This morning, my mentor in photography swinged by
He said he is leaving a lens with me, his extra copy. But beneath his words I get it that he wants to spark something in me– to take me back to memory lane (yeah, back in the film days; the days when I was practicing on an Olympus OM1) and to remind me that digital started from the full manuals.
Nikon 35mm f2
So the moment it gets mounted on my Nikon D90 body, my smile went up to my ears.
I noticed that
- You need to set the camera focus knob from AF to M. No auto-focus! Focus using the lens focus ring.
- Camera’s aperture setting will not work (flashing F on the viewfinder). Aperture must be set by dialing aperture ring on the lens.
- Camera’s metering will not work. You won’t get a digital clue if you are shooting over or underexposed. Your real light meter is your eyes anyway and that is the goal, to learn to trust your photographic instincts. Of course, you can look at the result in the DSLR’s LCD after the click (but that’s cheating!)
What I like about it:
- Manual. Manual. Manual. Nuff said. Putting full control in your hands. Connect this to why I prefer manual trany in my car.
- It confuses me and gets me asking “Am I holding a DSLR or an SLR?”. I love the confusion it gives me, and probably those who can see me using the lens?
- It is built like a tank for having full metal construction. For something that was built circa 70s to 80s, it definitely survived 20+ years and counting.
- I can shoot decent photos in dimly lit places without flash and with lesser noise. Sample frame below of my son’s pet green turtle (shot in a badly lit room with flourescent 14W bulb)
- Bokeh. Google what that Japanese word is.
In photography, the leisure of today’s digital can only be understood if you look (and use stuff from) backwards!