Architecture, Interiors, Technology

Architecture with the Zeiss 35mm PC-D

There are plenty of people who would suggest that you can’t shoot architecture with a 35mm and you need a 24mm or wider.  I used to be in that camp too some extent but I have found that with a shift lens on a full frame body you can do a lot with a 35mm lens. It helps that I’m beginning to ‘see’ in 35mm for the first time in years thanks to starting my Little Chef project with the Zeiss 35/2.8 on a Sony A7r – partly because it’s a retro sort of field of view, typical of the compacts available in the chain’s 1980s heyday, and partly because it’s still my favourite lens for the system in terms of overall ‘feel’.

As well as having this very special lens I’m also lucky enough to live in a vibrant city with some amazing architecture and architectural events. So, when this year’s serpentine pavilion coincided with the launch of the V&A Museum’s new entrance I decided to challenge myself to shoot them both exclusively with the Zeiss PC-Distagon on a relatively new-to-me Canon full frame body.

This session was also the first time I’ve really shot architecture with intent for some time and I enjoyed both the lens and the challenge, though it’s slightly flawed. Having a very short throw between ∞ and 3m is bonkers in a lens that will be primarily used for critical shooting of buildings. Other than that the lens certainly wasn’t a limitation, easily matching the 50 Megapixel sensor of the Eos 5Ds when it was properly focussed and held steady – the latter being key as resolution increases. In all honesty I would place the Zeiss ahead of the Canon 35/2 IS for sharpness but perhaps that is to be expected as the Zeiss lens is designed for critical sharpness and low distortion where the Canon is more of a street shooter. The other issue is that when the PC-Distagon flares it’s not the nicest flare I’ve ever seen – one image in the Serpentine set shows this very clearly.

Architecturally both buildings are superb, although I do think that there is a lack of seating space in this years Serpentine Pavilion as the structure itself doesn’t have the perching places that some of the others have, so it’s not as enjoyable on a busy, sunny day as some of the earlier ones.

First gallery is of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter, by Amanda Levete Architects and the second Gallery is of the Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Diébédo Francis Kéré…

Gallery One – V&A Exhibition Road Quarter & Entrance.

Gallery Two – 2017 Serpentine Pavilion

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Architecture, Photography

A Walk on the New Hastings Pier

We visited the revamped and revitalised Hastings Pier on Saturday. This was a rewarding experience as my wife was a trustee for a couple of years and I was a core volunteer. We both contributed to setting up the shop and providing it’s best selling product and my wife was key in appointing the design team via an RIBA run competition, so has a particular interest in how the project has turned out.

We reckon the Architects – dRMM have done as well as they could – Budgetary constrains mean the buildings are not as exciting as originally planned but the results are really good when you are close up to them, with a high standard of detailing. The crucial thing is that, unlike so may of England’s grand piers this one has a future.

A gallery of images;

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Architecture

Darkitecture VI

Latest addition to the ongoing series on empty buildings in London. This, the first for this winter, is in the Hoxton area of London, a building which must be worth a fortune yet has been empty for ages.

Personally, I was drawn by the green fluorescent light in the building on the left and the way it contrasts with the red light on the right.

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Architecture, Photography

A Mall with the Zeiss 18mm

This post is sort of an odd one, at least compared to other recent posts. It’s just a couple of shots that showcase a Contax lens. Earlier this week I was at a shopping mall the architectural practice I work for has been amending over the last couple of years. They demonstrate how the Sony A7r allows me to lift shadows and how nicely the 18mm Distagon handles architectural subjects, thanks to it’s low distortion. I did, however, have to correct for the vignette, even with the lens stopped down to f/8.

The last image is one of the straight out of camera JPEGs, so that you can see how much I’ve been able to pull from the RAW file.

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Architecture, Books

A Simple Pleasure!

I know it’s been too quiet around here lately, life has caught up with me on a number of levels over the last little while and I’ve just not had the energy to dedicate to photography or blogging. Thankfully we managed a really great holiday in France & Spain over the last couple of weeks. More about the trip and some images will follow but not until I’ve been able to get the film processed, as I shot entirely with my Contax 159MM & a few of my Zeiss lenses.

We got back yesterday evening and while Mooching around in Artwords Bookshop on Broadway Market I found myself looking at the familiar to me cover of the book Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World, on page 117 of which rests the image below… Taken with a very un-Contax Canon Eos 1Ds and 17mm TS-E with a fair bit of shift on.

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