Izumi's Diary Page 14      Tuesday 4 January 2011  
Confessions of a Lens Fangirl


Here is Izumi and if you are still reading of my adventures with photographs then you perhaps think of me as a medium-old friend by now. That is how I think of you, too, even though I only see some of you to know by name.

But before I tell you of the latest photographs I must explain something of myself so you do not get any wrong ideas of me. Like I said before about different kinds of people thinking cameras or lenses are more important and I wrote about the different lenses that my PEN and I are using for my photographs, well, I now have another new lens.

But I do not want you thinking that Izumi is becoming too much an otaku (fan) of lenses as it was a Christmas present from David. Maybe he has become the otaku! I know he has many CDs and DVDs of Pink Lady and Yamaguchi Momoe and Saori Minami, including their last concerts, which I must watch some day as they are very famous names from very interesting times.

So am I becoming a lens fangirl, like my mother was a fan of Yamaguchi Momoe and the Candies when they were making J-pop songs in the times when she was a younger girl?

I hope not because I am really a fangirl of images in the form of photographs and I do use different lenses for different looks or moods or feelings or even challenges as I want the viewing people to feel the same as I did when I decided that this is a photograph that I should make. But to me the happy photograph is the aim and the lenses are just a way to get there.

I am explaining this for you because the new lens for my PEN is a brother of the 35mm f/1.7 that I used before and is called 26mm f/1.4. You will see he is also called Toy Lens but we like each other so I am forgiving him for that.

Perhaps he should really be called Circus Lens because look:

  And here is my PEN dressed with him:  

But what is most important are the photographs we can make together and here are some from when we first walked out with each other.

King Street Morning III
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, 125 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
  This above is the very first proper photograph I took with this new lens. He will be fun to play with, I think.  
All Dressed Up... VI
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, 160 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Café Chairs
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/100 sec, f/1.4, 1250 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)

You can see that he has a special look which I like for certain photographs that I want to have a particular emotion for themselves and for their viewing audience, not only for me. He is quite sharp in the middle, especially if I set him to around f/4 to f/8 but the corners are soft with the same-looking bokeh that his brother has. There is vignetting too, more than his brother, depending on where I am focused and what f stop I have.

It is good for me because I have to think of what I want in and out of focus and how much depth of field the photograph asks for to be happy. So I am slowing down and playing with him by hand to get my best results.

Because David gave me this lens for Christmas he also gave one to his friend Peter who has a PEN camera too. When he opened his presents I used my lens on him to see what the result is like just in room lighting at f/1.4. Here you can see his happiness with the lens on his camera. It is a Decisive Moment I think, so I am double-happy.

Here Peter sets up the camera with the lens
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/100 sec, f/1.4, 1250 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
And here he is surprisingly happy with his result
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/125 sec, f/1.4, 1250 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)

Here you can see how the vignetting and the bokeh hold hands to make a very happy candid portrait photograph.

I am not being disrespectful to M Cartier-Bresson or Jeff Carter but I am thinking that perhaps I might ask my friends to allow me to take their portraits with this lens. And with his longer brother, too. But I will still go back to walking the streets and looking for the Decisive Moments that are there waiting for us.

And I have already been a street-walker with trying out my new lens, as you can see next.

Window Models X
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/400 sec, f/1.4, 200 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Model XI
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/100 sec, f/1.4, 500 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Models XII
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/250 sec, f/1.4, 200 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Models XIV
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/2000, f/1.4, 125 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Models XIII
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, 160 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Models XV
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, 125 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Wraith I
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/160 sec, f/1.4, 200 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Model XVI
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/2000 sec, f/1.4, 100 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)
Window Wraith II
Olympus E-PL1, w 26mm1/320 sec, f/1.4, 200 ISO, 26mm (eqiv)
Window Wraith III
Olympus E-PL1 w 26mm, 1/800 sec, f/1,4, 200 ISO, 52mm (eqiv)

You can see that there are a lot of models that I photograph in the windows of different shops. This is because the lighting on them is interesting and they have the reflections of the street also that I like. The early photograph of King Street in this Diary will also tell you that there are not many people on the street when I am walking there to be photographed.

And when I experiment with different settings in Photoshop it is always to be friendly to the emotion that I see in the photograph, not just to be different or be like a show-off girl. Otherwise the photograph would not be happy and I would not be happy and I could not show them to you.

Perhaps in more winter times when it is light later in the morning more people will walk in front of my lens and I can be more like M Cartier-Bresson or Jeff Carter and capture people's Decisive Moments more easily.

But for now I shall say thank you again for looking through my new lenses with me. I hope you like the results that my PEN and I produce with them.

I shall go now,



To fully understand my footsteps, please read me from the start.
Izumi's Diary Page 14
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