Sometimes when I am just hanging around with family or wanting to have fun with my photography, I will grab my all-time favorite camera – a Nikon F3 – and put on one of my favorite lenses – a rare manual focus Nikon 50 1.2 lens. This lens is just an incredible hunk of glass, but is really hard to shoot with. It has an unbelievably narrow depth of field at F1.2 AND is totally manual focus – no autofocus with this thing. So as a photographer I have to absolutely nail the focus when shooting at F1.2 or the images are out of focus. I sometimes allow other photographers to shoot with this camera when we are hanging out, and invariably they fail to get keeper shots since they are not used to manual focusing, especially with such a narrow depth of field lens. I am fairly familiar with the camera and lens and I still only keep about 1 in 5 shots when shooting at F1.2.
I was really happy that these pictures of my grandsons turned out so well. I took these about 6 months earlier and just got around to developing them. I had 8 shots in the sequence and only these two turned out well – about par for the course. And even though digital cameras with newer lenses are so much easier to shoot with, I still enjoy shooting with this combo, partially because of the challenge. When I get a good picture like these I know I earned it by doing everything right.
These were shot on Kodak TMAX-100 film – about the only film stock I shoot with anymore.
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