Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, March 2013.
Shame on me, I had never posted a photo of the gorgeous cathedral of Strasbourg (the most beautiful of french cathedrals imho, and I’m not that biased, being born and raised in Lyons, not Strasbourg).
The hard part being, for that shot, to have a lens wide enough to frame and shoot that 142m (466 ft) one towered beast of a gothic beauty. The tallest in the world from 1647 to 1874.
In this case, I used the Super Elmar 21mm which is really one fine piece of gear. Well built, rather small and ultra sharp wide open. Even if its max aperture of 3.4 won’t allow the miracles its Summilux counterpart is capable of.
But the two 21mm wide angles of the Leica roster don’t play in the same league: the Super Elmar costs around 2300€, its bulky and super-expensive sibling costs a whopping +5000€.
Furthermore, the marvels of the MM in high iso perfectly counterbalances the rather modest aperture of 3.4. I shot @ f3.4, iso 4000 (!) with a speed of 1/12 sec and it’s rather sharp, with no grain, me thinks.
Of course, you can always go for the Voigtlander 21mm f4. It’s a great tiny lens for FILM cameras: it vignettes a lot, which is not a problem for me but bothers some, and, above all, it suffers from heavy color shifting when used on the M9. And that’s, in my book, a real issue: I don’t want to be obliged to “Corner fix” - a great plug-in able to fix those kind of problems -every shot.
But on the M Monochrom, is it a viable option? Yes, if you can live with the vignetting and a lot less sharpness. Anyway, I’ll soon kiss my sample goodbye, as I don’t use that focal length enough to keep two 21mm.
Viking, Rust, Lomo LCA Ilford Delta 300.
I’ve been fooling with a Lomo LCA these last months and, after having shot a few expired rolls of Kodak Gold, I finally loaded it with some Ilford Delta 3200 (rated @1600 as the LCA won’t go farther in terms of sensibility).
As with every Lomo you can buy, the first rolls results were disappointing: you don’t know what is the “real” frame of your camera: in true lomo fashion, what you see in the viewfinder NEVER matches what you’ve shot. With time and patience you can get over it - I’ve already shot a Diana Mini and a Diana F+ - but every Lomo camera has pretty steep learning curves.
Compared to his other siblings, the LCA has a great advantage for beginners: it has a cell. You don’t have to learn the sunny 16 rule - even if you should - to expose your shots correctly.
The cell works pretty well on mine and the minigon lens does the job too. It’s even a bit too correct for my taste. I prefer the unorthodox and dreamy look of my Diana Mini pics. The LCA is a bit too straight, optically speaking, for a Lomo imho.
That’s why I finally tried B&W with the oh so grainy Ilford Delta 3200. I’ve asked a bit too much on the LCA this time, most of mys hots were like really underexposed. I saved this one and another 2 or 3. It’s a “Viking” bust, in an amusement park, shot in a pitch black corridor: 1 or 2 sec exposure I think. This combo shows character, there is surely something to be done with it.