Rider in the Rain

I’m afraid I’m falling back into my old habits.  I put the 50mm f1.4 on this morning (couldn’t sleep) and wandered around the UES in the pre-dawn hours.  The 50mm is smaller than the other lenses I’ve been using – I don’t need to worry about distortion, and I was always a 50mm f1.4 man.  The camera just seems balanced and light in my hands.  Surely quiet compared to the cameras I used when I was 15… and all in all, a very nice walking around combination.

I’m not saying that I caught any fish this morning – only that it felt right to be nestled under my favorite tree enveloped by an early mist strolling off the glimmering surface of the lake.  You don’t need to catch any fish to enjoy eating the image.



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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

6 thoughts on “Rider in the Rain”

  1. I am very attached to my EF 50/1.4. Canon makes an excellent lens. But not too long ago, I decided to buy a Carl Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 ZE for the Canon. This lens has incredible contrast and sharpness. It’s not a drawback for me, but it is not an auto-focus lens. On the Canon, it feels like I’ve gone back to one of the T-90s I owned with an FD 50mm lens attached!

  2. There was a time – in another life – when I used to study the MTF charts of lenses very seriously. I can’t think of the name of the site – or whether it still exists – but I think it was Swedish… which had MTF charts for most popular lenses.

    It was amazing to see that at a technical level in terms of resolution and light fall off – the fairly inexpensive Canon f1.4 was up there with lenses costing $2500.

    I always liked (who wouldn’t) the Contax lenses, esp. the 50 1.4, and the 85 1.4 (though it wasn’t great wide open). But stopped down the 85mm was quite amazing.

    But over the years I’ve settled on a few lenses in the Canon line that have worked well for me, and the Canon 50 f1.4 – it takes me back to when I was just starting with photography (let’s say 40 years ago).

    It always surprised me to look at other camera systems to see that either they didn’t offer a 50 f1.4 or that it was ultra expensive.

  3. Dave – although you may not have caught any fish, I would say that area you were shooting in is a good “fishing spot”. Love the idea of figures walking/riding through a dark misty environment and reflections on the wet pavement – but then I like Brassai and Sudek. You certainly are in good company.

    After having experimented with a Olympus 50mm F1.2, I decided my Canon 50mm f1.4 was plain easier to work with as it auto focused. With the ultra thin DOF it was just too difficult for me to reliably use the Olympus with me as the autofocus mechanism!

    The Canon 50mm – at least mine – is admirably sharp wide open center frame, reasonably inexpensive, and for the most part well made. It might be nice to see an updated version but I’m sure it would be more expensive.

    The Contax lens reissues are kinda a mixed bag in my opinion. I cant remember all the details so wont elaborate in detail but some like the 21mm are just incredible and others were not really better than a Nikon or Canon “L”. They missed the boat as there were a number of years when both Nikon and Canon had poor wide angle options. But recently both companies have released some rather nice lenses. I was considering the 21mm Zeiss but instead purchased the new Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II. It’s just as sharp and I have tilt and shift adjustments.

  4. I wondered a little when you posted
    that you were buying the 5D with a
    28mm lens. I had you pegged as a 50mm

    To my mind the 50mm on a 135 frame
    usually works well, unless your willing
    to shoot 100s of frames a day like
    Gary Winnogrand and just pick out the
    cherries where the converging verticals
    and other angles come together.

    That said I’m going to experiment with
    a 40mm, (equivalent) later today.


    P.S. How about starting a site for
    camera addicts. Something that helps us
    to be happy with the equipment we have,
    rather than constantly searching for
    the ideal set-up?

    P.P.S. Just kidding!

  5. I thought it would be a great idea to start a clinic for camera addicts. CA. Cameras annonymous.

    I believe that as more and more people get into photography you’ll have an epidemic of CAMERA ADDICTS. Worse than the crack epidemic.

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