Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Old School

I should have made this post a while ago, but better late than never.

A while back I got out my old 50mm F1.8 FD (manual focus) lens & spent my afternoon off playing with this vintage lens.

The manual focus & manual aperture took a while to get used to. I couldn't get (what I considered) a reasonably good image wide open, around f8 I was happier with the sharpness of the image.  A lot of this could be do to my inexperience with type of lens. I do focus manually a fair bit with modern lenses, but this was not quiet the same thing.

Outside in full sun it was f11 or slower, not to get a sharper image, but to control the light a bit better.  It seemed to let in more light than I would expect at a given F stop and faster f stops increased the glow & bloom that seems an inherent part of shooting with this lens.

The slightly soft focus & glow/bloom are part of what makes shooting with a vintage lens unique interesting.  At the same time I tried to gain some control over how much of these characteristics where in my shots.

Aside from trying different things in camera I also tried different approaches in post processing. Some images I tried to lessen the vintage feel and make them look more like what would be expected from a modern lens. Some images I didn't compensate for the effect of the lens & a few  I even pushed the "vintage-ness" even farther.

I only spent one afternoon shooting with this lens & initially wasn't too crazy about it, but then started to enjoy playing around with it.  Shooting with a fully manual vintage lens seems a lot more alchemical than shooting with modern auto everything lenses, its' more try this, try that, a little more, a little less, be more aware of light positions, reflections etc.

It's not my new 'go to' lens, but I will be playing with it some more, when I have time to play.

FD Lens