Wollensak Six Inch F/4.5 Cine Lens

I captured these willow berries along the linear park near Governer’s Field in Carson City. We were walking and the image reached out and grabbed me.

The Girl and I walked this morning, as we usually do. The only time we don’t walk is when one of us is not feeling well. That is not often.

This morning I carried the little Panasonic G3 micro-4/3s camera and a pouch full of C-mount lenses. The 25mm f/1.9 is an interesting lens. I made a few captures with it as we walked the rosebush hedgerow near the old flume. One of those is on my IG feed.

I decided to take a longer walk and we walked the linear park that crosses Roop Street and passes along the north side of Governor’s Field. It’s a favorite route. The Girl can run off-lead, there is a wetland there, and there are plenty of fat ground squirrels to chase.

In the winter the sun shines brightly along the path and the willows provide a little shelter from the wind. In the summer the cattails are full of blackbirds (and others) and the sound is pleasant. We like the path.

There was a hawk sitting atop one of the field lights. I mounted the Wollensak 6-inch f/4.5 lens on the camera body and made a few captures. But I’m not entirely satisfied with them.

But this old willow gave me some interesting contrast. I thought the highlights in the background might provide some bokeh-balls. So I made the capture and we walked on.

When I opened the images this evening, I liked this one. The contrast is good. The image is sharp. And the background is just fun. It’s a good memory of a good morning spent with the Girl.

Roses

One of my favorite testbeds, shot with the Fuji X-T1, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, and the Metabones Turbo Booster.

One of my favorite testbeds is the hedgerow of rosebushes that bounds the old Carson Lumberyard flume and the vacant lot south from the DPS/DMV building. In the morning there is plenty of sunshine on the bushes and flowers and the Girl loves to play in this area. So she doesn’t mind if I spend a few minutes playing with the flowers.

I think the Fuji glass is very good. I’ve written about that before. In fact, the glass is the reason I abandoned the Sony cameras and moved to the Fuji platform.

However, the experimenter in me lives on. I have a deep affinity for the lenses I used to use on 35mm film cameras. Forty years ago, as a young man, I lusted after Nikon bodies and Nikkor glass. Many professionals carried a couple of F-series bodies and a pouchful of Nikkor lenses. I could not afford one then.

Now every thing is digital, except for a few diehards. I find digital images sterile. They are often technically perfect (or nearly so), but they feel dry to me. At least, many of them do. And those that are heavily processed might be very interesting as art, but there is something missing from an image that is assembled from a variety of parts. I find art in seeing the subject, determining that there is something interesting/moving about it, and then finding a way to capture that image in the camera. It is a different process than much of what I see and is definitely old school.

In playing with these old lenses on a digital body, I can recover some of what I looked for with film. It isn’t perfection; it is a mood conveyed by light, subject, and composition. The capture doesn’t have to be perfect (this one is not). The post-processing is limited to making minor adjustments in exposure, contrast (global and local), and a bit of sharpening. That’s about all I do. (The exception is conversion from color to monochrome.)

The Metabones adapter is interesting. It converts the lens to an equivalent angle of acceptance of a lens 0.62 times the focal length (which makes the angle of acceptance the same as the original on full frame). But it also adds a stop of additional light gathering power and I think it makes a commensurate change to the perceived depth of field.

I’m still working that out in my head. I have an article drafted that contains my analysis of the differences in sensor/film size, lens focal length, lens speed, and depth of field. I need to finish that one day and publish it here.

In any event, the legacy Nikkors are very good lenses. I like them a lot.

What Is It?

This is what I saw just before the storm rolled in on my way back from southern Nevada.

On my way down to southern Nevada, I saw something bright against the horizon just north from Tonopah, Nevada. I had no idea what it was that I saw. I only knew that it was very bright, almost blindingly bright even in the distance.

I watched as I passed the location, drove through Tonopah, and continued toward my destination. My schedule did not permit me to stop and explore. It would have to wait for another time.

That time arrived a few days later, on my way home from the site work. I was hot and tired after working much of the morning in the southern Nevada heat, but I knew it might be weeks or months before I passed this way again. So I elected to take a few minutes and explore.

A summer thundershower was rolling in from the southeast as I approached. I could see that the structure was huge. I figured out what it was long before I got close enough to see it clearly. It is the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, privately owned. Of course, by the time I got in position to make a good capture, the dust was blowing and the sun was absent. So the impact was just not there.

Now I know I’ll have to return. Perhaps a sunny winter day would be a good time to visit Tonopah, make some captures of this wonder, and visit the mining museum there in Tonopah.

At least I solved the mystery.

Morning Walkies

Captured on morning walkies…

The Girl and I were poking about the old flume wetland yesterday morning. The sun was pretty and the bright yellow of these sunnies caught my eye. So we paused while I made a couple of captures and the Girl did doggies things.

She never seems to mind my pauses. Although if my visit with another person goes too long, she will ask to move along. Heh…

On this morning I had the Fuji X-T1 with a Micro-Nikkor 104mm f/4 mounted on a Metabones Ultra Turbo Booster that’s been languishing in my collection for awhile. I decided it was time to get out the X-T1 and some of my favorite Nikkors and work with them.

One of the things I like about Fuji glass is that it is impeccable. It is sharp, has good color rendition, and has low distortion. However, I also think the images are a bit sterile. They lack the character that legacy glass provides.

It seems that if I want really accurate reproduction of the subject, then the Fuji glass is the way to go. However, if I’m looking to explore the interaction of light and lens, then legacy glass has its appeal.

I also enjoy experimenting with odd glass as well. I am playing with 16mm movie camera lenses on my Micro 4/3s body. I also play with TV lenses on that one as well. The Micro 4/3s format is nearly perfect for glass with image circles that are intended for small sensors.

But I’m really entering into another discussion than the one appropriate for this entry.

Dog and Friend

This is one of my buddies from the time I lived at the Plaza Hotel here in Carson City. He and his dog like this little park as much as do the Girl and I.

I’m a little entranced by the Wollensak 3-inch f/4 cine lens. It has a character that I find interesting — very vintage but excellent image quality. The image circle is large enough to cover micro 4/3s without vignetting.

The Girl and I were walking one of our usual routes when I spied a friend from my time at the Plaza Hotel here in Carson City. His dog loves the Girl and this man is solid. I’d have him at my back any day.

I’m enjoying playing with the Panasonic G3 again. I have only a few cine-mount lenses (C-mount). I think addition of a few more Wollensak lenses is in order. They produce a very nice image that has a look I really like.

Flower

This beauty was found on walkies and begged me to make the capture.

We were late for walkies this morning. It was a combination of staying up too late and the Girl rousting me out at 0400h for a potty-emergency. So I slept a little late and we were a little late getting on to the walk.

I decided to carry the Panasonic G3 with a Wollensak 3″ f/4 cine lens mounted. I have an affinity for vintage glass and some of these old 8mm and 16mm movie lenses are really very good. I think this one is no exception.

I noticed that I need to clean the camera’s sensor. There’s a spot on it that shows on flat portions of the image. This is a busy image so it doesn’t show. I’ll get the sensor cleaned tomorrow. It isn’t that hard to do.

I think I need a few more of these old Wollensak lenses in my bag. They are small, sturdy, and make excellent images.

Bleached

This poor critter didn’t make it.

While visiting Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge earlier this summer, the Girl and I walked a portion of Carson Slough. It was hot. But there had apparently been water there at some time. Because this poor critter was found on the bank of the (now dry) watercourse.

I wonder, though, how an adult made it to maturity in this dry place. I will never know.

New Skins

New boots arrived Monday. It was time to rotate out an older pair.
My new boots arrived Monday afternoon. The older pair were finally at the point I decided to retire them. Most of the tread is gone from the Vibram soles and the upper has lost much of its support.

This has to be the tenth pair of Merrel Moab Ventilator boots I’ve worn out. I wear out a pair or two of the three-season boots every year. I wear out another pair of the wet/cold-season boots every year.

I walk a lot. These are decent boots. At their price point, they are difficult to beat. They fit my feet well. They provide some arch support. They are reasonably grippy on the surfaces I encounter. They are cool enough on hot days and perfect on warm days.

I keep two pairs active much of the time. I rotate them so they have a chance to dry after a walk. After about six months the older pair is retired and a new pair brought into use. They break in after a week or so. Then I work both pairs until the older pair is sufficiently worn to retire it and bring a new pair of boots into rotation.

I don’t particularly like new boots (until they are broken in). But they are necessary and these work for me.

Slingshots and Catapults

This is my Flippin’ Out Scout slingshot with double bands.
A few weeks ago I purchased a slingshot. A photograph of that is posted on my IG account and I’ll write a comment about it here eventually.

I wanted something I could shoot here in town on walkies. There are many open areas where it is safe to shoot a slingshot and there is no prohibition in the Carson City Ordinances (at least that I could find). No one has hassled me about it (yet).

Shooting a slingshot is a marksmanship skill. It requires good eye-hand coordination and an understanding of marksmanship. So it’s good practice for me.

This slingshot has a large palm swell. It’s a bit big for my hands, but still manageable. It is the first time I installed double bands. They are quite powerful and too much for .38 caliber shot. If I use that size shot, I get a lot of hand slap from the excess energy in the bands. However, .44 caliber shot works much better. There is enough mass in the larger shot to use up the bands’ energy.

I will eventually get a chronograph so I can measure shot speed. (It will also be useful when I start handloading centerfire cartridges later this year or early in 2018.) I’m curious how much energy the slingshot can produce.

In any event, this is fun and I’m enjoying the focus required to shoot it.

Mexican Dam Weir

Saturday morning I decided to take The Girl and go walk the Mexican Dam Trail. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, even if I bit warm because I dallied too long over my coffee. But it wasn’t yet hot and their was enough breeze to be comfortable.

I was surprised by the amount of water still in the Carson River. The fields of the Silver Saddle Ranch looked good, so they are getting plenty of water this season. In fact, one field was mowed and there were bales of hay waiting to be picked up.

That brought back memories of working in the hayfield with FiL. That was good work and the companionship of FiL still brings a smile. Those memories…

I think I might take a tripod out to the river and get some extended footage. I could easily make a short video of that trail and the cottonwoods that grow along the corridor. I love being in the shade of those old trees and I love the sound of birds calling and moving about.