Photo walk with Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Summer is almost here. Some days my eyes open at 4am with either crows screaming at the tree tops, or old people chatting during their morning walk. Or simply because the morning sun brightens up the sky outside while my curtain is left open over night to let breeze in. It is crazy Japan does not take up daylight saving. With so many hours of day light, not even the train is operating. Even on a Sunday morning I woke up so early. Normally I would just roll around in bed or go back to sleep. But today I jumped out of bed, hardly able to wait for the day to start. By the time I had enough of image making for the morning it was just after 7am. Since when I let go of the Roadster, it may be the first time I was so eager to get the day started.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

At the park nearby, in the light from still low morning sun people were walking or jogging, but not a single photographer other than me.  The reason for my early start was to try out and practice using the new glassware I acquired the day before. Somebody I know was using the same glassware with his Fuji. I was totally overwhelmed by the feeling that he was creating. Surely most of it must have come from his own skill, as he is something of a master when it comes to capturing the sense of space. The ‘new’ lens is actually from the 1960s. However, I was able to find a piece that is in a very good working condition with little wear on the outside as well. The owner of the shop was saying to a customer before me – ‘there is nothing else that can last for 50 years with only regular service, apart from cameras and lenses.’ I am not interested in collecting precious items to put them on the shelf; but I must thank the one who kept this glassware in such good condition in his collection.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Looking for different subjects to practice with, I find the simply beautiful Vespa and the VW that is parked outside a small hair salon nearby.

The saturation of the colours in the morning light was brought out in the Velvia film mode, which brings about the extra high saturation. I think it worked well to what I was looking for for the morning.

 

All the images are from the in-camera JPEG, resized down to embed in this blog. There seem to be quite a bit of image quality loss due to that process.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

On Saturday when I went to buy this, my head was full of somebody else’s images through the same glassware. But today, I was able to focus on what comes up in my mind. 90mm is certainly longer than lenses I am used to using. So it took a bit of practice getting used to the angle of view. I also had water on my mind, and I walked up to the temple nearby.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

One way of using this is like these – pretty much the same as what I did with Sigma DG Macro 70mm macro on the canon digital. The Elmarit won’t let me shoot at macro distance, but that is a separate project.

 

With the narrow angle of view, it is suitable for focusing on just a delicate tune or capture the feeling of an occasion. Also I was quite impressed by the way the light spread about.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Long glass like 90mm, with the aperture wide-open at F2.8 with the subject at the shortest range, the depth of field is minimal. I think I would prefer to close it down a stop or a stop-and-a-half, which should produce a far more delicate transition from the space in focus and the space before and after.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

It is a pretty sharp piece, and it demands you to shoot even at F2.8 wide-open. Focus is critical, as even a milimitre in the front or the back would make a big difference in how the images are seen. X-E1’s finder is a little small for it, to be honest. X-Pro2 would be one of the obvious choices, now that its initial production lot is out of shop shelves, replaced by slightly improved full-production units now. But I couldn’t really pay as much as 200,000 yen for a camera body. Narrow lens like this would force me to shoot a portrait framing (rather than horizontal), but X-T1 is out of question, really… I suppose I should just focus on making good images.

Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8

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