ISCO-Gattingen Westanar 50mm f/3.5-16.0

Lens categoryNormal
Vendor nameIsco-Gattingen
Type nameWestanar
Focal min (mm)50
Focal max (mm)50
Focus min (cm)100
Aperture max3.5
Aperture min16
Diaphragm blades12
Filter size (mm)40

Unusual lens with automatic-diaphragm, actuated by pressing the knob, which will trip the shutter on some earlier Praktica and Edixa cameras as well. This system is quite wellknown from the automatic lenses for the Ihagee Exa and Exakta. The position of the M42 screw mount can be regulated by loosing 6 tiny screws, holding the M42 ring in position. Allows to adapt the lens to the right position for the used camera.

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  • Alisa  16:57 Mar 19, 2012 

    The image quality from this lens is, as other rveiews indicate, nothing short of spectacular. Having used its ancestor, the Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8, I am not surprised in the least. Despite specifications to the contrary, the 24-70mm feels lighter in my hands than the 28-70mm did, and if it is possible, somewhat more responsive. Perhaps the weight distribution is more even in the 24-70mm than it was in the previous iteration. After using this lens for a few weeks, two things did surprise me: 1. I don’t miss VR in the slightest. I was, to put it mildly, dismayed to find out that Nikon did not include VR in their latest evolution of their fixed-aperture standard zoom. I was, to put it mildly, pleased to see that I get proper exposures with 1/100s shutter speed or higher in all the situations where it matters to me. The configurable auto-ISO on the D300 is a life-saver in this respect; I expect this observation will only become more true as camera technology improves. I suspect Nikon planned this all along. 2. The difference between f/2.8 and f/4.5 is substantial. For the longest time, I kept using my trusty 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens, because I felt sure that I wouldn’t benefit very much from the extra 1/3 to 4/3 stops that the fixed f/2.8 lens has to offer. I was wrong. I primarily use this lens indoors, and for basic portrait work. For these settings, it is exemplary; my only regret is that this lens may put my 50mm f/1.4 out of business. That would be a sad development. Another area where this lens shines is quasi-macro work. With a reproduction ratio slightly better than 1:4, you get respectably close to small subjects, and have beautifully out-of-focus backgrounds at f/2.8 and 70mm. Shots of single flowers at close range against an interesting background, for example, turn out quite nicely. I’m very much looking forward to using this lens for the next decade or two (or more). DX digital, FX digital, film whatever your game is, if you need a lens that covers this range, I don’t think you will find any better than this for quite some time.

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