Andrej Russkovskij loves to shoot analogue. Visit his website and you will instantly see a range of beautiful soft tones and saturated colours that can only be achieved with film. We lent him the Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 Art Lens to test out around the streets of London.
What came to mind when you first saw the Daguerreotype Art Lens? What is special about its build?
Because of the name I immediately thought about going back to basics and I expected the lens to give a unique vintage effect to the shots. It proved me right.
It also has quite a few remarkable features. First of all it’s quite practical to carry around. Technically it has a very simple and precise focusing system which allows you to catch those moments/expressions that you would normally miss and to set the focus up to 0,4m, which means being able to catch smaller details. The Lumiére and Aquarelle aperture plates are also a fun new feature.
What did you decide to shoot? What camera did you use?
I shot mainly portraits with my Nikon N55. After months spent using the Petzal 85 Art Lens, I was so curious to see what made this lens different and unique. And it actually didn’t take me long to find that out.
Did the Daguerreotype Art Lens impart a special look to your shots?
Definitely. The soft focus, which gives a dream-like, painting-esque effect, is something you can observe in most of the shots, especially in the ones taken at dusk or on moody dark days. It works out perfectly if you’re trying to tell a story through pictures or to give an edgy touch to close-ups. The bokeh effect is not too exaggerated even at wide apertures, which allows the background to play a prominent role in the shot’s composition.
In terms of your own filming needs, what is the best feature of the Daguerreotype Art Lens?
The versatility I’d say. I had nice results with different kinds of films and light conditions.
What tip would you give to a first-time user?
Have fun with the apertures, don’t be too technical and don’t be afraid to shoot on rainy days or far from the golden hour.