For my approach to photography I find that 50mm makes sense for a lens with the greatest capacity for intimacy in an image. 90mm is my go-to for street composition involving large scale geometry and light/shadow play. 21mm is for wide scenes, and an emphasis on scale and perspective. This leaves 50 for portraits and photojournalism where I feel comfortable moving quickly through a crowd, or taking candid shots. Zone focusing is easier than with 90, which needs precision on the rangefinder for spot on focus. Everyone’s use of lenses is different, and some may prefer a 35mm for the kind of photojournalism I just described.
If you’ve been following this series of posts about the path I’ve been walking to find myself a perfect classic Sonnar, you will have likely come to the conclusion that I’ve become a big fan of the Jupiter-8. My experiences finding such an appreciation have culminated in a fairly unusual and – at least without significant knowhow – difficult to repeat outcome. But considering how happy I am, it would be entirely remiss not to document it.
Early experiences with Soviet cameras left a lasting impression. I have always wondered what I would think if I used these cameras again today, after more years of experience in using cameras of all types.
Recently I had the chance to find out, as I came across a Fed4 in a local secondhand store at a good price. It was in nice condition, with a clear lens, and in its original brown leather case.
A few months ago – the very same week the Lomography New Jupiter 3+ was announced – I had an email from a chap at Lomography in New York. He’d spotted I was having a lens from a compact camera modded, and wondered if I wanted to try out their Minitar; a Lomo LC-A lens modded by Lomography to M-mount. Obviously I said yes, I’d really like to, but if they were up for loaning me gear, the lens I’d really like to borrow first is the New Jupiter 3+.
Since it was only just released at the time, the demo copies were out in the hands of much bigger fish than me. As such, I had to wait a little while. A few weeks ago, after bothering the nice marketing lady on the Lomography stand at the photography show, a package landed on my desk containing a rather trendy looking box with a very shiny lens inside. This post compromises the thoughts and experiences I had in the few weeks I had to play with it…