Been toying around with the Meyer-Optik Gorlitz Orestegor 200mm f/4, dwarfs the Sony but everyone who sees it is taken with the “look” and then amazed to learn it’s fifty odd years old.
I’ve never been much for chrome on cars or just about anything else but confess I like this zebra look though it isn’t actually chrome.
I think if a new lens was offered with the same look there would be a market for it – maybe an anniversary edition or something along those lines.
My copy is super clean for it’s age and works flawlessly, all manual and an M42 mount which translates to it can be mounted on just about any camera with the proper adapter.
I don’t know it’s history, but whoever owned it either seldom used it or was very fastidious – my good fortune.
I think too it speaks to the build quality, we’re talking solid, metal not plastic – a sort of time centric mentality that if you want good images “heavy” is a distant consideration.
Of course when this lens was built the world was less plastic, less styrofoam, and a plastic lens would not have found a market.
Now it is all about “time saving” devices that conversely leave people complaining that there just aren’t enough hours in the day and plastic because it is lighter but leaves people complaining about the build quality or how easily it can break or become damaged – go figure huh?
I tend to think consumers are often sold a bill of goods – an item is produced followed by a campaign to convince them it’s really just what they’ve been looking for.
I’ve accepted the fact that we live in a plastic world and my opinion isn’t going change that, so a compromise of sorts has been arrived at.
There’s some excellent lenses with plastic components and housing, but I doubt they’ll be around in the same condition as this lens fifty plus years from now.
At times when working on a house someone I may be working with will tell me that’s good enough, that I “overbuild”, to me “good enough” isn’t good enough, what I build I want to last.
When I pick up a lens like this I appreciate the build quality, the fact that it was built to last, no corners were cut – it’s job tough like the tools I use and an affinity is born of that. Almost as good as if somebody invented nails that drive themselves, screws that set themselves, and portable holes.
Too heavy? Nowhere near as heavy as going up a ladder with a bundle of shingles on each shoulder or busting up concrete with a twenty pound sledge hammer.
Now I know women who are into photography and by and large they seem to favor “portability”, nothing wrong with that – but come on now male readers we’re men aren’t we? It’s that strong and stoic thing, what’s an extra pound or two?
Besides it could double as a barbell to do bicep curls with and impress the ladies.
Officially this lens weighs 640 grams, that’s a little shy of a pound and a half.
Focus is from 240 centimeters to infinity, that’s roughly seven and a half feet – not exactly a macro lens but at 200mm you pull objects up very close, and don’t forget the possibilities of a fifteen blade aperture.
In thinking about it I may be on to something with the anniversary retro lens look …… hey, it’s possible if cameras are being produced in various colors and lenses with a brushed aluminum look isn’t it ?
It’s cold this time of year, the kind of cold if you spit into the wind you don’t have to worry about it coming back to hit you in the face as it will freeze and fall to the ground, that and it’s dark or near dark when I leave a job so it doesn’t leave a lot of time to get out with this lens, but I intend to.