Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Up At Dawn

EOS 600D, Cosinon-S 50mm f1.4 Lens

Finally, the weather is doing us a kindness here on the East Coast - after a very wild, rainy, windy night, I looked out this morning and noticed one of the most spectacular sunrises I've seen for awhile, and the streets were still soaked from rain. I quickly abandoned my thoughts of going back to bed, and without even taking time to put on the coffee, I went out. It's true what they say - if you take your pictures at either sunrise or sunset, you will be rewarded, even if you don't shoot at the sky directly. These are the times when every object is bathed in the most spectacular light. 

I also had a lens to test. It was another find at the Salvation Army - a Cosinon-S 50mm f1.4, for which  I paid $10. It's a cheaply built thing, but with the widest f-stop being f1.4, it is now the fastest lens in my kit - better suited to night shooting than sunrises, so I set it at f8, and walked downtown. 

Here's what I came back with, in addition to the first photo above - 

Like I said, this is a cheap lens, intended for a plastic bodied Cosina film SLR from the early 80's, and so not highly regarded, but nonetheless, it's fairly capable - a good find for mounting on a modern Canon or Pentax DSLR, but no good for Nikon, because the incompatible flange-to-film distance does not allow this lens to focus to infinity on Nikon.

Using old "film lenses" is a great way to give your digital photos a different colour signature. One thing I noticed here, as with all of my other old lenses, is the absence of the all too familiar "Canon colours". To my eyes, this looks distinctly closer to Pentax. Most digital camera and lens brands these days make their own unique colour signature, and it's great fun getting away from that from time to time - especially as it can be done so very inexpensively. I would say, that in spite of being so poorly put together, it has good enough glass inside to create a distinct atmosphere, and excellent foreground capture.

This was sure a great way to start my day!

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