Accelerated Lenses? 1/5000th ISO?

Prepare to have your fucking head blow’d off. Well, if you’re a photo geek. Light acceleration with electromagnets. I’ll take one. Analogue is back… in the terabytes.

Fastest Tool to clear yellowed Thorium lenses

Hi all, just wanted to share the absolute fastest way I have found to clear up the yellowing of lenses due to rare earth content. I’ve cleaned up several Takumars and now a 50/2 Wetzlar rigid ‘Cron with this lamp. After witnessing the speed in which it just cleaned up this Leica beauty from 1970, I was compelled to share this technique. For whatever reasons, it is able to clear up the yellowing of lenses  FAST. Like in all of 24 hours. Not a week of sitting in the windowsill trying to harness the sun.

So here’s the secret tool.

The JANSJÖ work lamp from Ikea. Item number 101.287.34

It’s an LED unit, but evidently puts out a highly focused beam of UV light that you can bend down right into the barrel of your lens. Seriously this thing works awesome. I’ve tried other UV bulbs to some good results but still those take days to undo the yellowing of decades of the radioactive breakdown. This lamp will cure it overnight. 2 nights, and you’re back to like new.

Hope this is helpful to someone… other than just Ikea’s lamp sales.

28 hours left

Random R-D1 snaps with Russian Glass from 1959 (Jupiter 3 & 12 ). Click thumbnail for big size and slide show:

Street Love

If you have to ask about these… you don’t want to know.

R-D1 with CV 21/4 (terrible low light lens btw) shots (click one to start slide show):

Epson R-D1 : Day One

So I finally found an affordable Epson R-D1.  That’s a digital rangefinder camera. What’s fun is you can easily trick people into thinking it’s a film camera. It definitely is a challenge to use, but pushes the way you think about framing… and unmistakably makes you more deliberate in your clicks. One real bit of odd history with this camera is that it was announced in 2004, and subsequently has been released twice more (R-D1s & R-D1x) without ANY UPDATES to the taking sensor! It is a cult classic for that reason alone.  Read about the R-D1 here in an early article.

Anyway, been snapping some stuff with it. Here are some early shots (click one to start slide show):

three m42 lenses in one motion test

Ok, here’s a three in one (with anamorphic bonus):

Motion test : Super-Tak 1.9/85, 2/55, & CZJ 2/50 from nortega on Vimeo.

Carl Zeiss aus Jena : Pancolar 2/50
Super-Takumar 1.9/85 & AG-LA7200 Anamorphic adapter
Super-Takumar 1.9/85
Super-Takumar 2/55

All shot as flat as possible (unlike last test) with no color correct to help spot CA problems, which is painfully obvious with the Panasonic anamorphic attachment. So somebody sell me a damn Iscorama already.

Also didn’t use a steady rig this time and these are tiny lenses so there’s shake, and the reasoning behind the bizarre counting stations audio is left up to your own imagination.

End result is I think these all achieve a similar balance to the look. The Pancolar has a little more separation between the foreground and background plane to me, but I think I like the Super-Taks better… still thinking.

Test stills (color corrected):



Carl Zeiss Biotar 1:2 58mm


Since I don’t have a Helios 40-2 yet, thought I’d try out the new to me Biotar I just got, and it seems to craft a moving, painterly bokeh. This tiny pinky toe of a lens also has 18 blades in the iris. Crazy right!?!

It’s like shooing through 12 Promist filters with this old lens… a ton of diffusion.

Biotar Test from nortega on Vimeo.

And here are some stills (no color correction) for study: