Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sorry for Being a Slacker

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Boy! Have I been a slacker updating the blog lately. For you regular readers, my apologies. For the rest of the photographic world, you didn't even notice so no harm, no foul.

I'd blame my inattention to the blog on the holidays or being too busy but those would be lies. The holidays didn't get in my way, not really, and I've been no more or less busy as of late, although I will admit to being somewhat preoccupied with things other than glamour photography. (Being semi-retired seems to induce other preoccupations, other than what I was preoccupied with prior to becoming semi-retired... which was working and/or seeking work.)

One of those preoccupations has been my keen interest in vintage glass. Over the past six months or so, I've acquired a fair number of lenses -- what some call "legacy lenses" -- and using them with both my Canon 5D2 and my Sony NEX-6.  I haven't used them to shoot pretty girls for the client work I still get hired to shoot. That would violate my rule about not experimenting on someone else's dime. (Although I occasionally sneak in a couple of shots with whatever new lens I've acquired; a couple of shots meaning three or four of them prior to shooting the sets I've been hired to shoot.)

If I were shooting pretty girls as a hobby shooter, which really isn't something I shoot as a hobbyist and, these days, I consider myself about 80% hobbyist, I'd probably be using some of my legacy lenses routinely for pretty girl shooting. Sure, they're all manual-focus-only lenses but, when shooting for myself, that's okay. I'm not in any rush when shooting for me. Auto-focus glass makes me faster and more efficient when shooting for clients, but being a fairly fast worker and production efficiency aren't things that are very high up on my list of priorities when I'm shooting for me. If something I'm shooting for me takes hours to shoot when, if I were shooting it for pay I'd get it done in half or less the time, it ain't no big deal. In fact, it prolongs the fun of shooting and I'm not so old that I don't value having fun, whether it's with my photography or most anything else I might be doing.

So, what kinds of glass have I been acquiring?  Well, let me list the lenses I've recently bought. I should also mention that all of them are primes and they're all M42 mount lenses (aka Pentax screw mount) except two: A Meyer-Optik Görlitz 50mm, f/2.9 Trioplan with an Altix mount. (Although I'm still able to use it with an M42 adapter.) A Hartblei 35mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift with Canon EF mount. (Which isn't vintage glass although the lens is around ten years old, possibly more, and it's definitely a specialty lens.)

Okay so here's the rest of my legacy lenses, all of which are either Russian-made or German, specifically Meyer-Optik Görlitz (MOG) for the German.

I'll list my Russian glass first: An 85mm f/1.5 Cyclop (no aperture diaphragm so it's f/1.5 all the time-- it came off a Russian military night-vision rifle scope), a Tair 11A 135/2.8, a Helios 44-2 58/2, and a Mir 1B 37/2.8.

Here's my German MOG glass: A 50/2.9 Trioplan (which I already mentioned), a 50/2.8 Orestor, a 30/3.5 Lydith, a 58/2 Primoplan, and a 135/2.8 Orestor.

You might be asking yourself, "What the heck are you doing with all those new old lenses, Jimmy?"  That's easy: Having fun with them!

The pretty girl at the top is Mila whom I snapped last night at my weekly, Wednesday evening gig for an internet streaming company. It's a super-easy job: I show up and shoot with the client's camera (in this case a Canon Rebel something or other with an 18-55 kit lens.) The small studio space is pre-lit -- me being the guy who pre-lit it some time ago -- so all I have to do is drive there (it's a 20 minute drive), walk in, pick up their camera, shoot two models (a quick set of each of them plus a set with both of them together), get paid and go home.  My kinda job! It's simple, easy, fun, in-n-out with none of my gear being used and no waiting to get paid. What's better than that?  Plus, it gets me out of the house one evening a week. (I don't get out much these days, leastwise in the evenings, which is probably a 'getting old' thing. Oh well.)