Friday, March 29, 2019

A New Old Lens

A while back, I scored a Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.4 lens from   It came attached to an old Konica TC film camera, but the camera turned out to be broken.  Still, the entire thing only cost me $20, plus shipping.

I spent a lot more money on a Fotodiox Pro adapter with focus confirmation chip for Konica Auto-Reflex (AR) SLR Lens to Canon EOS.  However, after a little fooling around with that lens, I'm convinced that I got a real gem.

Here's a shot I took a week or so ago:

The shot is a little dark, because I discovered that the camera's built-in light meter was giving me inaccurate readings though the lens.

Later on I tried using the Lux light meter app for iOS.  This proved much more accurate, as demonstrated by this test shot I took from the seventh floor of my building:

This is actually a crop of a much larger shot.   Looking very closely, there was slight chromatic aberration that was easily corrected in Lightroom.  This shot has crisp detail.  In some ways, the lens surpasses my favorite Canon EF-S 17-55mm lens.  I thought that the road signs over University and Beechurst Avenue were more legible.

I can't wait to try this lens out some more!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Revisiting B&W

A couple of weeks back, I visited the Gulf coast in southwestern Florida.  I took lots of pictures with my crappy old Rebel XSi, but that camera is another story.

I visited my usual favorite spots and got a few decent shots.  However, because of the nature of these shots, I experimented with Black & White processing.

I took this shot of a trail in Jelk's Preserve with my LensBaby fisheye lens.

The trees here are all overhung with various epiphytes.  Although this might be somewhat interesting from a botanical point of view, I thought I could capitalize on the artistry instead.  The overhanging branches were further enhanced from the curvature produced by the fisheye.  I enhanced the sinister, closed-in appearance further by using a "film noir" filter setting in PhotoShop.  I also lightened the vignetting a bit. The circular tunnel effect combined with the harsh B&W processing makes this look like an old illustration of Mirkwood Forest from The Lord of the Rings.

Sharkey's Pier in Venice, Florida, provided another opportunity for B&W.  This shot was taken looking out over the pier.  The sky and water colors were nice, but they weren't anything special.  I used B&W to help concentrate the eye on all of the lines instead.  

Perhaps a "meh" picture, but it's a better class of meh.

Saving the best for last, here's the same pier shot from the ground on the right side.

Once again, I wanted to emphasize the lines.  I think that the black & white toning enhanced this picture.  Coupled by the composition elements, such as the old and young figures on the far left and the American flag in the center, this picture evokes the feel of an Americana style from the past.