Vintage Glass

Vintage Glass

There’s no surprise that I love bokeh! If you were to look at my work, it’s pretty much all over the place.  I can’t have enough depth of field when it comes to my photographs!  As you may not know, I photograph all my subjects manually. I’m not talking about manual settings on a camera (that’s a given for any professional photographer and duh, I utilize that), but I’m talking about I manual focus my subjects… and gasp… even with working with kids.

Now, I’m telling you it’s not the easiest to do, of course automatic would be the easiest option, but if you have enough patience (which I totally do) than it can be done.  My thing is I like full control over everything I photograph.  I also think it adds to my overall look of my images. People love the depth of field, yet the softness of my backgrounds. Going manual has helped to achieve the look I always wanted!!!


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I find up close with this lens is its sweet spot. As seen here! Taken in my South Jersey backyard.

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A little bit further away and the bokeh becomes a bit distracting. I put this in black and white to see it for yourself. This is my little model.

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At a much greater distance, I find this bokeh to be really distracting! It is definitely an interesting effect nonetheless.

There’s no surprise that I like vintage glass, as I like to shoot in manual, I can pretty much shoot with lenses that are over 50 years old with the right adapter to my camera. I have focus peaking which helps tremendously when I shoot. In fact, I couldn’t shoot the way I do, without it.  It would be full automatic for me.

I recently picked up the Russian Helios 44:2 58mm. This lens I’ve put through some test runs and it’s rather neat and bizarre at the same time.  These are dirt cheap on ebay and decided to give it a shot.  So here are my first test runs with the lens.

Since it has doughnut bokeh and it is a defect in the lens to give you that swirly bokeh, you need to find the sweet spot with it.  I’ve found it works better for up close subjects AND only one subject. If another subject is add the swirly bokeh tends to pick up on one of the subjects, making it look rather weird!!!

I’m not sure I will ever bring this out on shoots, as it’s kind of hit or miss! I find the bokeh a bit distracting at times and this is the bokeh queen talking! It’s a bit TOO crazy for my general liking!  I’m going to run it through some more test runs! Maybe I’ll bring it out for an occasional photo shoot from time to time.  I think a nice maternity baby bump photo would be kind of cool with this!

I know I’ll continue on trying new things as that’s what makes us special as photographers!!! I love going outside the comfort zone! I’d say to try this lens out. It’s a cheap find and I’ve seen some interesting effects out there with it!

Happy Shooting, South Jersey!  Try it out. The petzval will give you the same effect!


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