Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Overread, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Vivitar 28mm f2.8 M42 Screw mount lens currently mostly collecting some dust on my older film camera. I have been considering taking this lens and my kenko extension tubes - getting a canon reverse mounting adaptor and connecting the two together for some macro work on my main camera (400D).
    Apparently it should give me some silly strong magnification factor though I am wondering if the lens itself has enough quality to warrent trying.

    Also anyone got any general advice on reverse mounting lenses? The lens in question does have a (little bit stiff) manual aperture closing slider and (of course) an easy to turn manual aperture ring
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Short focal length lenses reversed are often a pain to work with. I'd be more interested in using the lens with an M42 to Canon EF lens adapter,and using it as a wide angle lens on the 400D. You do not actually "need" an adapter to test out the 28mm lens on the 400D--simply take the lens and firmly hold it against the lens mount of the 400D and see how limited the working distances are. A 28mm reversed will give you only a few centimeters' worth of working distance between the lens front and your subject. It's surprising, but simply hand-holding the lens to the body will work much better than you might imagine, in many cases.

    A much better solution might be to mount the 28mm reversed on the from of the 70mm Sigma macro you have, which would give you roughly a 2.5:1 maximum magnification ratio. If you put the 28 reversed on the 150mm, it'd provide about a 150/28 or about a 5.3:1 maximum magnification. Use the inner lens, the one mounted to the camera, as the aperture controller, and the 28mm reversed wide-open on the front. This would give you some high-magnification possibilities that might be fun to explore.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    ahh I didn't think of reverse mounting it on the macro already! Now there is something else to try for certain. I will probably try it on the 150mm - its front is a bit stronger than the 70mm and it does not extend either so should be eaiser to work with.

    As for the 28mm on the canon body - you think its worth trying? I honestly have no idea of the lenses optical performance
     
  4. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I bought a Canon EF mount to m42 adapter for about $7, a 28, 50, and 135 all f/2.8 lenses for about $50 or less I cannot remember exactly, and a m42 bellows, for $30. I have only used each a few times in different combination, but for the low cost I would say its worthwhile, is not for anything else but having fun trying new things. With the bellows and a shorter lens the working distance is extremely small, but very high magnification. I have been meaning to use the m42 lenses on their own more, but from my initial impression, is that they give a interesting and almost classic feel to the photos. I still don't use the stuff much, but its nice to try something new with them every once in a while.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Overread, sure, it's worth a try at least, especially given the low cost of M42 to EOS lens adapters from eBay vendors. You might stop by this thread Vivitar 28mm As FA31mm Replacement? - PentaxForums.com

    There were apparently two manufacturers of the 28/2.8 in M42 for Vivitar. The lens might be better than you expect it to be; I bought a Pentax Super-Tajkumar 135mm f/3.5 and though, "How could this old 1960's lens, only an f/3.5, possibly be all that good?" Well, I tried it....astounding optics. Same with the Super-Takumar 200mm f/4 in M42....amazingly sharp optics.

    No offense, but Canon's 28mm f/2.8 is no great shakes; many older, manual focus lenses are considered better. Canon's 28/2.8 EF is like Nikon's 35mm f/2 AF-D...a placeholder in its focal length range. The Vivitar might actually be quite acceptable in real-world use: I know I never thought a 1960-s made,slowish 135mm lens could be so good. As a reverse mount lens on the 150, I expect the 28/2.8 made by Komine or Kiron or Tokina, for Vivitar, could be a very excellent part of a two-lens relay system for ultra-macro.
     
  6. Retrocamera

    Retrocamera TPF Noob!

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    There are a lot of old great M42-lenses that have great optics (and of course some bad - you just need to google them first ir take a chance). I use only M42 (some Asahi) and Contax/Yashica on my digital Canon nowadays.

    One of my favorites cost me $2... because people believe it's not possible to use them anymore, or believe that they must be bad since they are not new ... because development most move forward, right? We are trained to see things linear, things must be better because they are new - but that's just wrong.

    So my tip - buy an adapter and start collecting, even if you buy bad lenses they are so cheap you gain more then you loose. Beware of possible addiction though ;)
     

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