Many of you have been asking for some insight beyond the technical- more of “A Day in the Life” creative -type stuff, SO… here is a good example of how things can happen around here:
Ok, yesterday after posting the video on Focus and DOF here on Figital Revolution I was searching the web and came across a great new attachment which allows youto connect a Holga lens to a Canon or Nikon with precision… here is a link. It is made by S.K. Grimes who I have done some work with in the past and I am sure the construction is spot-on. I decided to call Adam at S.K. Grimes and ask about making a device like this for my Leica M. I love the Holga (my second book is all Holga work) and thought this could be a great side project. I also found online a home-made attachment / modification for the Holga lens on the Leica M, LINK, but I would prefer the precision of the S.K. Grimes version if I have a choice.
Then I got to thinking about my Through A Glass Darklyartworks and what I liked about them and remembered that last year I had done some work with Zone Plates on several different camera systems and that I had purchased a 28mm F32 Zone Plate for my Leica M7… so then, of course, I had to go find it. After digging through a few drawers in my studio it ultimately surfaced so now I only needed to find some fast film because at F32, 100 speed film would be out of the question for hand-held exposures (maybe). So, yes, I found a roll (one, lonely little roll!) of XP2 Super which I knew had enough exposure latitude to rate with an EI of 800 or even 1250 if needed (I settled on 800).
Finally I decided to shoot a test roll around my yard here in Vermont. I was really curious to see if I could fuse the look and feel of my Through A Glass Darkly Artworks, the Zone Plate, the Overlapping-Frame Panoramic Technique AND my most recent A New Eden Artworks into one creative stew. About 30 minutes later I was off to my favorite lab Phototec, in Rutland Vermont, to have the C41 film processed and-equally importantly although perhaps not so much creatively- get my Prius’s oil changed. One hour later my car was running fine and the negatives were dry.
I was surprised at how much I really liked them… really, really liked them! (This is not the way ALL my brilliant ideas go, you know.) So I had to hurry back to the studio, fire up the Imacon and run a test scan. After a bit of thought on how to compensate for the very low contrast negatives I came up with a good scanner setting and set to work on the file. An hour or so later the image was finished and I really liked how it looked on the screen. Buuuuuut as I had chosen to shoot B&W film and my current favorite art paper (hand-coated Fabriano, 640 gsm) only has an icc. for color and not the required K4 linearization for black and white printing on my d’Vinci Printer it was time- oh yes!- to make the linearization. So about an hour after THAT the linearization was complete and I was all set to print. I had several sheets of paper coated both rough and cold press (luckily left over from a client’s job from last week) but I ultimately decided to go with the cold press as the smoother surface texture would, perhaps, help define the soft elements of the image better than the rough would (I plan to run a test soon on this to be sure!)
Conclusion… I really liked the image and possible new direction for these artworks- hooray! Did I get my work for client’s done today? No! Is it ultimately worth it, in the end, to go with the “art attack” when it strikes? Always!! You can’t do it all the time, BUT inspiration is too valuable not to follow up whenever humanly possible. And if you can get your car ready for another couple of thousand miles of exploring at the same time… even better.
Next, I think I will try this in color using the Fuji 800Z. And as I always say… experimentation is key! Stay tuned.
Just a quick post… I’ve been looking for an “affordable” Leica 28mm lens and was able to make the move last week as Leica has a $300 dollar rebate now available! I decided on the 28mm Elmarit F 2.8 ASPH for a few reasons:
1. It is really small and light and only blocks a very little bit of the lower right corner of the viewfinder on my M7 when the hood is attached- none when it is not.
2. According to test reports* it’s damn sharp (I agree)… see print below / link. Additionally it has very little distortion and a very nice OOF (out of focus) rendering.
3. I had owned the Voigtlander 28mm F 1.9 Ultron lens a few years back and was not really that impressed (so I sold it) and the Leica 28mm F2 ASPH Summicron was out of the question due to the cost and it is a larger lens which blocks more of the viewfinder.
So how good is this lens….
Print 1: Full size print 9.5″ x 25″. Printed on Hand-coated Fabriano Artistico 640 gsm.
Print 2: Crop 4.5″ x 4.5″ of Full Size 9.5″ x 25″ Print
Print 3: Crop 4.5″ x 4.5″ of Extreme Full Size 19″ x 50″ Print!
Note: The negative was scanned on an Imacon Scanner (wet mount) at 4725 optical dpi, 16 Bit… about a 500MB file. Film… Kodak Ektar 100.
Viva la Revolution-
Want / need more information on the Leica 28mm Elmarit F2.8 ASPH… here is a link to a detailed review by Erwin Puts.