Stella at f/0.95

Stella at f/0.95

I bought my first “real” camera in the summer of 1973. It was a Minolta SRT-101 with a 50mm f/1.7 lens. When I brought it home I loaded it with 35mm black & white film, aimed it at one of the family cats, and snapped the shutter. When I got the prints off that first roll back from the drug store, I was amazed at how sharp and detailed the image was. It was a far cry from the Kodak Instamatic photos I was used to. With that shot, I was hooked on “real” photography.

Ever since I got back into serious photography in 2008, I have maintained a tradition. Whenever I acquire a new camera or lens, I always start off with some shots of my cat Stella. It’s not so much a superstition as a fun tradition. Besides, with her fur and range of colors, Stella makes a great test subject for a camera or lens.

This week I acquired a Mikaton Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 Mark II lens for my Fuji XT-2. Without getting into lots of photo jargon, I’ll just say the lens offers a field of view comparable to that old 50mm Minolta lens, but its considerably larger aperture lets in much more light and makes the depth of field (what’s in focus) much shallower. From the lens’ specifications, and from reviews I’d found online, I thought it might offer the chance to make some fun and unique images.

Naturally, as soon as I received the lens, I put it on my camera and started photographing Stella and random other things. Judging by this photo of Stella, I think this lens is going to be a lot of fun!

♦ ♦

All photographs are © Dave Higgins and “Dave Higgins Photography,” 2018; all rights reserved.

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