Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 - A Few Thoughts

2016 has seen the fewest blog entries since I started blogging a few years ago, but at the same time, I took a record number of pictures in the same year, mostly with my Sony A7.

Looking back, I did not spend any money on digital camera bodies in 2016. For some reason, I didn't have the urge to upgrade the cameras like I did in previous years.  Perhaps I have come to the realization that my Sony A7, Nikon D810 and the Olympus EM5 are still great cameras. The Nikon 1V I got was given to me in exchange of some work I did for a friend, and I really do not like that camera at all, for manual focus lenses.  Nikon has castrated the very feature I need, mainly, auto exposure for manual focus lenses, and I can't see myself using manual exposure for every freaking frame I take.  It's just not happening.  That's the reason I have not even bought any adapters for it. Really don't know what to do with the camera.  A shame really, as it has so much potential for small format lenses like D-Mount, C-Mount, and half frame lenses.  As an AF camera, it's quite nice, dynamic range of the sensor not withstanding.

The best thing I did in 2016, was the purchase of the micro lathe.  It has been only a short time, and the lathe is not perfect, but I got a taste of what I can do with such a machine, and I am hooked.  I really look forward to adapting more lenses with it.  In fact, I have a plan which I will talk about in another post :)

Last year also saw me amassed a large number of non-standard lenses and (mostly dead) rangefinders. My goal was to buy enough of these things for me to practice on, to make myself a more skilled lathe operator. So far, I have done about a dozen conversions, mostly on slower rangefinder lenses or on lenses that are already manually converted but with less than satisfactory results. The only thing that slows me down is the lack of time I have available. I think for simple conversions, I can do a pretty good job now.

I fully realized that my blog has become more niche and covers mostly non-standard lenses.  This may turn off some readers who may expect me to cover conventional mount lenses, but I find it in my interest to discover and try out these gems.  Sorry if this is not your cup of tea.  There are so many of these lenses out there and as many people don't realize they can use them on digital cameras.  If I can provide enough information to make some of these lenses live a second life, my goal is accomplished.

Photographically, 2016 was not a bad year for me.  No, my pictures have not improved,  but I enjoy taking them nonetheless.  Hopefully 2017 will be even better!

Streetcar on Queen St. East. Vivitar 40mm f1.7 & Sony A7


  1. I love your blog and I'm always impressed with your photography. You've proven a fast learner on your lathe and I enjoy seeing your lens conversions. Please continue and we will follow. All the best to you in 2017!


    1. Thanks for your kind words, John. I intend to do more lens conversions and shoot more too :)

  2. I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and it has inspired me to convert some sad old lenses to my nex system (however I'm yet to make a finished conversion). I did notice the fewer postings over the last year but I always enjoy your updates. Thankyou for all the work you have put into this blog, I'll be sure to follow you on flickr if you move exclusively there.
    Good luck with the lathe!

    1. Thank you. The process of conversion is part of the fun, but shooting with a converted lens is a satisfying experience that a bought, normal lens could not deliver. I am hoping to post more this year, or at least I will try :)

  3. Hi Yu-Lin,

    I love your streetcar shot! I took my family to Toronto over New Year's (our last trip was 2004) and we stayed in Riverdale neighbourhood. Mostly we used the 504 streetcar, but we did use the 501 once. I'm a bit of a streetcar nerd, so I'd like to ride the 501 for the whole route. But didn't you give the streetcar driver a heart attack -- standing in the street to get that shot?
    I bought a Sony a7 used in May and have been using it exclusively with Canon FD and Nikon Ai lenses. Really enjoying it.
    And enjoying your posts and photos. All the best in 2017! Neale

    1. You are very kind, Neale! We spent our honey moon in Quebec City and really enjoyed it. I hope you liked your stay in Toronto. I like photographing Streetcars :) This particular one was stopped for the passengers to get off, hence I was able to take a picture of it so close!

      The A7 is a fabulous camera. It has become my main camera for the last 3 years and it's one of my all time favourite cameras, and I have used a few high end ones before.