Kodak Tri-X 400, 50mm f/2 Summicron-DR. This was taken a little before sunset – lots of flare from the sun being just off the left side of the frame!
What a difference a few months makes.
When I had rented the 24mm f/1.4L II during the summer, my summary was “Nice lens, but I don’t think I’d use it enough”. After a little bit of time, a lot of shooting, and a bit of frustration after then sun went down with the 17-40mm f/4L, I started hunting for the 24mm, desperately hoping for it to be in stock somewhere long enough to order. Finally I got one in October and since then it’s barely left my camera for more than 5 minutes at a time.
After going out with it at dusk the first night, I fell utterly in love with the lens – it’s like it was crafted by elves and sprinkled with magic pixie dust. If you like the 24mm focal length, and especially if you like available darkness photography, just go out and buy one. You won’t be sorry. In the center it’s sharp even at f/1.4. And when you’re shooting wide open it just pulls photons out of the night and lovingly places them on your sensor:
It is however making me wish for more AF sensors on the 5D – working very close up and wide open your depth of field is small enough that focus-and-recompose probably won’t work. My eyesight isn’t good enough to critically focus a 24mm lens visually, so I’m depending on the AF sensors a bit more than I would with the 100mm macro. An example of close focus:
It has, rather obviously, taken the honor of being my very favorite lens (closely followed by the 100mm f/2.8 USM macro).
You can see more samples from back when I rented it. This is a lens that almost always stays on my camera and in my camera bag. It’s very deeply satisfying for night time shooting, which is when I’m usually out with my camera!
Next up: the 85mm f/1.2L II. (“Hi, my name is David, and I have an addiction to fast lenses.”)
A while ago I had rented the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 lens. Why? I wanted something fun to play with, and had always been curious about the TS/E lenses. The 90mm also had a reputation for being very sharp (which it was!) and it had a high maximum magnification as well.
The tilting mechanism was what I was most interested in, and was also the weirdest thing about the lens. The plane of focus does *not* stay parallel to the lens as you tilt it. It also moves as you focus the lens in addition to as you tilt it. It’s still usable hand-held but when it’s absolutely critical you nail the plane of focus, a tripod is in your future. A good explanation of how tilt works can be found here from Northlight Images.
When you abuse the tilt, you can blur the heck out of an image like so:
Scenes over the past couple of weeks from the Boston Public Garden. I’m actually really looking forward to winter and hopefully getting some decidedly different shots then!
Most of these were made with my favorite lens, the 100mm f/2.8 USM macro; the exceptions are the first and last photos. Personally, I’m rather pleased with the B&W skyline shot, and the duck has a peculiar attraction as well.
No exotic lenses or interesting events for this post, just a bunch of photos taken recently:
The last one, in particular, is a happy accident of shutter speed and IS and deserves a look at larger-than-thumbnail size. The rocks on the shoreline (the Atlantic on the New Hampshire coast) stayed decently sharp while the waves show a bit of motion. Next time I’ll have to purposefully try for that!