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Monday, October 16, 2006

Getting some NOOKY

We all want some NOOKY - but what do we do with it when we get it?
In the case of Leica NOOKY - you use it to focus your SM Elmar really, really close to your subject..

I recently picked up a like-new NOOKY for fifty-five dollars and took it out today for a first test roll and it was an interesting and fun experience.

First some basic information about the NOOKY:
This is a near-focusing device introduced in the 1930's that allows Leica 50mm lenses a much closer focusing distance (as close as 17 1/8th inches (44 cm)). Two versions were produced: the NOOKY that fits the Elmar 50/3.5 lens and the NOOKY-HESUM that will fit the Hektor or Summar 50mm lenses.

The device screws into the camera's lens changing flange and when securely attached the rangefinder window is covered by a glass attachment that adjusts to the new, closer focusing distance - and a parallax compensation frame is in place in front of the viewfinder. The lens is then fully collapsed and screws into the attachment - and you're now ready to go closer than you ever have with this lens!

See below for how to mount the device and lens on the camera:

Below are some photos of a NOOKY and Elmar mounted on my Leica III (F):
Leica III (F), VALOO hood and NOOKY

Leica III (F), VALOO hood and NOOKY

So how did my test shoot go?
Well, it was great fun to be able to focus this close with the Elmar and some of the photos from the first roll hints at that this could be an interesting portrait set-up as well. Once the adapter is mounted one is supposed to focus with the lever on the NOOKY - instead of the lever on the lens itself. In theory that sounds ok but in pratice it is much easier to just pre-focus and move the camera until the subject is in focus.

The original manual adds two pieces of information that helped;
a) Make sure that you focus just on images that are in the centre of the viewfinder, and
b) The depth-of-field becomes very shallow and a minimum of f/5.6 is recommended (having said that it will be interesting to shoot some photos wide-open (f/3.5 in the Elmar's case).

Another thing to keep in mind is that once the adapter is in place you have pretty much committed yourself to doing close-focusing photography as the furthest you can focus at now is about 3.5 feet.

Finally, some shots from the roll from earlier today.
All shots on Kodak's BW400CN film.


Anonymous John said...

Grrr...I'm jealous! Where can I get a nooky and a leica??? :)

October 17, 2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger Rich Silfver said...

eBay ;-)

October 17, 2006 11:15 AM  

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