Zeiss 50mm Sonnar f1.5

Camera Corner – Repost

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I shot an M7 with tons of drug store film for two years, scanned the negatives with a Plustek scanner. I think that impacts or influences my choices in post processing. Images like this look a lot like some of my film scans in similar light. Colors are maybe a little punchier. They don’t, at all, look like or remotely even remind me of the color results I got from my M9.

You’d have to ask the manufacturer of the camera as to why that might be. 😉

There seems to be so much mystery surrounding this subject in terms of clear and exact information from Leica. But that’s okay. I don’t care.  For the most part, I remain very happy with the color results I get from my M-E. Every once in a while I seem to run up against a dead end where I can’t seem to shake the weird color casts, but that’s actually rather a rare occurrence. Happy times!

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Low Light Street Shooting with the Zeiss 50mm 1.5 Sonnar

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All from a moving car, by the way. Not really worrying about ISO numbers or noise. I have to say, I shot with the 50mm 1.5 Sonnar for over a year on my M7. I’m probably more comfortable using it than any other M-mount lens. It’s very instinctive shooting for me. Love the color, sharpness, everything. Hope everyone enjoys the shots.

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Girls on Film

Angelinos en película

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T-Max 3200 at Beverly Hills Fashion’s Night Out 2011

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Pictures of a Bus Stop

I think images should require something from the person who is looking upon them. A photograph doesn’t or shouldn’t have to be obvious in order to be something that holds some value. I think this image could be taken as an example of that. I don’t want to say much more about the picture itself. It either makes a statement to you or it doesn’t. It made a statement to me.

Now it has a sequel. The top image was shot almost a year ago and was taken with the Zeiss 50mm Sonnar 1.5. I think the color representation of that lens is evident in the image. That lens is just stellar and classic. The second image, the one at the bottom of this post, was taken with the Leica 50mm Summilux 1.4 ASPH, and I think the color signature of that lens is also amazingly evident in this shot.

I call the color I get from my 50’lux ‘comic book color’ and I mean that as a high compliment, although some people have taken issue with that characterization. I think you can see what I mean by that description, however, by looking at this image in comparison to the Zeiss image.

The 50’lux  does the most stunning job of slapping an abundance of the primary colors all over the film plane. I love it. I’m addicted to it. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I couldn’t live without it at this point. 😉

Both were taken with (shhhh!) Walgreens 400 ISO film. Light was much different, though. The first image was taken in sunlight, and the second was taken after the sun was down behind the buildings. Aperture opens up and everything here in Los Angeles at that time is bathed in a fantastic blue glow, I’ve always imagined because of the close proximity of the mighty Pacific.

My plan is to shoot more images like this that are attempting to make statements (even if only to me) that express the humanity of my subjects and hint at some of the complexities of their lives and their predicaments and the costs of their struggles as shown on their faces.

There are so many cliches surrounding the largely Mexican American immigrant base in California and the United States.

I’m not expressing a political perspective with what I hope to be an ongoing photographic project. But the Hispanic population, their families, their contributions, and their various ‘roles’ in what makes up Los Angeles is so complex that the cliches and the level of understanding around the country of their presence here amounts to an affront to true cultural understanding.

Being Mexican in Los Angeles, or El Salvadorian or Guatemalan, be it as an illegal or as a someone born of legal immigrants, with rare exception, is to live a life that makes you collectively part of the cheap labor engine that enables so many of the rest of us here to live crisp clean unburdened lives. Los Angeles is a story that is built, not just historically, but every single day, upon the labor of this population base.

There is a flip side to this story, of course, which is the effect that having such a massive cheap labor population base made up of one ethnicity has on other, even American-born, ethnicities. But these pictures can only tell the story that they tell, and it is, I think, an important one to tell.

Thanks for looking, and long live FILM.

Lovely and Adorable

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The Scowl as a Fashion Accessory

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It’s Chinatown, Jake…

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Great article on LA’s Chinatown and the decline and changes that have occurred there in the last two decades. Read it here.

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Inked Up

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Hollywood Jewels: Part 1

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Fast glass in fading light…

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Sunset Blvd

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Dilapidated mansion on Sunset in Beverly Hills. Just like that one in the movie. Seemingly abandoned. But who knows? Maybe there’s a monkey playing the organ in there.

Pretty Shabby Chic: Fashion’s Night Out 2011 in Beverly Hills

Reposting an old entry from last year for all my new beauty and fashion followers.

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Getting back to some Leica photography. The date has been announced for the annual Fashion’s Night Out 2012 and it is September 6th.

Sooo… this entry today here at 50lux.com has a triple purpose.

First, I would like to give Leica and other lowlight shooters a heads-up to the coming FNO extravaganza, Vogue Magazine’s world-wide phenomena and to let you all know that this very impressive event is probably coming to a city somewhere near you.

It’s an incredible opportunity to get out and photograph great style and beauty and all in the vibrant colors and exact low-light conditions where our super-fast Leica glass really shows its stuff.

Second, of course, I want to showcase my own humble efforts in that regard from last year. All the images you see here were shot on film, with my trusty M7. Mostly with a Zeiss 50mm Sonnar f1.5 mounted, but there’s more…

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Liquid and Cool

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Tonight is Fashion’s Night Out 2012 in Beverly Hills

I’ll be there shooting 400 and 800 speed color film. Hope to have a lot of great images in a few days. Here are a couple from last year’s event.

Slivers of Quirk and Light

There is a fairly famous street/fine art photographer whose style is images with mostly shadow area and only sunlight to illuminate his subject’s profound humanity as displayed on their faces. His name escapes me as I write this but I think he would certainly qualify as a king in the world of those who stalk the light.

I didn’t know about his work over the many years when I would employ a similar solution to the difficult light here in the city of Los Angeles. The profundity of it all only became apparent to me after the fact, I have to admit.

I’m very often looking for some revealing expression on the face of subjects on the street. Something that reveals what I may see that someone else might not see that I can maybe photograph as proof or evidence that it exists. But somehow the combination of this natural spotlight on the faces of subjects combined with some moment of human vulnerability revealed on those faces seems to me to be over the top. It works great for this other photographer, but it wouldn’t feel right to me.

I find it works better for me in order to isolate a person or group but more from a distance where it may be something about their posture or circumstance or a gesture that I find interesting. I don’t have a lot to say about this all right now. But I hope the pictures have something to say to you.

These are all shot on film. Leica M7 with either the Zeiss 50 1.5 Sonnar or the Leica 35 2.0 Summicron ASPH

Thanks for looking.

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Keepin’ it Real

Downtown Los Angeles on a glaring Saturday morning this spring. Leica M7, Walgreens 200.

Peace, please…

Sometimes the message gets lost in the flow and crush of humanity. Click on the image for a larger version.

Fashion’s Night Out Beverly Hills 2011: T-MAX P3200

Leica M7, Zeiss 50 Sonnar 1.5, T-MAX P3200 (click for larger version)

Nothing much to say here. Just a slideshow from a couple of rolls of this very fast and grainy film. I liked it. I just didn’t really have the easiest time scanning it. Actually shooting it was also something to get used to as well. Would have to get used to it and think about shooting it much differently than I did.