A quick look at shooting wide with a Kowa Prominar 8.5mm lens

Into the brisbane sun

I often think of my shooting style as being quite varied, but, I do like to shoot with a good quality manual lens.  The Kowa Prominar 8.5mm is a lens that was first introduced to me a couple of weeks ago by a good friend, Bjorn, who is currently living in Kuala Lumpur.  I shot with it for a full shooting session in Kuala Lumpur and the results were brilliant.  Likewise, I also shot with the Veydra 16mm on the same day and again found the results brilliant – but obviously at nearly twice the focal length, the final photos had a very different perspective to them.

I think that changing your shooting style gives you the opportunity to learn new ways of seeing and interpreting the world.  While there are many arguments about how you should shoot (e.g. wide or narrow aperture, fast or slow shutter, zone focusing, hip shooting, sunny 16 rule) and which lens you should use (e.g. 50mm gives you more realistic scene, 35mm because that’s the most common), I tend to shoot with whatever I have with me at the time and I will often just mix things up to see what I get.  It gives you the opportunity to see things differently and challenges you to think about the most creative way of representing what you see.  I love having rules as a guide in visual and media arts, and rules definitely have their place, however, they are just a guide that can be broken at any time.  I think that the most important part about what you are doing in photography is that you are having fun and that you should mix things up and try new things.  The effect can be most promising and can give your photos a truly unique perspective.  The following photos were taken during commuting in Brisbane, Australia and give you a very brief feel of what the lens is capable of achieving.  All photos below were taken at 8.5mm, using zone focusing and a little straightening in Lightroom.  All images were shot in aperture priority mode with an f-stop of between 2.8 and 5.6 with lens hood mounted.  Bjorn has a great first impression of this lens at http://bmupix.com/review-bodies-1/2015/4/11/kowa-prominar-85mm-f28-impre... if you are wanting to see further details about the lens.

Waiting for Beautiful Sushi - f/2.8, iso 1250

Sun, shadows and blue sky in May - f/5.6 and iso 200

Lines, angles and an oncoming train - f/5.6, iso 200

Still on the train! (and shooting in to the sun - this series should have been titled shooting in to the sun during the travel)

Walking with shadows - f/4 and iso 200


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