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Breaking the speed barrier...a lens diary. NOW INCLUDING PICTURES

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by AFS, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Hello.
    This thread is going to be my little thread to talk about my current project.
    I have, after some months of interest and a week or so of intense information-gathering and decision-making, broken the speed barrier at least in title.
    Bye Bye f/1.4....Hello f/0.75!

    EDIT Oct.30 2005: See my shots with these lenses and pictures of them at my Nikonians gallery:http://www.nikonians-images.com/gal...61&friendemail=email@yourfriend.com&password=

    I'll begin with a summary.
    Over the past year or so, I've gotten very deep into photography. I bought my D70 at the end of last year and received it on january 6th. 10 months, 6 lenses and 18,000 shots later, my skills are showing definite promise and improvement. But I've been looking for a way to help set myself apart. We have a few good still photographers at our school, and most of us are in the video department as well (all around a/v experts). I decided I should look for a specialty.
    Since day one I've been captivated by the work, and educated by the articles and posts of our very own nfoto, Dr. Bjørn Rørslett. His work with UV and IR photography has prompted me to explore those avenues, which I intend to do very soon. But one thing he has brought into the public is the ultra-fast lens. By this I mean truly unusual speeds for their focal length....95 f/1.4, 85 f/1.0, 75 f/1.1, and the lenses that break the f/1.0 barrier.... the 42mm f/0.75 and 60mm f/0.75 are just some examples.

    Thus, I decided that owing to their low cost, relatively easy modifications required, and the great opportunities for beautiful results, that I would try to acquire some ultra-fast X-ray lenses along the same lines as his, and modify them to fit on my D70.

    Over the past several days, I have been in contact with him regarding the modifications. He has helped me to plan out what I'll need and he has discussed the characteristics and peculiarities with me. I have found him nothing short of divine in kindness and wisdom.

    Based on his recommendations, I passed on a few Kowa lenses for my purposes and centered my focus on the Rodenstock lens brand.
    I've seen his work with the 42mm f/0.75 Rodenstock, and the 75mm f/1.1 rodenstock. I absolutely loved what I saw. So, I'm now the proud owner of the Rodenstock TV-Heligon 42mm f/0.75, and the XR-Heligon 55mm f/0.8, 68mm f/1.0, and 75mm f/1.1

    The next step, which is somewhat more challenging than going off and buying the lenses themselves, is creating a workable mount.
    thanks to the advice and experience of Dr. Rørslett, I know exactly what to do.
    I intend to create two styles of mount, as he has. One involves the K series extension rings, and Cokin 52mm filter adapters. Another involves the BR-2A reversing ring and the BR-5 52-62 reversing ring step up adapter.
    I have already purchased the Br-2A and hope to own a K set tomorrow....
    Basically, what I'm planning to do is permanently mount the 52mm male thread from the Cokin adapter onto the lens. This can then be mounted onto the K rings (using the appropriate combination to align the lens properly). In the BR-2A setup, the 52-62mm BR-5 is screwed onto the lens and then screwed into the BR-2A. This provides the bayonet mount.
    My intention is to have the right adapters for each lens attached to it most of the time with the exception of the final piece, the bayonet itself. I will probably use the BR-2A for only one lens right now, therefore it will remain on that lens most of the time, but with the K set, I will need to have one or two mount bayonets that can be switched between so I'll have enough. Eventually I may acquire more parts to be able to permanently mount the adapter onto the lens. In the meantime, I will only need to switch one or two parts between them.

    Of course, before I can do any of this and get out and shoot, I must do the modifications themselves.

    I will post my progress (including pictures, naturally) as time goes on and the project advances.

    Thanks for reading, hope you stay tuned for my updates....
    and a special thank you to Bjørn Rørslett for his valuable assistance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2005
  2. Interesting story, Harrison. Keep us informed and post your test shots.
  3. This is really cool! I'm interested too, I just as a precaution bought a few of these lenses too (While they are cheap!)
    Would be noce to get pictures along the way and where to get adapters etc.

    It is nice to see someone going for it, and realizing one needs to be special in this realm to get some special recognition, there are tons of good photographers. Way to go!
  4. Seymore

    Seymore Guest

    This is quite interesting Harrison. Please do share PICs of the mount, lens and setup... oh, and of shots you accomplish with this rig. I look forward to seeing what can be accomplished.
  5. well, its all on hold until UPS gets its act together...Wilma has really slowed it down.
    Both my first set of K rings and the box with all the lenses are sitting at the UPS Miami depot, waiting to be sent out for delivery as far as I know, though they said there may be delays in tracking info. The lenses were supposed to be delivered the day after the storm hit, so they shouldn't suffer too much from delay i would think.
  6. update: it looks like UPS has come through on the lenses- the box from the seller arrived at the house according to my mother's friend.
    After another stop or two at some local camera stores to do some D200 investigating, I'll check them out. Unfortunately until we get power back I may not be able to do the mods. Of course....perhaps I could try just holding the lens there for a while :) 
  7. They're here and they're BEAUTIFUL!

    Well, my babies are here.
    They made it through UPS and the storm in perfect shape. I'm already in love. Some are smaller than others...the 42/0.75 is smallest, then the 68/???(maybe 1.0), then the 55/0.8 (very very wide and heavy) and 75/1.1 is the biggest.
    I've taken pics, its just a matter of hosting....Nikonians was messed up when I was last online, meaning my silver membership had disappeared and possibly my gallery as well.
    We'll see about that.
    Apart from that I managed to grab the BR-5 for my br-2a. I now have one mount system ready for attachment. I think I will be using the Br-5 on the 75/1.1 as it fits very well. Otherwise it may end up on another such as the 42mm 0.75. My K rings should be in soon.
    Of course I need to use my father's drill press to attach them, and that may mean waiting for power to come back and the like...but I think I will try and modify at least two of them this weekend using his cordless drill.
    They are very impressive chunks of glass...the big ones are very heavy.
    So in the mean time I've been using the br-2a/5 for spacers, and holding the lenses in front of the camera. I've gotten some interesting shots but not up to Bjorn's standards...I hope to get the occasional true beauty like this:
    that one was taken with the same lens as one that I've bought- the TV-Heligon Rodenstock 42mm f/0.75...I haven't gotten anything like that yet though.
    Will post pics when I get them up
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  8. Ok I've been shooting with these for two days. My impressions:
    What amazing lenses. I'm limited right now with what I can do until I've got the proper mounts adapted (may be almost another month for that due to the hurricane/power outages at my father's house/his honeymoon). The K Extension rings are more important than I thought for increasing the magnification and decreasing DOF. Still, I've got some good results and i've put some of the best along with pics of the lenses as they are now here:
    I appreciate any comments you have.
  9. Fascinating, Harrison. There's an other-worldly glow to the images that couldn't be captured with an ordinary lens. I'm impressed with your zeal for this scholarly niche of photography. But if I were your age again and lived in Miami, I'd be specializing in bikini pics :cool: .
  10. The Contradictions of Abstraction in Photography

    Doesn't that sound like someone's Ph.D. dissertation title?? <grin>

    Rodenstockography induces a interesting conversation between the left side of my brain and the right. The left side is saying "wait a minute, wait a minute, this is a photograph, I know there's a little curve of sharpness, a small patch of reportorial reality in there somewhere", and the right side is saying "let go, let go, melting colour, shapes and flow". It's almost like you can feel the left side and the right side thinking simultaneously, you know??

    I like this stuff. I want to try it out myself !! I like your images (and nfoto's also....). 7787 and 7965 were my faves. It will be interesting and fun to see where you go with this. Have fun!
  11. Glad to see some positive response on this... I can't wait until i've got these properly set up.
    Bjorn is an inspiration...pure and simple. His work has not only gotten me into this headlong, but interested me in both UV and IR photography.
    Hardly makes anything else seem worth it to me...but for school's sake (and fun too) I think i'll keep trying sports and landscape and people pics too.
    Wish I could sell some of these as prints and help fund my addiction.
    Thanks for your input, and be sure to check in when I post more stuff another time.

    Edit: I'm going to attack this a bit more enthusiastically too- experimenting can be fun. I'm going to pick up an inexpensive bellows to mess around with on these. Once the mounts are in place it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
    It may have no value whatsoever- if so i've got it for future projects. But it could be nice.
    (i'm wondering how these react when combined with UV or IR photography, and/or with the low pass filter removed...)
  12. Yep, it could happen that --> becoming proficient in an area of photography such as sports, portraits, whatever, could possibly, eventually provide the funding for your personal, creative vision. So study how to build a good stock library; discover an unusual, saleable "take" on portraiture; learn how to set up and run a small business; absorb all the photographic technique it possible to learn -- you go guy!
    BTW, do you attend a high school for the arts?? Or a H.S. that offers visual arts courses?
  13. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    LOL, those are my thoughts exactly... :biggrin:
  14. My school has a media studies program which i've been in from the get-go. I'm now basically one of the top go-to people whenever there's a project. Period.
    I'm in advanced media studies Honors...The three of us are the photographers as well as the better videographers. We do a lot of studio lighting and sports now.
    Our latest project was to use our video hot-lights, diffusers, and reflectors to simulate natural light coming through a window with consistency. Did wonders for the dance portraits.
  15. Your school sounds great. If my old high school had had media studies, photo/video-graphy, etc., maybe I would not own the record in my graduating class for the most cuts, LOL !!
  16. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005

    Thanks for the continuing updates on this fascinating quest. You are very fortunate to have found such an outlet for your creative energies. I looked through your linked galleries, and found them to be quite interesting.

    Although possessing little artistic talent myself, I can appreciate the passion that you obviously have for this kind of photography, and I have enjoyed following this project. Please keep us updated. I might actually learn something. :smile:
  17. Thanks for the support, Frank...it means a lot to me when people tell me that. Makes me think i might not be so crazy after all.
    I'll say one thing now: these lenses are heavy. My pack is heavier than it is with all my gear and the 70-200 VR too with just my laptop, the Rodenstocks, the D70 and my 17-35.
    But are they worth it? you betcha!
    The other day my K-series extension rings came in. Pristine condition, even in the very clean original case.
    I haven't had too much of an opportunity to use the lenses on them since then, but what experiments I did perform show much better performance artistically. Better magnification, shallower DOF....very pleasing.
    Once the mounts are together it'll be even better. I'm also experimenting on using them in conjunction with my AIS 50/1.4 (and that same lens reversed...talk about close!).
    In fact, I'm gonna buy a second set for still better magnification with some of the deeper lenses, and because they are also needed on the lenses that the br2a/5 combo will be used with.
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