Monday, July 15, 2013

Meyer Optik Dompilan 50mm f/2.8 in M42 mount

I bought this lens at the local Recycle-Reuse store for a buck.  It's an M-42 version of the lens that was on my very first SLR, an Exa1a.  The Meyer-Optik Domiplan 50mm f/2.8 is a Cooke Triplet design, with a minimum aperture of f/22, and a close focus distance of only 75cm.  Relatively easy to find, it is a low-cost lens in M42 and Exakta mount.  Now, I shot many rolls of film with my Exa back in the 1970s, and the Domiplan 50mm was all that I had at the time.  Is it a great lens?  No, but on average, stopped down it is still pretty darn good.  Besides, if all lenses were absolutely perfect, the world would be a boring place.

After I purchased this lens I realized that the aperture was stuck open.  Hmm.  Maybe some sticky oil?  I merely whacked the base of the lens flat against a cushioned pad, and the diaphragm blades came unstuck. Since I paid only a buck fior the lens, I had nothing to lose.  The Domiplan aperture control ring is on the very front of the an Argus Cintar.  It's also automatic aperture control only, so the aperture pin need to be engaged for stop-down metering, depth of field examination, etc.  Not necessarily the easiest lens to use, but I got around fine with it when I was a teenager.

I attached the Dompilan to my Mamiya 1000DTL M-42 camera.  To make it easier to adjust the aperture AND use a light shade, I attached an old 49mm metal lens shade and it works perfectly. It's not a fast lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but it will do.  I loaded up a roll of Eastman Kodak Hwakeye 400 ISO color film and shot away with it while I was on Drummond Island back in mid-June. The results were fine, and this cheap lens certainly did the job.

Comparing the two lenses - one on the Exa 1a, and the other on the Mamiya, the only difference is the shutter control button on the Exakta-mount lens. This is not the Exa 1a that I was given in 1973.  That one was sold long ago after I got seriously back into photography.  This one is a display model that I picked up cheaply on eBay.  I have no desire to go back to shooting with a crappy-waist-level 35mm viewfinder...
Sunset on Drummond Island with Ultrafine 125 BW film
odd angles
An unusual triangular building at Point Detour.
Edwin - a cemetery on Drummond Island

The Tee Pee -- a landmark on Drummond Island.

On the Maxton Plains alvar.

A cozy place.  I love photographing these small rural POs.   Looks like a small light leak somewhere

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