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  1. #61
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I have failed, for years now, to understand why having a lens that gives off a crazy weird effect in the corners is actually desirable. I still don't get it. While some of it looks pretty cool in some pictures, more often I find it incredibly distracting and it actually prevents me from appreciating the picture, and most often I just don't care. But maybe I can now at least appreciate how folks reason about it, and that helps me shake some of my prejudice.
    I used to think the same but seeing some superb work made with Holgas, various alternative processes, wet plate etc made me have a rethink, although I can't see how I'd use some of them myself.

    So while I have a Petxval to try and some ideas I can't see at the moment how I might use a lens like this to produce a body of work. I do however think that using a lens like this might lead to greater understanding. I do still experiment even after 40+ years making images, always have done, it's about pushing boundaries etc.

    Ian

  2. #62
    matti's Avatar
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    This thread made me remember when I came back to analog photography and for the first time just went out into the woods, set up a tripod and took a picture of a tree. Before that, I only had respect for street photography. Everything else was boring, even a bit ridiculous. Even something I didn't want anyone to catch me doing. But setting up that tripod was so fulfilling, that day I decided not to care what anyone else thought about my pictures. Now I can walk down the path of trying out whatever process I want, buy whatever new gear I can afford and take the most boring photos, just because it is fun.

    /matti

  3. #63
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    I used to think the same but seeing some superb work made with Holgas, various alternative processes, wet plate etc made me have a rethink, although I can't see how I'd use some of them myself.

    So while I have a Petxval to try and some ideas I can't see at the moment how I might use a lens like this to produce a body of work. I do however think that using a lens like this might lead to greater understanding. I do still experiment even after 40+ years making images, always have done, it's about pushing boundaries etc.

    Ian
    Pushing boundaries... Sure, why not? I have used a Holga extensively, and have a lens that you could call 'funky' on the 5x7, and the 50mm Summitar for the Leica that does do some things wide open that I'm still unsure about. For me though, this hasn't pushed any boundaries.

    The Holga was more of a relief thing, where it was nice to not carry a light meter, set distance approximiately, and simply just wing it all along. The lens for the 5x7, well it was inexpensive, so I continue using it. The Summitar - I usually shoot it at f/4 of smaller, and only use it wide open up close for portraits, mostly because I like the depth of field at that aperture, and disregard what goes on in the background... To me it just isn't important to break new grounds with new lenses or equipment. It's just about finding something that works for me, and then continue using it, and simply just try to get better at photographing what I want to convey, and to show that well in the print.

    In ten years, I might be the one exploring new lenses. Who knows?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I will say something that might not sit well with everybody.

    Do you think that people obsess over lens signatures and bokeh mostly because their photography in general is lacking? Basically substituting technique or lens artifacts for content.
    As soon as you detail a picture (sharpness, bokeh, ...), you miss the point. A picture is a whole. Of course people can use less than perfect equipment as it might ease what they try to convey but what matter is not the technical trick, it is the result: can you "see" beyond the picture or not?

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
    As soon as you detail a picture (sharpness, bokeh, ...), you miss the point. A picture is a whole. Of course people can use less than perfect equipment as it might ease what they try to convey but what matter is not the technical trick, it is the result: can you "see" beyond the picture or not?
    Too often the lens artifacts (from a misused Petzval, or other gimmicks) are all that I can see. The actual photo is nothing much. Just like the oversaturated colors, or HDR foolishness which seems so popular.

  6. #66
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
    As soon as you detail a picture (sharpness, bokeh, ...), you miss the point. A picture is a whole. Of course people can use less than perfect equipment as it might ease what they try to convey but what matter is not the technical trick, it is the result: can you "see" beyond the picture or not?
    I agree with you, and it is for sure the end result that I find important. The print, to me, is everything, and I'm usually not particularly interested how it was created, as long as it speaks loudly to me. Usually pictures that speak to me are strong in content, composition, gesture, emotion, mood, presence, culture, visual impact, and print quality. I think all of those things are added by the person creating the print, and the equipment and materials used to get there are simply a funnel through which all of those things are transmitted, from brain and spine, to the print surface.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #67
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
    As soon as you detail a picture (sharpness, bokeh, ...), you miss the point. A picture is a whole. Of course people can use less than perfect equipment as it might ease what they try to convey but what matter is not the technical trick, it is the result: can you "see" beyond the picture or not?
    For me it works like this: at first I see whole picture and I say "wow" or "nothing special" or "HDR shit" or whatever. When I say "wow" then I look longer, and I start to see details in picture composition, and later I analyze bokeh, sharpness and other technical aspects.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkosaric View Post
    For me it works like this: at first I see whole picture and I say "wow" or "nothing special" or "HDR shit" or whatever. When I say "wow" then I look longer, and I start to see details in picture composition, and later I analyze bokeh, sharpness and other technical aspects.
    Don't you think the impression you have in front of a picture can't be explained from technical reasons? It is like when cooking, ingredients are necessary but they are not the ultimate goal as they melt and blend. As Aristotle wrote, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

  9. #69
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dali View Post
    Don't you think the impression you have in front of a picture can't be explained from technical reasons? It is like when cooking, ingredients are necessary but they are not the ultimate goal as they melt and blend. As Aristotle wrote, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
    Yes, of course I agree .
    Technical details of great masterworks I look only after I have seen it many times and for long time. For example photos of Bresson - at first I say wow, then after 10-20 minutes I look in composition, geometry, enjoying in beauty. Then after I have seen it for more than ~10 times, then I start to look technical details, little imperfections if they are there, bokeh, thinking which film, which lens and so on.

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