Twice a quarter I have to travel to Salt Lake City for work. This past couple of times I have driven and it has been fun getting a chance to see and photograph some things I normally wouldn’t. Today I drove through route to SLC via I-80 through Wyoming and stopped a few times to photograph some things I found interesting. If I drive more, I may find a way to turn this into some kind of project. I love seeing some of these run-down and small western towns. They are sad and romantic in a way that draws me in.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up a very inexpensive second-hand copy of the 7 Artisans 25mm f1.8. It’s a pretty interesting little lens with a ton of character and personality. I will probably do a review of it soon. I am not super in love with it, but shooting with it kind of opened my eyes to the possibility of shooting with manual lenses. After trying the 7 Artisans I started looking around and found a great deal on a used Mitakon 35mm f/0.95. What a lens! This isn’t a review, I may do one soon, but more just some thoughts on why I love shooting with it and manual lenses in general:
I shoot less. I am not exactly positive why this is, but I think because of the fact that it takes extra work to get the image in focus before clicking the shutter, I tend to only hit that shutter button once or twice. I work hard to get the shot, I grab it, and then move on to the next one. I like that. It feels more like film.
I am more proud of the pictures I get. I am not sure if the pictures are actually better, or if it is just because they are harder to get giving me a better sense of accomplishment, but I feel like I have more keepers. I am more proud of the images on my card, even though there is less of them.
The process is more fun and engaging. For me at least, the added step of having to focus the lens makes the entire process of making images more fun and engaging. It definitely takes more mental effort and can be a bit tiring after a while, but it is much more challenging and rewarding to me. Since I switched to the Mitakon on my X-Pro2 I have somewhat converted my X-E2 into basically a point-n-shoot. I set everything to auto and it serves as a nice break sometimes to give me a reset. I also have a copy of the 27mm pancake on the way just to live on my X-E2 for this purpose.
The Image Quality is Unique and Fantastic. Let’s face it, for the $500 or so that you can pick up this lens for, you are getting a look that no other lens can provide. The Fuji 35mm f/1.4 is amazing and will always live in my kit, but f/0.95 is something else entirely. I am seriously tempted to see how long I can keep this lens on my X-Pro2 without switching it out. I really don’t need anything else.
Following is a few photos from a photowalk with my new lens a few days ago. These are some of my favorite street photos I have every taken and definitely the direction I would like to go with this kind of photography.