5 frames with...

5 frames with an Auto Yashinon 1:2 50mm lens – by Tobias Eriksson

August 13, 2018

This post isn’t about a camera, but a lens: It is beyond repair – no focus beyond 3 meters; aperture is stuck at almost wide open – 1:2. Still, I can’t wait to take it out to make photographs! Any photographer (or artist for that matter; or engineer, or…) can tell you that limitations are good for creative thinking. They make you think in ways that are different from how you normally do things.

The photographer Eddie Ephraums wrote in a recent issue of Black & White Photography about his thinking about preconceptions and how to find new ways of looking (at what you’ve already seen a hundred times). He exemplified with photographs of wilted tulips, as opposed to the more common subject of beautiful tulips in bloom. At once came to mind the wilted tulip as metaphor. Perhaps for time passing, or aging, or what have you. Ephraums found other ‘abstract’ subjects, such as “symbol, pure form, popular culture, concept” etc, which can be applied to one’s approach to a photography project.

With those words in mind – or your own list of words – an extra layer of meaning can be applied to your choice of composition or subject. Or to what gear you choose to use on any given day.

The sense of thrill which appears when I pick up the wonky Yashinon must in fact come from the vibrations that occur when the creative synapses in my brain start building up steam. I need to give extra thought to my choice of subjects for the pictures to mean something more than just ‘foreground object in focus, background out of focus,’ which is this particular lens’ inherent attribute. It takes an effort! I like it!

The pictures were taken with the lens mounted on my half-frame Olympus Pen F.

The Yashinon 50 mm has great circular bokeh!

The limits of the focus can be used to the picture’s advantage, adding a dreamlike atmosphere.

Focus is not lost entirely at 3 meters, but fades out.

The wide open aperture enables you to focus on very specific details, even in broad daylight.

Thanks for reading!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Yul Vazquez
    August 13, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    These are great…well done..love this post.

  • Reply
    Robert Andrews
    August 15, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for writing this. I recently dropped a beautiful Super Takumar 55mm f/2. The focus ring still turns albeit with some effort but the aperture ring is stuck at f/2. It’ll probably go to f/5.6 but that’s it. I’ve kept the lens but replaced it anyway. I think I’ll see what I can do with the old one.

  • Reply
    Robert Andrews
    August 15, 2018 at 12:11 am

    I recently dropped a beautiful Super Takumar 55mm f/2. The focus ring still turns albeit with some effort but the aperture ring is stuck at f/2. It’ll probably go to f/5.6 but that’s it. I’ve kept the lens but replaced it anyway.
    I think I’ll see what I can do with the old one.
    Thanks for writing this..

    • Reply
      Tobias Eriksson
      August 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks! Well, things that don’t work 100% still work – right? Under the right circumstances of course.

  • Reply
    Graham Line
    April 18, 2019 at 2:10 am

    I think you should have been allowed 10 frames with an Olympus Pen F.

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