Now and then

ワガママ |A7R & Vivitar 24mm f/2.8|1/160s ISO100 24mm probably f/5.6

None of these buildings existed when I lived in Manchester. It's an odd feeling when you live somewhere for a number of years, and return to find it changed. The same has not happened back home in the countryside (nothing ever changes), but cities move and grow to accommodate the wants and needs of its inhabitants. The city is the realisation of "want".

Sit outside? |A7R & Vivitar 24mm f/2.8|1/60s ISO500 24mm probably f/5.6

The same will no doubt happen with Tokyo. In fact, it most certainly will. Tokyo was evolving under our very noses, morphing and changing with each passing day. I have no idea if our apartment block still exists, though I imagine (& hope) it will for a few years yet.

Fear is a mind killer | Same camera, same lens| 1/200s ISO100 24mm maybe wide open?

24 is the new 35.

There, I've said it.

Wait for it.... | Does anyone actually read this? | 1/60s ISO320 24mm wide open

What do I mean by that? I mean that my favourite focal length of 35mm, could have its days numbered. I bought a crappy 24mm f2.8 lens on gumtree for the princely sum of £10, which can just about buy you a bowl of "japanese noodle soup" if you're lucky, a magazine, or about 8 litres of petrol. I decided to live without the 8 litres, and picked said cheapo lens. It vignettes heavily, is only sharp in the centre, is canon FD mount and has a terribly loose bayonet... yet I can't stop using it. I used it last time I was in Manchester, and again this time. Is it just Manchester that makes me want to use this lens? Perhaps, in some sense—24mm is significantly wider than 35mm and that can often be useful in a city.

I've been here before, though. 24mm field of view on full-frame is achieved with a ~16mm lens on APS-C (i.e. my old NEX) cameras. I used my 16mm lens a lot, despite most of the photographic internet saying that the lens was a waste of time. I found it sharp, contrasty, and even fast enough to use in low light (e.g. here and here). Its corners were soft, and it didn't really improve when stopped-down. However, I still loved that lens (and even consider picking up another for use on my trusty NEX-C3... hmmm).

1/60s ISO1250 24mm wide open, for those who care :)

So, ultimately, what to do? I'll probably spend a few of these long, dark winter nights, scouring eBay in search of a great 24mm lens. I'll probably start with the Leica Summilux, which costs about as much as a decent used car, and work my way down from there. The Leica is no doubt gorgeous, special, and optically perfect, but I don't think it's 500 times better than the Vivitar. Or, maybe it is, but my photos are unlikely to be 500 times better. Futhermore, I would need a Leica M to use it properly, so I would need to sell my car anyway.

I'll work down to Leica-R, Carl Zeiss, Olympus OM, and then Canon FD. I have no idea which one I'll get, so I will continue to use the Vivitar in the meantime. 

Having said that, there is a new Sony FE mount 28/2 lens coming in the next couple of months...