It has been a while since part one of my Lens Turbo/Helios experiment. I really haven’t been shooting very much for myself lately and, when I do, I admit to preferring my X100. The ‘standard’ field of view is just not how my eye sees, particularly for street photography. Even so, I was excited to wander around in the rain last night between the Mission and Powell Street Station with nothing to do but walk and shoot.
It wasn’t raining terribly hard so I didn’t use an umbrella. Neither did I coddle the camera. I had it in my hand with the lens pointed down and partially protected by my bag, but it was exposed to the drizzle and it performed just fine.
One thing I’ve noticed with the Helios M44-4 is that the thing ghosts like crazy with any glare on the lens. Add to that the Lens Turbo’s tendency to flare and, well, you might well get some ghosting and flaring. I enjoy shooting the XE-1 with manual focus lenses and this one is no different. It produces very interesting (some would say distracting) ‘swirly’ bokeh, some of which can be seen in the images below.
I wish I could say I loved the 50-60mm focal length, because this one is a great piece of glass, regardless of price. I just like to shoot wider. Makes for a fun toy though and performs well in very low light. Most of these are shot at either 1600 or 3200 with shutter speeds between 1/60 and 1/250, handheld.
Silhouetted dancer does her thing above the entrance to butter Bar, 11th and Harrison, San Francisco
I have spent nights out walking in far more hospitable conditions in which to shoot street photography. Even so, there’s something uniquely relaxing about walking through the city in the rain intentionally and looking for photographic opportunities among the throngs of people hurrying to get out of the weather. This is what I brought back.
Checking the time
See Jack Run
Not in time
I recommend the Mojito iced coffee for those warm days we’re all familiar with out here in the Mission.
Philz is a crossroads for people shooting street photography in these parts. I saw a Leica M9, a Fuji X100s and an X Pro 1 in the 30 minutes or so that we were here.
Community table (where there is no community)
Momentarily forgotten cell phone
The tall pour
Well, that was quick. Gone are the long afternoons and endless twilight. Summer has fled and so it seems has the sun. Sure, it’s warm during the day lately, but…I get up, it’s dark. I get home from work, it’s dark. Bleh. Besides the time change, I’ve somehow contracted the misguided notion that it is constantly a day further into the week than it actually is. Ah well. Street photography. Night time. Good.
Lucky me, the XE-1 is a champ in low light. I’ve gotten my street photography fix the last few days by venturing outside after night has settled over the Bay Area and have been really pleased with the results. I’ve been shooting mostly at ISO3200 and 1.4. Several of the following shots are straight out of camera black and white .jpgs with minimal processing (crop for composition, minor contrast/level adjustments).
It isn’t going to water itself.
Don’t look up. Chucky is watching.
Aftermath of an inappropriate comment
This way to Bix.
Mary Stallings at Bix – she’s fabulous and has got great jazz chops
A woman peruses the menu at San Francisco’s John’s Grill. John’s Grill is one of those places in San Francisco that is filled with history and photographs of many of its famous patrons as any self-respecting, well-established, hundred-plus year old steakhouse should be.
Aside from its longstanding spot on Ellis Street, the restaurant is famous for a scene in the Dashielle Hammett novel, The Maltese Falcon. The title of the photo above is what Hammett’s fictional character, Sam Spade orders in the novel. That dish is also on the menu. Sadly, I didn’t hear what she wound up ordering.
We like to stop by here on quiet weekends when the place isn’t jammed with tourists. Such was the case yesterday when we had a seat at the tiny bar for an Anchor Steam and toasted Miles Archer, the poor bastard. 🙂
From our window seat at Dosa on Valencia this past Sunday afternoon. We stopped in for a late lunch and, as it was a warm and sunny afternoon, sat in the window seats that give directly on to Valencia Street.
We spotted this guy sitting in his weathered, slightly rusted off-white ’53 Chevy as he intently monitored the comings and goings at the Blue Fig across the street.
He was accompanied by a nylon bass fiddle case riding shotgun on the passenger seat. For the purposes of our completely made-up story, he could have hidden anything in there.
A short time after this photograph was taken, our imaginary hero abandoned his surveillance. His expression never changed as he checked his watch one last time, started up the old Chevy, dropped the three-on-the-tree shifter into first gear, doggedly cranked the steering wheel to the left (no power steering), checked his side mirror and idled away, leaving behind a blue cloud of exhaust that dissipated quickly in the afternoon breeze.
I love San Francisco.