There’s something totally perverse about putting a crappy Lomo lens on your Leica M-series camera. After all, the Leica might be a glorious box which makes it super easy to take great pictures, but it really is just a box for holding Leica’s extraordinary lenses.
Thankfully, the new Lomo Russar+ also fits other bodies, using adapter mounts.
The Russar+ is a remake of the 1958 Russar lens, and will come in versions for the Leica M mount, and for the L39 screw mount. The L39 can also be paired with adapters to fit most cameras, although as the sensor size diminishes, the 20mm wideangle gets less and less wide.
The handmade brass-bodied lens is multi-coated (to reduce flare) and has a maximum aperture of ƒ5.6.
Then results, seen on the Lomo product page, are nice, but not $650 nice. You get vignetting, and you get all-manual operation, along with the crappy maximum aperture.
I can see how putting a genuine old flea market lens on your camera might be fun, especially if it only cost you a few dollars. But paying out the cost of a good mirrorless camera just for some low-fi nostalgia is best left to the trust-fund hipsters.
I’m not sure why folks get so excited by using old tech like this. It’s almost as if the gadgets are more important than the results. Manual typewriters, film cameras… what next? Artisanal emails delivered by fax machine?
If there’s one thing you can be almost certain of here, it’s that the folks who buy these retro-tastic gimmicks are the same people that spend hours a day in forums and on Twitter, complaining about the typeface in their distraction-free GTD app.
All the while, the real artists are out there with whatever gear they have to hand, pushing its limits with their imagination. Does Cormac McCarthy use a manual typewriter? Sure he does. But not because of some retro fetish. It’s becasue he’s too busy writing stories to read Amazon reviews of clicky keyboards.