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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 ...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Macroing with a Flektogon: the beginning ...

One of the most sought Zeiss lenses is undoubtedly the MC Flektogon 35 f/2.4.
Widely available a few years ago, it has actually reached a cult status (and the related stellar price), mostly because of the increasing number of people using manual lenses on their digital cameras. Nevertheless, its IQ cannot be questioned anymore, excellent sample pictures are widely available on the internet. Sharpness, color rendering, "painting-like" bokeh make this lens a true jewel.

A walk with a Flektogon - IMGP4223

In one of my previous posts, i listed some of the advantages of using such lenses on APS-C cameras, so i won't talk about it again. Instead, i will show some of the amazing results that can be reached by this jewel with a little trick ...

The Flektogon 35/2.4 is a very fine lens, with a shortest focusing distance of 19cm (about 7.5in). Apart from the fact that such a short focusing distance is not common between this kind of lenses (most of the 35mm lenses, whether MF or AF, focus up to 30cm about), this suggests the fact that the lens may have been optimized for close focus operations (sorry, i don't have any Zeiss-based contact to confirm this). So, i got one of my orchid phalaenopsis and a 5mm extension tube and gave it a try ...

Because of the extension tube, the infinity focus is lost, but the closest focusing distance is shortened to about 10cm (4in, but i didn't make a precise measurement). This is enough to take a closeup of the central portion of the phalaenopsis flower.

At first, a sample at f/2.4, focused on the little "hair" from the "nose" of the flower (yes, there is one and you will see it clicking on the picture and displaying the full res image):

Phalaenopsis by Flektogon at f2.4 - IMGP9614

Then, at f/8 (usually, the f/stop value giving the best results):

Phalaenopsis by Flektogon at f8 - IMGP9617

Last, at f/22:

Phalaenopsis by Flektogon at f22 - IMGP9620

Undoubtedly, this lens is not only an excellent performer at longer distances, it is great for some macro work, too ...

Thus, i decided to setup a new set on my Flickr photostream containing only pictures shot with this lens and extension rings or bellows and, hopefully, i will get some more spare time during this summer vacations to enjoy it.

More to come ...

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5 Comments:

Anonymous jose calderon fotografias said...

espectacular nitidez

July 30, 2010 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Thanks, this lens is truly great, even when compared to its younger brothers ...

Thanks for spending your time here and commenting ...

August 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

Fantastic photos. I own a K10D and love manual lenses. However, the viewfinder and the green hexagon focusing confirmation leave me frustrated at times.

What are you using for manual focus? A split screen? A magnifier for the viewfinder? Do you bracket focus or is there a way for me to get more keepers?

Thanks!

September 6, 2010 at 3:04 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi,

At first, thanks for spending your time here and commenting ...

I agree about the MF limitations of the K10D, you don't have the idea of how many pictures i have missed because of this :-( ...

Anyway, you spotted my solution to get a better scoring: actually i have both an O-ME53 magnifying eyecup and a Katzeye focusing screen ;-) ...

The O-ME53 gives a magnification of 1.3, thus allowing a really precise focusing. The Katzeye focusing screen, well ... is simply fantastic: it has a stigmometer (split screen) and a microprism collar (like on good old SLRs) and it is really bright. Before buying it, i was using a third-party focusing screen with a microprism collar, but it had a bad thickness and contrast, and i had to do "focus bracketing" to get proper pictures. Since i switched to the Katzeye, my hit rate has reached the top ... Now, most of my missed pictures are due to microblurring, no more focusing issues :-) ...

Last, but not least, i had to activate the debug menu on my K10D and adjust the AF by +20, to get the focus confirmation spot on ...

So, if you really want an advice, start buying a Katzeye focusing screen - they are a bit expensive, but really worth their money - and practice a little. Then, if you feel the need, you can complete your setup with an O-ME53 ...

Thanks for visiting here

September 7, 2010 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Cioara Andrei said...

Foarte interesant subiectul acesta.M-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place tare mult.Cu siguranta am sa mai revin. O zi buna!

September 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

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