3-decades ago, Oreston on Exakta RTL

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by subbarayan_prasanna, May 23, 2010.

  1. I was digging through some old files this week, trying to clean up a lot of junk. I found these old pictures I took in 1978 around Rome. I used the movie equivalent of Ektachrome slide film that I had bought in a 100-foot roll from Freestyle. We were on our way to India and walked around many European cities. Here are some pictures that I recovered from the old collection.
    They illustrate the Oreston's characteristics in some ways. I hope they are of interest. In those days, people used to tell me that the Oreston was "just an ordinary lens", "not any good,...really." I bought this RTL with Oreston in 1971-72 in Detroit, during my Wayne State U days. It has served well and hasn't gone for repair or service even once. Hope you enjoy them.
  2. The colour had faded. So I desaturated it to B&W. The details look better in B&W. The crowd was jostling. Though I had a tripod I could not set it up. This was hand held and the aperture more open.
  3. Cannot remember the details from my History of Architecture lessons. I would love to visit the place again and take pictures, some day.
  4. this was a very interesting part of the cityscape. Notice the offset of the buildings on the far side of the crossroad. An interesting feature of the building on the left is that there are three styles of sunshades, flat, gabled and arched all on the same facade. Possibly they indicate the different historical periods of construction or repair. And they don't seem to make the building look awkward either, as if it is a natural thing to do!
  5. Hot pants were common in those days, even with older women. It suited the hot Summer in Rome!
  6. I was intrigued by that passionate red on the tables! Thanks for viewing and your comments. Regards, Subbarayan.
  7. Nice.
    I think if you will just add a little green to the images, the color will come back closer to the originals. In my experience, it's the green and blues that go first. Often, even "auto color" will do the trick or get you close to it. :)
  8. Love that B&W shot in the Vatican! Taht OReston is remarkable! Neat to look at ITaly 20/30 years ago the cars etc! Very Cool!
  9. I found a lens test from Practical Photography April 1985 of the 50mm f1.8 Pentacon which I believe was optically the same as the Oreston.They said:
    "At f1.8 and f2.8 the edge performance is pretty poor,but by f4 both edge and centre quality have picked up considerably.From f5.6 onwards the results are never less than very good,rising to excellent at times."
    SP what did you think of the Oreston's characteristics?
  10. Fascinating post SP; I see you had a good eye for a street scene, even back then! As you know, I'm a dedicated Oreston fan, so you're preaching to the converted. Thanks for posting. Incidentally, Alan, I sometimes wonder if quality control was terribly consistent by the time the Oreston had morphed into the Pentacon; I have half a dozen Pentacons f/1.8's, manufactured over a period spanning two decades, which seem uniformly very fine performers, with the exception of one which is definitely a little soft at the wider apertures.
  11. Wonderful post, such nostalgia to see Rome during this time period. I see motorcycles were pretty big even then. This is street photography at its finest Subbarayan.
    I have a Zeiss Pancolar and a Oreston 50 1.8, they seem to be the same design as far as I am concerned from a performance perspective. If not so then at least very similar in design.
  12. Thanks Chuck! Yes those FIAT Milli Centos, the Bug FIATs and the CEATs from Spain used to move around so fast in Rome. It took us some time to get adjusted to the traffic, as pedestrians in Rome. Alan, I think the Oreston is a very fine lens. Its formula is very close to that of the Pancolar; the Pancolar is a little asymmetric and the Oreston is symmetrical in regard to the rear and front coupled elements. I guess both were derived from the famous Biotar’s double Gauss design. JDM may have more to say on that. Thanks for the note on colour, JDM. The first picture in B&W is at a wide open aperture; quite sharp. My experience is that the Pancolar emphasizes sharpness and contrast while the Oreston/Pentacon emphasizes the rendering and continuity in microtones. Rick Drawbridge is better equipped to talk about the Orestons. Thanks Rick. I have enjoyed this lens more than any other for some 40 years, now. Yes Ralf, you are right about the design; "Praktica-users" site displays the configuration of both lenses. I also read somewhere that they made the Oreston symmetric in order get it to focus close down to 13 inches. Otherwise, it is the same as the Pancolar. Regards, sp.
  13. Wonderful stuff! I'm going to have to spend time going through my father's photo albums when I'm in Bangalore next.
  14. Great shots. I especially enjoy seeing photos that were taken a while back. Play around with the color a little more, but even if you don't the images say more about that time era than any recollection anyone could ever share.
    IMHO, old photos, negatives, slides, etc. are the next best thing to a time machine.
    Thanks for sharing.
  15. Oh that takes me back to my youth - you were a lucky guy if you could afford an Exacta - us poorer folk (i.e. me) had to make do with an Exa 1A with it's wonderful 'open top' viewscreen - later as I got not quite so poor it was traded up to an Exa 1B with a real pentaprism, and automatic stop-down via an external lever that also allowed a depth-of-field preview. I never did get to afford a real Exacta. those were the days........

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