Day 283

I took a little walk up to our post office this afternoon, it’s not very far and I knew there would be some photo opportunities along the pathway. When I got there the chap behind the counter told me the post office was shut all this week and not open again until Monday. I am WTF?ing. In olden days they would have had holiday cover, but that was when the Post Office was in our local Londis and before it moved to our local Old Peoples Home. I think it isn’t a proper post office as it doesn’t show up on the post office web site as being a branch. Things ain’t what they used to be.

Never mind I got some autumnal shots of leaves and berries and the like on the way back. Hashtag silver lining 😀

Day 283 ~ fern and swirly bokeh

Day 223

Sophies other half is visiting her (he lives in Spain) at the moment, so Phil and I were due to go on an outing with them today. Hadn’t quite decided where, but since seeing the weather forecast, it was decided not to go, and good job too. It started raining here at 11am and it’s still raining now 9 and a half hours later, with no sign of stopping. I will need an ark to go to work in tomorrow. So a leisurely Sunday indoors, and I cooked a Sunday lunch instead, which was yummy, but I’d rather have gone out in some sunshine!

Couldn’t get inspired for photography I’m afraid, so just a boring shot of the roses I got the other day.

Day 223 ~ Roses

Day 221

The Helios 44m-4 58mm f/2 lens is my newish toy, not really new as 2nd (or more!) hand, an Ebay purchase for under £40. I’d read about it on a facebook post and wanted to have a go myself. It’s main claim to fame seems to be it produces swirly bokeh, but that’s only half the story really.

It was produced in Russia (the old Soviet Union) by Jupiter among others from 1958 till 1992 and is one of the most mass produced lenses in the world, so it’s easy to get one cheap on Ebay! It’s made available in different mount sizes, but mine is an M42 mount so I had to buy one of those too!

The lens is built like a tank, and is heavier than a similar size newer lens, and has manual focus, which on mine runs smoothly, and an aperture ring that clicks on to whichever you want to use.

Helios 44m-58mm f/2

This swirly bokeh effect has what is called, optical vignetting, which means the bokeh balls (out of focus bits) become more elipsoid as you move away from the centre of the image and looks like it’s swirling around the subject.

swirly bokeh

I tried it out on flowers on a recent trip out to Raby Castle with Sophie, when we went to shoot the butterflies and bees in the gardens there. It took me a while to work out that the distance between you and the subject, and the subject and background, is instrumental in getting the swirly effect. Also a goodly amount of foliage is helpful. That one above is probably the most overt one I managed.

But even without swirly bokeh, the lens is a little gem. There is a certain feel to the images it produces that I can’t really put into words, but is different from the newer, more perfect optics we are used to today.

not swirly bokeh 🙂

I can see myself using this as my go-to lens instead of the 35mm. The adapter mount I bought is from Gobe who do great camera stuff at reasonable prices, the mount is metal and solid, and fits the fuji perfectly.


There are 40-50 Helios lenses of varying sizes and mounts, they were certainly prolific.

The daily shot is me loving my lens! 😀

Day 221 ~ Helios 44m 58mm f/2. And me.

Day 219 & Tales from Fraggle Towers

WTF is going on with bugs this year?? I’ve now been bitten quite badly twice since the last one I posted about. One on the other arm which is quite itchy and painful and at the weekend some nasty blighter crawled up my trouser leg and got the back of my knee! Didn’t know of course til the next day when the excruciating itching began. It turned into a really hard lump with a black thing in the middle of it, so last night I got Phil to cut it open and scrape it out and he did a good job, seems to be getting better anyway. I never normally suffer from bites, so am feeling quite peeved that whatever is out there is looking at me and seeing lunch! Consequently I am slathering myself in Jungle Formula (50% DEET) every morning in the hopes of fending them off, but Chanel No.5 it ain’t!

Also WTF is going on with peoples ears?? I am maxed out on appointments at work, since the kids broke up for school, and having to double book appointments to get through them all. Good job I’m super speedy and efficient! I guess everyone’s saved up their waxy ears for when they are on holiday so they don’t have to take time off work to get them done. Roll on September and I might be able to catch my breath.

Talking of September, it’s only a month until my holiday, and I haven’t even started researching where I want to visit or thinking about clothes etc. AT least my camera lenses are sorted 🙂 I have 2 new ones of late, one a Fuji 16mm (the older cheaper one) and the other a £40 old Russian Helios 44 I had to buy a special mount for to fix it to the XT2. The Helios I have fallen in love with. I’ll do a post on that if I ever get time. Life is so busy!!

Anyway I bought some flowers to play with in the shed, and here are the results, taken with the Helios. Did I say I’ve fallen in love with it? 🙂

Day 219 ~ Roses and swirly bokeh

Day 217

Imagination is a wonderful thing to have, and kids have so much of it that is beyond me. At some point when he was here yesterday afternoon, Cal was playing with some lego stuff I let them play with. He put it away before he left and I didn’t even register anything. But I sat in the conservatory this evening, and something in the lego box caught my eye, it was a lego army on a base, or band of renegades really. There’s (what was) a surgeon who’s been given a growling head and is carrying a bomb, an alien with a Roman army sword, a Roman Soldier pointing a blunderbuss pistol, a Star Wars Stormtrooper with an ancient Egyptian scarab shield, a Mummy with a poisonous snake, a tearful clown carrying a thigh bone, a skeleton wearing some kind of SciFi armour, an ancient Egyptian Mummy with a bow and arrow, and well.. you get the drift. 🙂 I wish I was a story writer as there’s a tale to tell with this lot! They were all facing forward, and there was a lamppost at the front of the scene and a 50 miles an hour sign at the back which tipped me over the edge, and I’m still laughing. Also wondering if he needs psychiatric help 🤣🤣.

The whole lot is wonderfully bonkers, and I wish I could keep it as is, but it will be pulled apart next time and made into something else I suppose, you can’t stop progress!

Day 217 ~ Cal’s Army