Sunday, 27 June 2010

I Think the Lens Works

I spent a fantastic afternoon in Delamere Forest with a friend of mine, walking, chatting, and taking pictures. I'll eleborate more on that and the rest of the weekends activities later as it's rather late now. But I just wanted to share this one photo (I've got quite a few to process later in the week):

I tried LOTS of shots to try and capture a dragonfly and in the end I got this - it's a crop of the full size picture but even at 100% (click on the picture and it will show that) the image is pin-sharp. For the photo geeks, this picture was captured on a Canon 5D with an old 80-200mm lens that came from a Canon 35mm film camera. No image stabilisation, no L-series glass, nothing apart from an awful lot of luck!

Update: Another picture that came out well!


Caroline said...

I gave away or sold most of my 35mm lenses when nikon and leica stated that they would never make a full frame sensor!

Just shows how good som´of the old stuff was.

Caroline xxx

Fiona Bianchi said...

I didn't know Nikon/Leica ever said that? Not sure it's a reason to ditch lenses, the canon ones work on crop sensors and can often get 'better' results as there is less vignetting and other distortion.

But you're right, some of the old kit was well made, even when it was the budget kind. I have a 28-105mm lens that I bought 2nd hand and it was from the 35mm era and, for the money, it's fantastic!

Caroline said...

I liked to work wide so using heavy expensive wide angles as the equivalent of a more normal lens seemed a bit stupid. Then they started the story of short back focus sending the light at the wrong angle to the sensor chip causing vignetting and fringing! All this while I waited for a decent affordable body to become available, in the end I gave up just beforethe idiots saw the light and made what I knew was the best solution all along!!

For a lifetime there have been cameras which were desirable in themselves, a joy to own and use. Now there are only souless lumps of black plastic often with bottle glass lenses (which can be fixed with software because we did not bother to manufacture them properly in the first place) obsolite before you have undone the packaging and certainly long before you have mastered the 400 page instruction manual.

All the joy and poetry has vanished from photography to be replaced with the world of souless elecronic image gathering. Gone is the image drawing of your favourite lens and thinking ahead to finalise the image at the moment of exposure and in is the lifetime infront of a screen manipulating and choosing frrom countless attempts to find an exposure that works.

I am sure that EIG is a joy to those who came to it fresh but it has left me once able to compete with anybody on quality and price penniless and redundant n this diy world. Do not think from this that it has made me sour just sad that the history of photography died a sudden death after a hundred and seventy years of evolution leaving a huge fossil record of beautifuly crafter macines scattered across the world in their hundred of thousands, no countless millions to be replaced by didposable consumer toys. I know I have just deposited one less than three years old in the bin, dead.

I never dreamed that both my obsession and my dysphoria would ever leave me but both have and life is strange without them.

Caroline xxx

Fiona Bianchi said...

I think the issue is that everyone now *thinks* they can take pictures and don't need a photographer. Also the technology helps cut out most of the stupid mistakes that get made in photos.

But the photos you get are all very samey and bland, no real quality or artistic merit whatsoever. It's not that everyone is a photographer now, they just think they are.

But, honestly, I think there is still plenty of art and enjoyment left in photography - it is *really* nice to see photos with a very good camera/lens - even my relatively inexperienced eye can tell the difference.

It's also nice being able to really push the limits of photographs - way past what even the most expensive point-and-shoot can manage. For example, I got pics in almost complete dark of nocturnal animals at a local wildlife park (prime lens and high ISO). Pictures of bright scenes which still have fab colour and contrast.

Really, there are gems of cameras out there among the mass-produced disposable variety, and while photography doesn't pay as well these days it still is highly valued by some, e.g. look at or my page