I was very lucky a few months back to be gifted a bunch of old camera stuff from a friend, most of which sadly was pretty far gone but mounted to an old Praktica that had died was this beauty … Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.4
Funny thing was I was reading a random blog post only days before extolling the virtues of this particular lens.
I have a couple of M42 mount cameras so mounted it on my working Praktica MTL 5B and shot a roll of expired Kodak Colorplus just to test the performance.
I was very pleased with how the lens performed so I decided to get an M42 adapter for Nikon F mount so that I could use it with some of my older Nikon Slr’s.
I made sure that I got one with the glass element that let the camera focus to infinity and mounted it on my FM2n loaded with some ilford XP2 and went out to test it.
I found that if I switched the lens to manual diaphragm mode then the FM2n metered correctly for me.
Here are some sample images mostly shot wide open at 2.4 through 5.6 with the bench landscape at f11.
The viewfinder dimmed quite a bit the more that I stopped down making it quite hard to focus but if you switch back to auto diaphragm mode to focus if you are using f8+ then back to manual to meter then all is good. All in all I am very pleased with this little lens and it has the added benefit of being able to close focus down to 19cm.
Considering I got this for nothing is a bonus but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a purchase as you will not be disappointed
Thanks for looking ….
Click on an image to view larger
All images are available as prints just drop me an email
I was given a couple of rolls of Kodak T-max 3200 a while back and after reading up on the internet that the true iso is closer to 1000-1200 iso I thought I would shoot a roll at 1600 to hopefully minimise the grain.
Yesterday was a pretty bright day so shooting outside at 1600 iso required some pretty high shutter speeds especially when I tried to open the Aperture a bit for some shallow DOF shots but my Nikon FM2n can shoot up to 4000 sec.
I developed the film in my new ilfotec HC developer and was well happy with the results.
I have shot ilford Delta 3200 at the rated speed and found the grain and contrast to be a little to strong for my taste (and I love contrasty images) so the results here were very pleasing.
Plenty of shadow detail and the highlights seemed pretty good to.
I will try my ilford 3200 at 1600 next time and compare the results I suspect that they will be very similar and as Kodak have stopped T-Max 3200 ilford is the way to go.
Thanks for looking ……. ps
I have started another blog just featuring my film images if anyone is interested it can be found at
We popped down my Mum and Dad’s on Father’s day and I was determined to get some candid portrait shots of Dad as he never likes his photograph taken and as a challenge I was using film.
As usual he was a hard subject to pin down but I did manage to get a few nice frames with pretty good expressions.
When we left we popped down the coast to Porthcawl for a nice stroll by the seaside where I shot another roll of Tri-x 400. It is getting easier to shoot manual now after 15+ rolls and it is such a nice feeling to take my time and choose the shot rather than shoot everything and look through later for the best ones.
Ok, not every shot I take on film is perfect but even the one’s that are not quite what I envisaged at the time are still keepers.
Over the last few months the trees in the Garw Valley have been felled due to an outbreak of ‘Phytophthora ramorum’ which is a fungus-like pathogen of plants that causes extensive damage and mortality to trees and other plants.
It is so sad to look out of my windows overlooking the once green hills that are now barren due to this disease but from what I have read this is the only way to stop the spread.
I decided to take a walk and try to document how this has changed the once beautiful tree covered valley using both Digital and Film.
All these photographs were taken using a Nikon FM2n and 50mm lens on ilford Delta 400 and hopefully shows the decimation this has caused, I think the Black and White gives a more poignant/sad feel to the images.
I am sure mother nature will prevail and cover this once green valley again.
Thanks for looking…… click to view a larger image…..
I called into my local camera shop … (Celtic Camera Centre) …on the weekend to pick up a few rolls of film and noticed they had a Nikon 24mm f2.8 manual focus lens for sale, it was a lovely thing and I am looking to get a wide angle lens to use on my FM2n but sadly it was a bit out of my price range at the moment.
But Andy pointed out they had a Nikon 35mm f2.5e lens also, it was not in the same league as the 24mm……. plastic and a bit tatty but optically fine and was only £50 so I thought I would give it a go.
When I got home I put it on my D7000 and delved into the menus to enter the Non-CPU data so as to be able to use the lens. I only took a handful of shots and imported them into Aperture and was amazed at the results I shot everything wide open and they looked great.
Next I loaded up my FM2n with a roll of Ilford Delta 400 and mounted the lens.
I went out for a walk and proceeded to test out the lens at various subjects and apertures.
On Sunday we went to a Photography exhibition at The Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff bay to see “The Last Resort” by Martin Parr & Tom Wood
so I took the film camera with me to use up the roll and couldn’t wait to get home to develop it and see whether it performed just as good on film as it did on digital.
I was really impressed at the resultant negatives this lens is no way a match for its more expensive equivalents but for £50 it is an absolute steal….closeup the results were excellent even wide open but it did need to be stopped down to get the best images at any distance over a few feet away.
Well this shot was after the Classic Car Show but I put it first to show the difference between my 85mm and my 50mm.
I had a few frames left when I got home eager to process it and see what I captured I decided to try my Nikon 85mm 1.8 just as a comparison so I dragged my son Ben kicking and screaming out the garden to take a few shots to finish the film.
I love using the 50mm on my FM2n but I must admit the look I get when shooting portraits with the 85mm is so much better.
The rest of the shots were from the car show except for the line of trees, I shot both digital and film on the day and even though the digital shots were good when it came to the people shots I preferred the film.
Last week I decided as I was shooting more and more film I would have to have a go at developing my own negatives. This is something I have not done since school.
When studying for my ‘O’ level Art my teacher Mr Halley who was a keen photographer set up a darkroom and some of us who were interested in photography got to waste our Friday afternoons developing and printing our own stuff which is where I got gripped with the photography bug over 30 years ago.
With a mixture of memory/facebook friends and youtube I ventured into my makeshift darkroom /bathroom 🙂 and thought I had made a total mess of my film.
First it all unwound and dropped to the floor, then I managed to cut the leader at an angle so it would not wind on to the spool, eventually I emerged from the bathroom thinking the worst but I was so pleased after opening up the processing tank when I saw images instead of clear or black film.
It is such a thrill to process my own film it brings back so many memories, I love processing my digital shots too, but there is something about the look/feel and smell of Film.
These shots are far from perfect but as it is all my own work I love them…….