Photos & Projects

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

March 13, 2016

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,

Hamish

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Brent
    March 13, 2016 at 9:30 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 13, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Agreed on the flare…
      Cheers

  • Reply
    jeremy north
    March 13, 2016 at 9:46 am

    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?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 13, 2016 at 9:55 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Ray Yee
    March 13, 2016 at 10:20 am

    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…

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 13, 2016 at 10:30 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Ray Yee
    March 13, 2016 at 10:29 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 13, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      I think I read it right, don’t worry 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephen J.
    March 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    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…

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 13, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      haha, whats the second ‘son’ for?

  • Reply
    Stephen J.
    March 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm

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

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

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 14, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      No, but very good nonetheless…
      I’m thinking MS-35 Sonnar might just do the trick

  • Reply
    Christos Theofilogiannakos
    March 14, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Wyatt Maurer
    March 15, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Tillmann
    April 24, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 25, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      That FE Sonnar is a wonderful lens! I had and sold one – regret it now!

  • Reply
    Scott P
    August 25, 2017 at 6:15 am

    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?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      August 27, 2017 at 8:46 am

      The Nikon L35AF

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