Chinese New Year

special optical effects, photographs at night, Chinese new year


“explore which subjects really make an effect stand out”

No special effects added in Photoshop, this is an optical effect.

The Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE I used for these images is a fantastic lens, lightweight, sharp, discrete. One bonus is that it has a small 49mm filter thread.

That means that buying filters for it should cost you less. As an example, a hoya fusion polarizer is £40 for a 49mm thread and over £80 for a 77mm thread.
But that is if you are buying new, things get really interesting buying used because there are some filters that are no longer made (or really difficult to find a distributor still stocking them). Also the common 52mm and 55mm sized filters are easily used with a step-up ring that costs a couple of pounds.
Way back when, a lot of camera brands, Pentax, Minolta had lenses with 49mm threads and it is a good size in which to find rare or unusual filters. And some of these old filters are really rare. Searching for "Hoya Nebula" on Ebay and right now worldwide there are only four available in any size, two in Italy, one in Canada and one in Germany. I have one and I'm not selling it!

Sometimes you even up buying a lot of bits and pieces that aren't very useful but at a few pounds a piece for the smaller filters you can afford to experiment more. A lot of fun is in that experimentation even if it leads nowhere.
At other times you create a curious effect that then it is a matter of exploring which subjects make it really stand out. I kept warm in a coffee shop while I got my head around the effect, affect of aperture and angle in particular.

My top tip for attaching filters is to point the lens upwards, place the filter on top and turn it as if you were loosening it. The filter should drop into the thread and you can then tight it. You will never damage the delicate filter threads on a lens again. Try it!

Posted on February 4th, 2016

24 minutes of photography with a 24mm lens

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24 minutes of photography with a 24mm lens

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