The Light Slide

fun with photography

Kodak Cine Anastigmat 63mm 2.7 Macro: First shots

This long boi is a circa 1940's lens for 16mm motion picture cameras, and had to be adapted to C-mount using a vintage Kodak adapter. (Be careful when shopping for these; I'll cover that next time.)

It won't cover a sensor larger than 1"/cx.

This model has a fun little pin that you can pull out for close focus.

Am I buying new lenses every day? No… I just, er, go through phases where I yolo several things at once and they pile up. This is a first shots post but I took the first shots 3 weeks ago 😅 Believe it or not, my camera habit costs us less per month than we used to pay for lawn maintenance alone back in PA, so… that's how I justify it to myself.

Macro with the Pentax Q7

I first deployed it on the Pentax Q7, with its absolutely tiny sensor rendering this lens a 347mm equivalent macro.

Why the Q? First of all, I was able to snag an S-mount to D-mount adapter from the same seller, so why not? Secondly, the Q is ideal for getting the most out of a macro lens due to the friggin' absurd 5.5x crop factor. Thirdly, it's got built-in IBIS! Which means I could try it out hand-held; I was tired and not up for fussing with a tripod.

First, at normal focal lengths:

Prickly pear flower
should've used a tripod, but excited for the potential
Prickly pear flower

Then I pulled out the close-focus pen to get even closer…

Prickly pear flower
got stuck on editing this, it looks kinda dull… but it really showcases how incredibly close you can get with this combo (and it was handheld, miraculously)
Prickly pear pad
what's incredible about this lens is the sheer quality of the optics… few lenses can tolerate a 5.5x crop and still be so sharp and aberration-free
Prickly pear pad
I just love it

This first shoot blew me away. Not a lot of lenses can resolve to this level of detail when cropped so incredibly tight. The Pentax Q and Q7 sensor is only 28.34mm square. A 16mm motion picture film negative is 77mm square. That's 2/3 less area; that's a pretty severe crop.

And yet… it still looks great.

I can't be bothered to figure out what the macro magnification factor is here but I'm pretty sure it's at least 1:1, maybe more.

Nikon 1 J5

This time I took it out near the end of golden hour, so I couldn't do a lot of macro. The J5 does not have the IBIS of the tiny, mighty Q.

But, the 1" (cx) sensor does give a much more workable crop factor. I used the 170mm equivalent focal length to tackle some more distant, landscape-y subjects. Just not too distant… the cheapo adapter I got won't let me reach infinity. 😭

I did figure out some improved post-processing though…

it renders so beautifully on the J5
wide open or close to it… definite swirl on the left there
this is wide open & sharp as heck… and swirrrllll???
the 170mm equiv focal length gives a lot of artistic possibility; odd little edge artifact along the mountain in the back probably bc I shot this through a window
bokeh + wind movement in the back
the lens handles near oof objects & the sun in frame well (note red ghost tho)
Cat test
wide open: the obligatory cat test

Conclusion… thus far

This lens rules!

It's a genuinely excellent macro lens and very, very nice at further distances as well, and while it's long, it's not big. I can great really close without the hassle of a 1:1 ff lens.

It's a perfect walking around 1:1+ macro, which is not a phrase you usually hear because it's not a lens that typically exists. Add a Pentax Q or a Nikon J5 and it's light and easy to handle, a truly no-brainer combo for a casual trip to a botanical garden or anywhere else I don't want to lug a lot of crap. My shoulder doesn't hurt and my wrists don't get tired!

You'd think I'd prefer it on the Q because the Nikon J5 locks you out of focus assist with a "dumb" adapter. But actually, the J5's screen is so good, and the sensor is so nice, that I prefer it… so far. The more usable 170mm focal length doesn't hurt. But of course, it's not as good for serious macro work, and the lack of IBIS is a sticking point.

Focusing isn't as hard as I'd expected. This lens has one of those classic optical designs which just POP! into focus. At normal distances, at least, it's hard to miss, so long as you can see the screen.