Looking through 60 years of glass


Well, I finally got the chance to take my 90mm f4 Leitz Elmar out on the town.  The conditions were less than ideal, because I actually had a little too much light to deal with.

Based on the serial number, this particular lens was created in 1954, which in itself is amazing, the fact that it still functions.  It’s not cosmetically in the greatest condition–shining a flashlight through the lens shows me exactly what imperfections exist–mostly some odd marks perhaps from cleaning, or just age–but nothing that you’ll be able to detect from my photos.

The first photo was taken using my E-PM2’s “Grainy film” art setting–I actually had the lens stopped down to f22 in order to get anything photo-worthy; that’s the level of sunshine I was fighting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can tell from the 2nd photo, it’s decidedly softer than any of my other lens, which should come as no surprise given it’s age.  Color photography was not what it is today, and ultimately I intended to use this only for black & white shots.

Some will argue that there’s already a monochrome setting to every basic camera so why bother?  Even with the Olympus PEN line, there are actually a few such settings.  The answer?  Curiosity.  I really don’t see it as a negative if you have a bunch of lenses that you use for various purposes.

For those of you who think it’s some kind of hipster allure, you might have a point, though I’m too jaded and old to be a hipster at this juncture.  I just did a lot of research and liked what examples I saw online, of photos taken using vintage glass.


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