Though this chap didn’t really have the flair or perhaps panache of a true barista. Well, he made a good coffee…
Canon F1N, Canon 50mm F1.8 “Chrome Nose”, Kodak Tmax100, (over?)developed for 13:50mins in #D76
|One of the artists, Gareth Steele, in front of his submission.|
These are some of the first shots with the remarkable Canon 35mm 1.4L.
I lusted after this lens for ages.
People call this thing a gem of a lens and I have to say, that is a massive understatement. It is the best lens I’ve ever put on my 5D. Cannot wait to shoot film with this thing. My head might just explode when I do…
All I can say is “Wow…”.
|Lulu. Canon 5Dmk2, FD 50mm 1.8 @ 2.8, Sliver Efex Pro|
So I have a niggling frustration. I feel like I may not be alone.
I have a wonderful collection of Canon FD glass built-up over a number of years. It started when my father gave me the beautiful FTb QL with 28, 50 and 135mm lenses. Since then I have grown the system to include the wonderful F1N and lenses from 20mm to 300mm. These are great lenses. I used the 20mm and the FTb to create the images for The Vacant Heart, one of my favorite series of art prints. I often marvel at the detail in these prints. Crisp, beautiful grain in the Ilford XP2 400 Super comes across fantastically in the A2 prints for that series. They were all shot at F4-F5.6.
|Rose Silhouette, Canon 5Dmk2, FD 50mm 1.8 @ 2.8|
And so here is my frustration: I cannot really use these lenses on my EOS bodies. This makes me very unhappy. I can only imagine how those people who had built up a really amazing collection of FD lenses felt back in the late 80’s when Canon decided to move to the (incompatible with the FD mount) EOS mount. Me, I’d have lost my cool.
But fast forward to today and we have amazing auto-focus lenses on the EOS system. The FD lenses remain incompatible. They are in fact one of the most difficult lenses to use on a Canon EOS body. Ironic. They have too deep a lens flange distance to fit onto the EOS mount and so can only be used with an adaptor with a glass element to allow the lens to focus to infinity. Without the glass it is like a macro tube, not allowing for infinity focus. With the glass element you are faced with a 1,25 magnification of your chosen lens and quite hazy image quality wide-open.
I got the very nice Hama adaptor and decided to see if it was as dire as the internet had led me to believe. You know what? It’s not. It’s actually great.
Wide open, your lenses will be soft and hazy as reported. Use it as a creative effect I say! But stopped down a couple of clicks, the images are lovely. Unique even.
|Self-portrait, Canon 5Dmk2, FD 50mm 1.8 wide open. focus on my eye, nothing is sharp…|
|Self-portrait, Canon 5Dmk2, FD 50mm 1.8 @ 2.8, focus on front of lens, super sharp, nice rendering of everything else. Must remember to smile in these…|
You may not get bitingly sharp images till 5.6 or so, but you are rewarded with gentle and graceful images. In fact, the point of focus at 2.8 on my 50mm lenses is very, very sharp. At any of the lenses optimum apertures they are super sharp. Focus right on the less-than-ideal-for-manual-focus screens on the current EOS bodies and you will be handsomely rewarded. Oh, and focus is really enjoyable on these beautifully made old lenses. You need to invest in Zeiss to get this kind of tactile pleasure on your Canon now-days.
Using these as video lenses is great too.
|Tiny Dried Roses, Canon 5Dmk2, Sigma FD 50mm 2.8 Macro.|
But now, the manual-focus bug has bit and I may have to force myself to get an off-brand lens and use it with an adaptor that doesn’t even require a little glass element. Like maybe a Leica or a Contax portrait lens. Oh, dear. This may get expensive. But fun.
Or (please listen oh Canon Photo Gods) I will eagerly wait for the impending Canon mirrorless model that will allow use of all these gorgeous old lenses without crippling them. I’ve been waiting on this for years. But it seems the wait might be just about over. Please Canon, really. It’s time. And make it full-frame please.
|Pablo, the super cute kitten, Canon 5Dmk2, FD 50mm 1.8 @ 2.8. Whiskers are sharp internet!|
|Pablo, the super cute kitten, Canon 5Dmk2, Cosina FD 70-300mm F4.5-5.8 @F8, Even stopped down, this lens shows huge haziness… Whiskers are SUPER sharp though internet!|
|50mm Face-off, Canon 5Dmk2, Sigma FD 50mm 2.8 Macro. Huge haze with this wide open but quite sharp…|
Thanks for readin’.
This is my buddy Greg. Him, another friend Craig, and myself went out shooting B&W film in downtown Johannesburg.
I love to go exploring the city on quiet weekend mornings such as this. There’s a wonderful calm to a place that is usually very, very manic. Johannesburg, if you have never been there, is a very unusual city. It was a bustling hub of commerce and industry until about 25 years ago when all the big companies decided it was no longer safe and enticing for consumers and workers and so they all relocated to the place where the wealthy lived: the suburbs. This, coinciding with the social and political upheaval of the dying years of Apartheid, left the city run-down. There were huge pockets of squalor and the city became a dangerous, dark, off-limits place.
In the last decade, all that is changing. It’s still a place that is in need of a lot of love but there has been a resurgence of companies trickling back to the city and vibrant, exciting developments and refurbishments. It is becoming a place for the people again and not just the poor and desperate.
It is invigorating to walk these streets and see people setting up their informal shops selling food and goods on the side of the road in the early morning. It is exciting to experience a place that was in many ways inaccessible to a great many people for so long.
It makes me a proud South African to be living in a time when the city is returning to its former glory, This is a country of tremendous spirit and staying power. It’s quirky, different and energetic.
I love to take pictures of it. I love to document it’s resurgence, I love being a part of it.
Photo taken with a Ricohflex VII on Ilford FP4 125 B&W film.
Amongst the throngs of people snapping away at Big Ben across the Thames, were these two guys, in solemn debate and enjoying a cigarette. I don’t smoke but, if I was so inclined, this kind of scene would sell me a bunch more tobacco than glamorized and glossy adverts. Relaxation. Addiction too, but relaxation nonetheless… With our heads submerged in cell-phones and tablets, especially in a tourist hub like London – everybody is all to keen to rush to the shops, hit the must-see spots with your camera glued to your eye, frantically check that email, rush, rush, rush – it’s nice to see a little unscripted relaxation amongst the madness.
Canon digital, 50mm @ F1.8