magic bullet

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by darkosaric, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    recent good thread about GAS made me think...for sure from time to time people do find some special "magic bullet" :smile:.

    What I want to ask: did you ever got some lens or camera and be able to get results that you were not able to do before with similar equipment that you already had?

    For me this special lens is Leitz Summar 5cm f2: I get effects that i was not able to get with any other 50mm lens that I have.

    regards,
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    The answer to your question is "yes" but htat does not make it a "magic bullet".

    Also, there are great variations in what folks might consider "similar equipment".
     
  3. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Not a magic bullet, but a lens that I find I'm using above all others - An early Fujinon 135mm. Loads of room for movements, so small and light weight it pretty much stays permanently mounted on the front of my Wista.

    Oh, and the RH Designs analyser/timer - Next to the enlarger, the best bit of darkroom kit I've bought and has certainly improved the quality of prints (less waste).
     
  4. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Darko, I'm an ignorant barbarian insensitive to the finer points. For me, if not for you, all cats are grey in the dark.

    I've played with a few lenses, haven't yet found any magic bullets as you seem to mean the words among them. I have, though, found lenses that extended the range of what I could do or that gave better results than others with similar specifications.

    Here's an example: my first serious camera and lens were a Nikkormat FTN and a 50/1.4 Nikkor. Second lens, a 200/4 Nikkor, let me do things that were difficult with a 50. Third lens, a 105/2.5 Nikkor, split the difference. Fourth lens, a 55/3.5 MicroNikkor, did some things better than the 55. Fifth lens, a 105/3.5 (or was it f/4?) Novoflex, was bought in the hope it would be better closeup than the 105/2.5 and would have better reach than the 55. Wrong, I couldn't use it effectively. Sixth lens, a 135/2.8 Auto-Makro-TeleQuinon, was bought for the same reason. It was better closeup than the 105/2.8, not as good as the 55 but had better reach, and was, overall, much worse than my eight lens, the 105/4 MicroNikkor that replaced it. Seventh lens, a 35/2 Nikkor did things that were impossible with my other lenses. I ended up with a four lens kit. 35/2, 55/3.5, 105/4 and 200/4. The next major acquisition was a 1000/11 Celestron C-90. It extended my range, all right, but was dreadful. The 700/8 Questar that replaced it was much better.

    Magic bullets? None. Tools that extended or improved what could be done? All of 'em.
     
  5. dnk512

    dnk512 Member

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    Yes! But, sadly, soon I realized:
    a) The effect did not work for me for all situations
    b) Got tired of that particular effect
    c) Found more 'magic' bullets with their particular effect
    d) 30 years later, I am still looking for the next magic bullet!
     
  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    :smile:

    Some people swear on summicron 75mm as magic bullet :wink:
     
  7. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    My magic bullet was a Mercury II half-frame camera with 1/1000 second shutter speed and f/2.7 lens bought second-hand in 1951. Just a year earlier I had been using a 1911 vintage folding Kodak with a TBI shutter and maybe a f/14 lens.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    ive had a magic bullet for a while now
    given to me by a magi, but unfortunately
    i can't remember what it is ( was ? )
     
  9. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    My magic bullit was a 9g 7.62mm full metal jacket rifle bullit. A real killer :smile:
    Sorry couldn't help it.
    My first MB was when I only had the F90X. I really needed a F100.
    Then came the SQA-i
    Then the 85mm f/1.4 Then large format (13x18cm) followed by the zeiss 25 f/2.8 zf followed by the chamonix 45 F1 and now mamiya 645 pro.
    You know what? They are really magic:smile:
    Best regards
     
  10. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The beasts you kill with your magic bullets keep changing. So you need different magic bullets. Personally I think GAS is a mid Winter syndrome.
    I did have a camera that I liked so much I actually called it my magic camera. It seemed that every time I used it I liked what I got.
    It was a 2.8E2 Rolleiflex with a Xenotar lens. I decided one year to sell it and get the best Rollei money could buy.
    I spent the money but never got another magic camera. I think I expected too much.

    Dennis
     
  11. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    I once rented a medium format Noblex panoramic camera. It allowed me to do several things no cameras I'd used previously could do. It was a blast to use and I turned out a series of images unlike anything I'd done before or have done since. If I owned one, I'd probably grow tired of the effect. Too bad they're no longer made. Doubly too bad I couldn't afford to own one then or now...
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Goerz Dagor lenses. When I started using and contact printing 8x10 in the late '80s, a 300mm Doppel-Anastigmat Symmar (a Dagor clone, every bit as good as the Goerz lens) was my first and for 8-10 months my only lens. When I saw what that type of lens puts on a negative, I fell in love - I remember thinking "this is what I've wanted photos to look like, and I didn't even know it". I now have about half a dozen of the things...:laugh:
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    My "magic bullet" I have acquired in recent years that has had a profound effect on my work have been a moderate wide angle lens my Canon 35 f2 Thorium lens because it's the lens that gives the best performance throughout it's aperture range that I have ever owned, and seems to defy the laws of physics because even at full aperture the edge resolution is almost as good as at the centre, and since I've had it have probably used it more than any other I own.
     
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  15. momus

    momus Member

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    I agree, a clean Summar will give you photos that no other lens is capable of. Ditto on my Leica R 90 Elmarit (would prefer a Summicron, but the Elmarit was cheap). Of course, if you have a great subject, nail the exposure and focus, etc, most any good lens will give you a great shot. So yes, there are magic bullet lenses out there (beauty being in the eye of the beholder), but there's a lot more to it than that.

    One quick, painful trip to flickr will show that having a Leica M9/Hasselblad/Rolleiflex will not guarantee anything worthwhile from a lousy photographer. Or, just because I might use the equivalent brushes and paints that Georges Rouault used doesn't mean I am capable of doing what he did. To put it mildly. But don't tell the dentists that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2014
  16. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    In LF 8x10 is my magic bullet my Kodak 305 Portrait lens and my 360mm Universal Heliar and the last is my 480mm f4.5 Xenar, in 4x5 inch its my 250 Imagon and for sharpness my 240mm Sinaron SE.
    In Digital is it my D800 which is the first camera which I often see more on the picture the I saw on shooting.

    Cheers Armin
     
  17. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

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    Isolette I with portra. First medium format camera and first roll of 120 film in the magic hour. Magic images.
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    The magic bullet is your determined by your own imagination.
     
  19. jernejk

    jernejk Member

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    No matter how many GAS iterations I go through, no matter if I shoot film or digital, I most often use Canon 50 f1.8. Does that make it my magic bullet?
     
  20. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    For me the magic was found in wooden view cameras in excess of 100 years old. Fine wood crafted by a master craftsman. Lenses what require that you calculate and insert the stop, and then count the seconds that pass. Photographic films and plates that simply refuse to see as the eye would have it. And ultimately, the picture that reflects the flaws inherent to the entire process. That's where I've found the magic.

    :blink:
     
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  21. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Emil, when my ex-F135 38/4.5 Biogon came back from Grimes in a proper Copal shutter I fell madly passionately hopelessly in love with what it did and couldn't bring myself to use another lens for several months. All this in parts of NJ where nothing is very far away. And then I took a shot of the Mono Lake basin from the scenic overlook on 395. All of the interesting details were far, far away and the air was filled with haze. That broke the spell. Great lens, but not right for every possible shot.
     
  22. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    My magic bullet comes in two parts. Part 1 is a cheap chinese IR720 filter. Part 2 is the Rollei IR400S film. Magic when there are leaves on the trees!

    The next closest magic bullet (and I primarily shoot E6 - Provia 100F) is Velvia 50. It's just amazing for landscapes, when used with a tripod.
     
  23. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    A Kouranon S 6-element enlarging lens (they came in both 50mm & 75mm). I have loads of top brand enlarging lenses gathered over many yrs, incl. a Leitz Focotar 2 & Leitz Focotar "big element" made by Scheinder, But only the Komura gives the subject a freshly minted, "Dawn of Tme' look. Chip
     
  24. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    a) an f/stop timer for printing
    b) IR820+R72
     
  25. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I hate those large format guys :smile: :devil:! Not so long and I will join the club ...
     
  26. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    It's a kind of magic

    That sums it up perfectly for me.