Amateur Photographer Magazine – Vintage Legacy

Amateur Photographer Magazine – Vintage Legacy – 23 April 2016

Matthew Osborne Photography / @MrLeicaCom

May 2016

Katie with CZ Pancolar 80/1.8

Amateur Photographer Magazine

Vintage lenses on modern cameras

I wrote a six page article for the UK Amateur Photographer Magazine (23 April 2016 issue) on using old “legacy” lenses on modern DSLR and mirrorless cameras.  (*This does not include rangefinder cameras without Live View such as the Leica M8 and Leica M9).

Rather than repeat myself I have linked the full article below.

Harriett with Pancolar 80/1.8 SOOC

The images used for the article are quite old as they date back to my pre-Leica days when I was using a Nikon D800 DSLR, 2012-2013 mostly I think.

Here is a more recent photo using the same equipment with Stacey

Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 80mm f1.8

Freelensing

The article also describes a photography technique which was my norm before I moved to Leica cameras and that was “Freelensing”.  I have written an article on this in the past so I have linked it below for perhaps better image examples.

Hasselblad Lens Freelensing

Old habits die hard

Shortly after the article was published I was explaining to model Elle how freelensing works.  As a result here is freelensing image from a few weeks ago before I went to Poland.

Freelensing

Freelensing on film

Finally, here are a few freelensing photos closer to my heart.  They are all shot on film cameras with model Tegan.  (My apologies for the grain!  It was expired film).

Expired 120 Ilford Delta 400

Vega 28 + Mamiya 645 Super

Ilford Delta 400 Film

 

Magazine Article – Full

Amateur Photographer Magazine – Vintage Legacy – 23 April 2016

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Amateur Photographer Magazine 2014 – Freelensing

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Lumix G3 Street Photography

Lumix G3 Street Photography

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 + Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 Super Wide Heliar lens via M4/3 – Leica M mount adapter

I took the G3 to London with various Leica M mount lenses to see what it was capable of vs. my Leica M9 and Nikon D800. Initially I was disappointed by the lower resolution and less apparent sharpness of the monochrome JPEGs however it gives the images quite a nice vintage almost filmic look (because of the softness I think).

Some sample images using the G3 on the street

Lumix G3 Street Photography

Panasonic DMC-G3

Central London

Vintage Street Photography

M4/3 + Leica M

London Street Photography

The Lumix G3 camera body + the compact CV 15/4.5 made for a lightweight setup. Using the m4/3 – LM adapter having the lens set at 0.5M meant everything from roughly 2m – infinity was in focus. That meant as long as I did not get too close to my subjects I could just point and shoot without any focus requirements. Similar to street photography using hyperfocal distance but easier. Being accustom to a Leica M9 camera I found it very easy to ‘see’ my shots even though I was using a new-to-me camera.

I will keep my thoughts on the G3 for a future post, my likes and dislikes so far.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Photographer

Lumix G3 + Leica Lenses!

Lumix G3 + Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4

Here is the first test shot with the new-to-me Panasonic Lumix G3.

To recap on my expectations, I currently use a Leica M9 35mm digital rangefinder and a full frame Nikon D800 DSLR (plus many film cameras of various formats). I started out my photography with a Lumix G1 and I enjoyed it especially for macro photography. Four years later and I now enjoy portrait photography, specialising in model / fashion photography and wedding photography. I wanted a small backup camera for my Leica lenses. I saw the price of a used Lumix G3 so thought would have a gamble and picked one up on eBay. Worst case I can just sell it again. The cost of the camera was less than some of the accessories for the Leica M9 so it put things in perspective.

My challenge to myself and for a bit of fun is to try my various Leica m mount lenses and some M42 lenses on the Lumix G3 and see how close I can get the results to the more expensive cameras. I only plan to use the G3 with manual lenses.

Above is the first test shot using the Lumix G3 + Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4. Said to be one of the best lenses ever made for any camera format.

The Lumix G3 is known to not be great in low light (like the Leica M9) but here is a test shot at ISO 640 handheld 1/20 at f1.4.

The Lumix G3 in camera JPEG ‘Monochrome’ setting is sepia rather than true B&W so I desaturated the photo in PS Elements 6. My copy of LR3 cannot read the Lumix RAW files so JPEGs only for now until I get an updated version.

Interestingly the wider angle lenses (Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 and 28mm f2 Ultron so far) do not focus up close on the M4/3 – Leica M adapter. I believe this is true for lenses <50mm but will check in due course. b

Here I focused as close as I could focus with the Lux 50/1.4 with the lenses reading 0.7M. I nice shallow DOF for a M4/3 camera!

Not a bad result for the little Lumix G3 at ISO 640. The true test will be at ISO 160 (the lowest ISO on the Lumix G3).

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Photographer

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Lumix G3 Coming Soon

Leica M Mount Lens King Of Bokeh Test!

Leica M Mount Lens King Of Bokeh Test

(Testing shallow DOF & bokeh with lenses at their widest aperture)

I did a similar test a long time ago when had my Lumix G1. It was an unplanned spur of the moment thing today.

The Bokeh Test

  • All lenses used at widest aperture and minimum focus distance.
  • All photos taken as B&W JPEG on Leica M9. All processed as I do all my images through LR3 with increased sharpness.

Qu. Which Leica M mount lenses were tested?

  • 1) Leica Elmar 135mm f4
  • 2) Leica Summicron 90mm f2
  • 3) Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5
  • 4) Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4
  • 5) Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii

(I did not test the slower Zeiss ZM Planar 50m f2 and Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5)

Qu. Winner of the Leica M mount Bokeh test (and shallow DOF)?

  • Leica Summicron 90mm f2 is King of Bokeh from lenses I own in terms of giving a very shallow DOF.

Qu. Lens giving the deepest DOF and so to me the least useful for my portraits?

  • Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5 – A great lens but the 0.9M minimum focal distance kills it.

Qu. Are Leica lenses visually better and performance wise better than Zeiss or Voigtlander lenses?

  • Not at all! The CV Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii easily matched the Leica lenses in the test giving excellent results – sharp wide open, shallow DOF even for a 35mm lens and with attractive bokeh.

Qu. Did the ‘One of the best lenses ever made’ stand out – The Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4?

  • No in this test is the Lux’ 50/1.4 was possibly the least impressive lens in terms of apparent sharpness, clarity and pop.

Qu. Apparent sharpest lens wide open (combination of resolution and contrast)?

  • The 1960s Leica Elmar 135mm f4.  This lens is also by far the cheapest of those tested and is also very lightweight and slim with a 39mm filter thread.  I can’t wait to mount the Elmar 135/4 on my Lumix G3!

Qu. Why did I do this test?

  • Because to me I often see very little visual difference between lenses I use when shooting models to the extent that I find it very difficult to tag photos afterwards as there is no accurate EXIF data. I also wanted to see which lens would give me the most shallow DOF for use on my new Lumix G3. The CV 35mm f1.2 would be equivalent to 70mm f1.2 with the 2x crop on the m4/3 body making it a perfect portrait lens.

Leica M Mount Lens Bokeh Test Results:

  • 1) Leica Elmar 135mm f4

Peg Bokeh Test! Leica Elmar 135mm f4

  • 2) Leica Summicron 90mm f2

Peg Bokeh Test! Leica Summicron 90mm f2

  • 3) Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5

Peg Bokeh Test! Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5

  • 4) Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4

Peg Bokeh Test! Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4

  • 5) Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii

Peg Bokeh Test! Voigtlander Nokton 35mm f1.2 ASPH ii

*Please note this was not a scientific test and the conclusion are based merely on my taste and views of the results obtained.  I’m sure some people may disagree with my findings but that is also fine.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk – Leica Photographer