2017-11-20 - shorterimage

Argus Cintagon 50mm f2.8

These were shot with an Argus lens with a polarizer taped on the front of the lens. A guy in the Ukraine makes the adapter for this to fit it onto my A7RII. The Silver ring part is taken from the body of a junker camera and then he custom adapts a Sony E mount onto the back of that.

This lens was designed by Argus in Ann Arbor, MI using the MIDAC computer from the University of Michigan. 

It's reputed to be one of the very first lenses ever designed with the aid of computer. Imagine that, stuff being designed and manufactured in the good ole USofA. And a nice lens no less. But that was 1956 and times have changed! The good news is you can still find Argus gear and lots of it still works. I shot this with a polarizer filter taped on the end of the lens with electrical tape. That was to try and counter some of the harsh winter light glare. Also with a 10mm extension ring to allow for macro focus.

As you can see this lens has a bit of a busy bokeh. But to me its a nice busy. Maybe not the nicest I've seen but still in the nice range depending upon shot.

So what makes nice busy and not just busy busy. To me its the addition and quality of coma. Clinical busy bokeh such as many Zeiss and others lenses have comes from sharp glass. Glass that's corrected quite precisely for best sharpness and most of all also has very linear coma. This can in some sharp lenses leave hard geometrically perfect (to the original image) multiples of reflections. Coma giving you reflections/ghosts of the original image in varying sizes. When those reflections are geometrically linear to the original image it creates a very displeasing bokeh effect (IMO). However -- and this seems to occur much more in older lenses with non linear coma aspects -- when each coma reflection is non linear to the original image, and especially non linear to each other reflection as well, then you get this kind of stained glass art effect which can be pleasing in my thought. The differences in these non linear coma characteristics lens to lens is what gives each its own unique artistic signature to its bokeh.


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