A couple of days ago we got out early enough in the evening that there was still a little light. On our way around the old state orphanage, I came across a few “hangers-on” — a few roses that the frost has not killed. They’re distressed, but hanging on. I thought the combination of light and color was interesting, so I made the shot with the Switar 25mm f/1.4 I picked up a couple of weeks ago.
I’ll have to post a photograph of this lens. It’s really rough on the exterior and has a funky slip at a certain portion of the focus helicoid, but the glass is good and the aperture works fine. It’s a classic 16mm movie camera lens that produces interesting images. If I’m ever at a loss for things to do, I’ll disassemble it and clean the helicoid. I think that will fix the focusing weirdness.
Nonetheless, the image is worth sharing. The roses have not yet given up.
The Girl and I walked our in-town route this morning. I saw the light on these beauties and thought it would be worth the effort to make the capture. There was a north wind this morning, cool but not cold. But the hint is there that soon the colder days will come and the summer beauties will be gone, waiting for another year to show themselves.
I made the capture with the Fujian 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Lumix G3 body. This is a very good lens. It is not very sharp wide open, but the colors are good and there is a glow about the images that reminds me of old glass. The lens cannot be beat for these applications, especially at its price. It is a very good art lens. I like it quite a lot, particularly for close shots like this one.
Winter has its own appeal, the season when life regains strength for the coming burst of spring. I like the cold and the snow and the starkness of the grays against the cold blue of the winter sky. The warmth of the sun on my body on a cold winter morning reminds me that blood still runs hot in me. The reminder that there remains life to live and love to share with those close to me. It is a good reminder.
In a few more minutes, I’ll go do my first lower-body routine in a long time. Leg days are the hardest… the big muscles generate a lot of lactic acid and the burn is real. But, this is necessary and the results are worth the effort. Nothing good comes easy. But it is worth the effort and struggle. This body has to carry me along for as long as I live. I need to invest in it as well as the inner work.
My old Bluetooth headset, a Plantronics Legend Pro, was giving me some trouble. Callers reported that my sound broke up or that they could not hear me. A reset of the headset by switching from the headset to the iPhone (my old 6S) and back might temporarily fix the problem, but it continued to give me an issue. The phone and headset were at least a couple of years old, the headset probably the older of the two units.
I decided to abandon both my phone and my Bluetooth headset. After talking about a larger iPhone for months (I really wish I had the 6S+), I decided to upgrade my iPhone and try a wired headset. So I bought a new iPhone 8+ and I love the bigger screen. I can now read incoming email without squinting. The new headset is working well and has very nice sound (for music as well as voice calls). But the camera of the new iPhone is much improved over my old unit.
While walking my favorite in-town route, I paused to let The Girl sniff about while I made a macro-photograph of one of the roses. I used an Olloclip macro lens on my iPhone and the result is very pleasing.
I think the upgrade was worth the cost. I know that I can hear much better and I think my callers can hear me better as well.
I don’t have many lenses for the Panasonic Lumix G3 body I own. I have only one native lens and I don’t use it often. I prefer prime lenses to zooms. I have a few C-mount (cine body) lenses in my collection and am adding a select few to that collection. A pair of the more interesting lenses I play with are the Fujian TV lenses. I have the 35mm f/1.7 and the 50mm f/1.4. For the prices, these are very nice. They are not the sharpest lenses I own. They are both subject to front element flare, so a hood is needed if there is any back light.
They have an interesting bokeh and the out of focus areas are pleasant, at least to my eyes. So, I carry them when I carry the Lumix. They are used more than one would expect.
On this morning, we walked past our usual stomping area, the old lumberyard flume. The hedgerow there provides much interesting material to photograph. While the Girl sniffed about (quite happily I would say), I played around with this shaded flower. I think the pistils and stamen of the bloom are in focus, but there is not much else that is. The capture highlights the bokeh of this lens.
I’m going to take it downtown one evening and play with some bokehlights, I think. The casinos should provide some interesting images.
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.
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.
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.