First Impressions of the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System: Benjamin Hampson

Benjamin Hampson is based in London, areUK and uses photography as a tool to express himself. He enjoys documenting cultures that are different to his own with the aim to empower people through his work. We lent him the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System to test out.

Name: Benjamin Hampson
Location: Newington Green, London
Profession: Photographer
Website/Social Media links:
Other interests aside from photography? I absolutely love my long distance running and good food, it opens up my mind and allows me to focus on projects and formulate ideas. I would say huge interests seriously involve photography and hand printing. Immersing myself in the darkroom and playing with texture and tone to create narratives. I love my family, we’re quite a big bunch with the majority on my Dads side being Irish. They’re all incredibly musical and fun, so we bounce off each other well. Travel of course and incredible coffee, also hanging about with my girlfriend who's an architect and teaches me a lot. Last of all music, especially a good bit of Jazz to get me in the mood for anything.

Photos using the Despina 2.8/50mm Art Lens

Hello! Tell us a bit about your photography background?

My family members are all very creative, so I've always been immersed with a group of people passionate about using their hands to make art. I had my first darkroom at the back of my garden in my early teens and was hooked. I began making handprints of the landscapes I would take of trees and lakes in parks. The early slow shutter speed shots. Then I'll get my picture slowly come through on the paper in the darkroom which was magical. I studied art and photography in my A levels loved it, went to Middlesex University where I got a BA in the field and since then, I constantly make personal projects as well as commissioned work for magazines, etcetera.

Photos using the Thalassa 3.5/35mm Art Lens

What would you call your photography style?

Well, I guess my style adapts and evolves. I don’t think it's healthy to be branded to a style. The photographic world moves quickly and people can easily, with time and focus, emulate a style. It's above moving with sensitivity, having an ethos to make people look as beautiful as possible, and experiment. I get bored very easily but the most important thing apart from style is the content of the images you make. I would say technique is secondary at times.

What was your first impression upon seeing and holding the Neptune Convertible Art Lenses?

I was in shock actually. I thought they were going to be cumbersome heavy things. They were small, versatile and had a nice weight. Incredibly easy to attach onto the lens converter and was one of the first times I've used a new shiny lens in ages. The picture quality is very good also.

Photos using the Despina 2.8/50mm Art Lens

How does the Convertible Art Lens System fit into your style?

Easily, I only try to use film for the majority of my work even for commercial stuff as I find it more comfortable for me. You can convert it to digital or an older analogue body. I love it as its aperture feels like an old school piece but a shiny up to date version.

Could you share your best photo and the story behind that shot?

I was shooting Natasha, a beautiful woman I met at a Nepalese event in London. I’ve been shooting the Nepalese community in London for a while now and I love the culture and the customs of the Nepalese people. There are many tribes. Natasha is part of the Limbu tribe and they wear these incredible gold headpieces past down through the generations from their grandparents. The clothing has such rich depth in the tones and there are also many other tribes I've been photographing such as the Gurung - they wear deep tonal reds and a simple gold headdress. I work a lot in their communities photographing and I raid their curry at the events leaving very full.

Photos using the Despina 2.8/50mm Art Lens

Any pointers that one should keep in mind when using the Convertible Art Lenses?

I would say its pretty straight forward if you know how to use a camera. Just make sure you keep them safe and clean. They're great lenses and will definitely be fantastic and light to travel with also.

We’re back on Kickstarter with the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System — ensuring you have everything you need for any photographic opportunity. With three interchangeable front lenses with fixed focal lengths of 35mm, 50mm or 80mm, be prepared for any shooting situation with just one lens system. Including six special aperture plates that create beautiful and delicate bokeh, create stunning images with endless creative combinations. Inspired by Charles Chevalier’s original invention and reimagined with a smooth and sleek design, this multi-coated lens is an ideal option for beginners and professionals alike whether you shoot analogue or digital.

Back us on Kickstarter now to save up to 45 percent on a Neptune Convertible Art Lens System and a range of exclusive extras!

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