First thought

I played with the thought of buying a "macro" lens for the Pentax 6x7 camera, and of course with the Vertex Medium format adapter in mind for "close-ups" (not real macro)

The Pentax Takumar / SMC 135mm f 4 is a macro lens, but without extension rings, goes down to 1:3 - but is optimized for closer ranges. It has something to do with the optical design used in that lens is different compared to others. It renders sharp in the closer range (stopped down), but at ƒ4 it renders softly (good for portraits). When focus is set to infinity you have to stop down to ƒ 8 or ƒ 11 in order to get sharp images.



Optical formula: 5 element Dynar type

It is a dirt cheap lens (but highly regarded for its sharpness). Costs something like 45-130 € . The different versions (Takumar vs Pentax SMC 135/4) are all made with the same optical formula: A 5 element Dynar type. It is corrected for spherical aberration at close distances, so when shooting at or near infinity, it must be stopped down to compensate. 

Takumar's to the modern Pentax SMC version. It's the same.

However, given that I do not aim to do "macro" with the Vertex adapter, I don't believe that I need a Macro lens. The way other lenses render at closer range, are totally fine to me, as the previous example has shown to me.


Pentax 6x7 SMC Fisheye 35mm f 4.5 lens

Now I am instead eying the Fish-eye lens for the Pentax 6x7 system - because being 35mm is it wider than the Pentax 67 SMC 45mm f 4 i used this morning.

I loathe Fisheye lenses - i mean the tiresome effect of them. But since i use that lens digitally - I may consider to correct the perspective, so called defisheye it - and get a wider frame in my new Medium format photography.

Hello to HAL 9000 *lol*


36 years ago

I will little story about this particular "HAL 9000" looking Pentax 6x7 Fisheye lens you see above. It is almost hypnotizing. It is a story from winter 1986-87, when I tried to decide which medium format I would buy...

It wasn't an easy decision - but luckily I decided for the Mamiya RZ67 system back then.

I had not much experience back then, but felt passioned about what i thought I needed / wanted. And then you only had brochures from the various camera makers. (i remember writing letters in order to get such brochures) A lonely 21 year old, living in a rented student apartment, who didn't know shit about medium format cameras, didn't know any other photographer either... but got the strong idea of going into medium format. The image of that "HAL 9000" looking Fisheye lens haunted me.... Eat me. Buy me. You need to have me...

Well as I said, i bought the Mamiya RZ67 instead, after several months of careful consideration regarding my needs. It was in essence a fight between my desires of what i thought i "needed", and what actually was truly useful as a photographer. But it consumed huge amounts of energy, trying to figure those things out, when i only had frikkin' brochures and its lofty promises to go on... And the heavy price tags that came with such systems.

Below the self portrait was i believe the first film roll i tested with the new Mamiya RZ67 studio camera. A very old scan from an even older color slide from 1987.


Oh boy.
Those were the days... Daisy.


21 years of age.

Filled with passion, confusion, as well feeling extremely lost in life (as well not, in a strange mix). But, I also had fun and did many photo experiments - and start to win photo contests and got my first publications in magazines... And boy did i make debts over the years back then... So yeah, it all had a (at times heavy) price.

In the bizarre cold Feb-March 1987, i started with a darkroom - making prints from color slides (Cibachrome). The colors were so mouth watering brilliant, which I never had seen in my life before that those even were possible. I mean before that, I only got the prints from the shop; you send in your roll of film, and get back automated thin prints.


Brilliant Cibachrome kicking my ass

Then a guy I had met - Staffan - made me aware of Cibachrome.

What did Ralf do ? He went to the Fridhemsplan Camera Store - bought for 10.000 SEK a complete Darkroom setup for 6x7 negatives (Fujimoto G70 Enlarger, which I still have and use), and everything in order to develop Cibachrome prints (P-30 process )... It is like you go into a store spending 50.000+ SEK today "on the fly" and go home by taxi.

Boy, I surely had a flair for transactions...

When I started to develop those Cibachrome prints - I almost fell backwards - so stunning were those colors. Almost metallic illuminated... absolutely gorgeous.

And from there - a lot of experimentations started ... together with the new Mamiya RZ67 camera and its gorgeous large negatives and color slides. A quality way above that from normal, automated 10x15 cm prints. Plus that i basically started to make my own prints from this point on - which was one of the biggest changes in my life. Black & White actually came last into my life - not until 1988 i started my first baby steps. And in 1991 I started to develop my own E-6 process color slides in the kitchen sink.


OK; let's go back to the Pentax 6x7 Fisheye 35mm f 4.5 lens

So, let's say the total price, including shipping and taxes is around 6100 SEK / 512 € - it isn't really that super bad in price,even if the sharks take a larger bite now with all the stupid taxes and import fees.

The lens used to be more expensive around 700 Euro - but given it's highly limited usage (being a bloody Fisheye), the prices have fallen down to 350-400 €. It's just the additional BS that makes it still more expensive than it has to be as the vultures (middle hands / authorities) who take a larger bite now, while the price on the lens itself has gone down.

I have not decided yet, if I jump on the Pentax 6x7 Takumar Fisheye 35mm f 4.5 lens, because I am not used to de-fisheye images. The good aspect is, that with the Vertex adapter, I only use a portion of the lens, not the lens borders (which are usually weaker in optical performance).

So, that in itself, can allow me to de-fish eye a Fisheye images, without loosing too much quality in the process.


But I am still undecided...

However, I rather use the Pentax 6x7 Fisheye 35mm f 4.5 than using another adapter for Pentax 645 lenses... (on a photo tour you have to shift a lot of gear / adapter, camera / lenses) I don't like too many options in that regard. (says the guy with too cameras, lenses and adapter... way beyond his personal capacity to actually put them to creative use *LOL*)

Yeah, I am sometimes a bit ironic about myself. You know "Boys and Toys" is a real factor in a mans life when it comes to gear - of any kind.

I guess I am the equivalent to a guy living deep in the "Midwest - with a huge garage, hundreds of different tools to create, shape, tinker and tamper to fix things. Only with the difference, that I am that in the area of photography and traditional photo darkroom work.

Guys love to tinker and tamper with things in their hands... And sometimes they can go overboard with stuff.

I know that now.


Canon EF 17mm ƒ 4 L Tilt-Shift

Well of course. So silly I am.

Since I already have this lens - it can actually be stitched to a much larger images. Illustrated by The Digital - like shown below. Of course this lens goes via normal EF-RF adapter on any Canon EOS R type of camera. (No Rhinocam Vertex adapter necessary).

As you can see, when all the shifts are stitched together - you too, get a much larger view. And one that is extremely wide - given that the native lens is ultra wide 17 mm already.

I will test this - because I have never done this. The only pity in this is, that the whole set up is different - and i will likely not mix it. Either I go out with the TSE 17 L shift lens, or the Vertex adapter and Pentax 6x7 lenses. The Canon TS-E 17/4 L Tilt-Shift lens is in essence a medium format lens with a larger image circle !

It's the same principle.


Fill it up, honey

The missing corners for example - can actually be "filled in" with Photoshop Beta AI. This works very well in most cases.


When you have glare in highlights - fill it up, too

Sometimes the moon results into optical "blobs" among the rays that come out of the moon, when you do photography. Or other optical phenomena, which manually always been a bit difficult to close or "heal" in Photoshop, in a way which looks natural.

I found out, that in Photoshop Beta AI, it works absolutely wonderful to correct, or less, or eliminate these. Now in general I don't mind a little bit of optical phenomenas - they feel natural to me. But sometimes they can be annoying.

So here are a few examples.


Moon glare

It was the other night, when I used the Laowa Argus 28mm f 1.2 wide open into the sky, because of very strange looking clouds. Planet Jupiter was shining near by the moon.

The moon produced a weird kind of colored glare - which I didn't like. The correction below, is how i accept it. I didn't totally eliminate it - but just enough corrected in a way, which distracts less.

And yeah, i did increase the "brightness" of Jupiter - because towards the corners of that lens, stars are lessened in strength, as well distorted with little butterfly wings. (Which does not bother me, as I am not an astronomer type of photographer).

I like Astro landscapes, but the stars don't need to be super über perfect.

Everyones mileage varies, you know.


Street light glare

This was with the Canon EOS R6, adapted a Pentax 6x7 SMC 45mm f 4 lens via the Vertex adapter. One street light had a strange blotch. That one I corrected locally with Photoshop Beta AI - and it replaced it with a natural looking ray of light.

The Photoshop Beta AI is actually really cool - in terms of actually correcting local areas so that they fit seamless into the already existing image. That is it's strength. And it totally sucks in terms of adding non existent, descriptive AI motives into the image. That often results into total nonsense. Like primitive AI.

but it is absolute fantastic in eliminating elements in images totally naturally, without a hitch. Or to correct little blobs, or why not correcting the glare of a street lamp in such a way, that the ray actually looks like the rest around the street lamp.

Now THAT is really useful.



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