published: (updated: )
by Harshvardhan J. Pandit
blog gadgets personal
I got a cheap used canon 350d camera off Ebay, and with some vintage lenses, it gives pretty good results!
I haven't taken a single photograph in the past 6 or so months. Don't ask me why. It just is so. I move from hobby to hobby, eventually coming back to it full time. I had two vintage lenses, a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm and a Pentacon 1.8, both decent lenses, but no way to use them on the Nikon I own. Nikon cameras suck in that they cannot use pretty much any other lens system. Canon (and Olympus) on the other hand, are great, because they can accommodate pretty much every lens out there. So I hoarded until my pockets were empty.
Along with the camera, I got a lot of stuff. A bag (granted it is old, but it is in perfectly usable condition), a unipod (which is a tripod with just one leg), a very small tripod (which is essentially just three stubs to place the camera on the ground), and lots of filters. And they're all Hoya or Cokin, which is pretty decent stuff. Plus, I got three or so camera protection bags. Travel charger, battery. A camera that works. And 10 meters of bubble wrap. For about 120€, that's a great deal. I checked on Ebay, I can get that money back when I sell the camera and the filters. So I didn't overpay. The camera is in perfect working condition, sensor, mirror, everything is clean. Came with a 1.0GB CF card.
I tested the Zebra lens (see the picture? see the zebra stripes?), because I really like it, and it's pretty nice to look at. It is one of the old german lenses, they are very very light, have an incredibly simple design and work great. Here's the picture from the lens (full resolution)
And though it looks sharp, yet mediocre, consider this full zoomed crop:
It is quite sharp there. The lines are visibly less jagged, and there is almost no chromatic aberration (the violet-purple fringes at the end from diffraction of light). Which means the lens performs admirably.
Now I'm excited to see what else this lens can do. I want to look into picturing Dublin in black and white. Vintage lenses are great for that. And with a cheap camera, I don't have to worry too much about the rain (or getting mugged).