I’ve added a new lens to my Takumar M42 collection, a 105mm/f2.8. Usable for portraits or to zoom in on any subject that’s about 6-10 feet away. It’s smaller and lighter than my 135mm/f4 and I find it to be much more useful.

Over the tail end of the summer I made many trips to a nearby community garden, usually shooting black & white. But this time I decided to toss a roll of Fujicolor 200 (metered at 160) in the camera and try out the new lens.

I didn’t shoot anything wide open (2.8) or fully closed (22), but here’s some images from a range of f-stops.

A color photo of a wooden ladder covered with vines.
1/1000, f4

I’m sure I’d get wilder bokeh if I used the new TTArtisan 100mm/2.8 (yes, a new M42 lens in 2023). But I like the impressionistic background I’m getting here. And the Fujicolor lives up to its reputation of rendering green well.

A color photo of a sunflower amongst a large group of sunflowers in states of decay.
1/1000, f6.7

Closer to the middle of the aperture range this one still has a nice impressionistic background. And I like how it’s captured the orange/yellow of the sunflowers.

A color photo of a black butterfly with yellow spots landing on a richly red flower.
1/125, f9.5

Web compression of this photo makes the reds look worse than they do in the original scan. Hopefully the full-size image on Flickr will look better. At f9.5 only the pink flowers in the back start to haze out. The yellow spots on that butterfly were more intense in person, though. They wash out a bit here.

That butterfly is a reason I was excited to bring this lens to the garden. The garden is full of butterflies and bees at this time of year and it’s hard to get a good photo of them with a 50mm lens. The 105mm let me get closer shots. A longer lens would get me even closer, obviously. But it would be heavier. The 105mm is a nice compromise between weight and focal length.

A color photo of a garden trellis covered with squash vines with a path leading to more garden.
1/125, f13

A fairly boring picture, but I’m including it to show the lens more stopped down. Background detail is there, if not exactly clear.

I hope to get some shots at the edges of the lens’ f-stop range soon. Interested to see how those turn out.

These were shot using a Pentax Spotmatic ii and Takumar 105mm/2.8. Film stock was Fujicolor 200 that I metered at 160. Developed and scanned by the fine folks at Basement Lab.

Full album

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