Menu Close

Category / Legacy Lens

Helios 44 M – Lens Review

Helios 44 M Lens Review (2 of 8)

[Today we have our first contribution from Emil Berth, a photo geek and all-around cool guy from Denmark, whose occasional contributing articles we hope you’ll all enjoy. Let’s welcome him. – James]

The recent surge in popularity of mirror-less cameras coupled with affordable lens adapters has effectively elevated a handful of mostly-forgotten legacy lenses to a new level of popularity that they’ve not enjoyed in decades. One such lens bears the name Helios, and the Helios 44 models in particular are regarded by many photo geeks as being among the greatest legacy lenses to come from the long-departed U.S.S.R.

But why does this lens enjoy such cult status these days? What makes it so desirable compared to its German and Japanese contemporaries? Is it especially lightweight? Does it produce exceptional sharpness?

We wanted to know, so I took the lens for a little walk around Copenhagen to see what it could do. Continue Reading

Canon FD 24mm F/2.8 S.S.C. – Lens Review

_DSC5501

Not long ago, we penned an opinion that every photo geek should own a wide-angle lens. In case you missed it, we heralded the incredible ability of wide-angle lenses to present a vision of the world that just can’t be captured by a standard or telephoto lens.

Taking our own advice, we spent the past few weeks shooting wide, and today we’ve got a review of a pretty fantastic wide-angle lens. It’s Canon’s FD 24mm F/2.8 S.S.C., and whether you’re shooting a vintage film Canon or a new mirror-less or DSLR camera, it’s one of the best values in wide-angle photography.

It’s not a perfect lens, but this legacy glass just might provide everything we’re looking for in a wide focal length.

Should you add this beautiful chunk of glass to your camera bag? Let’s find out.

Continue Reading

Why Everyone Should Shoot a Wide Angle Lens

At its very best, photography presents the viewer with something previously unseen. Some of the best photographs are the ones that show a far away place, a seemingly impossible event, or an unimaginable situation. These shots usually come from those annoyingly well-traveled and worldly photographers whose websites, blogs, and Instagram accounts we mere mortals enviously follow.

But fear not, for us plebeian scum it’s still possible to make compelling and inspired photos, even if our budget for travel and gear is a bit limited.

And one of the simplest ways to increase the dynamism and visual interest of our images is by using a wide-angle lens. By widening our angle of view, we’re able to capture shots of the world around us in a way that’s exquisitely uncommon and decidedly more compelling than when shooting with a standard lens.

But just how much, and in what ways can wide-angle lenses impact your photography? Let’s find out.

Continue Reading

Pentax – A SMC 35mm F/2.8 – Lens Review

Pentax A SMC 35mm 2.8 Lens Review

We’re back from a brief vacation and we’ve brought with us a treasure trove of material for our Photophile friends! First on the docket is a review of a pretty rare and rather wonderful legacy lens from Pentax. It’s the SMC Pentax-A 35mm F/2.8.

During our journey up and around Maine’s rocky coast, we shot this hard-to-find lens in a variety of stereotypically autumnal New England situations. We peeped leaves and hiked trails, we strolled through colonial fishing villages and sipped nutmeg-infused beverages, we basked in fleeting sunshine and we froze our asses off. And of course, we snapped photos.

We really wanted to put this lens through its paces to see how it performed on both vintage and digital cameras, so we not only shot it on a pair of classic film machines (the Pentax ME and the Ricoh XR-1), but later adapted it to the Sony A7 as well.

How did the SMC-A 35mm/2.8 comport itself? We’ve got the inside scoop on this uncommon assemblage of glass.

Continue Reading

What’s a Prime Lens and Why You Need One (or Five)

Nikkor 20mm 3.5 1

Prime lenses are amazing marvels of optical wonder. And even though they’ve been around for as long as photography itself, there are still people out there who don’t shoot them, and may not even know what they are. If this sounds like you, worry not! We’re here to tell you what prime lenses are all about and why you need to be shooting them.

Whether you’re a new photographer or a seasoned shooter, and whether you’re shooting a classic film machine or the most advanced digital camera, shooting prime lenses can help improve your technique and aid in the creation of exceptional images.

These single focal length lenses provide unmatched performance over their zoom counterparts. And while they ask a little more of the user, the benefits to shooting primes far outweigh the drawbacks. In fact, we’re hard pressed to think of any substantive drawbacks at all!

So, let’s get to it. Here are a few simple reasons you need to shoot primes.

Continue Reading

Older Posts
%d bloggers like this: