Trying the Chinon 135mm (f/2,8)
As mentioned in my previous post, I got myself a new lens yesterday – the Chinon 135mm f.2,8 with a M42-mount.
The lens can be found online, and depending on condition and mount, go for around 30-80 USD (which makes the 7$ I paid for mine seems like a joke) so it’ s in no way a expensive lens.
But what do you get for the price?
I decided to take my new friend out for a quick test, just to see how well it performs.
The photos have was shot with my Nikon D3000 (like most of the other pictures I publish) in RAW, later converted in Lightroom, where I also made minor adjustments with color and contrast which is my regular post-procedure.
The first thing that hits me is that this lens has some pretty sweet bokeh. After coming back home again and reading up a bit on this lens, I found out that it’s often used for portraits, which should come as no surprise. I will have to further investigate the bokeh-abilities of this lens.
And speaking of bokeh: since this is a fixed focal length-lens, you’ll be able to get a wider aperture, more precisly 2,8. It’s not the widest, but way better than the f/3,5 that my other Chinon tele-lens(80-250mm) have.
Beside, I’ve always preferred fixed lenses over zoom ones.
This lens is fully manual, something I don’t mind at all, since it’s the way I shoot most time anyway.
But to get a pleasant experience when using a lens with manual focusing, the way the lens handles must feel smooth and well made. On this point, the Chinon is great. Focusing is smooth and easily controllable. Extra points for the decorative fake skin on the focus ring, as it adds texture and makes the lens easier to grip and control. I have however heard that it might loosen over time, or become worn down and by so taking away from part of the experience. But as my lens is in near new condition, I can’t really see me having those kinds of problems in a near future.
Speaking of build quality – this lens feels really sturdy. No plastic, all metal and glass, which is just how I like it.
(Take notes Nikon and Canon – we’re tired of plastic fantastic. Though it sometimes can be nice with a light weight lens..)
Despite this, it’s not heavy to carry around. Since around a year or two back, i’m always shooting strapless, since I feel this adds a sense of freedom. However, after a good 40 min walk with the camera in my hand, there was still no weight to complain about.
So, this lens have a good aperture, and a fairly decent bokeh.
Well, overall I think the glass performs well. I find the images to be crisp and sharp (though with all manual lenses, you might missfocus sometimes. But that’s my fault, not the lenses) with failry good contrast.
It also tens to make the image a bit softer in the corners. Once again, I can see this lens being used as a portrait lens.
After this first short test, I can say that I’m more than satisfied with my purchase, and would be so even if I’d at least paid 30-40$ more.
You get a lot of glass for the money, a sturdy built lens, and especially if you’re new to using longer focal lengths (or portrait photos) a great lens to start with.
I can guaranty that you’ll see more photos shot with this lens in a near future.
And that is all for today.
Until next time, have a good one!