For a while now I’ve been admiring the painterly quality achieved by some of my favourite landscape photographers. I’m starting to feel like I’m making progress. It’s all very ironic. Most of the time photography is about striving for sharpness. I suppose being able to turn softness on and off is some indication of mastery. I’m not claiming mastery, but I have learned that landscape photography is about limiting the field of view to a few simple objects. And if that’s not a metaphor for life, what is the point of photography?
More effective LARGE.
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N, the little gem that time forgot. Manufactured for one purpose, this lens has a special ability. When you project an image from a photographic negative onto a piece of flat, rectangular photographic paper, you want the image to be sharp and even all the way out to the corners. And that means you want a planar lens, which is what the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N is. Good planar lenses are not easy to make. If you buy one with Zeiss written on the side you can pay a thousand pounds. But the world doesn’t want to project images onto flat, rectangular photographic paper any more, so the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N languishes on eBay for thirty quid. But what if you took a lens that could project a sharp and even image from a photographic negative onto a piece of flat, rectangular photographic paper and bought a few cheap Chinese metal rings from eBay that allowed you to fit an EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N onto a camera the other way round? Why, then you’d have a high quality planar lens which could capture sharp, flat and even optical slices of an object and enlarge them onto the sensor. Which would be perfect for focus stacking. All for thirty quid. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N. The lens that the world doesn’t want any more. Thrown on the scrapheap at 60 years old. Not that this is in any way allegorical. No siree bob.
EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/250 ISO 800