I swear it’s not vaseline

Getting back into shooting with some old Leica lenses on my OM-D E-M5II.  Still amazed how super sharp all lenses were when stopped down to F2.8.  When apreture opens up to F1.4 that’s when the lens’ real character comes out.  I swear I didn’t smear vaseline on the 35 mm Summilux (Canada).

35mm can @ 2.8

Summilux 35mm (Canada) @ F2.8

35mm can @ 1.4

Summilux 35mm (Canada) @ F1.4

Sample image comparison from Leica M9 and Canon 5D Mark II

Leica M9 – 1/125 at f / 2.0, ISO 160

Canon 5D Mark II – 1/125 at f / 1.8, ISO 100

Leica M9 – 1/125 at f / 2.0, ISO 320

Canon 5D Mark II – 1/125 at f / 1.6, ISO 250

Leica M9 with the Summilux M 35 pre-asph gives that special Leica glow especially around the highlights and high contrast borders.  Downside is the horrible coma effect around the point light sources which are absent from the Canon lens.  Amazing what difference 20 + years of lens development makes.  Your preference?

February 7th 2012 Update: 100% Crops

Here are some 100% crops of the above images:

Leica M9 – 1/125 at f / 2.0, ISO 320

Canon 5D Mark II – 1/125 at f / 1.6, ISO 250

Hyperfocal Focusing

Hyperfocal focusing is a must learn technique for those interested in street photography. It’s not as hard as it sounds and is actually quite intuitive once you understand the concept.  To get started all you have to do is to determine the range at which your subject will most likely appear.  The trick is to anticipate the action before you execute the shot.

Let’s say your subject is walking towards you and you want to take a photo of them when they are at least 3 meters away.  To make sure that everything is in focus from 3 meters to infinity you place the 3 meters marker on the focus dial to the center dot.  Then read off the aperture setting at the infinity mark and set the aperture to that setting.  Press the shutter button and as long as the subject is within this range they will be in focus.

This opens up all sorts of possibilities as you can then have the camera away from your eye or even body.  No longer worried about focusing on the subject new angles and perspectives can be experimented with.  And because the camera is not held up to your eye you can also take pictures very discretely.  Sometimes this enables you to move right up to the subject and take the shot.