Weird Lens. Replichrome.
A colleague of mine let me borrow a very interesting lens this past weekend. Apparently he sent an old compact film camera, equipped with a fixed 28mm wide-angle, to an outfit in Japan. They removed the camera’s glass and built an M-Mount lens around it, complete with aperture control, focus tab, and a distance scale.
The result is a very nicely made, body cap of a lens that makes a Leica camera feel strangely light-weight in use. More interesting than the somewhat unusual ergonomics, however, are the fun results you get from this optic (the lens actually vignettes more as you stop it down). In practice, this rangefinder/lens cap lens combo just begs to be shot from the hip. Set it to f8, zone focus, and treat it like a little point and shoot street cam. Extremely fun.
A black and white conversion seemed like a good fit for the resulting images, and I used this opportunity to run the raw files through a new set of film emulation presets I’m trying. The folks at Totally Rad were nice enough to let me download a copy of Replichrome for Lightroom, a suite of 134 film emulating presets with custom profiles for 386 cameras. I’m told that Totally Rad will update their custom profiles with each update release for Lightroom / ACR, which is very cool.
I plan to do a lot more testing with Replichrome, but for now here’s a sampling of their excellent Kodak 400CN and 400CN+ film presets (the “+” variant simulates the look of the film in reaction to overexposure). It’s clear that a lot of work went into developing this software, and I’m pretty impressed with what I’m seeing so far:
All Images: Leica M9 | Some Weird 28mm Watchumacallit M-Mount Lens | Replichrome Kodak 400CN