First colour photos from the MS-optics converted Nikon L35 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar

In the last part of this story I introduced you to my MS-Optical Nikon L35 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar (I really need to find this thing a shorter name). Since then I’ve shot a roll of Portra 400 with it mounted to the front of my Leica CL. I’ve had quite a few people ask about the results, so I thought I’d do a quick post to share a few…

Unfortunately the weather’s been rubbish when I’ve been out with it, so I’m yet to have any sunny shots. Despite this, I’m pretty pleased with the results so far – they certainly have character…

I’m not usually one to gush over things like Bokeh, but actually it does very well in that department. Not that bokeh is a particularly frequent bed fellow to a 35mm f/2.8 lens, but when it’s there, it’s nice and smooth.

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

It also seems to produce some pretty vivid colours. This combined with the vignette gives images a very strong character that I think works quite nicely for my family snaps.

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

This all said, perfect is not a word is use to describe this lens, not by any broad stretch in fact. Flare is definitely a thing with bright light sources which can result in images loosing contrast like this one:

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

But for me, this propensity to flare combined with the other character traits are a distinct part of the charm of shooting an early AF compact camera and therefore very welcome in this converted lens. 

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

MS-Optical converter Nikon L35 lens

More soon, I’m sure! (If you’d like to keep up to date, subscribe with your email below)

Cheers for reading,


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19 thoughts on “First colour photos from the MS-optics converted Nikon L35 35mm f/2.8 Sonnar”

  1. I”m impressed, certainly by the vividness with which it renders colour. I also like the flare, but I could see wanting to use that sparingly. Looking forward to more from this lens.

  2. These pictures are great HG! That lens is not too shabby at all 🙂 I agree with you that shooting wide open gives it that charm, I love the shallow DOF.

    Is that a statue of Sir Edward?

    1. It is indeed, they are doing something to the building behind that’s made the area look a little like a war zone – the cone was the icing on the cake!

  3. Nice pictures, impressive contrast (assuming you’ve not tweaked this in post) even on the ones taken on an obviously dull day. I’d say that it gives the T4 Tessar a run for it’s money. Silly question, but have tried using a lens hood on any of the bright source shots to see how controllable it is? The MS-verylongname, has a filter thread that I can see…

    1. They’ve had a slight tweak to the white balance and exposure, but only stuff that could be done as part of the scan (if I could be bothered to do it myself). There’s no sharpening or wizardry like the use of the ‘clarity’ slider in LR.
      I’ve tried the lens hood, but it doesn’t really do anything of much use. The hood that came with it has a thread for a filter.

  4. Sorry, just read back my comment and it sounds like a suggestion rather than a one of curiosity – which is what it is meant to be.

  5. How about the “M-SON SON” Hamish?

    Being from Japan, it should perhaps be “M-Son San” but it doesn’t equate to the name of the product quite so well…

  6. ‘M’iyazaki – ‘S’an ‘O’ptical ‘N’ikon ‘SON’nar

    But you are correct, it doesn’t scan that well Hamish.

  7. I think the flare adds to the lens’ character as it is quite smooth and fades out gradually without nasty streaks like other P&S compacts I’ve seen. I think it can be an asset if one finds a way to produce it at will. I also find the out-of-focus areas as seen in the picture of the padlocks very smooth and undistracting. What I would also like to know is how the lens influenced your shooting experience and if the reduction in overall size improved camera portability significantly, ie if it now fits in a coat pocket that wouldn’t accommodate it if fitted with a proper 35mm M lens.

    1. On the CL I can put it in my jeans pocket – that’s a first for a M-mount camera for me. This was pretty much my whole goal, and in that regard it’s definitely been a success!

  8. It’s such a shame how there are so many copies of this amazing lens out there, but the vast majority are stuck in such a clunky outdated body.

  9. You’d be surprised about the bokeh of a 35mm 2.8. But as a matter of fact the Sony FE 35mm 2.8 sonnar has great bokeh as well. Certainly one of the better bokehs I’ve seen, especially for a 2.8.

  10. I may have missed the article in which you explained all this, but which of the hundreds of Nikon point and shoot models did this lens come from?

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