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Lomo 20X 0.40 microscope lens

by Güray Dere
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I’ve been using two of the old Russian Lomo lenses for a while. I’m pleased with both 8X and 3.7X. Especially the 3.7X is great

My friend Kerem, who owns the Lomo 8X, wanted to try a new Lomo lens relying on its quality and bought the 20X. He told me to try it first. The above picture shows a comparison of the Lomo 3.7X.

We had a serious concern about 20X. Vibration, lighting and operating distance require special equipment to be used in this magnification. The Lomo 20X, an ordinary lens with no working distance like LWD, SWLD, is a risky lens to try our luck.

As the subject of photography, I chose one of the thousands of leafhopper butterflies I have come across everywhere in the garden this season. It was very easy to find a dead one. As a target, I chose the eye and wing areas.

The working distance of the lens is only 1.7mm, which is extremely difficult to illuminate the beetle because the distance is almost close to the touch. Although I used the ping-pong ball and the flash, but also the reflective surfaces, I was able to create an unstable and dark image.

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A photo from the eye area with the Lomo 20X and the depth of field of the lens.

Darkness is not the only problem. In some way, the light that leaked in the image continued to create a foggy and mysterious! image. I decided to take a photo of the wing, which was easier than any other region. Since it was a flat surface, this area made lighting a little easier, but I couldn’t prevent the foggy image.

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Test photo of Leafhopper wing area with Lomo 20X

Compared to the previous photo, a more successful image was created in terms of detail, but it did not reach an acceptable level. I want to experiment with other methods with the Lomo 20X when I have time but I don’t give much chance to “use it with the camera” when there are much easier options.

Note: Pentax K-x was used in the test. There is no way to run this body without vibration for there is no EFSC support. I also didn’t feel the need to retest this lens with the full-frame Sony A7II, considering the working distance and the CA level. Lomo 20X doesn’t work for me.

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