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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Japanese classic: Kiron 105 f/2.8 Macro ...

... With a Pentax-KA mount, allowing the control of the diaphragm through the camera body dial and full "Av" exposure mode ...

Manufactured by the Tokio based firm Kino Precision (who also manufactured other excellent lenses branded either Kiron or Vivitar) during the early 1980s, this macro lens is able to reach a 1:1 reproduction ratio at the focusing distance of 35cm. It was sold also under the Vivitar (Vivitar 105 f/2.5 Macro) or the Lester A. Dine (Lester A. Dine 105 f/2.8 Dental) brands.

The lens is very well built, with a full metal barrel and a built-in collapsible hood. The very long focusing thread, requiring about 1.80 turns to focus from infinity to the minimum distance, allows for a very precise focusing. The 8-blades diaphragm spans from f/2.8 to f/32 in half stops increments (but my camera is able to control it in 1/3 f/stop steps).

At "normal" focusing distances (about 1m), the lens performs really well, showing a nice bokeh:

Kiron 105 Macro Closeup - IMGP4187

At closeups, the performances are outstanding:

Kiron 105 Macro Closeup - IMGP4174

Kiron 105 Macro Closeup - IMGP4197

But it is better to look at the full resolution images in my Flickr set, to really appreciate the performances of this lens.

My impressions:
  • Very well built, you can almost feel the meaning of the term "precision" when focusing.
  • Outstanding sharpness and realistic color rendering (not saturated as the Fujinon 55/3.5).
  • A bit soft wide open, its performances raise starting at f/4.
  • Nice bokeh.
  • Not really lightweight, 645g with a P/KA mount.
  • The camera + lens combo is quickly unbalanced when close focusing. Maybe a tripod mount on the lens would have been nice.

Time to start a fight for the Kiron 24/2 and the Kiron 28/2 ?

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stepping out with a Fujinon ...

... Notably, an EBC Fujinon 55 f/3.5 Macro, in M42 mount ...

It took me a few weeks before being able to use it, since its diaphragm blades were stuck wide open and the lens was an "auto-only" M42, requiring the rear pin to be pushed for closing the diaphragm ...

The first issue was quite easily solved, but for the second one i had to ask Alex from for a tailored M42 to Pentax-K adapter ring with an inner flange (which, on the other hand, has been really useful for a Yashinon 55/1.8 and for a Meyer Oreston 50/1.8).

And i was forgetting the third issue, a small protruding lug on the back of the lens, which was used by Fuji for coupling with its cameras, but prevents the lens from fully screwing in the adapter, thus making it almost useless. This one was quickly solved by a little dremelling, and now the lens perfectly fits my K10D ...

The first impressions are really positive: this almost underrated lens performs quite well at medium/long distances ...

Stepping out with a Fujinon - IMGP4382

... as well as at closeup (but, after all, this was the usage it was meant for) ...

Stepping out with a Fujinon - IMGP4396

But what has really surprised me, is the rendering of the red color (although some people could find it too much saturated):

Stepping out with a Fujinon - IMGP4406

Clicking on the pictures will lead you to the full res ones, hosted on my Flickr photostream.
Forgot to say, all the pictures are jpegs straight from the raw files without PP, except EV adjust.

My impressions:
  • Compact and lightweight lens, despite its full metal body
  • Long focusing thread, allowing very precise focus
  • Great color rendering and contrast, similar to the Zeiss Biometar 80/2.8
  • Diaphragm ring too close to the camera body
  • Diaphragm closes in 1 f/stop steps

Now, i'm waiting for the next sunny weekend ;-) ...

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

A walk with a Flektogon ...

... The "classic" MC Electric 35/2.4, with M42 mount ...

Last week-end was really sunny, so i had a good reason for going out with the "old friend" (it was one of my first M42 lenses enjoyed by my K10D) ...

All the pics shot at f/5.6 or f/8, straight from the raw files without PP, except EV adjust:

A walk with a Flektogon - IMGP4223

A walk with a Flektogon - IMGP4300

Enjoy the pollen on the left petal of the flower, if you don't suffer of hay fever ;-) ...

A walk with a Flektogon - IMGP4288

Clicking on the pictures will let you access the full size ones, at 10MP, on my Flickr set on Flektogon ...

More to come ...

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Toulouse LFBO Hall D Open Day ...

... Well, not really interesting for the new Hall D in itself, which is, any way, very nicely built with a modern look:

Inside the Hall D - IMGP3646

The most sought attraction of the day were, of course, the Concorde and the A380 available for visiting:

Concorde - IMGP3463

Useless to say, at those distances, my FA-31 Limited is by far too long for catching the whole aircrafts. Nevertheless, it has been really useful for the details:

Engine Alliance GP7270 Intake - IMGP3575

For those who were not aware of the open day, this Flickr set contains some of the pictures i have taken while lining for visiting the aircrafts ...

More to come ...

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