A Photo a Week Challenge: Flower

I have recently been experimenting with adapting various lenses to a mirrorless camera. This isn’t the first time I have tested old film camera lenses on a modern digital camera. Six years ago I tested a Vivitar 35mm f/1.9 lens that I have owned since the late 1970s. It was used when I got it so I don’t know how old it actually is and it’s now so worn that it feels like it could fall apart each time I use it.

This is my contribution to the A Photo a Week Challenge: Flower. An Echinacea (Coneflower) flower photographed with the old Vivitar 35mm lens. I rather like the way the lens renders the out of focus flowers in the background.

Echinacea flower.

For comparison, a Coneflower photographed with a modern 50mm macro lens a couple of years ago.

Echinacea or Coneflower.


A Coneflower, also known as Echinacea. A rather attractive flower that I overlooked in the past.

Taken 5 years ago with a (relatively) modern digital camera and a vintage lens. The lens is a Vivitar 35mm f/1.9 that I picked up used when I was a photography student in the late 1970s. Eventually I replaced it with a much smaller and lighter f/2.8 model.

The Vivitar 35mm didn’t get retired for a few more years. It was the lens I attached to the nest boxes I used to document the nesting cycle of various species in the mid and late 1980s. It was retired after that although I kept it around for a couple of reasons. Firstly as a backup should anything nasty happen to my f/2.8 model. Secondly, having purchased it used and with the rubber grip on the focusing ring having disappeared it wasn’t worth very much.

Five or six years ago I rounded up all my manual focus lenses from the film era to try them on a digital camera. I rather liked the way the ancient Vivitar renders backgrounds (sometimes, other times the backgrounds can be quite ugly) so it found a place in my manual focus prime lens kit. When I’m feeling particularly retro I leave the modern zoom lenses at home and take a small bag containing three or four manual focus prime lenses. Basically going back to the way I shot film as a student.

Echinacea flower.