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Old Lens New Spirit

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  • Old Lens New Spirit

    I like to talk about my experience with legacy lenses. Few years ago, I started collecting and using M42 lenses from Pentax, Carl Zeiss Jena, Practika. Then I bought a few Nikon. They are mostly OK. Some have qualities that my modern Olympus lenses do not have. For example my Pentax 135/2.5 has no flare problem whereas the modern zooms tend to be prone to flare even with lens hood. My Nikkor 50/1.8 is so light and almost as sharp as my ZD50/2. However, they cannot match my modern Olympus lenses when taking color, sharpness, contrast and exposure accuracy using AE, as a whole.
    Now here is the twist, I bought early on a Konica Hexanon 40/1.8. Upon arrival I was disgusted to see fungus inside the lens. The seller was gracious in giving my money back. Then I just put it away. Only recently I decided to adapt it anyway for my e30 despite the fungus. Upon taking my first image I was shocked by the quality. I took out my ZD14-54 and set it to the same focal length and shot the same scene. Amazingly, the images from both are so closely matched that I could not tell the difference. What a pleasant surprise.
    Upon this experience I got myself another Hexanon 40/1.8, the 135/3.2. Again, same plesant result. (The two 40/1.8 perform with no significant difference despite one has fungus.) So I sold away all my legacy lenses, except the Nikkor 50/1.8 (which I use in reverse for macro) and OM29/2.8 which no one wants because it has some rubbing mark on the front glass.
    Donkey years ago I had a Konica compact film camera which I loved very much but it was lost on a London bus. Now it seems I have rediscover something lost.