Vintage Lens, A Disappointment?

You’ve probably already gathered that I’m drawn to antique and vintage shops, I love a good mooch around for “new” props for my still life photography. A few weeks ago an unplanned antique shop visit saw me buying two lovely old blue bottles plus a Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Domiplan 50mm f2.8 lens.

Now I knew nothing about the lens and had no internet connection on my phone so wasn’t able to do any research. The only thing I did know was that it fitted my adaptor ring and at £15 I was prepared to take a chance.

A quick search online when I got home and learned that the chances of the lens being good weren’t so great! I soon discovered that the aperture was stuck at f2.8, the lens is soft, difficult to focus and prone to a sort of glowing effect.

Undeterred a few days later I took it for a walk.

black and white photography with a vintage lens

black and white photography with a vintage lens

black and white photography with a vintage lens

black and white photography with a vintage lens

black and white photography with a vintage lens

The kindest thing I can say is the images certainly look like they were taken with something vintage! Not one of them was focussed. In fact I had to swap to the Helios to reassure myself that there wasn’t something wrong with my eyes!

And just look at the difference…..

black and white photography with a vintage lens

I should be disappointed and consigning the lens to the bin.

BUT I’m very drawn to soft, out of focus and blurry images and I have a feeling there’s a great image to be had from that lens. Admittedly probably only ever one great image. Perhaps it’s connected to my last post about the thing that’s missing but I have a feeling that one day I’ll be really glad I bought this lens.

At the moment I’m much more excited about another vintage lens discovery but I’ll save that for another post.





  • Rebecca Reply

    I was wondering what became of that lens.

    • Janet Broughton Reply

      It’s biding it’s time for better things Rebecca!!

  • Reza Reply

    No one expects such photos from a lens as raw images, which can be a disappointment, but they’re not bad. As you kindly said 🙂 they look vintage, kinda dreamy and mysterious in some ways. Can make great images.

    • Janet Broughton Reply

      You’re right, they aren’t bad and they are atmospheric, but they aren’t great.
      And I’m determined to get one great image out of that lens!

  • marsha Reply

    these are perfect for a starting photo for Nicki’s class!! Nice soft blurs!

    • Janet Broughton Reply

      Yes I suppose they would be, I’m trying to only use my mobile for images inspired my the class at the moment. I know there’s a good image to be had from this lens, just not had the opportunity yet!

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