Jump to content


Receive a FREE CAMERA BAG from Think Tank Photo

Photo
* * * * * 8 votes

Time Travel - Back to the '70s


  • Please log in to reply
64 replies to this topic

#41 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 23 January 2013 - 20:42

For many years, starting around 1969, my by far most used lens was the Nikkor 24 mm f/2.8. Since this no longer is the case, I'm curious to understand why.

I had several versions of this lens, from the first one Nikkor-N without multicoating (later stolen), to pre-AI Nikkor-NC (multicoating), then the first AI and finally AIS. The latter I have had two copies as the first one developed a fault (my tinkering with it probably caused the issue) and was given to a friend who is a wizard repairing such stuff so he made it working again. I strengthened an already strong friendship and he got himself a nice lens so this was a win-win situation. Meanwhile, I purchased a mint AIS copy from KEH for $150 incl. shipping. This got its CPU implanted and now is a backup lens for some IR mainly apart from occasional use in an underwater housing.

A few old pictures taken with the 24 exist today so I'll show some of them to give an overview of what the lens was used for in those long gone times.

An ancient free-standing oak at dawn. The tree now is protected by Law and thus the road had to be redirected to let the tree survive, but not by much.

Ancient Oak at Dawn (Nikon F, 24/2.8 Nikkor, probably Ektachrome)
24mmDawn0300110.jpg

I did a lot of more mundane botanical subjects at that time, so one of the main uses for the 24 was documenting plants in their habitat. Here is an example (Yellow Bird's Nest in an old blueberry-spruce forest)

Monotropa (Yellow Bird's Nest) in old blueberry-spruce forest (Nikon F, 24/2.8, Kodachrome)
24mmMonotropa24343.jpg

Incidentally, it was for such use I got the 15/5.6 Nikkor, believing I would get everything into sharp focus because of its large depth of field. I was, however, soon to learn a practical lesson in the difference between a model prediction and the actual, observable outcome, plus the need to include *all* variables in the equation. Thus, basically, the expectations were not achieved. At that time I could only acknowledge the verdict of my pictures but now, fourty years later, did I finally understand why,

Another use for a wide lens such as the 24 was of course taking snapshots. You could zone focus the lens and thus shoot quickly without being noticed.

At the Fleamarket (Nikon F, 24/2.8, Ektachrome)
24mmFleamarket42383.jpg

The small, neat wide-angle made for a great lens on travels. I travelled extensively in Greece at that time and found that the 24 and Greece were made for each other.

Signs of times long gone. Crete (Nikon F, 24/2.8, probably Kodachrome)
24mmCrete071226.jpg

And, finally, I did shoot a lot of IR with it.

Powerlines (Nikon F, 24/2.8, Ektachrome IE 2443: E4)
24mmIR_powerline242754.jpg
  • Wannabe likes this
Bjørn

#42 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 23 January 2013 - 23:37

In some cases the world apparently has come to a standstill for a good many years. I took this snapshot with the 24/2.8 Nikkor a few days ago, before I started tracking down old photos made with that lens. Compared to the last one of the previous post, it's mainly the recording medium (film vs digital) that is a difference ....

This is one of the oldest run-of-the-river power facilities in Norway. When it was constructed almost 100 years ago it was said to meet the demand for electricity to the capital, Oslo, for the "forseeable future". Just goes to show that mankind is essentially blind to what the future brings, for the better or worse of it.

Hydropower (Nikon D40x, 24/2.8 Nikkor)
24mm_IR_J1301205264.jpg
Bjørn

#43 gkor

gkor

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 76 posts
  • LocationN Greece
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 24 January 2013 - 13:09

"...I travelled extensively in Greece at that time and found that the 24 and Greece were made for each other."



Affirmative! :D
…and happy to hear it from you, your comments (from the well known page and elsewhere) excessively contributed to buy the 24 2.8 ais brand new last year.
Well worth the 500+ euros and waiting almost 4 months for the delivery.
Giorgos

#44 helioer

helioer

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 452 posts
  • LocationHelsinki

Posted 24 January 2013 - 20:54

Basically it was meant to make masks for printing negatives. Thus, gradation was so steep that you either get a black or a clear area on the developed sheet of film. You then contact copied the negative with the mask. When working from a "small format" 24x36 negative or slide, one usually made an inter-negative on 4x5" sheet film first.

In its time, lith film was popular for creating special effects amongst these the solarisation or sabbatier effect.

Yep. I do remember that process from the 70's. I did use orthocromatic lith film which was nice in dark room as it was not sensitive for red light. Produced only black and white, no gray shades, basically meant for creating printing plates.

Erkki

D3s, D3, D200, D70
FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 8/3.5 EX, 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
TC: TC-14 E II, TC-17 E II, TC-20 E III
DX: 10.5/2.8, 18-70, 18-200
4*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200, YN-622 kit (TX+4*RC)...


#45 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 24 January 2013 - 23:24

Leaving now for Copenhagen for the weekend, to team up with the Great Dane (aka Dr. Lens aka NG member Erik Lund). We will work on adapting a few of the lenses from the '73 kit so they fit my high-end DSLRs (D3S, D3X, D800). This relates to the pre-AI nature of some of them, in particular the 35/2.8 and 55/3.5. I won't "AI" them since that is unncessary because of their "G"-type CPU, but the aperture flange needs a little careful trimming to clear the aperture follower of the higher-end cameras and for this challenge, no man is better up to the task than Dr. Lens himself :)

Copenhagen makes associations to porn inevitable of course as that was a main attraction for us guys to go there in the early '70s anyway. For now, this depiction of the 80-200 Nikkor has to do. At least it chills the heat. A pity lenses aren't made like this anymore.

80ZU1301082563.jpg
  • jramskov likes this
Bjørn

#46 Akira

Akira

    Homo jezoensis

  • Life Member
  • 4,779 posts
  • LocationTokyo
  • Edit my pics?:Yes

Posted 25 January 2013 - 03:19

Copenhagen makes associations to porn inevitable of course as that was a main attraction for us guys to go there in the early '70s anyway. For now, this depiction of the 80-200 Nikkor has to do. At least it chills the heat. A pity lenses aren't made like this anymore.


Yup, the image is indeed of somewhat perverse lens porn!
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

http://www.flickr.co...tos/akiraphoto/

#47 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 25 January 2013 - 23:12

Returning now to 105/2.5 Nikkor, my other major lens of the early '70s. I got the first one in 1967, this was the Sonnar type deemed ideal for portraits. A few years later it was stolen and I replaced it with the first of the new Gauss type, then changed it again to the multicoated P.C in 1973 believing image quality would benefit from the modern coatings. Which it, incidentally, did.

I shot a wide range of subjects with these 105 Nikkors. Again, not many of those old images have survived, so what can be shown is a biased sample of its usage of course.

With its improved contrast, showing the nitty-gritty details of architecture was a breeze.

Rude awakening in Oslo (Nikon F, 105/2.5 Nikkor)
73NG_105_Bygårder_0310554.jpg

Together with the 24/2.8, the 105 followed me on each and every travel. It made for great travel photos.

To submit a grandchild (Sifnos, Greece). (Nikon F, 105/2.5 Nikkor)
73NG_105_Sifnos1045102.jpg


And there were girl friends to document, for which purpose again the 105 was an efficient problem-solver.

73NG_105_41050079.jpg

73NG_105_052581.jpg

Last one scanned from a bleached-out Cibachrome print, as the original slide had been lost many years ago.
  • yunfat likes this
Bjørn

#48 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 02 February 2013 - 22:34

The recent trip to Copenhagen netted me amongst a lot of CPU-upgraded lenses, a near mint sample of the early Sonnar-type 105 mm f/2.5 Nikkor. It even came factory AI-modified so I just had to purchase it. Added a CPU and it's good to go.

I quickly re-learnt some earlier lessons whilst in Copenhagen, namely, I could not get super sharp images with the D800 and either the 105/2.5 or 80-200 hand held. There would always be a perception of something unfulfilled remaining, a potential not being completely unleashed. I'll have to retry with a tripod-mounted camera.

Meanwhile, two studies in red-white-blue spaced 40 years apart. The 105 at my disposal in both cases.

73_NG_105_0599512.jpg

_NG_105_T1301315303.jpg
Bjørn

#49 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 02 February 2013 - 22:52

Sign of the times

Copenhagen spaced 40 years apart. Both with the 105.

_NG73_105_0566823.jpg

73NG_105_J1301264508.jpg
Bjørn

#50 Erik Lund

Erik Lund

    _

  • Life Member
  • 6,381 posts
  • Location_
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 02 February 2013 - 22:58

Ahhh the good old days in Istegade, I used to live around the corner :)
Great to see you here in Copenhagen! Great fun :)
  • Fons Baerken likes this

#51 lenmil

lenmil

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 203 posts
  • LocationTasmania, Australia.

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:39

This is great. More please.

Take the shot, you never know.


#52 Hugh_3170

Hugh_3170

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 745 posts
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:22

Bjørn, did you and Erik simply reduce the width of the aperture rings of the 35mm and 55mm lenses in a lathe or file or grind them down to clear the aperture follower tabs of higher end DSLRS such as D200, D300, D3 and later models?

WIth respect to your second quote (below), are the non-AI lenses sufficiently consistent in their under exposure tendencies to make this method of chipping with a G-type chip and setting the aperture on both the camera body & the lens universally applicable? I guess that with the two lens examples that you have recently doctored that this must be the case or you would not have taken this route. I am aware that you you use a mixture of advanced and entry level DSLRs - the latter without aperture follower tabs. I am about to help a D90 user chip some older and AI lenses, so I want to be clear in my thinking before I take her down this route. Thanks in advance.

..................................................
...... This relates to the pre-AI nature of some of them, in particular the 35/2.8 and 55/3.5. I won't "AI" them since that is unncessary because of their "G"-type CPU, but the aperture flange needs a little careful trimming to clear the aperture follower of the higher-end cameras and for this challenge, no man is better up to the task than Dr. Lens himself :)
............................................


Underexposure is the main issue with non-AIS lenses when aperture is set on the camera. If the camera doesn't allow you to use the aperture ring, the best approach is setting both camera *and* lens to the identical aperture value (as given by the metering system). Do note this works just fine with any "G"-type CPU, but in order for it to be feasible with a "P"-type lens, you need to trick the camera into thinking the lens is set to the minimum aperture. A little drop of epoxy judiciously applied to the cut-out for the minimum-aperture sensor does this, or if you are less daring, a little piece of plastic or broken splinter of a wood (from a match or similar) will suffice when the stuff is jammed into the cut-out so as to keep the sensor depressed inside. Again, please note the work-around is unnecessary if the camera allows you to use the aperture ring directly. Middle- and pro-level cameras usually have an item in the Custom Function menu section for this purpose. Entry-level cameras lack this feature and ma have to go the alternate route to ensure proper exposures. However, once modified, even a low-end camera like a D40X (my current UV workhorse) will meter and expose perfectly with any lens, AI or AIS.

The CPU data on exit pupil should match as closely as possible in order to get reliable metering. Do note the difference between metering and subsequent exposure, as the latter involved any discrepancies in the way the lens stops down to the actual aperture at the time of shooting. Only for AIS lenses will the two be in a linear 1:1 correspondence. For an AI or AI'd lens, metering on a chipped lens is correct, but unless you ensure the lens actually stops down to the given aperture setting (by following the guidelines given earlier), the exposure will be off.

One reason for chipping a lens is the wish to have correct EXIF data. No longer do you have to wonder about the actual settings for an MF lens. Not everyone cares for this, but there are plenty of those who do. The programmable CPUs will enable lens data that is way off the beaten track provided by the Nikon lens data tables (for those Nikons that can set non-CPU lens values). So, if you have say an f/1.1, 75 mm or f/95 6400 mm lens, that is precisely what EXIF will tell you later on.


Edited by Hugh_3170, 03 February 2013 - 10:24 .


#53 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:18

The entire aperture ring is cut to be flush with the mounting flange of the bayonet. My experiences with AI-modifications in which only a part of the flange is removed have been miserable, so in practice I get much better results by using the "G" approach. Of course there is more variability in the actual exposure because the stopping-down action isn't linear as you are well aware of, but in practice I can live with that. When I notice a consistent tendency to underexposure with a particular lens, I adjust by setting the aperture ring on the lens to the value dialled into the camera. That will prevent the underexposure to happen. Of course, if overexposure is the problem you have to use manual mode and adjust the metering accordingly. All of this just adds to the charm of using old lenses on a modern camera.
Bjørn

#54 Hugh_3170

Hugh_3170

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 745 posts
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:34

Thanks Bjørn.

#55 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:37

Going back again to the 24/2.8 workhorse for a moment. It has become quite clear to me that in those old days I tried to use that lens in a tricky manner and perhaps, 40 years ago hadn't the mature vision needed to accomplish such a challenge. I did not recognise the 24 as a wide but as a scale-changing lens and aimed to simplify the scene and twist its perceived scale. Of course this is very difficult because a wide-angle lens acts indiscriminately by "taking it all in". so finding the balance between getting too much or lose control of the background, and getting whatever remained right, was a tall order. But looking back, I sometimes managed to strike the proper balance.

A typical example follows;

Saturday Laundry (the Norwegian word for Saturday means 'Washing day', by the way). Nikon F & 24/2.8, kodachrome
NG_73_24f2,8_072490.jpg

These days, the navigation into the appropriate standpoint to get whatever is required to include has become much more easy and relaxed.

Walls of silence (Fuji S3, 24/2.8 )
NG_73_24mmf2,8Z1301312823.jpg
Bjørn

#56 jramskov

jramskov

    Advanced Member

  • Subscriber
  • 2,319 posts
  • LocationAarhus, Denmark
  • Edit my pics?:Yes

Posted 03 February 2013 - 14:13

I love the last one.
Joergen Ramskov
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. [Douglas Adams]

#57 Colin-M

Colin-M

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 1,639 posts
  • LocationBristol, UK
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 03 February 2013 - 23:03

This is a great trip down memory lane Bjørn, please keep them coming.

Good to see the shots with the 105mm. I bought my (VR) version initially for macros, but now use it as much for normal subjects. Much bulkier than yours I guess, but I like the end results.
Colin
--------------------------------
http://www.pbase.com/celidh

#58 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 08 February 2013 - 00:02

The last couple of days I shot a lot with the venerable 40-year old 15/5.6, This lens surprises me quite a bit, actually. Sharpness in the centre of the frame is really good and the fall-off in performance towards the corners is less severe than I remembered from the film days. One slight issue is the occasional tendency towards rendering colours unevenly over the frame, the centre being a little more yellow tinted than the corners. Don't know if the prevailing snow landscapes have made the poor lens going a little snow-blind as it were.

In order to make the lens shine, PhotoNinja is an excellent tool for massaging D800 files, if I can refrain from being mad with all the silliness and lack of workflow in this program. Output is excellent and that's what count when time spent to get results is not too important. I did run a few IR files from D40X through PhotoNinja but here the program was not equally stellar in its performance, though.

A micro-landscape familiar to Nordic eyes (D40X, 15/5.6)

NG_15mm_J1302075326.jpg
Bjørn

#59 nfoto

nfoto

    Fierce Bear of the North

  • Administrators
  • 16,417 posts
  • LocationOslo, Norway
  • Edit my pics?:No

Posted 08 February 2013 - 00:13

Another example with the 15/5.6, now on the D800. A snow scene such as this, with directional lighting thrown into the mix, ruthlessly discloses any kind of fall-off or uneven colour rendition.

NG_15_C1302074648.jpg
Bjørn

#60 James Fitzgerald

James Fitzgerald

    Advanced Member

  • Life Member
  • 2,193 posts
  • LocationArizona
  • Edit my pics?:Ask Me

Posted 08 February 2013 - 00:33

The micro Nordic landscape image is also a familiar sight to some of us in North America.
Last shot of the snow scene does show some interesting colour shift, although since I seem to see the world in mostly B&W, not a problem for me.
Still looking for a cute Norwegian girl in the mirror however.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users