An evening of art, philanthropy, and a 7Artisans lens.

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My most recent collaboration. News to share.

The Lorien Academy of the Arts is a wonderful after-school art program that holds classes so that young people are introduced to art in varying forms. As put on the website:


Each year they ask artists to partner with youth to create a joint work where the artist presents a work inspired by the youth’s art work. Those works are then put up for sale as a fundraiser for the program. Last year founder and director Michael Khoe…

Lorien Academy of the Arts

…reached out to me and asked that I participate which I did gladly.

Lorien Academy of the Arts

(Bottom: Acrylic by Lorien Student Tim’Mari/Top: Photo by yours truly)

Last night was the closing exhibition event where artists were invited to come out and meet the students. Was glad to attend.

My most common questions to myself before attending gallery events?

What camera and lens? Film or digital? My usual choice for a gallery setting is a digital camera and a bright 50mm prime.

WSSU The Diggs Gallery featuring Zun Lee? Vintage Takumar 50mm f/1.4 M42 Screw Mount:

Zun Lee at WSSU Digg's Gallery

Durham Fruit Company Art Space? Mitakon 50mm f0.95:

Durham Fruit/Coffee and Cameras

This time out (also with work by Zun Lee)? 7artisans 50mm f/1.1:

Lorien Academy of the Arts

Why manual focus? Even though the cameras I use are actually quite good at focusing in low light I still prefer manual focus in these settings. As the cliche goes it gets me to slow down.

Thoughts? Great kids. Great cause. Great space. The artwork was phenomenal. The people were friendly and I was also able to meet some great artists. The lens? The best bright lens I have owned. Knew it was good since my review. Expected this lens to surpass the Takumar and other vintage film lenses seeing as those are older designs. But it confirmed its superiority to the Mitakon once again for my purposes. Why?

  • Objective:
    • Nearly as bright and costs significantly less by a few hundred dollars.
    • The 7Artisans is a Leica M mount and works great on them also.
    • With a close focus adapter, it gets nearly macro results.
    • Much smaller and lighter. While not huge the MItakon is larger and weighs like a brick which is not a good match for mirrorless.
  • Subjective:
    • Lovely colors in low light. Often in low light I end up either shooting with a B&W filter or converting later. Mostly because I often think the colors look a bit off. But with the 7Artisans the colors are quite natural looking and vibrant without looking cartoonish.
    • A very creative lens. Want acceptably sharp with flares and rings? f/1.1. Want to ditch the flares and get a bit sharper? f/1.4. Want to sharpen up quite a bit? f/2. So on and so forth.
    • And most subjective of all. Silver lens. I love silver lenses.

Well that is it for now. Please check out Lorien’s links above and consider donating to this wonderful organization.

Here is a full gallery of images from the event showing the artwork with a few candid shots.

Happy shooting.


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