Nipole 80mm f/3.5
This lens has a lot in common with the Minolta Chiyoko P-Rokkor 75mm f/2.5 lens I reviewed in January 2023 in that it comes from a compact folding 35mm slide projector, but unlike the Minolta lens, this time I have the projector it camera from, which you can see illustrated here. It's a design from the late 1950s and it comes from a much less illustrious name (I dare say you've heard of Minolta… but Nipole?).
I've had this projector buried at the bottom of a cupboard for many years, but only recently did I remember it was there and dig it out. The fact that is is so tiny presented a problem when adapting it. It's quite a bit smaller than the afore mentioned Minolta lens… indeed it's so small the it disappeared completely inside my smallest M42-M42 36-90mm focussing helicoid. Fortunately the problem had a fairly simple fix: I found a 37mm-52mm step-up ring, which proved to be the perfect size to reduce the size of the openning in the from of the M42-M42 helicoid.
So here is the full list of adapters I used for this lens on my Sony mirrorless camera:
- An M42-M42 36-90mm focusing helicoid available from Amazon or eBay
- A standard M42 to Sony E mount adapter available on Amazon or eBay
- A 37mm to 52mm step-up ring available on Amazon or eBay
The method was pretty simple: I just used the usual black tack (available on Amazon) to fix the lens to the 37mm to 52mm step-up ring. And then some more black tack to fix the step-up ring to the front of the M42 to M42 focussing helicoid.
This lens has no right to be any good at all: it's tiny, presumably very simple in its optical design, and appears to be completely uncoated. But this lens gave me quite a shock when I first imported the photographs into Lightroom and viewed them on a large screen: this lens is sharp! Far sharper than I was expecting and much sharper than the rather soft Minolta. What's more, the bokeh is, to my eye at least, very attractive. I have to say I had a blast with this lens... it'll definitely be sticking around!
As usual the colour ones where lightly processed to taste in Adobe Lightroom, and the black and white ones where processed in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.