Photographer Mathieu Stern has built an admirable collection of rare, weird, super-cheap and DIY lenses so far. With his latest finding, he kinda brought all of this together. He laid his hands on a Cinestar 75mm f/1.9, a cinema projector lens. After making his own adapter, he used it on a Sony a7 III and tested it in a video. If you are a swirly bokeh fan, you’re gonna love it.
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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.
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.
I wanted a device that can throw light patterns onto a wall or a model. There are some commercially available but they are quite expensive and I this was only for occasional use. I thought that this is something that can be 3D printed. I bought a Bowens mounting ring and some cheap macro extension tubes (For the Nikon F mount since I already have lenses for it) from eBay and designed an adapter between them.
The adapter that I made has slots for different kinds of gobos between the strobe and the lens
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.