Lewisham has a number of pawn shops, ranging from the heavily fortified “gold chains by the dozen” variety to others that are more like Aladdin’s Caves full of junk. And, when passing one of the more junky ones the other day, I spotted this:
It’s a Carl Zeiss 135mm f/3.5 lens – a little old, and with a huge thumbprint on the front element (now removed), but nonetheless obviously worth more than the £9 it was selling for. I snapped it up just to see if I could get it to work, and happily it did:
In fact, as it turns out it’s amazingly sharp – certainly as good as my Nikkor 24-85mm zoom, and possibly better. Using it isn’t easy – it needs an M42 to Nikon adapter, which is stiff and hard to fit, it won’t focus beyond ten feet or so because of the Nikon mount distance, and there’s no metering, autofocus or automatic aperture control – but still, on the D80 it’s the equivalent of a 200mm telephoto for £15 all in. Bargain.