Blog #120 Hybrids
In the last Blog #119 titled Combinations, I presented ten “winning” combinations in terms of gear choices and camera/film/lens pairings that I have enjoyed over the years. In this week’s blog I want to introduce the concept of hybrids. For the longest time, I’ve been sort of a photographic purest in that I would balk at the concept of mating some Japanese Lens to a German Body or visa versa resulting in some FrankenKamera abomination. Eww…It just wasn’t right!
Like 99% of the time, we buy or use a camera body with the same brand of lens. In recent decades, with digital camera bodies having new versions every one to two years there is a tendency to upgrade and replace camera bodies on a fairly regular basis.
Lenses, in contrast, seem to be immune to this gear ADHD. Then, there are those heirloom lens varieties that result in those GAS flare-ups that we all suffer from time to time. You know the ones I mean such as the Canon 50mm f/0.95 , Nikon’s 58mm f/1.2 “Noct”, the Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8 mated to the medium format Hasselblad, or the Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2 considered the sharpest lens ever made. These are rare, expensive as hell, but unmistakably outstanding performers.
There appears to be an upward trend in the concept of mis-matching bodies and lenses. This is evidenced by the virtual myriad of adapters available today. You can just about get any adapter to make any brand of camera work with any brand of lens these days. Digital shooters want to shoot their old heirloom manual lenses on their new DSLR or mirrorless bodies for that blast from the past feeling [in full manual mode of course].
Interested in jumping on the hybrid bandwagon? Usually this entails screwing a manual lens of Brand X to a digital or other film camera of Brand X. You could go the other way around, or across brands but your successes here will vary. First, you will need to consider the following factors:
After all of these considerations, you can still have fun shooting old manual lenses on today’s smaller, lighter, digital camera bodies. I recently mated up a Leica 50mm lens to my Fujifilm X-E3 and it works pretty well. You get that interesting hybrid sensation of using manual focus but with the instant gratification of a modern sensor. I’ll admit the shooting style is strange and it takes some getting use to but you might find it worth the effort. I found the images were sort of Meh.
This is just another type of shooting style or technique to add to your repertoire. It won’t make your images any better but you might have a pinch more fun in the process and that makes it worth a try.
The light is always right.
*Images: © Jeremy H. Greenberg
Where: New York City July 2018
Subject: Architectural Photography
Gear: Fujifilm X-E3 + Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0