Fidgeting with Focal Length

New life and speed for old glass and new glass too….

'Couv' Camera

Last time I mentioned focal reducers and I thought I would go over them in detail this time round. Focal reducers are in essence the opposite of a tele-converter. Rather than increasing the effective focal length of a lens they decrease the effective focal length of the lens. How do they work and are they any good? Let’s find out.

First I want to start with tele-converters as they have been around in photography much longer. These are often referred to as “doublers” because the most common ones effectively doubled the focal length. I call it ‘effective’ because the lens focal length does not physically change. With a tele-converter the way the focal length is “doubled” is by having a lens assembly that crops away 75% of the image and then projects the remaining 25% in the center across the entire sensor or film. Because 75% is cropped away, the…

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I love those old Zeiss Lenses!

PhotoFair is a great place to find amazing old school glass that can be easily adapted to many of our modern digital cameras. Of course you can always should them with film too! I shot this pic of my wife’s dog Maggie, recently with my Zeiss Biotar in Exakta mount. I have an adapter for both my EOS SLRs (digital and film) as well as my M5 mirorless. That 65 year old lens still delivers some charm and character. Portland is coming up in September, on the 29th at the Jackson Armory and the Fall PhotoFair in Newark at the Pavilion is November 10th.

Sometimes these old lenses are really inexpensive, sometimes not, but this Zeiss Biotar is a lens that can be found for under a $100 in mid-grade condition. I actually got mine from Pacific Rim Camera who will be at the next PhotoFair in Portland!

Fabulous Fifties easy to find at PhotoFair!

Oh those Fabulous Fifties…
June 12, 2018 by rodsager, published on ‘Couv’ Camera

I am not sure if anyone has started a support group for people with too many 50mm lenses… I stand up and say, “Hello my name is Rod and I have more than dozen fifty millimeter lenses” The group says in unison, “Hi Rod!” And so the therapy begins. I just shoot pictures for therapy and what better way than with a whole tanker load of lenses!

Today I want to chat up the fabulous fifties and as you can already ascertain, I’m not talking about Elvis, malt shops, drive in dining, or rockin’ around the clock. I am talking about the 50mm lenses and their impact on photography. For 35mm and full frame digital this is a standard or ‘normal’ lens. Standard is probably the better name as one can ask, what really is “normal?” The theory has always been that 50mm on FF closely approximates the angle of view for human vision excluding peripheral vision. Standard seems to encompass the focal range of 45mm-58mm, the best of which depends on who you ask. The 50mm lens on full frame offers an unexaggerated perspective and sometimes that’s just perfect.

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