impatience

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After ordering my new Nokton f/1.1 I actually had to wait a while until I received it in the mail. When I finally got my hands on it after more than a week of impatient waiting I was obviously rather eager to try it out. After shooting a couple of frames at home I decided to wait until it was sufficiently gloomy outside and hoped not to get too wet in the wonderful winter weather of the region. Braving rain and cold to play with a new lens? This alone proves my impatience.

Much to my frustration at this time of the year it usually rains for weeks on end around here. So, to get out and shoot it’s generally necessary to catch a moment when it’s only drizzling between downpours, unless of course you don’t mind seeing only umbrellas in your pictures. And obviously these brief moments of relative dryness rarely fall on the times when there are actually people on the street and it’s light enough to still be able to see anything – hence the Nokton! The busiest times are usually after darkness falls, and this was precisely the moment I had in mind to test the Nokton. I was lucky, apart from one brief downpour it stayed largely dry while I was out testing the lens. And even luckier: I also randomly walked into the Reyes Procession assuming that it was the next day. However, there were so many people at the procession that I didn’t manage to see much. Photographing the procession itself was pretty much impossible and so I tried my hand at some f/1.1 street shots in and around the crowd instead.

As you can imagine street shots at this aperture are actually very challenging considering that the depth of field is super shallow and people move way too much to stay in focus. Good practice for someone like me who normally zone focusses from the hip and hopes for the best! I guess with this lens I can hope to develop Ninja rangefinder skills after playing with it for a while!

My first impression? This rather large and heavy beast definitely has me intrigued. Obviously I have to get used to framing with a 50mm lens again, which I haven’t really done in a few years and the focus will give me plenty of headaches, but this lens definitely has potential and character. By the way, don’t judge sharpness by my poor focussing skills. It’s plenty sharp when you nail the focus, but this is rather difficult even with static subject matter. One thing is amazing though: Not once did I have too little light to get the shot even at ISO 400. In fact several times I had to go to a faster shutter speed to stay at f/1.1. I’ll have tons of fun with this lens!

All pictures taken with: Leica M6, Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.1.
Argenti ARF+ 400 developed in HC-110 dil B, Jobo CPE-2.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

First shot with the new lens when my husband came to see what it was like. I even nailed the focus! As I said, sharp enough even wide open.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

There is some magic going on when the focus is right.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

With this lens the limiting factor is not the shutter speed, it’s the depth of field.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Almost.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Children have it way easier to get above crowds. I was stuck behind a wall of people.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I didn’t quite manage to skip the rain entirely, so I thought I’d throw in an umbrella picture too.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

I quite like how this one turned out.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

There is some glow to this which gives it a character I like.

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

© Lilly Schwartz 2016

Nailed the focus again. Far easier when the subject matter isn’t running away!

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