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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 ...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fast glass mania: EBC Fujinon-T 135 f/2.5

EBC Fujinon-T 135 2.5 - IMGP7108

Built like a tank with a full metal barrel, this lens has two issues that prevent from using it on "regular" M42-compatible bodies: an "auto-only" diaphragm control and a small lug nut on at the bottom of the lens, used by Fuji bodies for diaphragm coupling.

Luckily enough, it is quite easy to overcome them.

At first, the diaphragm control pin issue can be fixed either using a small plastic cylinder (you can cut one from the refill of a pen), or using an M42 adapter with an inner flange (my preferred solution, using an adapter bought from Alex (aka hk300) of MFLenses.

Then, the lug nut requires a bit more work, since the only solution is to shave it, using an high-speed rotary tool (i use a Dremel with a diamond wheel point). The intervention, required by all the Fuji M42 lenses, is really harmless, provided that you have taken a little caution when operating. But keep in mind that such a modification will be permanent ...

Anyway, pushed by the great results got from my other Fuji lenses (a 28/3.5 and a 55/3.5 Macro), i shaved it and took the lens (and the camera, of course) out for some shooting ...

EBC Fujinon 135 2.5 - IMGP6126

The picture above, shot with the lens wide open at f/2.5, shows the unbelievable sharpness and color rendering of this often underrated lens (IMHO, far better than the more famous Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135/3.5). Please note that there is no PP on this picture, except a little EV level adjust.

EBC Fujinon 135 2.5 - IMGP6256

At f/4 (or maybe f/5.6, cannot remember), the results are even better, as you can see in the previous picture ...

Although the lens is not really easy to handle, especially when compared to the more compact 135/3.5 and 135/2.8 lenses, it is not bigger than my others 135/2.5. The excellent contrast of the lens and the relatively short throw of the focusing barrel, about 210° from the infinity to the shortest focusing distance of 1.5m (5 ft), make focusing quite easy, the subject "pops in focus" exactly as it would do with my Pentax-K 105/2.8 lens. Moreover, the lens focuses in the same direction as my other Pentax lenses, reaching the infinity focus clockwise.

The diaphragm ring misses the clicks every half stop value, but this could be an advantage for fast stopping down after focusing.

EBC Fujinon 135 2.5 - IMGP6183

The bokeh is quite pleasant too (the picture above is at f/4 or f/5.6). Too pity, the lens seems to show some CA in hard contrast situations, as in the picture above, but it shouldn't be too hard to fix it - next time i will screw in an UV filter to check if it helps ...

My impressions:
  • This lens is a real gem, very pleasant to use, but it requires a bit of attention, since it may show some CA in hard contrast situations.
  • Focusing is easy, because of the excellent contrast, and the color rendering superb (as all my other Fuji lenses).
  • The front element doesn't rotate when focusing, thus making easy the use of a polarizer filter.
  • Last (but not least), the front cap is a screw in type, made of metal. Unluckily, it cannot be used when the hood is mounted on the lens.

Now, some data for the tech fans: the lens is composed by 5 elements in 4 groups, focusing up to 1.5m (5 ft). The aperture, with a fully automatic 6-leaves diaphragm, spans from f/2.5 up to f/22, in 1 f/stop increments. Its angle of view is 18°09'. The filter thread is 58mm. The weight, without adapter and hood, is 432g.

If interested in seeing more pictures, feel free to browse to my Flickr set, where the pictures are available in full 10MP size.

More to come ...

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