Back with a Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 legacy lens on Olympus digital to supplement film on classic cameras

Mirror self-portrait of lens and camera: Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar on Olympus E-PL3. 1/15, f/4

Mirror self-portrait: Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 Planar on Olympus E-PL3. 1/15, f/4

I’m back, hopefully for a while, after a long absence.  I owe my many friends and followers here an explanation so I’ll just pick up a para from grumpytyke, on which I began to post again very recently.

“Much of my absence has been due to a major health problem. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, had my first ever stays in hospital and spent a while with tubes and bags limiting my movement. Hopefully it’s under control for the moment.”

A big problem is going back through the email which notifies posts from those I follow; it’s over a year now since I posted here and almost as long since I looked at the associated emails. Another problem was the number of ‘spam’ comments so reluctantly I’ve had to introduce approval of comments before publication (and on my other blog ‘grumpytyke’). I’m intending to slightly change my approach to this blog, this being reflected in the amended strap line in the header. I have always said that I don’t have the aversion to digital that many film buffs have and have used it for work and, eg, pix of cameras etc on this blog. So that I can post more frequently here in the future I’m going sometimes to post pix taken on digital, but always with a so-called ‘legacy’ lens.

Legacy lenses

I found myself, at work (from which I retired on 31 October), using legacy lenses more and more. One of my big problems with digital is that the affordable (for me) zoom lenses don’t have large, but do have variable, apertures. I’ve never liked zoom lenses anyway. So I found myself using my Zeiss Planar 50mm f/1.4 (or Olympus or Yashica manual lenses) more and more. This led to me changing from my Lumix GF to Olympus. Two reasons: I have never liked trying to compose on the screen at the back at arm’s length and the Lumix electronic viewfinder was just not good enough to focus; in my dotage it was difficult to hold the camera steady enough in the low light inside, where most of my ‘work’ pictures had to be taken.

Why Olympus? Image stabilisation in the body!

The Olympus has image stabilisation in the body, not the lens, so is available when using a legacy lens. I found a good deal on an Olympus Pen E-PL3, with the superb VF-4 electronic viewfinder, and a Lumix f/2.5, 14mm (28mm equivalent on 4/3 of course) so swapped the Lumix and its 14-42mm for this. My only problem with the move will be if I want to ‘upgrade’ any time as Olympus seem only to add more and more gimmicks to later models rather then make real improvements, and they even eliminate good things like a removable thumb rest and an inbuilt fill-in flash.

Olympus OM4 and Cosina CX-2

Most carried cameras getting back into film photography

Cosina CX-2 and Olympus OM4

I have been taking my very pocketable Cosina CX-2 (I really like this as a point-and-shoot) with Tri-X almost everywhere recently, and more rarely the OM4 with 100 Acros, but films are as yet undeveloped or still have frames to shoot. Although I’ve retired from my salaried job I need to find some other income now, so a bit of freelance writing work (and am constructing a web site for this so that is why time is limited).

When an bit of income is secured I aim to finish my ‘darkroom in a wardrobe’ so get back to making prints after several decades, just black and white which is my preferred medium anyway.

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