Hi guys from Rome, Italy!
I’d like to show some of the capabilities that “old” lenses have, taking for granted that many among you already know this. But, you know, sometimes actual experiences may help for… a new rush for buying!
Let me start from my present going-nuts-derive for the M4/3: I was an SLR addicted in the times of Athens vs. Troy war, with some Canon lenses (i.e., 20, 35, 100 and 200 FDs, that I still have in my dusty bag). More, I’ve always being luring for Leica HW, which I could never afford to buy. But a long time repressed desire can become reality, sometimes…
When the Lumix showed up (I’ve seen it for the first time at CES 2009) I was attracted by the promise of a better color fidelity: I had a couple of Sony DSC-F828 that I used for taking pictures from what the projectors I test do show on screen. I run a website named www.htprojectors.com that is obviously related to Home Theater projectors, and when making tests I was maybe the first to add actual photographs taken from the screen. This is not exactly easy, since the whole reproduction chain is involved: the monitor you use is critical, since lot of people have non correct setups, so what you try to show with a shot might be overrun by wrong settings. No need to say that the source is equally important, so the Sony was starting to show its limit.
This is why I was taken by the Lumix, and I rapidly discovered the new “lens paradise” that was related, starting with RJ adapters that I found. He’s very kind, but lives in the Far East, and this is not the best solution for exchanging specific needs.
Stumbling on the net, I found someone really close to home, and, boy, this man is a genius. He’s Adriano Lolli, a master in this craftsman’s art (www.adrianololli.com). While being very peculiar (he’s an optics addicted, and you can’t force him with time, that is a don’t care for him), he can do almost everything: I visited his lab and he has an incredible collection of lenses, adapters, rings and whatever stuff you can (and cannot) imagine. If you add a 90 minutes trip from Rome, you’ll see why he’d become my “adapter pusher”.
Back to optics.
I was attracted by Leitz, as I mentioned, and by Angenieux too.
I know you know it, but this is what a cheap, old and long forgotten Leitz Hector 135mm f/4.5 can do…
So I started my chase with the classic Angenieux 12-120mm, that I found on eBay with the Arri mount.
No problem, I can rely on Adriano. But when I found the 5.9mm, a rectilinear fisheye used by Kubrick and others, I panicked. It was to cheap to be true, the classic surplus sale that makes you mad: real or fake? I made it, hoping that the lens could become a bargain.
Far from being perfect from an aesthetic point of view (that I don’t consider too much…) the Angenieux I received wasn’t bad…