What’s in a lens?

I posted this stuff about HoToP (the Holy Trilogy of Photography) some time ago when I still had too many cameras and too many Canons.408D596E-A3FC-4C48-AED7-3238AD498DA8.jpeg

Now that I’m somewhat older and wiser (not!) I have again this terrible trio of lenses, but this time for a real camera – my Spotmatic SP. I have the 28mm f:3.5, the 55mm f:1.8 and the 135mm f:2.5 Takumars.

I would have expected to use the 55mm most (which is the case) and the 28 just behind it and the 135mm way down in the field. Problem is, that big heavy behemoth of a lens is, right behind the 55, my favorite.

I like the feel of it on the Spotmatic. the heft in my hand, the solid metal construction. And I like the smoothness of the focus and the precise action of the aperture ring.0F36A18D-D94B-4E08-B957-E32CAE8E7ABC.jpeg

But above all I love the rendering of this lens. I still have to shoot a roll of black and white film with it but in color, though a humble Agfa Vista 200, if does make miracles!

Colors are popping, contrast is great… this might make me regret what I said about my preference in color film HERE just yesterday!6F5F49FC-0471-4674-BBA1-F6854F0C8BDD

As I said, it was the first roll, but definitely not the last I shot using this lens.

OK, color and contrast are nice to have but what about this very long focal length?3AC57A0A-4074-4417-8868-3F28AB4A1408

In fact this is a question I have asked myself each time I went out with a 135mm on a camera. And each time I found just the stuff that looks good with it.

Just like a 50mm (or 55, sorry Takumar) this focal lenght seems natural to me. I see stuff and I automatically position myself within inches of the right spot. No sprint to get the correct frame. Can anyone tell me why this is so? Why do we seem to find the correct distance form our subjects with this automatic precision, depending on the lenses we have on our cameras?62FFEB78-36B1-4E1E-8A0B-0443F236C9B0

And we don’t use zooms, do we?

Anyways, I hesitiated before buying this 135mm f:2.5 as it is significantly more expensive than the f:3.5 version. But it’s worth every cent, believe me.

I can isolate any individual flower, bring out the grain and beauty of old wood and paint the most beautiful light pictures (man that does sound so full of myself – sorry).03409586-8722-4E46-86E8-D22E50B64019

I love this lens! Do yourselves a favour if you shoot M42 cameras or even digital cameras.92CF5F90-F240-4147-9080-1C36ECE4E906

Get a Takumar 135mm f:2.5!


Well, I think after this post I’ll stop posting gear stuff for a while. I’m not promising anything, mind you.

Thanks for stopping by!

8 thoughts on “What’s in a lens?

Add yours

  1. Morning Frank. Nice shots as ever. We’re they digitised using the XE-1? That seems to boost contrast, looking at your post with regards to this. An interesting exercise might be to try digitising the Canon 135mm shots with the XE-1 for comparison. Just a thought. Keep up the good work on the blog.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. It took me a few dozen shots to get used to 135mm when I first used them as I used 50 and 55mm lenses previously almost exclusively. Every time I tried to frame a shot, I then had to step back a metre or two! I read some tips on shooting with 135mm and similar tele lenses, and one that really helped was to think about using them for isolation compositions. In other words when you want a subject in sharp focus and the background blurred so it isolates and emphasises the subject. After a bit more practice I got used to being in the right position from the outset for each shot. Would be interesting to go back to one now though, I’ve only shot 24-50mm lenses on compacts for about nine months, I’d probably be getting too close again all the time with a 135mm!


  3. Frank, you make it sound like this is a problem, why? You have a great lens that you enjoy using and you find it easy to take shots with. Doesn’t sound like a problem, relax, enjoy and make more wonderful images 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Interestingly, I have recently been using a 135mm lens on my Miranda and I had forgotten what using a longish lens like this was like. In fact i don’t think I have ever owned a 135mm fixed lens. I’ve had zooms that covered that focal length but using a fixed telephoto I think is new to me. It is a different experience and I do like being able to get close up, isolating subjects as you say above.


      2. That’s the purpose of those lenses in my opinion. People think they are for bringing far away stuff closer… They got it all wrong! They are for making c’ose things clearer!

        Liked by 1 person

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