Thursday, May 19, 2016

Time Travel

I had fun yesterday using my old Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 (described in this post). The long focusing throw is very satisfying to use, and took me back to my early days in photography when the "normal" lens--and the only one I owned--was a 50mm. Auto focus was in the distant future (we didn't even have auto exposure, hard as it may be for millennials to believe) so making careful use of the viewfinder was the only way to get things in focus. 

The fifty looks peculiar, almost stunted, on the camera compared to my other lenses, but it is pleasingly lightweight. After all these years the focus and aperture controls still work smoothly. The images are nice too, if maybe not as painfully sharp as those from today's lenses. And I don't have another lens with an aperture below f/2.8 so it's nice to get reacquainted with shallow depth-of-field. 


(I don't know the name of this flowering bush; we've asked our friend and landscaper, who planted it last year, but his recall failed him uncharacteristically. If you know, please leave a comment and enlighten the rest of us.)

It might seem horse-and-buggy to a modern photographer, but I think it's fun to use this old piece of equipment. It probably gives my patience and attention to detail a little workout, and that's not a bad thing. 

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