Friday October 2, 2015

NEW YORK NEW YORK – Today I experimented with old lenses. I have a small collection of Carl Zeiss Contax-mount lenses from the 1930s including an early and a late f1.5 50mm Sonnar, an 85mm f2.0 Sonnar and a 35mm. These lenses were notable for their speed and brilliant quality. They are mostly unusable today because the Contax mount is weird – the 50mm focusing helix was actually part of the camera body – but fortunately I was able to buy on eBay an adapter from the 1950s that adapts these lenses to a Leica screw mount. Another part adapts the screw mount to a Leica M mount, and a further adapter lets me put M mount lenses on my Sony 7Rm2. These lenses don’t actually work very well on an Leica M because the rangefinder doesn’t couple properly and the wides don’t fit at all. I’ve also got copies of legendary Nikkor lenses from the 50s, also in Contax mount.

All of these lenses work well with the Sony 7Rm2 – which is turning into the universal platform for all lenses ever made. I spent some time experimenting with the old Zeiss lenses today. They are uncoated, so there can be a slightly dreamy quality and veiling flair tends to make shadows look transparent. Dreamy wide open; thoroughly modern stopped down.

I’ve included a night image through the 1938 f1.5 Sonnar 50mm shot wide open, and a picture of the lenses and their adapter.

Day 2178 of one photograph every day for the rest of my life.

Day 2178 of one picture every day for the rest of my life.
Image shot with 1936 Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens
Old lenses
Contax mount

On this day four years ago (day 717): Laura

Day 717 of one photograph every day for the rest of my life
Laura and Alexander’s wedding

Tuesday December 9, 2014

NEW YORK NEW YORK – If you’ve been following this site for a while you may have noticed that I’ve made some minor changes. We’ve made pictures a bit small to speed page loading, and have generally made the site more robust. Keeping this thing going is surprisingly similar to a job.

Day 1,881 of one picture every day for the rest of my life.

432 Park Avene
432 Park Avene
The Plaza
The Plaza
Party
Party

On this day four years ago (day 440): Riverside Drive South. We seem to have a “look up at streetlight” motif on December 9.

Riverside Drive South

Monday December 10 2012

NEW YORK NEW YORK – This is the best time of year to photograph Manhattan at night. “Night” happens early. It’s dark by 5:30 0r so so the lights are still on in most offices while the exteriors are dark. This opportunity continues through mid-January, but at least now it’s not freezing cold. I’m working without a tripod here with a fast lens, my 24mm f1.4 Summicron, and relatively high iso (5000) on my leica Monochrom. Shooting up in Manhattan is a regular theme here. Here you go:

Lipstick
Lipstick

From this day one year ago: Churches in Torrington.

St. Peter Church Torrington
St. Peter Church Torrington