I wish I’d kept better records about where I got this thing and what I paid for it… Alas. This one looks like it, but I think I might’ve paid a bit more than that… or maybe not. My copy has the same markings on it, that is, all it says is “M42 –> Nikon” with no indication of manufacturer.
Short answer: whatever it was, it was too much, if I was after the best possible image quality.
Long answer… well, it’s complicated.
Hana and I went out for a walk a couple of weeks ago, and I was on twitter chatting about what different people planned to shoot. I called out “Nikon FE, mamiya/sekor 50mm f/2, Svema Color 125,” sorta expecting someone to comment on the Svema film, and was surprised when someone actually commented on the mamiya, and about mounting that great old glass on a Nikon. I talked up the adapter a bit, remembering (I think) a picture I took last year at the the North Texas Discovery Gardens.
The color is off, and I should really go back and re-scan this roll (and much of my old output), but not today.
Had I remembered that picture, or the rest of the roll—correctly, I would’ve remembered being a bit disappointed with the adaptor. Sure, it enables infinity focus (actually, it goes a bit beyond infinity), but at the cost of sharpness and with the added benefit(?) of some blur and flare. It can be a bit nice… I don’t know why, but I really like the picture up top, but if there was a better way to mount that great lens on one of my Nikons, I would do it in a heartbeat.
Come to think of it, there is a better way… Now that I shoot film, why not find a screw mount mamiya camera? I bet I can find a decent one on the ‘bay if I hunt around some… It’s a great lens, really, and it would be worth putting it back into service.
In the mean time, I’ll keep it around for use reversed, and for when I think I might want the particular blur it adds to everything. It’s not bad with a bit of clarity and structure added in post, and as long as I paid less than $15 for it, maybe it was worth it.
It’s a noble enough purpose, mounting old M42 glass on Nikon cameras, and the craftsmanship would be tough to get wrong, considering it’s a bit of metal with an M42 mount on one end, a piece of glass in the middle, and a Nikon F mount on the other, and the price is right, I guess. And if you want some funky effects, this is the cheap toy for you!
|Ease of Use
It’s probably worth a solid 3, and I think that fits: if you don’t expect greatness, it will deliver, and if you want that particular look, then you’re in luck… but if you want mamiya/sekor quality and color on a Nikon, well, sorry.
It’s a pity I don’t know exactly which one I got, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt, and if you want mamiya/sekor quality and color, find a 1000 dtl or something and shoot it!