Hamish Gill has a passion for compact cameras and writes about them on his blog 35mmc. He also loves pretty much anything related to film photography, including lenses, which is why we lent him the New Russar+ lens to try out.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Hamish Gill I’m a professional and hobbyist photographer and photography blogger for 35mmc.com with a specific interest in 35mm compact and rangefinder cameras. I keep myself busy in the working week running a creative agency, trying to set up a creative/tech co-working space in Worcester in the UK where I live, and more recently trying to bring a few of my own photography based products to market.
How did you get on shooting with the New Russar+ lens?
I really enjoyed using the New Russar+. I’m not smart enough to understand much about the science of optical formulae, but I do find how various lens designs impact on image qualities fascinating. Reading a bit about the Russar I discovered that it is a perfectly symmetrical formula. The outcome is a lens that doesn’t really suffer from distortion.
I mention this as it became my favorite feature of this lens. What’s really nice about the almost complete lack of distortion is that it comes along with a bunch of other character traits that give it a fairly unique look. For a start, there’s the fact that if you stop down to f/8, it’s sharp right into the corners. But, beyond these slightly more conventionally positive traits, also comes a big chunk of vignetting and a propensity to flare.
Who would you recommend this lens to?
This combination of objectively and subjectively positive character traits makes for a really interesting lens that I found to be particularly compatible with my style of architectural photography. The fact that it’s quite a slow lens makes no odds when shooting such static subject matter as a building. Of course, it’s less ideal for Bokeh fiends and low light shooters, but broadly speaking I think anyone looking for a characterful ultra-wide for daylight or tripod based shooting will get a lot out of the Russar+.
What camera/film did you choose to shoot this lens with?
I mostly shot it with the Leica Monochrom, though I also shot a couple of roll through the M-A and M3. I found the combination with the Monochrom to be particularly nice. The character of the lens - especially the vignette - just works really well with black and white media in my opinion.
What's coming up for you in the new year?
Lots. As always. I’m working on a product to help with the process of digitizing negatives, I have some plans to bring some lenses of my own to market, and of course the blog; one way or another, there will lots more waffle from me on 35mmc.
For more information about Hamish visit his blog 35mmc.com.