Saturday, June 22, 2013

The French Connection

Before I started this blog, I could never have, in a million years, envisioned how generous some of my readers are. I am still awestruck with the Carl Zeiss Jena projection lenses that Ramon from Cuba, gave me, and now, David, a reader from France sent me three projection lenses and a Yashica rangefinder lens for me to experiment with.  All these lenses I have never used, or even seen before. I don't even know how to even begin to thank David for his selfishlessness and generosity.  I guess the best I could do, is to make pictures, and write about these lenses.

Friendship from France. Click for larger.

The Projection lenses are: Isco-Gottingen 85mm f2.8, Anastimat Benoist Berthiot 125mm f2.9, and a less known (by me) S.F.O.M 100mm f3.2. All these lenses have a long enough flange distance to be used on full frame. The rangefinder lens is a Color-Yashinon DX 35mm f1.8. This is one intriguing lens with three TWO aperture blades. The shape of the opening changes as it closes down. Unfortunately, the flange is too short to be used even on the NEX on a helicoid. Need to think of some creative ways to get some pictures out of this one.

On the other hand, I couldn't wait to put one of the lenses on the helicoid and see what kind of pictures it can produce. I chose the Isco-Gottingen 85mm f2.8, as it readily fits the "interchangeable" helicoid system I have. From the few pictures I took, the lens does not seem to be overly sharp, but it does produce relatively nice bokeh and handles the highlights very gracefully. It sort of reminds me of the Steihnheil Culminar 85mm f2.8. Would interesting to shoot them side by side and see how they differ. Of course the pictures will have to be restricted to f2.8.

Rose - NEX-6 & Isco-Gottingen 85mm f2.8. Click for larger.

Bokeh - NEX-6 & Isco-Gottingen 85mm f2.8


  1. Wow, the rose color really pops out at me. The bokeh almost seems flat but it stands out like a straight curtain of smooth bokeh balls. Interesting lenses you have from your loyal readers.

    1. Red and purple/pink colors are very to over saturate and difficult to get accurate shades. The bokeh shot had a gate as the background and therefore it looks a bit "unnatural" :)