new camera and old lens

I have taken photographs since I was a kid.  Initially with a box camera, then my Dad’s Zeiss Ikon f2.8 bellows camera, then a single lens reflex and then most recently for this website a Canon PowerShot SD1100.  The PowerShot has been fine but it has limitations for good close up pictures.  I recently found a boxed assortment of Pentax lenses, one of which is an Asahi SMC Macro Takumar f4 100mm, which is about 40 years old.  This lens should be great for close ups I thought, so why not pair it with a modern digital camera.  After considerable research I decided to buy the Olympus EPL-5, which arrived this week and I snapped a few pictures.  Using an older lens has some disadvantages – there is no automatic focusing, you have to do it yourself.  Also the aperture does not automatically open for focusing and the stop down for exposure, you have to manually step it down.  So it takes time to develop these lost skills.  But I don’t take action photos and I will try master these techniques.

comfrey leaf early morning rain backlit by sun
comfrey leaf early morning rain backlit by sun

I should mention that for this website I compress photos considerably, so if they are not razor sharp attribute this to compression or user error, but not the equipment.

The photographs were taken using a monopod but this is not stable for long exposures.  I will use a more rigid platform and then I will be able to stop using a flash which tends to flatten the subject.  The centipede appeared suddenly as I was focusing on the log oyster mushrooms.

millipede amongst oyster mushrooms
centipede amongst oyster mushrooms

With all the recent rains (my property is fortunate it receives rain from the Gulf  i.e. the southwest and also the northwest) the kale was sparkly with raindrops.kale leaf with raindrops

kale leaf with raindrops

The only chicken to co-operate with my slow manual focusing requirements was the New Jersey Giant who was attracted to the distinctive click of the Olympus.

New Jersey Giant attracted to the sound of the camera
New Jersey Giant attracted to the sound of the camera



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