Well I take back what sometimes I say about kit, that it's not all about your gear. Sometimes the odd item comes along which stands out, feels and works differently. Just feels special.
I recently sold much of my equipment and went back to basics. Mostly out of necessity, not choice. But this move was an ephifiny, a cleansing if you like. I was forced to revert to adaptors and legacy lenses firm the 60s onwards and a couple old mirrorless bodies that were too tatty to sell on.
So I entered A tough process of having to shop around for lenses of useful focal lengths but with a quality that can meet or even exceed that of what I am used to.
After much research, I bought these. Now note, not one lens cost me more than £65, some were £25 or less.
They are in order from left to right.
Helios 28mm f2.8
Meyer-optic Gorlitz Lydith 30mm f3.5
Jupiter 8 50mm f2
Pentacon 50mm f1.8
Mamiya Sekor 50mm f2
Ziess Jenna 50mm f2.8
Now I won't keep all the fifties they were just so cheap I could buy and try. As things look I'm torn between the Jupiter and the Mamiya. But there is a star of the show. The Meyer-Optik 30mm. Wow this lens is stunning in build and performance. I wasn't ware of the history and quality of Meyer-optik lenses before I did my research. They are East German and to many experts come second only to Lieca and Voightlander in quality, even before Ziess. The lens feels like a £1000 lens that should be on an M6. In fact the company is making this lens again, I note there is a kickstarter and I'm told the price will be in excess of £2000!! This original copy in near mint condition cost me £65.
There are also a couple of 50mm lenses which boast incredible 'bubble' bokeh if that floats your boat. There is also a telephoto worth looking at, a 135mm I think that has legendary status in the old lens expert world.
My opinion however is if you find a Lydith, buy it as for the money you can't go wrong. If you are ok with manual focus and exposure you can benefit from superb colour rendition, sharpness and micro contrast with this 30mmlens.
A real discovery.
Continued. So I took a quick stroll along the river here and made a few more test snaps. All JPEG straight from camera, no tweaking. I'm interested if you think this is as good as any modern lens, if not better in many cases.
Mounted to my mirrorless APSC camera this was around 45mm which is actually a lovely focal length to use. Apologies for the mundane images.
No excuse for the flower detail shot sorry ;)
and not forgetting skin tones.