Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

Vintage lenses for BW photography
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:44 pm    Post subject: Vintage lenses for BW photography Reply with quote

Hi,
do you think there are vintage MF lenses which are more suitable then others for BW photography? And why?

By the way, not long ago I have read an article praising a Voigtlander lens (I think in Leica mount) as the go-to lens for BW photographers, do you have an idea which lens he was talking about (I cannot find the article)?

Thank you.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think B&W is less critical to certain aspects of a lens, such as contrast, color fringing, etc.

But in general, I would simply use a lens that you like using in the focal length of your choice.

This being said, I've been shooting B&W almost exclusively for the past 6 months (with the Monochrom, a camera that doesn't register colours)

My lens of choice has been the Jupiter-3 (the J8 is almost as good, and considerably cheaper)

In 35mm FL, I was pleasantly surprised by the tiny Leitz Summaron 35mm f/3.5, and as a tele, I found a very good copy of the Jupiter-9 (85mm 2.0)


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wolan,

Are you talking about b/w film? An inherently high-contrast lens might be technically correct, but there is a chance for losing some of the shadow details on b/w film.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seele wrote:
Wolan,

Are you talking about b/w film? An inherently high-contrast lens might be technically correct, but there is a chance for losing some of the shadow details on b/w film.


I shoot with a modern mirrorless camera.
Thanks.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Voigtlander has some single coated lenses.
They are supposed to be less contrasty and better in b&w, don't know if the difference is that obvious.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seele wrote:
Wolan,

Are you talking about b/w film? An inherently high-contrast lens might be technically correct, but there is a chance for losing some of the shadow details on b/w film.
It depends... we might argue that historically, lenses from the B&W-era had lower contrast and are therefore "correct" Smile

But I think it depends mostly on the look we are after. Both low-contrast and high-contrast lenses can work well in digital B&W.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My favorite lenses for B&W pics are

Canon FL and FD

Minolta MC

Leica M

In the cheap way, I love the rendering of the Pentacon MC 50 F/1,8 in B&W

And the Adams teaching:

The shadow with minimal detail, must be in Zone 3.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I shoot B&W I prefer high-contrast images, so naturally the lenses I prefer are ones that can produce high contrast images. This gives one a host of possibilities to choose from, but that's where I would start.

Most of my shooting experience is with Canon and Nikon -- and also Tamron -- in both color and B&W. And my B&W is 35mm film, in this case. Usually Tri-X or Plus-X Pan. As to which focal lengths I prefer -- that's a tough call. Even zooms can provide the high contrast i prefer. So I guess I'll say that most any lens made by those three manufacturers should work well for B&W work.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the single lens that gave me the most satisfaction when shooting with b&w film was the Tessar fitted to my Contaflex 1, non-interchangeable in a leaf shutter. For whatever reason there seemed to be more shadow detail AND more highlight detail than any other lens I'd tried.

Time passed, that camera got sold and the nearest I ever managed to subsequently find was the Industar-50!

Doubtless there are "sharper" lenses, obviously there are wider-aperture lenses, but for that overall "something" in a monochrome landscape, a Tessar-formula lens, closed down a couple of stops, did it for me every time Smile

Obviously YMMV Wink


PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best is subjective. I like high contrast images for B&W, but I also like the older lenses that have a vintage look and character.