My friend Jae Song took the image above with a new camera system he's just put together — an Olympus E-P1 digital body, two years old, fitted, using an adapter, with a Kern Switar 25mm 1.4 C-mount lens, about fifty years old. The legendary lens, small, ruggedly-built and sensitive, was originally made for Bolex 8mm movie cameras and won't work with a digital camera which has too large of a chip, because it causes excessive vignetting. There are a number of digital cameras with chips small enough to accommodate a lens like this Kern Switar — Jae chose the 2009 Olympus because of its solid construction and retro body design.
The combination makes for a distinctive and to me quite wonderful look — quirky in the way that old lenses used to be quirky, each handling light and focus in a slightly different way. Jae thinks that this has to do with subtle flaws in the glass, which modern manufacturing methods tend to do away with. (The Olympus will also take impressive videos in 780p HD — go here for an example.) In any case, the look seems to harmonize well with the vintage technology of a turntable.