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Thread: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

  1. #21
    (Shrek)
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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    As an exercise it is valuable, but it doesn't have to be conducted in LF.

    Since I also shoot for myself, it doesn't really matter if I come back with anything good, but I do enjoy the focus that having a single available angle of view gives me. Though it doesn't work (for me) with a wide-angle, it needs to be a 'normal' or slight tele to force me into composing rather than just taking whatever comes into view.

  2. #22

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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    Hi Jac, I'm not a huge fan of the haloing but do enjoy the softness to a point. It's an older compound shutter and I've measured the aperture and use that in the traditional sense. For my tastes I prefer the flexibility and working parameters when using it with the shutters aperture. It's not the secondary out of focus overlay from the tiny holes that I enjoy. It's the shape and draw of the lens used traditionally. I usually use it at F11 and 16. It has a weird focus representation that I'm still learning. The 200 is a shy in resolution at the edges but illuminates well. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	softfocus F11.jpg 
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ID:	139554 Here is a test file at F11 just getting a sense for how the lens sees and what it does with dark and light out of focus areaas. I find the groundglass is quite different than the neg. Hope that helps.

    Regards Lee

  3. #23

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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    I'm a lens pervert... it's a harem for me... none of that monogamous nonsense That bought on a good laugh.

  4. #24

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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    Hi Kirk,

    "But once I had exhausted that idea and was ready to move on"

    Great quote Kirk.

    I think that is it in a nutshell. I feel I am reaching my personal limits with the idea of approaching a subject with absolute sharpness, clarity and making a pretty picture. I am exploring a way to see into and beyond my subjects.

    Thank yo again for the continued discussion.

    Lee

  5. #25

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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    Almost every photographer in the History of Photography (Newhall) shot with one lens at a time, for fifteen years or so. I use one lens 95% of the time, a normal, and on occasion I have one a little longer (240 A) when I see something that is across a barrier of some kind, like a stream.... Those rarely work...

    When you take on this practice, it tunes your eye to exactly what will fit in the frame.... it's a great exercise... it will definitely enhance your work.

    It is, after all, a practice of finding out who you are and what you prefer. Kirk likes big scenes, and does them well. I am more interested in what's right in front of me. I don't ever look far out and see something I like.... and wish for the 500mm Tele I sold... After enough of them I just realize its not who I am. These are personal values, of course, we're all different.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  6. #26
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeSimmons View Post
    Hi Kirk,

    "But once I had exhausted that idea and was ready to move on"

    Great quote Kirk.

    I think that is it in a nutshell. I feel I am reaching my personal limits with the idea of approaching a subject with absolute sharpness, clarity and making a pretty picture. I am exploring a way to see into and beyond my subjects.

    Thank yo again for the continued discussion.

    Lee
    Your welcome. I used to also own and carry a 65 and 450 also but never used them and sold them. In fact I also don't often use the 90 or 305. The 120 and 210 do the heavy labor.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #27
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Eastern Seaboard Blues again...
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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    "One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration?" Yes, to both.

    I limit myself to one lens... at a time! But it's not unusual to switch lenses in the studio when I want something longer, shorter, contrastier, faster, or with different aberrations. I could live with one lens, and did for many years. But when you learn the differences, it's nice to have the choice. Sticking with a single lens is a good exercise, but so is switching lenses and learning the differences. The real trouble comes when everything you do is practice, trials, tests, and exercises...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #28
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    I often go out with the 4x5 and one lens with the idea that I will pursue a particular style of subject matter that day:

    Spaces? Take the 75mm
    Places? Take the 135mm.
    Things? Take the 210mm.

    The following day I'll take a different lens to catch all the interesting stuff I saw but wasn't equipped for.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  9. #29

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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    Great input again.

    Maris that is also a solid way to think about it. Great thoughts and discussion. Noosa - that's great. I grew up on the gold coast and have fond memories of Noosa. I moved to Canada about 20 years ago. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Mark Too true. Hence the post trying to skip over too much testing and move to visually speaking.

    Lenny - These are personal values. agreed and for me defining those is more than half the battle.

  10. #30

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    Re: One lens - artistic zen or a limiting frustration

    One lens? Sure.
    Get an 8x10 and one lens may be all you can afford, or physically carry in your kit.
    I spent a few years with only one lens (14") and later only added on what I could use for certain situations, like a light, svelte little G Claron for back packing, a WF Ektar with acres of wiggle room for architecture, and a 19" Artar for the Grand View and I enjoy them all, but if pressed I could get by with just one, no problem---in fact on most photo shoots I'll take but one and sometimes a back up.
    Go on a trip with only one lens---it's quite liberating!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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