Category Archives: ThisOldLens

Minolta Maxxum/Sony A Mount 20mm f/2.8

While “native” native lenses are preferable most of the time I have had very good luck with AF adapted film lenses. In addition to the Techart TA-GA3 I wrote about for KEH I have also enjoyed using the Sony LA-EA4 A mount adapter.IMG_20180116_125732_329 One lens I first had a hard time parting with the money for was the Minolta Maxxum 20mm f/2.8. But then I realized that it was good enough that Sony basically rebranded it as is today new. Then I looked at other similarly spec’d lenses for Sony and other brands… And then I went back and bought it hastily from yon local camera shoppe.

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Continue reading Minolta Maxxum/Sony A Mount 20mm f/2.8

Love DSLRs. But I chose mirrorless because I love film gear more.

A valid response to this blog title is “What?” Allow me to explain. Or try to anyway.

These are interesting times. A lot of virtual ink is spilled debating between mirrorless or DSLR. Most points made miss the point for me really. Sure, I chose mirrorless. But my choice has nothing to do with a dislike for DSLRs. I love DSLRs. But I love film cameras more.

But, but… Battery life… OVF over EVF… Native lens selection… AF speed… Dual card slots… So on and so forth. Meh. Gladly put up with all of this. (And most of these concerns are being eliminated by the most recent wave of mirrorless cameras. An A7iii will be in my future and it may go down as the industry tipping point.) But once again film tech is what changed my mind.

Why? Continue reading Love DSLRs. But I chose mirrorless because I love film gear more.

The Franken-portrait-lens aka the LA-EA4 adapted AF Minolta Maxxum 135mm f/2.8.

A little background. I like…

  1. A bargain. Family battle cry “Never pay retail!”
  2. Combining disparate pieces to create franken lens combos (exhibit A).
  3. 135mm f/2.8 film lenses (exhibit A and exhibit B).27273345581_5556579593_o

Continue reading The Franken-portrait-lens aka the LA-EA4 adapted AF Minolta Maxxum 135mm f/2.8.

Maxxum 7 and Maxxum 7D: Analog and Digital Vintage Wonderfulness Twins

If photography needs to make sense you are probably not doing it right.

I started uttering this half-jokingly some time ago in response to being drawn to a piece of gear or a photo idea that steps outside the realm of the reasoned. Usually having to do with film somehow. (Brace yourself. This is a long one.)

No difference here. The usual starting place…

So there I was surfing the interwebs researching some random notion that washed over my psyche with no warning and I realized that there existed an Alpha 7 before the Alpha 7. More specifically the Minolta Alpha 7. And it was gorgeous. Was a good camera also I heard.

Never knew this camera existed, but now that I did I must have one.

Continue reading Maxxum 7 and Maxxum 7D: Analog and Digital Vintage Wonderfulness Twins

This Old Camera: Pentax 645N. A Practical Impractical Camera

I have dabbled with a few medium format film cameras in recent years. Wonderful devices, but practical is not a word that jumps to mind. They kind of make no sense admittedly. If you want to use film 35mm cameras should do the job. Plenty of sharp lenses on 35mm. Plenty of great 35mm cameras. Nikon F-something, Leica M-anything, Contax G or T then number and on and on. But if you are looking for those things many like in pictures without even knowing why, like DOF, focus fall off and detail, it is hard to beat medium format film. Why not digital medium format? Go check out the prices of even years old, used medium format digital cameras at the big sites and come back. Start out with the son of Pentax 645N, the 645D, not even the more recent 645Z. I’ll wait…

You back? I know, right? Ok. As I was saying medium format film cameras.

Continue reading This Old Camera: Pentax 645N. A Practical Impractical Camera

This Old Camera: Zorki 4. meh.

Wanted to like this camera. Has some definite perks. As suggested to me by an Instagram acquaintance it has a fantastic viewfinder. But I did not warm up to it at all for some reason. Maybe because it was too normal?

Most likely it is because infinity did not line up when using the Industar 50 it came with. Perhaps because the eveready case flops about on the bottom owing to the non-flush tripod mount. Looks good, but not as tidy and as one of a piece like the wonderfully snug FED 2 and Industar 10 in their case. That set up’s feel and performance belies its frugal pricing. Continue reading This Old Camera: Zorki 4. meh.