Last weekend I made an impulsive purchase of the Leica Elmarit 90mm F2.8. Then in the following days I received another glassware that I had ordered before that. I headed out to the street after work for test shoot. What is this new guy like?
Arriving back home, I used the limited light in the room, I looked through this new piece for some familiar objects.
One of the things my brother told me to try when I moved to Tokyo 2 years ago – the Ajinomoto brand frozen gyoza dumpings. It tastes as good as it looks, and it is SO easy to cook quickly after getting home tired!
Last weekend I took the German girl out from the first thing in the morning hardly waiting for the sun to come up. Unfortunately, in the monsoon season, mornings are either rainy or overcast. It is relatively well-lit out there, but I had in my mind a scene in which there is a clear sense of light direction, so I stayed in, counting hours to get up and go to work. Instead, I again picked up the objects nearby and did shot some details. I must say, I quite like the feeling that this guy brings.
Mid-week, I had a chance to wrap up the day job on time. Coming home, I swapped to walking shoes and followed a similar route to the one that I did Elmarit trial on.
Similar shots at F2.8 and F5.6. This lens has smooth aperture dial that does not give you any ‘feedback’ or clicks. I took my eye away from the view finder, turned the dial to the desired F stop, and look again. For that, you may notice a bit of difference in the point of focus. Looking for a strong noticeable difference, I gave it 2-stop difference. At 5.6, the background is a bit too noisy to my taste. Surprisingly (or not?) the image is very good wide open. The drop out looks almost soft and elegant. All images are shot raw, and I used the tone curve to give it the anchoring shadow/black points in image, which might have added to how the background with its relatively strong contrast stood out.
The potted flower I photographed in the previous walk now had a few more popped open. Check out the previous post and compare vs the Elmarit 90mm image of the same flower.
My favourite shot of the day – I should find out whether the owner of the house is a famous flower artist or something. It is quite astonishing what is done with a single bamboo running in the middle, with the illusion of flying… you know what.
Please use colour-correct devices like Mac, multi-media PC or iOS/Android tablet. This image looked to have shocking magenta in the flowers when seen in the same monitor at home but connected to an office laptop. Some computers were not built or calibrated to show correct colours…
You’ll get this next image if you lived in Japan and read Japanese…
The morning light was literally flowing out from the reflective surface of the handrails the other morning. This evening, as the sun has already gone beyond the horizon, it is a very different mood.
I took a bit of time to get this tone curve to what I like. Even in the JPEG straight out of camera, there was a good separation between the focused surface and the space behind it. This image was shot from several metres out, at F2.8 wide open.
In this darkness, the digital viewfinder of my Fuji is way too bright. It is set to a fixed brightness. I always use histogram within my finder to get the sense of exposure level, but when the image through the finder is bright, it tricks you. Auto-brightness is not a good idea on viewfinder, as it keeps changing brightness according to whatever the reason, and it is really had to make the right call. What I would need is a mode switch button or manual dial on the side of view finder, with which I can switch between: super bright (sunny day under the sun), standard, dusk/indoor and dark. Get rid of the annoying opt-adjuster dial that keeps turning against my will (why the hell no ‘lock button’ on this??? People’s eyes do not get better or worse in a course of a day’s photo shoot, usually.)
Besides the brightness, the other usability challenge is the vertical grip. Not as much as the 90mm, but even at 50mm on APS-C, there is a tendency to shoot vertical frame and it would make sense to address ergonomics now.
Despite those challenges, the image of flowers in the dark above, I am pretty happy as I got it as I intended.
And here is a look at the Russian. The INDUSTAR-61L/Z-MC 50mm/f2.8 Macro of 1982 production – it is a modern lens with a good cost-per-performance. It ticked – dry and sharp, good close-up (it comes with extender tubes, too), compact, manual focus and not so super telephoto when used on APS-C frame of Fuji’s. I feel I’ve been lucky for couple of weeks in a row!