I was idly browsing my emails when I saw one from Mike Eckman revealing his week’s picks for recommended reading; I am always happy to receive these as they often point me at interesting posts I may otherwise miss. On this occasion though, one of his recommendations was for a post I had already planned to read but this did prompt me to actually get on with doing just that.
The post (at Casual Photophile) which you can read here was about people’s favourite lenses and I was interested to read about this as I am always interested in what glass people use and why. It was Mike’s own recommendation that caught my eye and it seemed to me that this lens would fit nicely into my range; not that I really needed one but it just sounded very useful and might replace a lens I am thinking of parting with for other reasons.
Mike’s pick was the Kilfitt-Makro Kilar D 4cm f/2.8 lens which has a very short (2cm) macro shooting distance but also does well at normal distances. With a focal length of 40mm I figured it might make a nice portrait lens seeing as I use Micro four thirds which makes it effective 80mm.
I had not heard of this lens before so I promptly jumped the internet and then that auction site to investigate and to see what was out there. One was on there for a little under $100 and I thought that was not a bad risk as many were double that. I made a bid but it went above my price; I am not one of those people that bids at the last moment, so not a win, oh well. Next day I took another look and a guy has one on there for very little money indeed. It was early on in the auction but he had the best offer available; I made an offer way over double what he was at but also still way under what I had bid the day before… he accepted!
It was the other version of this lens which ONLY focuses to 4cm and has an max aperture of 3.5 but I figured that was good enough for my purposes at least to see if I would find it useful.
It arrived a while later and all looked good, the rubber grip on the focusing ring was missing but other than that it was in excellent condition. I used an piece of rubber from a bicycle inner-tube to replace the missing grip and that works fine; it’s a first attempt and I will probably try to make a cleaner go of it later. It came with the Exacta mount and I had already ordered a suitable adapter for my MFT Olympus which arrived a few days later.
As we are still pretty locked down with the COVID crisis my only options for shooting the lens were around my house and on the dog walk and SO off I went.
Wow! I know it’s early days but I love this lens!
I have to be honest that I have been struggling with inspiration lately and I am not sure if it is the focal length or what, but I suddenly found that there were things to shoot and with the flexibility this lens offered I was not held back.
Thanks Mike for a great recommendation.
The only thing I don’t like is the way the adapter fits; aesthetically the thing is awful. It expands in diameter and then drops down to the lens itself exposing bare metal. Maybe I am being silly but that kind of thing bothers me and if I going to use a thing it has to look the part. I am working on a solution….