It is only natural for any sane human photographer to yearn and lust for better gear, more capable and more "perfect" system in hope to take the photography into the next level. That better high ISO performance, faster and more accurate focusing and bigger megapixels. However, I have been reminded by a new friend I have met recently that the "grass is greener on the other side, only because it was fertilized with more bullshit". How true that statement is, and how applicable it is to myself and our general view on photography gear. Chasing perfection is not the solution.
Using the CCTV lens (C-Mount) 25mm F1.2 on my Olympus PEN E-PL1 was quite an interesting experience. The lens exhibits all kinds of technical flaws that all modern digital lenses tried very hard to eliminate. You get ugly barrel distortions, heavy chromatic abberations, soft corners, visible vignetting (more like corner chop-offs if you ask me, rather than light fall off) and very strong prone to flare and ghosting/haze. Worst of all, to use this lens, you need to painfully twist and turn the manual rings on the lens: the aperture ring, and the focusing ring, both together, to get the image right. Indeed, any modern lenses would have avoided such technical flaws, and have autofocus. In the CCTV's lens defense, it offers something rather interesting: the brightness of F1.2, rendering very interesting out of focus background (swirly effect) and at the same time, the center part of the frame, when focused accurately, can be very sharp.
Why go through all the trouble? Well, photography is not about chasing perfection !! It is a lot more than that. There are many more elements that contribute in forming a good photograph. Not allowing myself to be burdened by the need to acquire technically perfect photographs all the time (which was the main goal in my insect macro shooting), I set aside my concentration to finding more interesting subject contents, and focus on the "photographer's vision". Surely there are many other things that contribute to better photographs, such as creative "artistic sense" and also composition.
All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV 25mm F1.2 lens
Future Greatness. Luke Chua
During my very quick photo walk earlier this evening, I bumped into Luke Chua. I decided to join him for a drink, and we chatted for a bit. He never failed to inspire me in his own ways, and further motivate me to push my photography boundaries. I think we all have something we want to accomplish in photography, that destiny or end-game. I have not exactly set any goals or targets but hey, I think one of the best part is discovering bits and pieces of the whole puzzle as I move along the journey. There is no need to rush into anything for my part, but it is reassuring to see so much passion and determination in another fellow photographer.