GAS GAS: Please Share your Latest Acquisitions Big and Small

After much waiting on a syrupy slow seller, the Selphy 1500C finally came in the mail and I scurried forth and bought a RP 108 pack of 10X15 papers with the accompanying sublimations dye cassettes over the counter, for €55Ish. I have found an earlier variant called KP 108, which has three instead of two of the sublimation cassettes for less than half the price over the RP variant, so I think I will order up a few sets of those.

So far I have been dabbing with it a bit, and hooked it up to the print module in LRC, but I probably need to tweak the settings a bit as it prints quite dark contra what I actually sees on the Laptop screen, which is calibrated but to a generic Dell profile.

Based on the manual, I probably should check the printer as well, as there are some "optimizing" bits in there that is on by default. That may work off the phones, but may be doing stuff not intended when running it through some proper machinery. Guesstimate it to need about another half stop of light, possibly 2/3s.

Anyhow, it is fun to see and hold hard copies again!

The long awaited Canon 50 f:1.8 is lost during transport, but bought it via that local hedge pay thingy, so I am awaiting a refund from the mediator. Quick to take ones money, but with a wait time for up to a forthnight on the refund, but its inbound. Back to the drawing board with that, it is then.
 
Picked up some cheap m42 adapters (one for Z mount and one for m43); keen to see how some of my stable of Super-Taks perform on the Z6.
Also a swag of Pentax eye-cups - kudos to Pentax for keeping the same fitting across the k3/5/7 !
 

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Every so often I get curious about camera bags, and when I do, I usually like Domke. Ordered an F-8 to see if it might work for me. I have the Brevitē backpack, but there are times when I don't want the pack, but also don't quite want a camera swinging around on a shoulder strap and would like the more compact nature of a small sling bag. Looks like the K-1 might squeeze into the F-8.
 
Well, there's a thing ... After starting their journeys at different times and using different routes, both lenses turned up within an hour on my doorstep.

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First impressions:

The Yongnuo is actually impressively well built and works very well; it's not a tiny lens, but way smaller than the Z 35mm f/1.8 S, and lighter, too, but not by as much as you'd think when seeing them side by side. With the Yongnuo mounted, the Z f fits into my EDC bag without issue while it's a (literal) stretch with the Z 35mm f/1.8 S - which means that I either have to leave the hood behind or choose a different bag if I want to be sure not to damage the bag (and/or the hood). The Yongnuo calls for no such deliberations. As for performance, AF seems pretty snappy (except for the closer range, maybe under half a meter), the focus motor is quiet, but audible. No visible focus breathing (yay!), and initial images seem very sharp at the center wide open, but we'll see about that.

The Viltrox is indeed tiny and decidedly plasticky - but it's also just half the price and way smaller and lighter (half the weight, actually) than the Yongnuo. AF is a bit slow and even hesitant at times, but, if locked on, it's accurate and almost silent to boot. The short MFD of 0.19 meters is fun to play with. Focus breathing is noticeable, though, but can still be considered moderate.

As of now, I'm definitely more excited about the Yongnuo - this could indeed be a viable EDC lens for the Z f. Don't get me wrong, I like what the Z 40mm f/2 does optically, but I'm less sure about its long-term sturdiness and reliability. The all-metal build of the Yongnuo inspires considerably more confidence in this respect.

The Viltrox, on the other hand, may turn out to be a nice option for both the Z f (as a small true wide lens) as well as the Z fc and Z 50 - it's definitely at home on those bodies size-wise, and it's 30mm-e FOV is useful (as my experience with the Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 shows).

I'll head out with both lenses now - we'll see how it goes.

M.
 
Every so often I get curious about camera bags, and when I do, I usually like Domke. Ordered an F-8 to see if it might work for me. I have the Brevitē backpack, but there are times when I don't want the pack, but also don't quite want a camera swinging around on a shoulder strap and would like the more compact nature of a small sling bag. Looks like the K-1 might squeeze into the F-8.
For reference, XT5 with Sigma 18-50
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Sometimes the body and two f2’s
 
Good Afternoon,

My last purchase and project for a bit until after my surgery. This was an "out there" impulse buy at a local flea market last summer for all of $15.00; a 1950's Asahi Takumar 500mm f5 two-element achromat. I machined up an adapter and got it over to M42 with an AF focus confirm chip. It weighs in at about 5 pounds, has a minimum focus distance of 35 feet (!) and has lots of CA and vignetting. It was kind of a "fool's errand" but at least it kind of works...:).

Regards,

Edd

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I am supposed to go on a long work trip in the near future and want to ensure I do not carry too much, wanted a walk around lens that is better than my Panasonic 12-32mm and hopefully close in quality to, but smaller than my Olympus 14-54mm (and potentially focus faster than it, especially on my E-PL7). I considered the Oly 12-40mm but it is a bit bigger and I already have a lot of 58mm filters that will fit the Panasonic 12-35mm, so that's what I got.

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Hopefully it is a good compromise.
 
Well, there's a thing ... After starting their journeys at different times and using different routes, both lenses turned up within an hour on my doorstep.

View attachment 447610

First impressions:

The Yongnuo is actually impressively well built and works very well; it's not a tiny lens, but way smaller than the Z 35mm f/1.8 S, and lighter, too, but not by as much as you'd think when seeing them side by side. With the Yongnuo mounted, the Z f fits into my EDC bag without issue while it's a (literal) stretch with the Z 35mm f/1.8 S - which means that I either have to leave the hood behind or choose a different bag if I want to be sure not to damage the bag (and/or the hood). The Yongnuo calls for no such deliberations. As for performance, AF seems pretty snappy (except for the closer range, maybe under half a meter), the focus motor is quiet, but audible. No visible focus breathing (yay!), and initial images seem very sharp at the center wide open, but we'll see about that.

The Viltrox is indeed tiny and decidedly plasticky - but it's also just half the price and way smaller and lighter (half the weight, actually) than the Yongnuo. AF is a bit slow and even hesitant at times, but, if locked on, it's accurate and almost silent to boot. The short MFD of 0.19 meters is fun to play with. Focus breathing is noticeable, though, but can still be considered moderate.

As of now, I'm definitely more excited about the Yongnuo - this could indeed be a viable EDC lens for the Z f. Don't get me wrong, I like what the Z 40mm f/2 does optically, but I'm less sure about its long-term sturdiness and reliability. The all-metal build of the Yongnuo inspires considerably more confidence in this respect.

The Viltrox, on the other hand, may turn out to be a nice option for both the Z f (as a small true wide lens) as well as the Z fc and Z 50 - it's definitely at home on those bodies size-wise, and it's 30mm-e FOV is useful (as my experience with the Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 shows).

I'll head out with both lenses now - we'll see how it goes.

M.
Okay, even though light, weather and health haven't helped in the last couple of days, I've been able to gain a rather solid impression of the Yongnuo 35mm f/2 DF DSM. I found a lot of good things - but on the whole, it's not quite the lens I was hoping for, but then, my silent wishes were probably irrealistic anyway.

The basics: Build and functionality are fine - the lens works well, apart from rare hick-ups concerning AF, but in fairness, I was trying hard to make it fail (tiny subject, flat angle). The metal casing and mount are well made and finished. AF isn't the fastest, but not slow either, though slower than both the Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S and Z 40mm f/2 SE, both of which will be mentioned again. The lens is sharp wide open over most of the frame; in fact, for all reasonable ways of framing, it works fine (I rarely place my subjects in the far corners); stopping it down quickly takes care of whatever softness in the corners that might have been there, though they don't leave quite the same sharpness impression due to some minor abberrations (spherical and chromatic, probably with some residual coma). Again, we're talking about the extreme corners here. Interestingly, the Yongnuo actually appears to be the sharpest of the tat MFD - but its 0.35m MFD is also less ambitious than the Z 35mm's 0.25m and the Z 40mm's 0.29m. So, quite a good show - no worse than the Z 40mm f/2, in fact, a lens that costs more or less the same, but whose body is entirely made out of plastic.

However ... Both Z lenses render noticeably nicer; the Z 35mm f/1.8 S may be tiny bit softer (probably a tad less contrasty) wide open, but gives considerably smoother bokeh and warmer tones; the Z 40mm f/2 renders a somewhat more classic image because it's less well corrected, but it still manages visibly smoother bokeh. Both Nikon lenses also render warmer tones. The Yongnuo's very strong contrast may be the main cause of this - neither Nikon lens excels at this specific aspect (both are good, but definitely not bold; in fact, the Z 35mm f/1.8 S is the least contrasty of the f/1.8 S Line primes in my view).

All this boils down to a somewhat unexpected assessment: This Yongnou 35mm f/2 DF DSM is a good lens - and actually, as a single-lens solution (e.g. for light travel), I'd prefer it over both Nikon lenses: It's considerably smaller and lighter then the Z 35mm f/1.8 S - even more so in person than I thought it would be from looking at some images; sharpness is mostly comparable, in some ways even better wide open, specifcially close-up. So, you get a reliable performer while ending up with less bulk. The Yongnuo is also quite a bit sturdier than the Z 40mm f/2 - a lens that's quite a bit smaller and a lot lighter again; while I'd be reluctant to carry the Z f with the Z 40mm f/2 without a bag to store it safely, I can see myself carrying the camera with the Yongnuo on a shoulder strap. But for assignments, I'd definitely pick the Z 35mm f/1.8 S - and, even more crucially, for EDC purposes, I'd still pick the Z 40mm f/2. The latter's the key "disappointment" (not really, just in relation to what I had hoped): As a tool, the Yongnuo is absolutely fine, as a "brush", something to fuel my creativity, the Z 40mm f/2 remains preferable.

Is this a problem? No. In fact, the differences are, for the most part, minor; the Yongnuo is a compelling offer for the price, period. And some may even prefer the slightly more dramatic rendering from this lens over the smoothness of the Nikon lenses - in fact, it reminds me a bit of the Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f/2 II: brillant sharpness where it counts, "interesting"/"classic" bokeh, though the Voigtländer's is much more pronounced again. So, in some ways, one might see the way the Yongnuo draws as an asset because it's rather distinct - I myself am usually not after that kind of look, but I don't dislike it, either.

So, all in all, definitely a nice lens to own - and I'll use it for the "single lens" setup I've indicated above (in fact, that sparks a thought - we'll see, come April). But it actually doesn't change my choice of daily driver for the Z f: the Z 40mm f/2 SE - or, if I want to reduce size even further, the Z 26mm f/2.8. Which also means that from spring to fall, the Z f will face quite a bit of competition from its smaller and lighter sibling, the Z fc with Z 28mm f/2.8 SE: basically the same FOV, and, though this may be a bit unexpected, an even smoother rendering.

Now for the Viltrox 20mm f/2.8 ... :)

M.
 
Guess I'm a glutton for punishment, ordered another vintage lens. Hoping this goes better than my previous attempts. It's described as near mint from a seller with 100% positive feedback. But eBay is always risky business.

Canon FD 50mm f1.4 S.S.C
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I struck out yet again. I can't get the aperture to work at all. It stays wide open. I know the lens needs to be "engaged" for the aperture to work. That is what the adapter is suppose to do but it's not working. Not to mention it has haze in the internal elements when viewed with a flashlight.

I think I'm done with vintage lenses. :cry:
 
I struck out yet again. I can't get the aperture to work at all. It stays wide open. I know the lens needs to be "engaged" for the aperture to work. That is what the adapter is suppose to do but it's not working. Not to mention it has haze in the internal elements when viewed with a flashlight.

I think I'm done with vintage lenses. :cry:

Update: I got the aperture working. A member of another forum gave the advice to gently tap the lens body against your palm. And after a multiple attempts and working the aperture ring back and forth, it works. But in tern I discovered why it was stuck, bunch of oil on the blades. At least better than broken aperture mechanism but geez.
 
I think it'll just barely work! The Domke bag I've tried a couple of times before for smaller cameras was the F5xb, but I disliked the top zipper under the flap. The F-8 seems much easier to get into.
The pouches on the ends are quite useful, and have flaps to secure contents. The front pocket however has no flap so I have to be thoughtful about what I put in there. I’ve had two f5xb’s and the Velcro divider attachment (the fuzzy part inside the bag) wore out and since there are no other dividers or usable pockets their usefulness is slightly limited. That said, the fuzzy part of the f8 has worn out as well but not an issue as to how I use the bag now.
 
Now for the Viltrox 20mm f/2.8 ... :)
... which I explored today.

And I find it a really useful lens, actually. It's small, light, cheap, sufficiently well made (albeit completely omitting sealing) and, above all, optically surprisingly competent.

Firstly, it's quite resistant to flare (which is very important for a true wide-angle lens); the hood is a little loose, but otherwise works okay. I've failed to make the lens flare today, at least in any major way, and that's with walking and shooting towards the sun during the first half of my walk.

Optically, it's mostly a pleasant surprise - sharpness is good overall and quite impressive when stopped down over almost the whole frame (except for the corners, see below). CA is quite low, which is welcome - especially considering the price. There is visible coma, though - this is certainly no astro lens, because if there's something important in the corners, it'll most probably remain smeared; I saw this in one or two shots at f/11 and focused at infinity - it won't matter at all times, but I wouldn't use the lens for critical landscape shots. But it's certainly good enough for the occasional wide angle landscape shot, and I could see myself using it for street shooting (stopped down), travel or events where the corners usually don't matter. However, for two of the most obvious genres, architecture and landscape, it's not the first choice - its strange (and hard to correct) wavy distortion precludes the former, the coma issues in the corners the latter (again, only for critical work).

All that said, I really like the images coming from it - and, somewhat unexpectedly, also its bokeh. The lens can focus down to a useful 0.19m, remains pretty sharp over most of the frame at that setting even wide open and really shows rather smooth (usually not smeared or murky) out-of-focus areas.

AF isn't the fastest, but solid, i.e. mostly accurate (or visibly off - which is usually caused by not waiting for the system to actually lock on). After a short period of getting used to its (occasionally) hesitant performance, I didn't end up with any misfocused frames today.

All in all, for its very modest price, this is certainly a winner; I can easily see this join my minimalist FX travel kit (where it would replace the much more capable, but certainly less unique Z 26mm f/2.8 and join the Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3). What's more, as hinted at above, this might actually make a rather fun street lens - you can get close to the action, so to speak, and expect sharp results, whether shot wide open or at f/8, though in the first case, you might end up with some frames out of focus, but if images are sharp, you can expect them to have a nice depth to them as a bonus.

It's certainly not quite on the same level as the Jongnuo performance-wise - but nor is it bad in any major way, and it's actually considerably more fun to shoot because the results are consisently better than expected (the Yongnuo "just" hits the spot - its own spot, to be precise; it's less good at pervailing in a direct comparison ...).

So, there you go - this was an worthwhile little journey, and I got two keepers for less than you'd usually pay for just one ... Interesting times.

M.
 
Well written Matt.
My Viltrox 20 arrived. The size is charming. It's amazingly competent for its price. A really nice addition to my prime kit (20, 28, 40 and 85) and allows for a nice range of lengths with easy carry in a small bag.
... which I explored today.

And I find it a really useful lens, actually. It's small, light, cheap, sufficiently well made (albeit completely omitting sealing) and, above all, optically surprisingly competent.

Firstly, it's quite resistant to flare (which is very important for a true wide-angle lens); the hood is a little loose, but otherwise works okay. I've failed to make the lens flare today, at least in any major way, and that's with walking and shooting towards the sun during the first half of my walk.

Optically, it's mostly a pleasant surprise - sharpness is good overall and quite impressive when stopped down over almost the whole frame (except for the corners, see below). CA is quite low, which is welcome - especially considering the price. There is visible coma, though - this is certainly no astro lens, because if there's something important in the corners, it'll most probably remain smeared; I saw this in one or two shots at f/11 and focused at infinity - it won't matter at all times, but I wouldn't use the lens for critical landscape shots. But it's certainly good enough for the occasional wide angle landscape shot, and I could see myself using it for street shooting (stopped down), travel or events where the corners usually don't matter. However, for two of the most obvious genres, architecture and landscape, it's not the first choice - its strange (and hard to correct) wavy distortion precludes the former, the coma issues in the corners the latter (again, only for critical work).

All that said, I really like the images coming from it - and, somewhat unexpectedly, also its bokeh. The lens can focus down to a useful 0.19m, remains pretty sharp over most of the frame at that setting even wide open and really shows rather smooth (usually not smeared or murky) out-of-focus areas.

AF isn't the fastest, but solid, i.e. mostly accurate (or visibly off - which is usually caused by not waiting for the system to actually lock on). After a short period of getting used to its (occasionally) hesitant performance, I didn't end up with any misfocused frames today.

All in all, for its very modest price, this is certainly a winner; I can easily see this join my minimalist FX travel kit (where it would replace the much more capable, but certainly less unique Z 26mm f/2.8 and join the Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3). What's more, as hinted at above, this might actually make a rather fun street lens - you can get close to the action, so to speak, and expect sharp results, whether shot wide open or at f/8, though in the first case, you might end up with some frames out of focus, but if images are sharp, you can expect them to have a nice depth to them as a bonus.

It's certainly not quite on the same level as the Jongnuo performance-wise - but nor is it bad in any major way, and it's actually considerably more fun to shoot because the results are consisently better than expected (the Yongnuo "just" hits the spot - its own spot, to be precise; it's less good at pervailing in a direct comparison ...).

So, there you go - this was an worthwhile little journey, and I got two keepers for less than you'd usually pay for just one ... Interesting times.

M.
A quick first shot.
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Every so often I get curious about camera bags, and when I do, I usually like Domke. Ordered an F-8 to see if it might work for me. I have the Brevitē backpack, but there are times when I don't want the pack, but also don't quite want a camera swinging around on a shoulder strap and would like the more compact nature of a small sling bag. Looks like the K-1 might squeeze into the F-8.
I have an F2, 5XA, and 5XB. I’ve always been happy with Domke.
 
The F-8 bag arrived, and I think it's a winner. I pulled the dividers out, and there's just the right amount of room to drop a camera with a lens - even the K-1 II with a decent sized lens - and have it ride along securely, with very easy access. I got the weathered/ruggedized version, and it looks darn good to my eye. Camera goes in and out very smoothly.
 
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