Recommend Me Some RUBBISH Lenses!

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Duncan
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Looking at some of the images from old, Russian 35mm cameras, I have to say I just love them! Those grainy shots with no detail but loads of noise and loads of character! I'd love a couple of lenses that I could stick on the camera and turn my modern day mirrorless in a 60s throw away camera or worse! Who can recommend some old lenses that will totally degradeand insult the FF sensor of my Z6? :D
 
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Just tightly stretch some cling film over the front of the lens and your super duper Nikkors will come over all 1930s. Shooting through the bottom of a glass works as well...

Hetty through a glass.jpg
 
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Alan
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I can't say I've ever had a lens that bad but I have set out to try and make pictures taken with modern cameras look old and rubbish. I was inspired by pictures I saw in museum exhibits which were blown up way beyond reason, had too little or too much contrast and were generally pretty technically awful. I did this with a MFT camera and adapted lens and carried out heavy crops and then set about some severe butchering on the PC.
 
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Alan
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Actually... I have a Minolta Rokkor 35mm f2.8 which was one of my favourite lenses until I sent it for a service by a company who shall be nameless and they banjaxed the lens coatings. That's about as bad as I've seen.
 
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Mike
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I find the Russian lenses I've got all work pretty well on my A7ii, even the Helios 44-m with a big chunk missing from the front element!
Noise is only a factor with under exposed shots, but weird bokeh & similar issues can be found.
Lenses intended for smaller formats can loose a lot nearer the edges - the Industar 69 fits into that category as it's designed for half frame cameras. It does need a bit of modification to reach infinity focus on a normal LTM adapter.

If you want poor images try some early zooms especially those sold as having fungus or scratches...
Alternatively try removing or inverting elements from common lenses.
Taking the rear group from a 50mm prime will often convert it to a soft focus lens of about 100mm focal length (extra extension will be needed to focus).
Here's an example shot wide open for maximum glow:
soft focus mod fully open by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr
Closing the aperture gets rid of the glow within a couple of stops.


Using a close up filter as a lens will give you another extreme toy, & projector lenses are also good candidates to play with.
 
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Alan
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The thing with modern kit is that even drunk it's difficult to have an unrescuable disaster. I have some pictures I took with my 5D and Sigma 50mm f1.4 when very drunk and they're fine.

Maybe the key is to be drunk when you process the shots rather than when you take them?
 
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Looking at some of the images from old, Russian 35mm cameras, I have to say I just love them! Those grainy shots with no detail but loads of noise and loads of character! I'd love a couple of lenses that I could stick on the camera and turn my modern day mirrorless in a 60s throw away camera or worse! Who can recommend some old lenses that will totally degradeand insult the FF sensor of my Z6? :D
Cost might be a bit of a barrier, though:
 
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THIRTYFIVEMILL
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3,856
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Duncan
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I can't say I've ever had a lens that bad but I have set out to try and make pictures taken with modern cameras look old and rubbish. I was inspired by pictures I saw in museum exhibits which were blown up way beyond reason, had too little or too much contrast and were generally pretty technically awful. I did this with a MFT camera and adapted lens and carried out heavy crops and then set about some severe butchering on the PC.
Yeah, I'm guessing that's probably the only way using a modern camera.
 
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Would bet money that idea wont work well sadly. You still have a state of the are digital sensor and electronics behind the lens.

I think the old time photos were a special combo of rubbish everything from start to end product.
 
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Back in the day, Camera Weekly magazine (later swallowed by Amateur Photographer) used to publish resolution charts comparing every new lens to the 'best' they had ever tested, the Zeiss Planar 50/1.7, and the 'worst', the Meyer Domiplan 50/2.8 triplet. Today everyone raves about the Domiplan's character and bubble bokeh.

The Leitz Summar from the 30s is fundamentally a very good lens, but they very often come with heavy haze or fine scratches to the soft front element, lowering contrast and adding glow. The results from mine in its current condition look like shooting through fog.
 
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Morris
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I wish you had posted a week ago before I junked my Cosina 200mm with the built in autofocus. Front element was terribly hazy and in the end I couldn't see a way to rescue it. THAT would have given you crappy images at best :D
 

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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There's only one way to get (convincing) grain - shoot film! Ideally slow film pushed as far as possible. An old SLR with an M42 lens mount will probably offer you the largest choice of poor crap native lenses and shouldn't break the bank. Now charity shops are open again, do the occasional trawl and see what turns up.
 
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Toni
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Following on from Nod, no lens will give you grain, though that's a common enough effect in lightroom et al. Sucky lens? Try the food grade Minolta zooms: 28-80 and 28-100 for a low res mess, but pay no more than £30.

The other lens type that was horrible were the first 28-200s - look for an early vivitar, suckage guaranteed even on 6*4 enprints.

You could also try the old trick of smearing Vaseline on a skylight filter, leaving the centre clear. Or just develop your pp chops.
 
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26,992
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Alan
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Would bet money that idea wont work well sadly. You still have a state of the are digital sensor and electronics behind the lens.

I think the old time photos were a special combo of rubbish everything from start to end product.
These may not fool anyone who was around in 1952 but they are worse than any film shot I got from any camera and lens combination I've owned. Don't analyse too much, it's just a bit of fun :D





 
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Toni
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These may not fool anyone who was around in 1952 but they are worse than any film shot I got from any camera and lens combination I've owned. Don't analyse too much, it's just a bit of fun :D





Pretty close to Cosmic Symbol standard quality. :p
 
OP
THIRTYFIVEMILL
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3,856
Name
Duncan
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I find the Russian lenses I've got all work pretty well on my A7ii, even the Helios 44-m with a big chunk missing from the front element!
Noise is only a factor with under exposed shots, but weird bokeh & similar issues can be found.
Lenses intended for smaller formats can loose a lot nearer the edges - the Industar 69 fits into that category as it's designed for half frame cameras. It does need a bit of modification to reach infinity focus on a normal LTM adapter.

If you want poor images try some early zooms especially those sold as having fungus or scratches...
Alternatively try removing or inverting elements from common lenses.
Taking the rear group from a 50mm prime will often convert it to a soft focus lens of about 100mm focal length (extra extension will be needed to focus).
Here's an example shot wide open for maximum glow:
by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr
Closing the aperture gets rid of the glow within a couple of stops.


Using a close up filter as a lens will give you another extreme toy, & projector lenses are also good candidates to play with.
Great info, thanks Mike!!
 
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Hugh
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Not helpful but Fundy used to sell a set of photoshop actions. They were overblown and pretty poor but one of those was called Piece of s*** lens. Used to add grain, soften the edges and generally apply a little circular liquify to the hole image. Totally overblown but better then spending your hard earned on a pos lens. Anyway an idea,
 
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587
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If this is your bag then you can buy "toy" lenses from Lensbaby, SLRMagic and "Holga" branded stuff on eBay.
I picked up a very cheap micro 4/3rds fit plastic lens on eBay ages ago.
It comes out now and then and adds a very "vintage" look with minimal processing effort.
Worth a tenner but not much more - light and small so easy to carry.
I don't know if you'll find something with a Z6 mount?

e,g.

Maison, Saint-Étienne-du-Grès
by AMc UK, on Flickr

More here if you're curious
 
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THIRTYFIVEMILL
Messages
3,856
Name
Duncan
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If this is your bag then you can buy "toy" lenses from Lensbaby, SLRMagic and "Holga" branded stuff on eBay.
I picked up a very cheap micro 4/3rds fit plastic lens on eBay ages ago.
It comes out now and then and adds a very "vintage" look with minimal processing effort.
Worth a tenner but not much more - light and small so easy to carry.
I don't know if you'll find something with a Z6 mount?

e,g.

Maison, Saint-Étienne-du-Grès
by AMc UK, on Flickr

More here if you're curious
Quite like the look and feel of that image, actually! Thanks for the info!!
 
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5,573
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Messages
749
Name
Mike
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Yes
If this is your bag then you can buy "toy" lenses from Lensbaby, SLRMagic and "Holga" branded stuff on eBay.
I picked up a very cheap micro 4/3rds fit plastic lens on eBay ages ago.
It comes out now and then and adds a very "vintage" look with minimal processing effort.
Worth a tenner but not much more - light and small so easy to carry.
I don't know if you'll find something with a Z6 mount?

e,g.

Maison, Saint-Étienne-du-Grès
by AMc UK, on Flickr

More here if you're curious
I've just added a second lensbaby to my selection. My first was a 'Muse' which you have to squeeze to focus - a very bad user interface IMO. My new one is a composer which is MUCH better. the optics can be readily swapped between the two (I have the double glass & plastic optics) & fortunately the mounts could be swapped as well though this does involve overcoming the threadlock used on the screws (heat from a soldering iron does the job).
Now I have the composer in a mount I can use on my old Pentax DSLRs, or easily adapt to any of my mirrorless bodies (three different formats).
The muse is now in a dumb EF mount which I can use on my mirrorless bodies but I have no intention of doing so. I'll probably end up selling it.

Unfortunately lensbaby's in general are not cheap, I've been after a composer for months & finally ended up paying £70 for a pristine one :(
I'd like to try out some of their newer optics such as the edge 35, but these are all hundreds of pounds. Maybe in a few years they'll be common on the second hand market & the prices might be more reasonable.

I suppose if you search for lensbaby on e-bay you'll see the same DIY equivalents I saw, while looking for my composer, many of these should give effects fairly similar to the muse/early lensbaby...
 
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Mike
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Rereading you're original request for noisy low detail results reminded me of this one shoot ten years ago using a 1000-4000 zoom (well a Tasco 'world class' telescope with the supplied T2 adapter. I think this would have been at the wider end as it's only f/16 here & gets slower as you zoom in.

just missed! by Mike Kanssen, on Flickr

The 'lens' cost me £47 but I had to spend another £100 to get a used tripod sturdy enough to hold it & much the same again for a sturdy fluid head...
 
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