11.29.2019

Walking in a soft, Fall rain with a camera and an old lens. Getting wet is part of the process. Makes you appreciate getting warm and dry....

This is the view of downtown from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge just west of downtown proper. 

We had a lovely Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. But after spending a lot of time socializing it's nice to spend a bit of time doing some walking meditation with a camera. Even if it is raining and a bit chilly. 

Natives like to think of Austin as a first tier city where everything is super-cool and something outrageously fun is always happening, but I'm here to tell you that it was like a ghost town in downtown the day after Thanksgiving. I walked through about two miles of tall buildings and shorter shops and only saw a few dozen people out on the streets. Well, a few dozen in addition to the homeless. 

I did a few assignments earlier in the week which involved people and some lifestyle and I got a lot of use out of my new ├╝ber lenses (the Panasonic S Pro 50mm and the Sigma 85mm Art) but on a walk through a quiet urban environment, wrapped on all sides by a gentle, misting rain, I thought a more subdued and understated lens would fit better. I reached across my chaotic desk and grasped my older 50mm Contax f1.7 lens and put it on the front of the S1R instead.

It's actually a good fit. Literally and figuratively. The cheap adapter seems to do the job just right and the lens is really pretty good at making photographs. Okay when used wide open but much, much better at f4.0 and f5.6. Still, in a side-by-side comparison the Lumix lens is like tech from an advanced civilization. Not that you'd really see much difference looking on a website...

The old, Carl Zeiss lens does one thing much better than the Lumix Pro S, it lightens your walk-around burden and makes the camera/lens package pretty perfectly sized for recreational imaging. For some reason I've warmed up to it on the S1R body more so than I have developed any affection for the Sigma 45mm f2.8. But I'll chalk that up to being more comfortable with a lens I've owned across years and camera systems rather than as a mark against the Sigma.

I didn't have a rain cover for the camera and lens but I tightened up the neckstrap so the camera would sit up under my left arm (I wear the strap on my left shoulder). My arm, in my voluminous hoodie, blocked most of the rain and mist and I also cover the top of the camera with my favorite bandana as an extra layer of protection. I understand that the camera is supposed to be splash resistant but the lens and adapter are bare and bereft of casketing and protective engineering so I'm loathe to take chances. No matter. It barely slows me down. 

I do love these kinds of days. It's one time at which all the dynamic range in the world is largely meaningless as the water in the atmosphere and the close cloud cover render the shadow/highlight ratio as 1:1. You won't really be worried about blowing highlights on a day like today...




Curious to hear if anyone (besides me) took advantage of the open box sale at B&H on the S1R. I paid $3700 for my first one so I couldn't resist dollar cost averaging and paying $1800-something for a second one. We'll see if "open box" is all it's cracked up to sometime in the middle of next week.... I hope that great return policy is still place. Just in case. 

7 comments:

Unknown said...

As you noted the rain, clouds, mist and the quality of the older lens creates a wonderful atmospheric affect.
Cityscapes look as they should to my eye, somewhat gray and foreboding, mist enshrouded. Does wonders for muting colors.

Anonymous said...

So, stereo Lumix S1Rs AND stereo Lumix S1s? Zero to sixty in one week?

ODL Designs said...

That's a pretty good deal!! I noticed there are some good savings to be had South of the border... A Pentax 645z plus lens for under 5k caught my eye... But I resisted :)

I must have missed some posts, do you have 4 of the Panasonic bodies now?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

ODL....Hmmmm. I count three today. Two of the S1 cameras (because work cameras should always travel in pairs) and one of the higher resolution S1R bodies. I expect the count of S1R bodies to increase by the end of this coming week (shipping time) as I attempt to "cost average" the high price stuff. Kinda crazy but kinda par for the course at VSL. As you have no doubt become aware....

ODL Designs said...

Sounds good... But also like a lot of cameras... I assume you are planning a few multi camera video projects?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

The S1s, both with V-Log upgrade, are perfect for A:B camera shoots. We haven't done a "single camera" interview in several years... the S1Rs are the "big advertising shoot" cameras. And I use the current one as a "personal/art" camera. But the high res model isn't really a slouch when it comes to video either....

Michael Matthews said...

So that’s who snagged it. I noticed the B&H ad offering the half-price S1R later led to a “more coming soon” note. If they’re just opening a box every once in a while to create a bit of excitement on the internet there’s a good chance yours has never even been handled. Such a deal!

I ordered the G9 and on your earlier advice won’t look back. Won’t look forward either, as I’m sure its replacement is already en route. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find Panasonic has quietly been making its micro 4/3 lenses with an image circle large enough to cover an APS-C sensor? And that all they have to do is drop it in to launch an entire new line?