The first thing I realized is that I had to edit my digital images. Why it never dawned on me I have no clue. I knew that images were edited in the darkroom but editing a digital image never occurred to me. (and I'm a pretty tech savvy person so that wasn't it) Once I "bought" my first copy of lightroom that seriously improved my photos, but still something was lacking. So I decided to invest in some glass. I went from the 18-55mm Nikon kit lens to a brand new Nikon 35mm 1.8 and oh boy was there an improvement. Allow me for a minute to stress that all the gear in the world will not give you better photos if you don't understand photography at it's core. But I had a pretty good understanding already so it was simply a matter of figuring out gear transitioning from film to digital.
|Shot on Kodak 35mm B&W film|
For a long time I merely dreamed about using my Takkumars on my digital cameras and simply left it at that. But recently I was looking around YouTube, as I usually am, and somehow stumbled across an amazing string of videos. People have been using lens adapters for m42 mount lenses for a long time! I was absolutely, positively, squealing like a little girl at a Bieber concert. I have known forever that people use Canon to Nikon and Nikon to Canon converters all the time. But it never dawned on me to look for a converter from m42 to Nikon F-mount. As soon as I saw the videos, it was straight to eBay for me.
For those of you who are hearing about this solution for the first time, or are perhaps still looking for information about the mounts, I will share with you some of my findings including test shots with the converter. Keep in mind that I am using a Nikon d5000 which is a crop sensor body. (1.5x a full-frame 35mm so my 55mm takumar for instance is more like an 82mm lens for Canon I think it's 1.6x on their crop bodies) Using a Nikon means that you need to buy a converter with a glass element built into it. For Canon you don't need this. But for Nikon this allows the lens to focus to infinity, without it you cannot focus to infinity. This is due to the distance Nikon mounts their sensors from their lens mount. Unfortunately this has one draw back and that is image quality and sharpness. Putting any extra piece of glass between whatever you are trying to capture and the sensor on your camera will have some effect on the image taken. How much of an effect depends on the quality of whatever you put in front of the sensor. Since most of these converters are made in China, good luck choosing one with the best quality glass. As for me I bought this one and I will be showing you the images from it. It was really cheap, as they all are, and came from Hong Kong. Also remember that these lenses are all manual focus and do not meter in camera. In fact, your camera doesn't even know it has a lens on the front of it so it can't even read the aperture setting. This is due to having no chip on the lens. This is not a big deal if you already know how to use these lenses.
|Focusing scale SHOULD line up with the Nikon logo.|
As for test shots, here they are compared with the Nikon 35mm 1.8. Unedited jpeg files.
|Nikon 35mm 1.8 at 1.8|
|Nikon 35mm 1.8 at f/2|
|Nikon 35mm 1.8 at 2.8|
|Nikon 35mm 1.8 at f/4|
|Nikon 35mm 1.8 at f/11|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 at 1.8|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 at f/2|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 at f/2.8|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 at f/4|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 55mm f/1.8 at f/11|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5 at 3.5|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5 at f/5.6|
|Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5 at f/11|
That's it. If you are looking for a way to improve your photos or video without spending too much money, these m42 lenses are cheap. I have heard that a lens manufacturer has said that the Asahi Pentax 50mm 1.4 Super Takumar is such a great lens still that if it were to be produced today you would be spending a few thousand dollars for it. Go on eBay and it is around $100 on an expensive day. These lenses CANNOT be forgotten, and I am glad that I have a chance to take them out of the bag they were gathering dust in. Get out your old manual lenses and make a scene! (Test videos with the lenses will be uploaded at a later date.)