Saturday, January 21, 2006

Canon 50/1.4 Revisited

I posted some Canon 50/1.4 shots last year, around November (I think). Those were color. Here is a black and white test image that just flabbergasts me. Because I have a tendency to shoot in contrasty lighting situations, controlling the contrast, with my modern lense (e.g., Cosina Voigtlander 35/2.5) has been a chore. I usually resort to using some sort of compensating (split developer) to hold it all together. For the most part it works OK.

I had heard that the Canon lenses of old were less contrasty. I also heard that Garry Winogrand used a Canon 28mm lens, with his M4, loaded with TriX. My interest was piqued, and suddenly (quite unintentionally) through a few camera acquisitions, I was in posession of two different Canon 50/1.8 lenses, as well as a 50/1.4.

When I saw this image, shot with a 50/1.4, I was amazed at how well the scene held together, and the image quality, while sharp, contained a softness, evident in the color pictures from the same lens posted earlier. I had shot this scene several times and never had I seen the highlights and shadow detail holding so well, and needing virtually no PS work (a little bump in the blacks was all). I was impressed and wanted to share.

Details: TriX, D23, Canon 50/1.4