Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring ahead

Well, it's not yet Spring but we have moved our clocks ahead one hour. It's just one more sign that the end of Winter is nearing. Last weekend I also noticed a few flip-flops in action. Soon enough I can change into my shorts too. Not lucky RED shorts that Geoff wears but a more conservative, subdued colour.


Petrol was $1.311 /ltr the other day = $4.96 /US gallon . Today it has gone up to $1.327 /ltr . I don't know why as oil went down on the world markets. Lucky I don't have a gas guzzling SUV. I can't imagine having to shell out over $100. for a tank of gasoline.

I go to work early and our temps are still hovering around freezing. Yesterday I was very tempted to ride and I was humming and hawing and in the end decided to use my Honda. When I left I had to scrape the ice off the windshield even though it was around 2°C (Above freezing) so I think I made the right decision. A couple of hours later I looked out my office window and saw the sun come out and the rest of the afternoon was just beautiful and perfect for riding.


Earlier in the week I did manage to commute on my V-strom but since we moved our clocks ahead, the mornings are darker. It's a trade off but I would rather have usuable daylight after work, than before.

You all probably know that I am a hobbyist and I like to experiment with my photographic equipment. I still have a lot of stuff hidden away but lately I have been playing around with old, classic, prime-lenses. I managed to acquire a set of Takumar SMC M42 screw mount lenses along with an SP body which appears to work just fine. I also recently picked up an M42 SMC Takumar 28mm 3.5 courtesy of CL

I have been busily ordering adapters off eBay so I can drag out more stuff I have hidden away. I have noticed many people have been getting great results from their Zeiss lenses. ZF, ZM, ZE, ZA, ZK etc I wasn't sure what all this meant but basically Zeiss stopped lens production a decade ago but decided to bring out new lenses in popular mounts. I don't have the desire to spend funds on new lenses but I remembered that I still had a couple of classic Zeiss lenses and my Contax 139 quartz body in C/Y mount.


Being a member of the British Commonwealth it was easier to select a vendor which shipped from Hong Kong for then I can have my items shipped to me directly to my work address, with shipping included using EMS (Express Mail Service). If I order from a USA vendor I have to ship to Point Roberts, WA then waste a half a day to cross the border and pick it up. Also I have to pay the HST (12%), and duty, if applicable. Small dollar items up to around equivalent C$40. are usually exempted from both HST and duty.

(C/Y to EOS adapter)

It only takes around 10-14 days from time of clicking my mouse to receiving the goods. (C/Y = Contax Yashica)

(Zeiss Planar 50mm 1.4, mounted on Contax 139 Quartz)

The Zeiss 50mm 1.4 is probably one of the finest 50mm lens made

I also had a 25mm 2.8 Distagon T*

(Zeiss Distagon 25mm 2.8 T*)

With the use of this adapter, I am now able to use these fine lenses on my EOS Canon T2i body

(Zeiss 50mm 1.4 Planar, mounted on Canon T2i)

Lenses are used in manual, stop-down meter mode, aperature priority. Focusing is very smooth and you have a distance/focus scale


I find that prime lenses are usually sharper as they have been optimized for that specific focal length . You loose a little convenience as you have to let your legs do the zooming, either that, or you have to be more creative in cropping your subjects.


  1. Looking forward to the images from the Zeiss glass. I have always heard that their optics was great but don't have any experience with the brand (besides the lens on my enlarger). I must be lazy as I would rather give up the sharper images from the quality of the lens for the convenience of vibration reduction.

    Happy Spring!


  2. Wow, that's very cool. I'm looking forward to seeing the results, too.

  3. Amazing. Our last couple of mornings have also hovered a little above freezing. And the days are warming to 80F (27C). Saving graces is that the humidity hasn't rolled in yet.

    Have fun dusting off the toys. Looking forward to some shots from the lenses and not of the lenses. :)

    -Steel Cupcake

  4. I'm glad someone is smart enough to use those things, it's just point and shoot for me...and sometimes that's a challenge!

  5. RichardM: IOS or VC or whatever they call IS is overplayed. In the old days you used the reciprocal of the focal length. Now with digital there are no problems and shorter flange to sensor distances, IS is not a problem, just watch your shutter speed. (note: IS = image stabilization)

    Kathy/ToadMama: some results are on the next entry.

    Lori/BeemerGirl: I always thought that photography was about collecting the best lenses and bodies. What a silly notion of using them too.

    My manual focus lenses are just for fun, gives me a chance to use stuff I already have.

    Ken: It's a hobby. What else would I be doing with my time, besides riding. I have had these manual focus lenses for decades, except for the Takumar stuff which landed in my lap. There is a story to be told . . .