Stefano’s Stuffs

Let’s name your lens…

I discovered a sort of passion about photographic lens names and, when I look for some new interesting glass, I write down the most coooool names;-) . Some examples:

The Cosina Voitglander NOKTON serie : wow, it seems a superhero. The superhero of night. Nokton remember to me also some black heavy war tank:-). Also the old name Voitglander is cool, damn cool (outside Austria/Germany , because it’s simply a surname!) and, why not, Cosina too! (but in Italian Cosina it’s “a little thing”…)

The Russian HELIOS serie: Helios means “sun” in greek and greek it’s always cool (and I love/hate it because of my classical studies:-)). And the coolest thing of this greek name it’s that this serie is from Russia:-)

The Leica NOCTILUX serie : Leica is the lens master and also the marketing/communication is really creative:-) In addiction to the mythical Noctilux (in italian it’s a romantic “luce della notte”…Superb!) we have a lot of other choices, like the standard Elmar that become a boosted SUPER-ELMAR in its 18mm/f3,8 version…

The Carl Zeiss series: CZ uses always cool names!Pancolar, Flektogon, Sonnar, BIOTAR!They seem to me robot names!

Another example could be the entire Zuiko brand from Olympus (really japanese!)

December 4, 2009 Posted by | Senza Categoria | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment



A new, interesting product from Takara Tomy : Xiao, a digital camera that print photos!!!It has 5 mpx, 2,5″ lcd, sd slot,  fixed focus, a 1/2-1/2000 exposure and can print 5×7,6 cm colour photos with its ZINK (means Zero Ink) printer in less than a minute. It’s a very nice object but not really cheaper: near 35.000 yen (plus the price of the paper for prints)

December 10, 2008 Posted by | Japan, Photo | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to spend (some) money…

I definitively need a cheap DSLR back for my 5-6 Nikon lenses. I’m thinking about this hardware from about two months and the word “cheap” means that I’ve really FEW choices…;-)

The first possibility is the D50. I saw it on E-Bay and its price is good (especially in UK); it uses SD memory and it support near all the lenses, even the old ones (so you know why I cannot buy a D40 or a D60); using film for years, I have not “DX-only” lenses). Price is 200-280 €; at Mapcamera in Tokyo they sell it used at near 34.000 yen or 210 €.

The second possibility is the D70/D70s. The price is near the same (a little more expensive in Japan than the D50, don’t know why) , it uses CF cards, it has near the same resolution of the D50.

The cons about Nikon cameras: I absolutely need to use my hi-quality M42 lenses on my dslr (first of all the Zenitar Fisheye, some Revuenons and some CZJ…Crop factor, I hate you!:-)) and all the adapters have a cheap glass lens inside for reaching the infinite focus, and this lens seems to have really poor quality…On Internet I read some interesting stories.

The last possibility is a Canon 350d. It’s cheap as a Nikon and its various adapters are more compatible with different lenses; in this situation I’ll need a Nikon-F adapter with chip and a M42-Canon adapter (the glass lens is not necessary because of Canon manufacture, increasing photo quality).

The cons about this possibility: adapters are always adapters and even with the one with chip you’ll lose the AF of the Nikon lenses and you can obtain only the Canon “beep” when the focus is ok…

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Photo | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


The “new” Horizon is an interesting film camera (also the oldest one, but it’s a little difficult to find in good conditions) and after two years of use I can recommend it to everyone like to shoot panoramas.
The best choice is obiouvsly the “Perfekt” edition (more similiar to the old Horizon) without fixed aperture (it has a f/2,8 max and it has a tripod hole!),against the more cheaper (especially on Ebay) “Kompakt” (a fixed f/8 with a maximum 1/2 second exposure is not ideal for night…I’ve obtained good results only with 1600 iso film). A second hand Kompakt could be instead a right choice for beginners. With these cameras you can use every type of 135 films, with a 36 poses one you can take near 20 shot (measuring 24x58mm instead of 24×36…and yes you can do double exposures!). The develop should not be a problem also in a normal shop/one hour minilab (ask not to cut film after the develop may help a lot if the clerk watch you in a strange way after told him “This is made with a panoramic camera”…) but the print could be a problem in a lot of shops (even in Tokyo I’ve learned to ask “develop/genzou only” or “directly to the pro-lab”; in Italy I’ve found a shop in my little city (only 1 on a total of 15) that does the right things in a week. Ask to your shop before buy because this problem could be really stressful and Lomo knows it well.

Japan II - Far away you can see the end of the World

An example on my Flickr’s photostream taken with a Kompakt + FujiFilm Natura 1600 at 1/60 sec.

PS=Pay attention when you load film into your Horizon: during the whole operation you must extract really FEW film, as less as possible, so it can perfectly fit into the camera; especially the last roller of the Horizon (the one with the shots counter) must turn really well and softly after loading the film. This camera will give you great satisfactions!

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Photo | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New (old) lenses

Chinon CS4

(image courtesy of

During 2008 I bought a wonderful, 28 years old, Revueflex SD1 (also called Chinon CS4), a very affordable manual camera with a wonderful M42 mount; this means that on Ebay there are a lot of possibilities to find some VERY good lenses at very good price. I immediately bought a 20 years old beautiful-perfect condition-great bokeh-cheap Revuenon f/2,8 135mm, ideal for portrait. I’m looking hard, also with the precious help of some webisites devoted to this camera mount, for the right lenses to buy and the results are incredible. Here my top3 (obiouvsly “cheap edition”!) updated:

3 – The always interesting and cheap Zenitar Fisheye f/2,8 16mm; it is produced with various mount and adapters (Canon, Nikon, Sigma…even M39!)but the original one is made for M42 cameras. This cheap fisheye takes excellent shots, it’s fully manual and it’s “not-so-circular” like some others “pushed” fisheye.

2 – The very useful Tomioka f/1,4 55mm. Some f/1,4 Super Takumars are better and cheaper but for example mine is damn yellow and a little radioactive (the rear element was treated with Thorium) so I must find a good alternative, always at f/1,4:-). The best idea is the “Tomi-lux”, the Tomioka f/1,2 but it’s not really cheap…

(image courtesy of

1 – The really interesting Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon f/4 20mm (ok, there’s also the f/2,8 but it’s always the same problem…:-)), I saw some wonderful shots taken with this lens and the DDR “Zebra” edition is SO cool…;-)

(image courtesy of

The “not-so-cheap” list includes a lot of other lenses…

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Photo | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment