Monday, July 5, 2010

Is Glory of Soviet Technology, No?

The DSLR revolution has brought things to the filmmaker's table that no one would have even conceived a decade ago.

Once the shock of having a camera with amazing capabilities like the T2i has worn off a bit, I started searching for accessory lenses that would add some improved appearance to my movies.

The first thing everyone says a filmmaker needs; a 50mm prime lens for that really cool DOF.

Canon makes a pretty nice one for around $100 and it seems to do the job well, but there are rumblings amongst users (see reviews at that the plastic mount can become stuck to the camera and Canon's response is generally; "Wow, that stinks, wish we could do something but we can't".
That's not an indictment on Canon, just a warning to look elsewhere for a more robust lens.

And I found it.

Cheap too.

A quick visit to Ebay's Cameras & Photo section turned up two nice primes from the former Soviet Union.
The first is the MC Zenitar 50mm M42 and the other is the Helios 44-M2 58mm M42.

M42 refers to the type of mounting system the lenses use and will require an adapter to mount on your modern DSLR, but those are available all over ebay for around $15.

Here's a look at both:

The lenses may be heavy as lead but they give up some beautiful images.
Personally I like the retro feel of the things, and will probably be adding several more Zenit, Helios, and Jupiter lenses as I go.

Here's the first test I've done with both lenses. Sadly it's a failed experiment since I didn't have the Zenitar 50mm in perfect focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment