Photographer Mathieu Stern is passionate about finding and even making unusual lenses. This time, he hit a flea market and found a $6 treasure: Rollei 90mm f/2.4 MC. It’s a slide projector lens, but Mathieu adapted it to his Sony mirrorless camera and found out that it’s also great for portraits.
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Weird and crazy lenses is what Mathieu Stern has become known for. He seems to find some of the most unusual lenses that ever existed, and then makes them fit onto his Sony mirrorless camera. Fortunately for us, he posts images and video captured by those lenses he finds to YouTube.
And this particular lens is a beauty. A Carl Zeiss Kipronar 120mm f/1.9 projector lens which cost him only $70. It’s fixed wide open at f/1.9 and was never meant to be used for shooting photos. But Mathieu was able to adapt it. He says the closest he could find to a modern equivalent of this lens is the $7,000 Leica APO-Macro_Summarit-S F2.5/120mm.
With lenses getting more and more expensive, here is a nice trick for getting wonderful photos with an f/1.8 140mm lens for less than 100$.
When most of us are testing out new lenses, it’s often a very subjective thing. And our testing exercises are rarely very scientific. In fact, we may not even notice some issues until we’ve had a lens for a few months. Then, one day, the problem pops up, clear as day. For cinematographers that rely on a certain level of technical excellence in the equipment, though, it’s a big deal.
They want to know that a lens can stand up to the task. That multiple lenses used to shoot a scene from multiple angles are consistent. Rental houses also want to be sure that equipment comes back to them in the same condition as when it left. So, they take things a little more seriously. This video from Cinematography Database shows off some of the process, and what they’re looking for when testing.
Non-photographic lenses such as projector or spy lenses can be used for taking some stunning photos. But have you considered using a medical lens? Mathieu Stern got to test an Elicar 90mm f2.5 Macro Medical V-HQ, a relatively rare lens that was used by medical professionals in the ‘80s. And it turns out that it’s super sharp and great for close-up shots.
Lens adapters to put Canon EF mount lenses onto M mount bodies are nothing new. Canon’s had one for a while now. But when it comes to speedbooster style adapters, one company’s pretty much had the market sewn up, and that’s Metabones. But Metabones only produces such adapters for Sony, Micro Four Thirds and Fuji crop cameras. At least for now.
A new Japanese patent (2018185393) suggests that Canon will be working on their own, now, though, breathing some new life to their EOS M mount line of cameras – as well as their EF mount lenses as they make the push towards full frame mirrorless.
It’s the holiday season and it seems like Christmas lights are everywhere you look. Photographer Mathieu Stern has taken advantage of this and he’s turned those lights into some crazy bokeh. In his latest video, he uses three cheap vintage lenses and turns the Christmas lights into rich, sparkly, “bokehlicious” backdrop. So if you’re planning some holiday-themed portraits, maybe you can look for these lenses at flea markets or eBay.
Smartphones are fantastic tools for showing off our work, watching movies, or even playing games. Their “big” problem, though, is that their screens are rather small. This means if you want it bigger, you must connect it up to a TV or use a projector. Projectors for phones have been on the market now for a couple of years, but most of the decent ones are quite expensive. So, why not make your own?
This video from Matthew at DIY Perks shows us how to build our own “Ultimate Smartphone Projector” from scratch. Matthew first shows us a more traditional DIY smartphone projector. But that type of projector has some issues, which Matthew highlights. Those problems are solved with his rather ingenious periscope-style design.
Adding a projector to your kit might seem a little old fashioned these days. But projecting images toward your subject or the background can be extremely effective. Whether you’re shooting video or stills, it offers results that would otherwise be impossible to create.
Doing it with video is relatively straightforward, and there are many different ways you can apply it. This video from DP Justin Jones and Ted Sim at Aputure shows us three great ways we can use projection in our work. Specifically they cover music videos, but the techniques can be applied to anything. When it comes to photography, it can be a little more tricky, but it’s definitely possible.