Sparklewren

aesthetic art corsetry

Helios lens, frisbee, holiday times

We popped to Canon Hill Park again today. Didn't get on the pedalos sadly, but did get to throw a frisbee around (I'm less terrible than I'd assumed) and John let me point my camera at him again.

Mostly I am trying to figure out when I would use this lens. It's old and battered, and I personally find it challenging but charming at times. Manual focus, naturally, and as lovely as the EVF on the X-E1 is I am finding it very hard to tell whether this lens is in focus or not. If the sun shines (as in this photo) I am even more blind! Just cannot tell. Am playing with settings and such in a bid to make all this simpler. Overall though, it seems to be a case of only using this lens when your subject won't be moving, light isn't too bright, and without wearing glasses (can get my eye closer in and kind of stop the problem of bright light blinding me).

Mostly I am trying to figure out when I would use this lens. It's old and battered, and I personally find it challenging but charming at times. Manual focus, naturally, and as lovely as the EVF on the X-E1 is I am finding it very hard to tell whether this lens is in focus or not. If the sun shines (as in this photo) I am even more blind! Just cannot tell. Am playing with settings and such in a bid to make all this simpler. Overall though, it seems to be a case of only using this lens when your subject won't be moving, light isn't too bright, and without wearing glasses (can get my eye closer in and kind of stop the problem of bright light blinding me).

The "nice" thing about this lens, is that it gives a very matte and low-contrast effect. I am lead to believe this is partly due to how lens coatings will come off over the years, plus not using a lens hood. At any rate, sometimes I really like a more matte sort of effect, so much so that I've begun figuring out how to fake it in photoshop. So perhaps that is what this lens is for (at least as far as I'm concerned)? Times when I want a low-contrast, matte, washed out sort of surface?  Oh and yes, some frisbee-on-head action.

The "nice" thing about this lens, is that it gives a very matte and low-contrast effect. I am lead to believe this is partly due to how lens coatings will come off over the years, plus not using a lens hood. At any rate, sometimes I really like a more matte sort of effect, so much so that I've begun figuring out how to fake it in photoshop. So perhaps that is what this lens is for (at least as far as I'm concerned)? Times when I want a low-contrast, matte, washed out sort of surface? 

Oh and yes, some frisbee-on-head action.

Overall though, this lens can seem soft, even when I've taken great care in focusing (though on the flipside, some shots actually came out better than they looked in camera). I don't know if this is down to user error, age, or just its character. I had also thought for a while that the aperture dial was broken, then something literally clicked the other day and it seems fine now. So perhaps it is just a question of keeping the subject at a distance, so that the softness is part of the overall matte-ness and doesn't really matter. These are jpegs on the Pro Neg Std setting, with colour +1, shadows and highlights both -1 (because I wanted to add to the lens' low-contrast character and see about getting more of that matte effect). Though that said, perhaps it would be nicer to try to retain contrast *with* an overall matte feeling. Then in Photoshop I've pushed the green back, added a pinkish gradient map, and made things a bit more matte via the gamma and offset sliders. I've no idea if that's "right" (the internet seems to mostly suggest using curves or levels), but as I always tell students and interns in corsetry, who cares if a thing is "right" if it does what you want it to? Silly, pretty pictures of my Hirst? Happy Hampshire.

Overall though, this lens can seem soft, even when I've taken great care in focusing (though on the flipside, some shots actually came out better than they looked in camera). I don't know if this is down to user error, age, or just its character. I had also thought for a while that the aperture dial was broken, then something literally clicked the other day and it seems fine now. So perhaps it is just a question of keeping the subject at a distance, so that the softness is part of the overall matte-ness and doesn't really matter.

These are jpegs on the Pro Neg Std setting, with colour +1, shadows and highlights both -1 (because I wanted to add to the lens' low-contrast character and see about getting more of that matte effect). Though that said, perhaps it would be nicer to try to retain contrast *with* an overall matte feeling. Then in Photoshop I've pushed the green back, added a pinkish gradient map, and made things a bit more matte via the gamma and offset sliders. I've no idea if that's "right" (the internet seems to mostly suggest using curves or levels), but as I always tell students and interns in corsetry, who cares if a thing is "right" if it does what you want it to? Silly, pretty pictures of my Hirst? Happy Hampshire.