Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good Glass is Forever

Yes, a long time since my last post... but I've been busy behind the scenes, I swear...
This little stream view is from a field testing session last week, a few miles up the road from home. I had no intention of shooting anything worth looking at, I just wanted to run some new lenses (and this one old one) through their paces to verify that everything works as it should (unlike with digital, you can't just press the preview and see what you've done).  This Schneider 135mm lens has been sitting in a closet at my father's house in Massachusetts since I finished school (more than 30 years ago-wow!), but I was pretty sure that it could still work, so I had him dig it out and mail to me here in California... I especially wanted to shoot the same scene under the same conditions with both this and 2 newer Rodenstock lenses I recently bought that are the best you can get. I was prepared for this one to pale by comparison, but surprised to find that I can see little if any difference in sharpness, so I guess this will do fine as a "normal" range lens (135-150mm in 4x5 format is equivalent to 50mm in 35 format) without any further shopping, at least for now. Back in my student days I used to use this on an old Crown Graphic press camera.. I still have that too, but am not planning to coax that back into service anytime soon:)
Why mess around with film in this day and age you ask?  That's what I have been asking for years too.. I loved digital right from the start and will continue to use it, especially for paying work, but recently I've been feeling the need shake up my way of thinking and working artistically... getting back to the "old" ways, so to speak. I'm sure moving away from the big city to a slower paced life had a lot to do with it. Seeing these first samples of Fuji Velvia back from the lab with their incredible, clean detail and rich color convinced me it is certainly the right decision. Really just a matter of adding some new tools/options to the old bag of tricks. If you like to produce large prints, like me, then there are some definite quality advantages too, that I will talk about coming up...
Too bad I ran out of DOF in the upper right corner here, otherwise I kind of like this shot, but I was only experimenting after all. (A little tilt on the front standard would have fixed that, but I forgot!)


Gaelyn said...

Interesting colors in the rock shot.

Really like the old camera.

Have you ever considered becoming an "Artist in Residence" at a National Park? Check it out.

Erik said...

I am inspired to dig out some of my older cameras. Just for experimenting, after all. :)

Amy Lilley Designs said...

A successful experiment indeed...beautiful...glad to see you back!

Unknown said...

Yes Mark,

Quiet feeling seems to come when living in a quiet and peaceful environment and i think i've to take care about that :)

I've had some large format experiences when working on some scientific projects and loved the movements capabilities but i never used a LF camera for landscapes.

I hope you home projects to go in the right way.