I wanted to share another photograph I took from our window at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel looking out over the San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bridge. In this photograph I decided to use a smaller aperture than I normally do. I prefer the look that my two Summilux lenses create when they’re shot at their max apertures of f/1.4. An example of this is the photograph I took of my wife looking out this same window which shows the effect created when the 35mm lens is used at f/1.4. Most of the image is out of focus and the bokeh effect that’s created with this particular lens has a creamy feel to it.
I’ve had a serious love/hate relationship with lens since I bought it. But I think I’m finally beginning to harness its true abilities and know when it can get me into trouble. You have to understand, this lens was made 30 years ago and it is very prone to flare, especially when shot at f/1.4. But when the lens is stopped down to f/2.0 or smaller that becomes a non issue. However, at f/1.4 the lens can draws a bit soft too. You can see that in the previous photo that I mentioned above.
What continues to amaze me about this little lens though is how well it can perform in the example above. I didn’t have to close the aperture very much to get such a sharp image as this one. Many would find this type of character a problem and that is what my love/hate relationship was all about. You can’t believe the amount of time I’ve wasted researching the idea of upgrading to one of the two newer versions of this lens. The newest version now costs over $5,000 and next version sells used in nice condition for over $3,000.
But what has finally sealed the deal for me and this lens is the fact that both the newer versions are so perfect every flaw can be seen when photographing people. Their character is clinical in that they have a modern digital character to me. They’re too perfect. Whereas, this little gem tells a much different story and I think this image and the previous one is reflects that.