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Getting a little Nooky (Hesum) over the weekend

David Barts , Mar 29, 2011; 11:20 p.m.

I splurged a little for my birthday and bought myself a Leica IIIf RDST. Hey, it's a lot cheaper than a DSLR outfit and if I tire of it I'll get my money back when I sell it instead of having it lose most of its value in a few years.
NOOKY-HESUM is Leica's code word for a nifty little device that goes between several of their 50mm lenses (a Summitar, in my case) and a LTM body. When I heard they could be had for well under $100, I jumped at the opportunity to buy one (mine cost $65 plus $10 shipping), since I always seem to notice small scenes.
It turns this:

into this:

The round window is a prism that lets one use the rangefinder at close distances. The square one has nothing but the finest optical-grade air inside a frame that moves to provide parallax correction. There is more fine optical-grade air inside; no extra optics to introduce distortion into the picture, just more extension for the lens.
It's only a modest amount of extension, so it doesn't affect exposures by more than 1/3 stop or so. I have a vintage light meter but it sorely needs calibration, so sometimes I ended up using my digital camera as a light meter. Mostly, I made educated guesses based on the chart here: http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm .
Taken at a restaurant table while waiting for my lunch to arrive. Set the shutter to 1 second, placed the camera on the table, and used as gentle a touch as possible on the shutter button:

Oregon's state flower, Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium):

Red-flowering currant, Ribes sanguineum, native here, grown everywhere with a mild temperate climate as an ornamental:


The last of the daphne is opening:

The walls have eyes (well, an eye):

And some without the NOOKY-HESUM. It's hard to nail the focus when the lens is wide open. It's doubly hard when you want to move the camera away from your eye so your face shows in the mirror:

Dakota loves the couch (I can't remember, maybe I had the NOOKY-HESUM on when taking this, maybe not):

Handyman Wade installing a new storm door:


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Rick van Nooij , Mar 30, 2011; 01:57 a.m.

Congratulations on the camera and the NOOKY. I've got one too around here somewhere, not a HESUM, though. I have used it a few times, but never really found it practical for the pictures I take. (If I need Macro, I'll use my Visoflex ;) )
Some nice shots though, I like the eye!

Subbarayan Prasanna , Mar 30, 2011; 02:58 a.m.

Your camera looks very nice and so do the pictures. I am familiar with a very elegant Zorki 3 belonging to a friend similar to yours. Thanks for the post. sp.

Subbarayan Prasanna , Mar 30, 2011; 03:47 a.m.

I like the "Handyman Wade" the best. It has a lot of poise and character. I tried some tweaking and found it to be quite sharp. Regards, sp.

Handyman brightened

Ed Birch , Mar 30, 2011; 10:25 a.m.

Can I buy some of that "finest quality optical air" on ebay? Seriously, great shots, and a fine camera.

james kennedy , Mar 30, 2011; 02:15 p.m.

Do you live in a community property state?

Oh, I see. It's one of those nutty Leica names like Bowwu.

Will Daniel , Mar 30, 2011; 03:20 p.m.

I got some nooky over the weekend too, but it didn't look anything like your photos (thank goodness).

Tony Lockerbie , Mar 30, 2011; 06:11 p.m.

Got to love those Leica codes, maybe that's why they are worth so much! The 111F is a lovely thing, keep enjoying it.

Kayam Rajaram , Mar 30, 2011; 10:12 p.m.

I got some nooky over the weekend too, but it didn't look anything like your photos (thank goodness).

I take it you're not a Leicaphile.

Jody S , Mar 31, 2011; 08:37 a.m.

Interesting. I also got my first Leica this year for my birthday (Feb), it's almost the same camera (IIIf red dial, no ST). I've been shopping the 'bay also for accessories, but I've found the prices are ridiculous. Well lens prices are, which is why I'm still using my Industar glass on it.

A little question: the Nooky doesn't give you adjusted distance scales I'm guessing? Because anything close-focus related, I don't trust the rangefinder 100% and I tend to use the distance scales on the lens. So I was looking at a dual-range lens, I forget which one, where there's a tab you move on the lens that switches it over to close focus, but it has 2 distance scales stenciled on the barrel so you can still check. Trust but verify. Of course it was more money than your Nooky, but I don't have any Leitz glass anyway so I have to find something. Not that my coated Industar-22 doesn't perform well, it is superb.

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