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Vintage lenses on the SL

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Further to my previous posts  Nr's. 57 and 58 in this thread:  Yesterday, I visited the same local nature reserve pond armed with SL 601, vintage Novoflex Noflexar 600mm f8 and Leitz APO 2x extender to photograph dragonflies and birds 

 

 

 

This was the first time I'd tried the 600mm Noflexar in 'close-up' mode i.e. using the Novoflex mount built-in bellows to reduce the minimum focus distance. Using the 2x extender doubles the focal length to 1200mm and reduces the max aperture to f16. The lens diaphragm was stopped down by half a stop thus the resultant taking aperture was approx. f19 

 

 

cont'd …   

 

 

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Mature Male Emperor Dragonfly      SL / Novoflex 600mm & Leitz APO 2x extender 

 

 

Note the specimen's torn wings … but it can still fly well and defend its territory. The specimen was approx 4m from the camera and the images have been slightly cropped. 

 

I'm pleased with the lens close-focus performance - especially as it cost just £69 (head and tubes only … not the full mount) from Ffordes 4 years ago. I've only recently acquired the rear Novoflex bellows mount so was not able to explore the lens' c/u ability previously. The lens head was actually manufactured by Leitz for Novoflex … and Agfa made and assembled the Novoflex mount including the rear bellows.

 

One day Leica will probably introduce an SL 560mm lens with matching extenders - but until they do, and given the fact that there are no third party AF lenses for the SL, I'm quite happy to continue using manual focus legacy lenses. 

 

 

 

Best wishes

 

dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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great photos, such clear and sharp images from your rocket launcher, well done. what speed can you use considering the aperture size, how do you get it so still, do you need a remote shutter release

Edited by hillavoider

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great photos, such clear and sharp images from your rocket launcher, well done. what speed can you use considering the aperture size, how do you get it so still, do you need a remote shutter release

 

 

The Jobu Design gimbal as illustrated in #63 enables perfect balance when the lens / camera is set up at the C.O.G. and very stable operation - thus no DA or remote release required. Perching dragonflies don't move (apart from their perches blowing in the wind) so ISO is selected to enable shutter speed of c. 1/320 to 1/640 or faster … in this case ISO 1600 and the camera selected 1/640 to match the f19 aperture of the 1200mm lens. I was seated in a chair with my left hand 'squeeze focusing' the lens and the right hand gently pressing the shutter release. 'Squeeze focus' is very different to conventional helicoid lens focus and enables more accurate focusing with the 1200mm lens; focus can also be achieved via the bellows. The 'squeeze focus' mechanism comprises spring loaded tubes and was lubricated with trombone slide oil for efficient 'fine focus' movement. Also managed some dragonflies in flight photos using the same set-up. The SL's clear viewfinder and magnified live view helps with focusing too. Most modern digital cameras have good high ISO capability thus have no hesitation in using ISO 1600 or 3200 with the SL. 

 

dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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Emperor Dragonflies are the only UK/European anisoptera which exhibit a 'curved' abdomen whilst in flight … thus easy to identify

 

SL/ Noflexar 600mm with Leitz APO 2x extender … thus 1200mm; ISO 1600, 1/640, f19 … manual pre-focus from approx 4m distance … 'close focus' (for a 1200mm lens) achieved via the Novoflex mount's built-in bellows

If only Leica would / could offer e.g. an SL 560mm lens with a dedicated SL 2x extender, this type of image would be a lot easier to achieve i.e. with a higher shutter speed and lower ISO

dunk

+1 for a 400+mm tele for SL!

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Last year I acquired a manual focus Canon FD 500/4.5 L lens and successfully used it via an original Canon Camera Co. FD to EOS adapter (1.26x  extension factor) on both my SL and T cameras … using EOS to M and M to T adapters. The 500/4.5 L lens plus Canon FD to EOS adapter, plus Novoflex EOS to SL adapter wouldn't work … that combination resulted in no live view image.    Last September I decided to send the FD 500/4.5 L lens to a well known technician for conversion to EOS mount … which makes it EOS camera compatible but still requires manual focus . Long story short the conversion took until the end of March (over 6 months) to be completed to my satisfaction with endless excuses for delays … and required return for adjustment because initially was returned with the rotatable click-stopped 'L' shaped tripod support at 30º to the image plane … rendering it unusable regardless of the tripod support's 'clicked' position . Also, another FD lens sent for conversion (FD 300/4 L ) was returned because the EOS 'chip' (electronic contacts) fell off the first time the lens was coupled to the EOS to SL adapter.  I was so disappointed with the conversions I did not use the lens until recently when discovered that it would not work in Aperture priority with EOS extension tubes or EOS extenders … but have now discovered it will work with tubes and extenders and the Novoflex EOS to SL adapter, provided the camera is used in Manual exposure mode ... whereby the lens' aperture ring &/or the camera's shutter speed are adjusted to ZERO the exposure scale … no problem for anyone used to using e.g. a Leica M6 .  Thus now have another 'long lens' option for the SL but have not used it 'in anger' yet for specific subjects … will likely try the combination at a local nature reserve soon and post some pics of both the camera / lens / adapters  and resultant images. 

 

Once again … al this messing about to obtain a decent long focus lens for e.g. wildlife photography would not be necessary if Leica Camera AG could / would provide SL users with a lens longer than 280mm .  I had thought of using e.g. the 560 Telyt R plus R APO extenders but find the regular button operated trombone focus mount is too inefficient to achieve accurate 'fine focus'. The Novoflex 'follow focus' mount with built-in bellows is much better hence I'm using same for insect photography coupled to a 400mm Noflexar T (3 element achromat) and Noflexar 600mm (2 element achromat). 

 

Some may suggest using e.g. a Canon EOS L lens - but the Novoflex EOS to SL adapter is fairly useless for AF … so might as well use a manual focus lens at considerably less cost. 

 

One day an announcement will likely be made about an SL 560mm lens … but it will have been a far too long time coming … a bit like the Messiah

 

 

dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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Post 63 above shows the Novoflex 'Follow Focus' mount with Noflexar 600mm 2 element achromat lens coupled to a Leitz R 2x APO extender. The 600mm f8 lens was also used with stacked Leitz R 2x and 1.4x APO extenders i.e. 1680mm f22 … slightly stopped down to approx f9 = effective f25 to photograph a Female Emperor Dragonfly ovipositing:

 

 

 

 

Th SL's amplified and magnified live view image enables accurate manual focusing. The 1970s vintage Noflexar 600mm was ignored by me for many months because I also have an allegedly 'superior' 3 element Noflexar 'T' 400mm … also used with the Novoflex mount. However, the 600mm is more useful than the 400mm 'T' for photographing dragonflies from a distance - and results appear comparable.  The 600mm plus extenders enables a very shallow angle of view to give the illusion that the camera is at pond level - whereas it was in fact on a 1.25m high tripod at approx 5m distance from the specimen. 

 

dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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Six more 'Female Emperor Dragonfly ovipositing' images taken using the SL / Noflexar 600/8 plus stacked Leitz R 2x and 1.4x APO extenders … i.e. 1680mm f22 with bellows extension provided by the Novoflex ''Follow Focus' mount. These were all photographed on the same afternoon and show the same dragonfly specimen … which was fascinating to observe as it flew/hovered/ settled/oviposited amongst the pond's lily leaves. 

 

 

 

 

Each image taken from a distance of several metres 

 

 

cont'd ...

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Next project is to use the Canon FD to EOS (manual focus) converted 500/4.5 L lens plus extenders and extension tubes with the SL …  

 

Wait for Leica Camera AG to offer SL AF lenses similar to above … plus extenders … 

 

… and wait forever … and ever …

 

 

AMEN 

 

 

 

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