06 Mar Daguerreotype Achromat, photo session in the pictorialism style
Posted on Mar 6, 2017
What a unique kind of lens! This Daguerreotype Achromat is really something different from all the other lens I’ve ever used before!
Daguerreotype Achromat photos, from where this lens is coming from?
Let’s start saying something about this lens: the Daguerreotype Achromat is a re-proposition of the original lens made by Charles Chevalier in the begin of the ‘800 century to be used on the first camera Obscura that was using the Daguerre’s photographic process. So the name of this lens comes out from this story.
Lomography some years ago had the idea to start a Kickstarter campaign and it was very successful so they were to be able to repropose this unique lens. The lens is build upon the same optical scheme of the original Chevalier’s lens: the design, of course, has had to be updated for the new smaller 35mm camera, but we have here all the same idea and components. For me, one of the key aspects of this lens are the external disc apertures. With those, you can get very different effects out from this lens.
But let’s see one step at the time.
Daguerreotype Achromat, photo session in the pictorialism style
This article wants only to show some of the first photos I did with the Daguerreotype Achromat by Lomography.
For the first photo session, I’ve decided to go on a full aperture use.
My idea and inspiration were the pictorialism photos of the period of the begin of the 19th century. The pictures of Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz were on my mind when preparing for this shooting. I want to get that kind of soft focus effect and result.
To get in the same direction, I’ve used my Fufjilm X-T2 with the lens attached to an adapter: the Daguerreotype Achromat I got from Lomography was, in fact, a Nikon mount.
The most difficult part when shooting with this lens is the focusing: everything is looking very soft in the viewfinder so is difficult to focus even on a mirrorless camera with the help for the focus peaking or with enlargement of the focus point.
To get the same effect as the one on the pictorialism era, I’ve used something that usually is not the way of shooting: I’ve raised up the Iso value to simulate the same undefined and grainy look that the pictorialist photographers were using with the Gum bichromate printing technique.
To get in that direction, for my photos I’ve decided to do something that usually is never considered when shooting with good light: to use a very high Iso setting. In my situation, I’ve used the 12.800 Iso. The Fuji X-Trans sensors are well known to give a nice and almost analogue grain, and I’ve to say that for this picture the results are what I was expecting!
Other photos with the Daguerreotype Achromat
Stay tuned for the next photo session shoot with the Daguerreotype Achromat lens: in the next one, I’m going to use a fixed aperture disc so you will see some totally different images from this lens!
I suggest you to give a look at the other vintage lens posts I did using adaptors on the mirrorless system camera: