Rustic Lens
canola fields

Canola On The Prairie – The Camas Prairie, Idaho

What are those bright yellow fields?

That’s a question I’ve heard often from people as they travel through our area. It’s a question I asked when I first moved here. Each plant on it’s own is a tall skinny stalk with several small bright yellow flowers on it. If you saw a couple of them you would probably pass them up with hardly a thought, but when you see a field of them it stops you in your tracks. In the spring and early summer on the Camas Prairie these radiant fields of yellow along side of deep green grain and hay fields make a beautiful patchwork of color on the rolling prairie.

dramatic clouds canola field

Where’s the irrigation pumps?

This is another question I had when I moved here about 18 years ago.  I grew up in California on a peach and plum farm and my Dad was always busy turning on valves and pumps and checking the ends of the rows for water. It was so dusty that I remember he would write the numbers of the rows that were full in the dirt on his pickup dash with his finger so he could go to the other side and turn off those valves. Now with the water crisis there they are turning to drip irrigation more and more, but I digress. The thing that I was amazed at on the Camas Prairie is that they do not irrigate. No ditches, no pumps, no valves, no…….well there probably are dirty dashes in pickups. Nature provides the water each year. While this saves a lot of time and work, it can be troublesome when there’s a dry year like last year. It makes hay a valuable scarcity in winter for one thing.

Experimenting with lenses

Some of the fun of the mirror-less cameras like my Sony a7R II Full-Frame Camera, is experimenting with all types of vintage lenses. I bought some vintage Zeiss Contaflex lenses on ebay a while back not knowing that the Contaflex cameras actually had half of the lenses built into the camera body. They had the shutter and focusing lens in the body. So when I got the lenses they were basically just a piece of glass and I couldn’t use them. Luckily I found an adapter that someone made from an old Contaflex camera body and a new adapter. I really like these lenses. In the following two shots I used the 35mm Zeiss Contaflex and then my modern Sony 24-240mm lens at 35mm. I processed them identically with the exception of removing a light lens vignette from the vintage shot.

vintage zeiss lens shot
Vintage Zeiss Contaflex 35mm lens


Sony 24-240mm lens
Modern Sony 24-240mm shot at 35mm

I like to play with these old lenses and I like the looks of the images too. If you want to see the vintage lenses click here Vintage Zeiss Contaflex lenses on Ebay.  The Sony SEL24240 FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Zoom Lens for Mirrorless Cameras is a great all around lens too though.

The lone tree

It was actually cold the morning I was shooting these pictures and I almost called it quits. I am glad I decided to drive a little farther down the road. I found a lone tree in a field of canola. The clouds added drama to these shots I thought.

lone tree in a field of canola

To see the full gallery please click here.

Have you tried any vintage lenses? What’s your favorite lens? Please answer in the comment section below.



Evan Jones

I am a landscape and travel photographer who is drawn to old and rusty stuff as well as beautiful landscapes. I like to explore the backroads of the Northwest United States and anywhere else I can get to. My blog is at


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