The Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Super-Heliar V1

Sometimes you should listen to the voices in your head and sometimes you shouldn’t. Do not run with scissors in traffic. Do not befriend Nigerian royalty. Do not shave your head and climb that bell-tower. But if the voices are telling you to hang onto a particular lens, that someday you’ll figure out what it’s good for, and that someday you’ll figure out how to use it correctly, then listen.  Continue reading “The Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Super-Heliar V1”

Print Your Photos (Probably a better title out there)

You shot your rolls of film, developed them or had them developed. You looked at the prints (or jewel-like slides)– the only way to look at your photos unless they were published — and decided which ones you liked. When you were learning photography you looked at the negatives and picked one. You held those little frames to the light or looked at them through a loupe over a light table. You made contact sheets and looked at those through a magnifying glass, at tiny windows into the worlds of your own past. They were full of mystery, tiny little scenes that you had chosen, burned into silver halide, glowing frames of silvery greys and blacks, the direct opposite of what you had seen. It was up to you to think about them, think about what you wanted. Then you had to turn the lights off, turn on the red light, fit that chosen frame into a holder, fit it into a larger frame, make decisions and then commit to it. You held your breath and pushed the button and the light came on, changing the photo paper invisibly, immediately, and forever. You took that piece of paper and slipped it beneath the developer. Again you held your breath, waiting, wondering. Would it come in a rush of overexposed blacks or a tentative, underexposed outline of whites and greys? Or had you calculated correctly when you committed light to the paper as you had when you opened the camera’s shutter to expose the film.  Continue reading “Print Your Photos (Probably a better title out there)”

The 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar ZM

Highway heading into a storm on the Navajo Reservation, Northern Arizona, Leica M-P 240, Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar ZM – Photo © Andrew Tonn 

When I bought a digital Leica I wanted a new lens to go with it.  There was no question that this lens would be 50mm.  I use other focal lengths (and have nothing against buying used optics) but, in this case, I wanted a new lens for the new camera.  When I bought a Leica M6ttl in 2001, I briefly used an antique 50mm f/2 Summar, but was soon able to acquire well-used 50mm f/2 Summicron from the 1970s.  I bought the Summar for $150 from an acquaintance and the second hand Summicron for $500 at the now sadly deceased F-Stop Camera in Akron, Ohio.  That lens has served me well but, when I decided to buy the digital M-P 240, the Summicron was in for repairs.  Anyway, I wanted a new lens for my new Leica and the M6 would be lonely and jealous if I confiscated its friend Summicron.  I like to maintain harmony in my stable of cameras after all. Continue reading “The 50mm f/2 Zeiss Planar ZM”

Cole Barash’s Smokejumpers: Field Research

Photo from Smokejumpers, © Cole Barash

Photographer Cole Barash’s recent collaboration with the brand Filson takes us to a side of forestry firefighting we rarely see, in a year plagued by major fires across the states, from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Pacific Northwest. From intimate portraits to striking images of these brave men and women at work protecting the forest, the scale of these fires is felt in each image from Barash.  Continue reading “Cole Barash’s Smokejumpers: Field Research”

5 Days In Kathmandu

Leica M Monochrome, 15mm f/4.5 Voigtlander Super Heliar, Temple steps, Durbar Square (Photo by Andrew Tonn ©

There were times when our two years in Mumbai seemed an eternity.  I knew the time would pass quickly, however, that every day, strange as it was, would crossfade into the next and that sooner, rather than later, we would be headed back to the airport, boarding a flight out, and that everything undone would most likely stay undone.

Continue reading “5 Days In Kathmandu”

The Leica Summaron 35/ƒ2.8 M

The owner of Brittania & Company, one of the classic old Parsi restaurants in old Bombay. Leica M-P (Photo, Andrew Tonn ©)
ARLINGTON — Of all the Leica M lenses out in the world, there is one in particular that does not seem to gets its due.  That lens is the 35mm f/2.8 Summaron, a lens made from 1958-1974.  Continue reading “The Leica Summaron 35/ƒ2.8 M”

Nikon LTM 35/f3.5 and 28/f3.5 Review

The Nikon LTM glass, classic by any standard. But how good have they held up? This is what I set out to discover as I collected good examples of these lenses and got to work. Testing for the 35mm and 28mm was conducted on the Leica M9-Monochrome and Leica SL with Leica adaptors.  I was let down by the 50/f1.4, finding it to be very soft wide open and what’s the point in having fast glass if you can’t shoot it wide open?

Get ready, there’s a lot of images in this one!  Continue reading “Nikon LTM 35/f3.5 and 28/f3.5 Review”

The Nikon LTM 50mm f1.4 Lens Review

The 50mm is still and always has been a staple of mine. Over 20+ years, I’ve never been without a decently fast 50mm. To say I was excited getting my hands on a mint Nikon LTM 50mm f1.4 without any flaws or dust, fungus etc in the glass, well excited would be an understatement.  Continue reading “The Nikon LTM 50mm f1.4 Lens Review”