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Canon 5D

Every picture I take is a wish not a capture of reality.

Let me share two pictures with you as an example.

This is my father. The first picture was taken with the digital Canon 5D and the cheap 50mm/f1.8 and yes… I’m going to say it… straight out of the camera!

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Okay… it’s a pretty nice picture, the day was kind of cloudy, the camera did a good job, maybe a bit on the underexposed side. My fault but I was not aiming for an artistic capture, just a casual snap.

This is the second picture.

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My father holding a baby rabbit. It was taken with the Contax 645AF. It was a sunny day and we were in the shade. The camera did a great job and, again, I was not aiming for an artistic picture, just another casual snap.

When I look at both I feel the Contax one more appealing as a “photograph”. The digital one only has sentimental value, the second one has both sentimental and photographic value. Why?

I can imagine having the Contax picture hanging on a wall and the digital one kept in a family album. Why?

When it comes to photography both were made carelessly, both were made for that family album however, one looks so much more special.

Is it the lens? The “famous” bokeh? Is is the light? Does my father look better? Is it a better angle? Is it the rabbit?

Is it the simple fact that being in black and white adds an extra layer of seriousness?

Even my father likes the Contax one better. Why?

Well, reality is boring and the black and white image is the further from reality and that’s why I like it better as a photograph.

Let me give you another example. This is my son.

The first shot was taken with the (sweet) Ricoh GrD3. The second one was taken with the Zeiss Ikon Nettar.

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Again. Which picture do I like the best?

As photographs they should have the same visual value but they don’t, why?

Why do I keep on liking the ones further from reality?

Why do I feel that my pictures do look better in black and white? One is as good or as bad as the other.

The truth is, my pictures do look better in black and white and that’s why I don’t use digital cameras to capture these personal moments or other kind of personal images I make.

Reality is too… raw. Too real, too accurate. I don’t like it. I aim to capture it in many ways but only as the raw material to work on.

Every picture I take is a wish not a capture of reality.

At the end of the day, when developing and scanning (or printing the negatives) my black and white pictures are a pretty good hiding place for my lack of inspiration and talent but, at the same time, it is my black and white photography that comes closer to the visual approach I like when it comes to image making.

As usual, please forgive my limited English.

Hello guys

A couple of months ago I was going back to the office after a photoshoot and when I took the camera out of the bag only half of the lens was attached to the body! Again!

I know I’m a cheap bastard but that was my third, yes, third, Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 lens that broke apart itself for no reason other than being poorly constructed as fuck.

My dear friend Filipe made me move my arse and look for another kind of solution. He lent me a Helios 44-M4 with a Canon EOS adapter with focus confirmation and told me to “use it”. (Index finger pointed at my nose!)

Of course I knew about the possibility of adapting older lenses to digital bodies, we all do. I read a zillion posts about it but… what’s the point?

Modern lenses are great and built to match digital sensors. The best ones are expensive but they are of good construction and pretty solid pieces of equipment.

So what’s the point?

What can a $20 Helios and a $10 adaptor give me so much better or so much different from a fast, accurate, solid, Canon 50/1.2?

I know some of you will laugh and some of you will think “what an arsehole” but the truth is it was love at, literally, first shot. The $20 Helios has spirit!

This was the first shot, shooting straight into the Sun. Couldn’t even get focus confirmation.

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Canon 5D and Helios 44-M4

 

I started re-reading all those articles and I got a Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8 the following days. Again, I loved the results. I loved how the shots are rendered and I love what those Raw files can deliver in editing.

Here are some examples taken with the Takumar.

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Canon 5D and the Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8

 

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Canon 5D and the Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8

 

I know this is a computer screen but the images are… thick. They have depth, they have something hard to explain but very noticeable when I look at the files.

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Canon 5D and the Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8

 

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Canon 5D and the Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8

 

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Canon 5D and the Super Takumar 50mm/f1.8

 

A 50mm Takumar in beautiful condition with front and back caps and an adapter, with focus confirmation, for $60!

The following deal was a Pentacon 50mm/f1.8. Yes, another 50mm. For another $60 I managed to buy an excellent condition classic lens.

The Pentacon is totally different from the Takumar. At f4, the Pentacon is razor sharp, the Takumar is round and soft (in a good way). Again, another old manual lens proving to have spirit!

 

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Canon 5D and the Pentacon 50mm/f1.8

 

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Canon 5D and the Pentacon 50mm/f1.8

 

Thanks to that simple adapter I’m now using new lenses and learning what they can deliver on specific situations.

Update: I now own a Takumar and a Pentacon, both 50mm.

While searching for an 85mm as a portrait lens fate put João Carlos on my path again.

João Carlos is a friend and a connoisseur. He also own hundreds of cameras and lenses and all kinds of adapters. João is also kind enough to let me try out his gear.

All of the sudden I have access to a collection of cameras and lenses that will take a lifetime to experiment. And that’s what we are going to do.

João will help me in creating posts about lenses and their use on digital bodies, adapters and yes film! Cooking Film will continue on trying to deliver, not so boring, samples from cameras, lenses and, of course, film related stuff.

With that being said, guess who has a Auto-Takumar 85mm/f1.8 I was looking for as a portrait lens? Yes, João.

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Canon 5D and the Auto-Takumar 85mm/f1.8

 

Here is a fast, fast sample form another goodie. An adapter to use Zeiss/Hasselblad V system lenses on the Canon 5D! Again thanks to João!

 

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New posts will follow, I’ll try to add something useful to the Cooking Film database.

As usual please forgive my limited English.