Week 2: AGFA Anastigmat Trilinear 6.3/13.5cm
This lens is not really a lens that one would use on a DSLR. It was used on Agfa Standard cameras between 1926-31 to shoot on 6×9 film. I have deactivated the internal shutter and adapted the lens to EOS-mount by fixing it to a tube taken from an Olympus-mount SUN 135mm lens (with removed internal elements) and an OM-EOS-adapter. In order to achieve infinity focus (and not beyond!) I had to add a 12mm OM macro tube. This construction perhaps looks a bit strange but it works.
I have found the old medium format lens at the Solms Camera Show near “Leica-City” Wetzlar that I have attended regularly for some years now. Since I know that those old lenses can create very interesting images and effects when used with a sensor (more about this here), I wanted to try this Agfa on my EOS cams. Well, how does it perform? About as I have expected.
This lens does not have the extreme resolution of a modern top-class prime but since only a very small part of th original image circle is used, the lens performs similarly throughout the whole frame when used on a DSLR, esp. when use on the 300D I took the photos on this post with. There is no loss towards the corners whatsoever.
Contrast and saturation are reduced compared to a modern lens and since there is not coating on the elements it is easy to generate flare which again reduces image contrast. A low saturation is not a bad thing, unless you want those Japanese style images that hum with colours and low contrast can be adjusted easily in post-processing. Under an overcast sky or in shadows this lens does not reproduce deep blacks and bright whites, a behaviour that suddenly changes as soon as the sun comes out. Then you get high contrast, but – as said before – you have keep an eye on possible flare.
The Anastigmat renders out-of-focus areas nicely but has problems with bokeh highlights which sometimes seem to be of doughnut shape. Areas in focus are pretty nice and definitely sharp enough for general use.