Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The lens as therapy

693_shadow_2.jpgWe're really having fun with the new Zeiss Planar, carrying it on either an M8 (digital) or M4 (film) body pretty much everywhere we go. I like the saturation, as well as the sharpness: this snap taken in the back hallway of the local Starbucks succeeds because of the richness of color and detail in the blond wood.

Working with a rangefinder again reminds me of how touchy the focus is - rangefinders were never as good as reflex cameras for normal and telephoto shots (the 50mm Planar is the equivalent of a 70mm on the digital M8). But, with instant viewing of the photo on the M8, I can correct static situations like this one if the first try is a bit off.

Working with the rangefinder is good therapy for my recovering left arm and hand, which really need work to get the fine motor skills back (I'm typing this with the left hand, also good exercise). THe new Zeiss has a stiff focusing ring - common in new manual focus lenses. While it should loosen a bit with use, the extra oomph is a good exercise for my week hand.

So, we're back to full-dinosaur snapping with the M4 which has no battery or exposure meter - the shutter spring and film advance require the photographer to flip a lever with the right thumb - which lever was itself a much-hailed advance when it debuted in the 1950s (I think). Heh, like the McDonald's jingle, 'I'm lovin it'...

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