Sunday, March 16, 2014

Back to Basics

Recently, I bought an old all-manual lens.

I'm not sure if you can call a lens built in the 80's a classic?

Retro?

Vintage?

It's as old as me.

The old Russian made Helios 44m-4, 58mm f2.0

Companies of modern cameras and lenses are competing for the the fastest auto focus, and here I am buying an all manual lens.

Call me crazy, but I am actually curious  how the photographers of the past experienced photography.


Adapted to be attached on my Nikon body.

It made my D3100 more compact.

Made with only metal and glass, it is a little heavier than my Nikkor prime lenses.




Time to test my skills in manual focusing and metering


Focusing is quite difficult at first, especially wide open. 

As I practice more, I think I quite nailed it in most of my shots.

Metering is quite easy as long as you know the basics of exposure.




Sometimes we fail to notice the beauty of simple things around us.

Take time to notice simple details that collectively created the beauty of the whole.

This lens helps me to see beauty in details.






Swirly lovely bokeh!

How a simple flower is so beautiful up close.


If only we take time to notice...



I think I have a new favorite lens.

Look how thin the DOF is, I only got a few strands in focus.

This lens excites me!

It made me look at things differently.


It is excellent for close up shots too.







I can't get enough of its character!



Below are some wider shots.







Can't wait to try this on portraits.







Will this replace my Fuji X100 as my favorite camera of choice?


Probably not.

I still love how compact and good the X100 is.

And there are instances when you really need an auto focus.

Below are photos taken by the Fuji X100 just this morning when I'm out and testing the Helios.







Conclusion


I did not regret buying this lens.

Manual focusing and metering is actually fun.

It makes you slow down and think before pressing the shutter.

This is pure photography, the one that photographers of the past enjoyed.

Today's photography is more like a trigger-happy-shutter-crazy-all-auto style.

It made our life more easier, but it ruins our experience.

It won't hurt to try the joy of  experiencing the basic and simple things in life sometimes.

I know I will be using this lens more, especially on portraits.

Cheers!

Alex