A Bad Day With A Camera

Salix Discolor

Pussy willow. That was what was on this evening’s menu. I know that when the Mayday Tree in my yard starts to leaf out, it means there are pussy willows a.k.a. salix discolor busting out at Gray Park. I headed out there with the fam fam and a camera or three after supper.

He’s a little green, Gray Park, Strathmore, AB, 2024-04-23

Today was also an opportunity to revisit a lens I have mostly been sitting on since last fall: The Helios 44m-2 58mm f2.0. This is a Russian lens that tried to rip of an equivalent Leica lens, but did so rather imperfectly. Some cheeky bugger noticed that the stock lens had a pronounced swirly bokeh and flipped the front double-gauss lens element backward for shits and giggles. The swirly bokeh is now twirly bokeh. It’s awesome.

Ya buncha pussies, Gray Park, Strathmore,
AB, 2024-04-23
Tame pussy willow, Gray Park, Strathmore,
AB, 2024-04-23

Are these lenses expensive? Not at all. You might say they’re cheap like borscht. You can find one in good shape on eBay for about $80 CDN if you shop around. Keep in mind that this is a nearly half century old, manual focus lens that is a bugger to use.

It is also an M42 mount and it has been a while since someone has made a camera that takes those directly. You’ll need to purchase an M42 to whatever your camera is adapter. In my case this is an M42 to RF mount adapter for my Canon EOS R5.

The brains of the operation, Gray Park, Strathmore, AB, 2024-04-23
Some crufty thing, Gray Park, Strathmore, AB, 2024-04-23
Cone of silence, Gray Park, Strathmore, AB, 2024-04-23
New to the neighbourhood, Gray Park, Strathmore, AB, 2024-04-23

Right now I’m still just warming up with this lens and getting a feel for it. We’re several weeks out from blossoms appearing on the trees and that is when I will kick it into high gear with the Helios. I can’t wait. In the meantime, it was nice to spend all day knowing that good shots were waiting for me outside. It has been a while since I’ve had this feeling.

I have already said what camera and lens I used today and I’m not repeating myself here just because you weren’t paying attention. Scroll back and look. Jeez.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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