Not long after I finished my review of the MIR-1B 37mm F2.8 I remembered that I saw an item on YouTube on how to adapt this lens to make it (as it was called) a reverse globular lens. As I wasn't too enthusiastic about this lens, because of the photos it produced and the use I had for it, this meant I could experiment with it without too much fear of damaging it, as I'm excellent in taking things apart, but not very good in putting them back together again.
As it turned out it was very easy to do. Even for someone like me. Just turn loose the ring that's holding the lens in place. Flip the glass the other way around and tighten the ring again. Those Russian lenses are not only very solidly build, but are also quite straightforward in the way they are put together. See the video below for a demonstration how to do it.
The resulting images that you can make with this adapted lens look like a cross between a Lens Baby and the Fujian c-mount lens, with lots bokeh and blur, with a hint of a swirl. Wide open the centre of the picture is soft with creamy bokeh at the edges, but closing down the aperture a little bit helps in sharpening the center of the picture (but also loosing a bit of the smoothness of the bokeh at the edge of the picture).
The effect is very nice when used in portreture to emphasize the model, but also to convey movement, and to give a dreamlike effect to a picture.
Compared to a Lens Baby this saves quite some money. But although the effect is very similar to the one you get when using a Lens Baby, it's not as versatile. The part in focus is always exactly in the middle. You can't move it off centre.
I also shot a short movie with this lens. The for this lens so characteristic (love it or hate it) flare is clearly gone. Not a great loss as far is I'm concerned. Although the flare that has replaced it isn't much to talk about either.
Looking at it as a creative photographer, the MIR-1B with reverse globular lens is now much more useful to me as a creative tool, than it it was before. I like the rendering of the edges, which differ slightly from ultra soft to more subdued, depending how wide open the aperture is. The good thing is also that it's not hard to adapt the lens into a reverse globular lens or to reverse the process when you grow tired of it.