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.
X-Pro2 | Mitakon 35mm f0.95 | Mastin Labs Tri-X400
Street photography is my most favorite genre of photography to look at it. To me it is the purest form of photography. It is a little bit less about technique and a little bit more about capture the person, the moment, or the location. I also believe it is very historically significant…maybe I should try to define street photography first.
Unfortunately, like a lot of things in photography, people get pretty angry and strict on how they define street photography. I really don’t want to get into all that, I think it is kinda stupid. For me, street photography is simply trying to capture the essence of a city through photographs. Buildings, streets, details, cars, and of course people all make up what a city is. Street photography captures a moment in history in a particular place.
Within that overarching genre there are so many individual styles of shooting. I am a fairly shy person and am therefore not great at some of the more aggressive styles, though I am working to get better. I think that is the beauty of it though, everybody views and approaches it differently and views the city differently. I have SO much room to grow, but one of my dreams would be to be remembered as one of the photographers that helped capture the Denver area and its changes through the 2020’s and 2030’s. I know that is a big dream, but it is what keeps me motivated.
I was downtown yesterday after work and had my gear with me so I decided to walk around. The light was pretty bad but I needed a break anyways. I decided to walk around the Capitol Hill area just south of the capitol and found all these really wonderful Modern and Art Deco buildings that have been cleaned up and turned into apartments. I am not super stoked with any of these pictures really, but I did find quite a few places that I would love to come back to when the light is better.