Friday, February 5, 2010

Nokton and the yellow raincoat

Yellow raincoat, Boca Raton, Florida, February 2010.

Florida in February did not offer respite from San Francisco's relentless rain. But the gloomy weather in Boca Raton had a bright side: the beach was deserted and my wife was compelled to wear a sunshiny yellow raincoat. When God gives you clouds, you make pictures.

The blue-gray Florida weekend turned out to be the perfect occasion to test my new lens, Voigtlander's Nokton 50mm f/1.1, the poor man's Noctilux. I already know that this extremely fast lens can record things in the dark that the human eye cannot see. I've tested it in surroundings that are practically pitch-black, where it succeeded in capturing images in the faintest of light.

What about daylight I wondered? Wide open at f/1.1? Here are the results: At 1/2000th of a second, it recorded my wife and her yellow raincoat against a diaphanous backdrop of utmost delicacy, rendering sky and sea like gauze, and objects like they were peering through mist. I love it; it's a perfect portrait lens.