Teleconverters


Late Spring is a great time to drive around with a camera in the car, you never know what floral treasures you may find by the roadside. I spotted these on the way to work one morning – I had been delayed that day, and the sun was much higher in the sky than it usually is so these poppies blooming at the edge of the woodland were illuminated perfectly.

I had my Minolta Dynax 800si with me, with a Maxxum 35-105 zoom, loaded with Fuji 200 film. The Maxxum 35-105mm lens is a little wonder, and although it’s a tad slow at f/4.5 – f/5.6, it’s perfect for the outdoors under sunny conditions.

I also had something unusual – I had recently purchased a Bower adapter to mount Olympus Zuiko lenses on a Minolta Maxxum camera that I really wanted to try out. I had been carrying it around for a few days along with my Zuiko 200mm f/4 lens, so I took the opportunity to test it.

A 200 mm lens is perfect for taking pictures without getting out of the car, since the focal length is just right to fill the frame from about 18-20 feet. The Bower adapter has a glass element to compensate for the infinity setting, so its really a weak teleconverter. Of course, when mounted on the Minolta, the lens needs to be focused manually, and needs to be stopped down manually as well. Focusing is done with the aperture wide open, and then stopped down before taking the shot. The Minolta Maxxum’s metering works great with the manual lens though.

I had been looking for a way to use all my Zuiko, Kiron and Vivitar lenses from my OM cameras on my Minolta, and it seemed to fit the bill. I’m happy to say it works perfectly, and I’m kicking myself for not getting one sooner. Since it works with the Maxxum, it will also work with the Sony Alpha.

Maxxum 35-105mm
Maxxum 35-105mm
Maxxum 35-105mm
Zuiko 200mm Dynax 800si with Bower Adapter
Zuiko 200mm on Dynax 800si with Bower Adapter

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si and Maxxum 35-105 f/4.5- 5.6 medium zoom. The Zuiko 200mm f/4 lens was mounted on the Minolta with a Bower Adapter, Fuji Super 200 film. I used a polarizing filter for both lenses.


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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I’ve always been interested in close-up photography, but the cost of a good MACRO lens usually put a damper on my enthusiasm. I’ve been looking for cheap alternatives. I have a set of closeup lenses (the ones you screw on the front of the lens, but they weren’t very satisfactory.

I bought the Panagor a while ago, it’s a true 1:1 Macro, and you can usually get one pretty reasonably on Ebay and elsewhere. The Panagor 90mm f/2.8 medium telephoto is a hidden gem. It was also marketed as a closeup Dental lens by Lester Dine. This particular lens was a real bargain, and because of it’s age, I was cconcerned about its condition, but I need not have worried. It was in pristine condition, the previous owner had good care of it and after all, Kino builds excellent lenses.

My other cheap alternative was the Kino made Vivitar 2X Macro teleconverter – this is the “good” one… with 7 elements instead of 4, and when you fit a Zuiko 50mm on it, it’s a 100mm portrait lens, and an excellent MACRO. The Zuiko 50mm is very sharp, and allows stopping down to f/16. The Vivitar Macro teleconverter is a beautiful optic, and is a true 1:1 macro. The teleconverter doubles the focal length to 100mm, but costs us 2 stops of light. However, it makes an excellent Macro lens.

I was in the backyard a couple of weeks ago, experimenting with the lenses, and here are the results. I used my OM-1.

Hand held macrophotography is tricky… focusing that close, lighting is critical, we have to be careful about shading the subject with the lens, hand shake is immediately obvious, and of course the extremely shallow depth of field means that if your subject matter is more than a few millimeters deep, it will be out of focus. Macro also photography makes for interesting bokeh, though.


Moss – Panagor 90mm Macro
Corncob – Panagor 90mm Macro

Photographed with an OM-1, 90mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro with Fuji Superia 400 ASA


Cherry Blossom – 50mm +2x macro
Cherry Blossom – 50mm +2x macro
Cherry Blossom – 50mm +2x macro
Cherry Blossom – 50mm +2x macro

Photographed with an OM-1, 50mm f/1.8 and Vivitar 2X 1:1 Macro Teleconverter, Fuji Superia 400 ASA


text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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