and deservingly so.

Aside from it's petite size, the low price is a major contributing factor.  When on sale, it can be had for about $150 CAD, although the price has gone up somewhat since the Canuck Looney has depreciated quite a bit against the mighty US green buck, but the price is still very reasonable.  A third reason why it's so popular, is because it's optically excellent.

Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM on A7 with Commlite Smart Adapter

I got mine when I bought the used Canon 5D II as a bonus.  The 5D II is long gone, but the 40mm f2.8 STM remains.  This is one of the few pancake lenses I have.  The other two I often is the Pentax 40mm f2.8, and the Contax Carl Zeiss 45mm f2.8.  All of these lenses are optically competent.

When used on the Sony A7, the tiny size is no longer very tiny when it's mounted on the Commlite adapter.  In fact, the adapter is thicker than the lens itself.  Still, the combo looks quite compact on the A7.  Of all the Canon AF lenses I have tried on the A7, this one works best, but not perfect.

The Autofocus speed is workable, but slow.  The A7 II and A7R II are better bodies to use for Canon lenses since they can use the phase detect pixels on the sensor to drive the lens to focus at a much faster speed.  On the A7, or any other E-Mount or NEX mount cameras, it's definitely not for moving objects.

Lone Tree in Snow - Canon EF 40mm f2.8 @ f8 & Sony A7

There is one bug with the CommLite adapter when used with this lens.  The maximum aperture is often stuck at f3.2 and can not be opened up to f2.8.  Sometimes it can be fixed by turning the camera off and back on, but in severe cases, the lens needs to be removed and re-mounted, or battery removed and re-inserted.  At odd times, it fixes itself.  How weird.

In terms of optical quality, there is very little to complain about.  The lens is very sharp even at full aperture of f2.8, to the corners.  I can't say the same thing for the EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS, although we are comparing apples and oranges, if you look at the price difference, the 40mm f2.8 pancake is a bargain for the quality it produces.

The lens can focus really close, to 0.3 meters, but AF doesn't work all the well at close range.  It's easily fooled with the background.  Full Time Manual (FTM) focus does not work at all, this means you can not focus the lens when it is set to AF after you half pressed the shutter to fine tune focus.  You can either focus by hand, or the lens focuses itself, but not at the same time.

Fiery Sunset - Canon EF 40mm f2.8 & Sony A7

If you shoot Canon, this lens is a no brainer, and if you own a A7 II or A7R II, it's also an excellent buy, since Sony does not make something like this.  If Sony has lenses like the 40mm f2.8 STM, and the 50mm f1.8 STM, it will help Sony sell a lot more full frame bodies.  Not everyone can afford or want the Zeiss 55mm f1.8 ZA, or the 35mm f1.4 ZA. What Sony lacks, is affordable line of full frame primes.  Ironically, their A7 II and A7R II cameras work so well with Canon (and Nikon) AF lenses that people may never buy another Sony lens.  That also makes it easy for them to switch back to Canon/Nikon when they introduce cameras with compelling features.  I know that if I had an A7 II or A7R II, I would definitely buy the Canon 50mm f1.8 STM in addition to this 40mm f2.8 STM.  I would also buy the Sigma 20mm f1.4 Canon mount if I need a fast wide prime.  In a way, this solves the lens problem with Sony.

Chained - Canon EF 40mm f2.8 & Sony A7

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Topcon Auto Topcor 3.5cm f2.8

My friend Ferdinand asked if I wanted to swap two of the lenses he no longer needed.  One of them is the Topcor 3.5cm f2.8.  I have a serious weakness for Topcor (not UV) lenses after I got my hands on the 5.8cm f1.8, 10cm f2.8, 135mm f3.5, especially the Auto Topcor 135mm f3.5, which I wrote here.  It was engineered for the visual and touch senses, with exceptional optical quality to match.  How can I say no to the 3.5cm f2.8, which was built and made in the same fashion as the 135mm f3.5?

Auto Topcor 3.5cm f2.8 on Sony A7.  Looks nice, eh?

When the lens arrived, I noted that there was no detent between aperture changes, unlike the 135mm f3.5.  I would say it is likely that the lens was serviced and they loss that tiny steel ball that made the click between apertures.  That's a small disappointment, but not a big deal.  Good for video use though. The lens is just as beautiful to look at, and touch, as the pictures it produces.

The Topcor Family.  Still missing the exotic ones [20mm f4, 25mm f3.5, 58mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8]

This fabulous piece of optical love focuses to 0.23 meters.  When I saw this, the Flektogon 35mm f2.8 came to mind immediately.  Who knows, maybe it's the same formula as the Flek?  The Topcor is definitely better made and better looking than the Flek.  The smoothness of the focusing feels like a hot knife cutting through butter.  Simply a delight to the senses.

There is far more to the good looks and build of this 3.5mm f2.8.  I haven't used it much for infinity focus, but the few pictures I took seems very sharp across the frame when stopped down.  What made my heart melt is the beautiful bokeh this gem produces.  It's simply gorgeous.

I sure will keep an eye out for others I have not yet got, but I know those who have them like will hold onto them, and even when available, probably out of my budget.  But, I am happy with what I have.  All of these four lenses are a joy to use and to play with.

Bokeh No.1

Downtown Toronto @ f8

Bokeh No.2

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The February [Thrifty Store] Challenge

Matt at the Fixed Lens Flickr Group has a couple of DIY challenges running.  One is the a monthly challenge to adapt a piece of optical glass to be used on your digital camera, and the other is the Thrifty store challenge.  The idea is to find a camera, any camera, in a thrifty store, take a picture of it, and then post it to the group before the start of conversion to refit the lens on your digital camera.  Since I got the camera from a thrifty store, but I didn't take a picture of the camera in the store, I enter it as a February challenge, with a Yashica MG-2 plastic wonder, which cost me $6.77CAD ($5.99 + taxes).  Frankly that bothers me.  I doubt all the parts used in this piece of, er, beautiful engineering would cost more than $5 at the time of manufacturing.  I could buy a real rangefinder with an excellent lens for $10 at the camera show.  But, it's all for the challenge!

The ultra cheap plastic wonder: Yashica MG-2

Everything about the MG-2 is about cheapness.  In most cameras, the lens is the most expensive part, but in this case, I think the flash and the big capacitor, was more expensive than the plastic lens.  The lens has no aperture inside, but instead, a piece of plastic with a hole behind the lens that can be selected as "landscape" mode, which probably stops the lens down to about f8-f11.  Normal mode, or wide open, it's roughly f5.6 when I compared it to another lens with a constant light source.  Also, there is no focus, but that's a feature of being "focus free"!  This plastic micro coke bottle was optimized for hyper-focal shooting, no doubt.

The lens is surprisingly easy to take apart, since the plastic body is held together by a few screws, but if you want it apart even quicker, I would recommend a hammer.  The flange is very short, too short to be used even with the petite Pentax M42 focus helicoid in the normal fashion.  But I can't shoot a "focus free" lens.  What fun is it that everything is in focus?  I had to improvise.  The solution was to sink the lens deeper into the helicoid, closer to the sensor.  So I cut out a piece of plastic from the back cover of the film chamber the size slightly smaller than 42mm, drill a hole in the middle for the lens, and stick the whole thing inside the helicoid.  VoilĂ !  Focus from very close to infinity.  I didn't even bother with glue, just electrical tape to secure the lens to the piece of plastic and the plastic inside the helicoid is held by friction.  The total cost is just the lens itself.  The only downside?  Flatness is not guaranteed, but I am not about to measure it with a micrometer.  The whole purpose of this endeavour was to have fun, and expect the unexpected!  I will be shooting the lens naked, wide open, going for that artsy LOMO effect :)

The Body Cap Lens

You know, I kinda like how the lens looks on the camera.  This is like a DIY Body Cap lens, but with focus.  It's much cheaper than the "real" Body Cap lens, even cheaper than a LOMO lens :)

The result is somewhat expected.  The lens is more than sufficient for 4x6 inch prints, but it can't satisfy the 24MP sensor in the A7.  The centre of the image is reasonably sharp, but the edges fall apart.  Contrast is low, especially at infinity. Shooting without a hood, it flares easily.  Surprisingly, colour fringing isn't that bad at all, probably due to the nice coating treatment on the lens.  Vignetting, however, is quite severe.  This could be good or bad depending on your artistic needs.  It doesn't bother me; the vignette helps to hide the horrible corners.  Aside from the lack of sharpness and mushy corners, the colour is also a bit weird.  It's true some lenses render colours very untastefully, and this is one of those.  Moreover, this lens is not kind to blown highlights.  The roll off is abrupt and unpleasant.  When all these negatives are combines, one would wonder, is there anything left to redeem itself?

Bokeh - Not too bad, right?

On the positive note, this lens has a couple of shining spots.  One is its much better resolving power at close range than is at infinity.  For macro shots, there is quite a bit details.  The other nice thing about this lens, is the bokeh.  Bokeh for a 34mm f5.6 wide angle lens?  Yes, the helicoid makes the close focus possible, and the bokeh is actually not awful most of the time.  If the background supports it, the lens can sometimes render pleasing looking bokeh, but only sometimes, and lets lower our standards for a camera/lens created to be the bottom of the rank.

Boats -- My wife does not like this one at all.  She said it was too depressing.  I am kinda OK with it.  Moody.

So what have I got from spending the $6.77 and 60 minutes making it work on the digital camera?  I had fun.  A few of the pictures actually turned out ok, and, the lens with the helicoid makes a nice body cap for the camera.

Sunset at the Keating Channel

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The [Fixed] Rangefinder Lens Craze

I have been taking out lenses from rangefinder cameras to be used on digital for a while now, but usually only on German made ones, because they are so much simpler.  I took apart a couple of Japanese ones, namely the Minolta Hi-Matic and a Yashica with a 45mm f1.7 lenses.  Both ended up failed attempts due to their very complicated construction.  But I have Matt and Ian to blame for all the rangefinder lenses they shared on their Flickr streams, and of course, they made everything look so easy.  So I started to experiment with the Japanese rangefinder cameras again.

Failed attempt - only the gut is left, but still usable on the helicoid.  This lens is from either the Hi-Matic S or Yashica Electro 35.  It's a 45mm f1.7 lens.

The very well regarded Zuiko 42mm f1.7 Lens vs the garden variety 40mm f1.7, that few other makers use (Canon, Minolta, etc).

Last week I got a few mostly broken rangefinders for my experimentation.  Some are just so beautifully made that I can't put myself through tearing them apart.  I will save those that are still working and only take apart those that aren't "perfect".

I am taking this slowly, and try to take the time to understand how they are put together, so that when I take them apart, I can still adjust the aperture/focus.  Many of these that I disassembled, have seized aperture rings.  I am not a patient person and sometimes I just wanted to take them out quickly and used excessive force when seemingly there are no way to remove certain parts of the lens.  These usually ended up as lenses with no aperture control, and being used on the focus helicoid.  I try to preserve as much as possible the built-in focus mechanism, but the side effect is that each one will need its own mount, which will add to the cost.  It also means no close focusing capabilities.

Some recent additions.

The reason I like these rangefinder lenses, is because they usually have pretty fast maximum apertures (f1.7, f2, etc) and they have short flange distance, which match up nicely with mirrorless cameras, especially the full frame A7 series.  Let's not forget the most important aspect of these gems, that they have very nice, sometimes unusual rendering characteristics not found in your kit lens or even the very expensive, well corrected fast primes.  These things are sometimes like drugs; once get hooked, it has to go through its course to recover, and sometimes you don't!

Yashican Color-Yashinon DX 45mm f1.7 on Sony A7.  Looks nice, no?

Empty Milkweed Pod - Nikkor-H 48mm f2 from Nikkorex