Come along, walk with me,
and look through a different lens –
not the metaphorical one you learned about in school:
“What are your assumptions, your unconscious beliefs?
Through what lens do you view the world?”
No. An old camera lens,
new to me.
I ordered it online and it required an adapter,
because cameras like mine didn’t exist when the lens was made,
so I ordered the adapter and
it was the wrong one.
And I had to start again.
the new-old lens got attached to the camera.
I have to use my other adapter
(my brain) to figure out how to use it.
It has a lovely way with things, even when you don’t focus it quite right.
You have to focus manually
and sometimes it’s
hard to see
whether the subject is in focus.
But even out of focus
some pretty nice things can happen, and
one of these days
I’ll get better at using it.
We’re returning to form
here in the Pacific Northwest,
which means rain, clouds, and gray skies.
But this weekend, there were windows of opportunity, so
off we went, Saturday and Sunday, between showers.
We stalked birds and frogs in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley,
east of Seattle. We roamed the wetlands of Mercer Slough.
There were raindrops and sun rays, clouds and puddles.
There were noisy jays and a pair of Great Blue Herons loping
gracefully over a field with deep, slow wing beats.
The all metal prime lens
feels heavy and authoritative in my hands.
The lack of zoom forces one to walk closer or back away
instead of twisting the barrel. As I squinted through the viewfinder I kept forgetting
where exactly the focus ring was – my fingers unsure on the new lens.
But what a marvel it is – letting lots of light in and going softly loose
at 1.4 – everything blurred
except one spot.
When you can get it right.
These Shaggy scalycap mushrooms are supposedly edible, but not choice. Nearby a woman was mushroom hunting.
She carried a big, flat-bottomed basket and wore a furtive look.
I didn’t dare try to take her picture.
Leaves on the forest floor were a safer subject.
To end on a bright note, a late season Black-eyed Susan. I took this the first time I went out with the lens, three weeks ago.
Playing with my new-old lens is going to keep
my mind flexible, right?
A good thing.
For those who are interested, it’s a Super Takumar 1.4 50mm lens made by Pentax. Though it’s not expensive, it has a certain cult status for it’s “particular character” – a sometimes oddly golden hue, a quality build with sharp glass, and “ethereal rendering.” I think mine was made in 1965. (How many owners were there before me? What did this lens see and where did it go?). It’s heavier than the lens that came with my Lumix G3, a small camera I bought because it does a lot well in a lightweight package. But the weight is not bothersome at all, the focus ring feels solid and smooth, and I think I’m going to enjoy this!
As for the slight golden hue, fall is a perfect time to go with that, isn’t it? But just a slight drag towards the blue end in LR brings it back to normal, if that’s desired.