a pagan's remorse...

We have already displayed this beautiful wood carving from Guinea in a Maximar rendition. The Zeiss Tessar lens of that 70+ year old camera shows off its lovely smooth qualities, attributable at least some extent to its finely rounded 10-bladed aperture.

The image here was made with what is one of our more "modern" cameras, the Rolleiflex SL66 introduced in 1966, some 30 years after the Maximar. The SL66 is a brilliant instrument with incredible engineering, and the Zeiss Planar lens on it is unsurpassed.

Yet with the Planar, Zeiss has for some reason now completely dispensed with any pretense of making a rounded aperture. Instead we are given only five blades, each absolutely flat sided, and without a trace of curvature.

The result in images like this one, with lots of out-of-focus background highlights, is a kaleidoscope of hard-edged pentagons. They are only annoying once you notice them.

Lomé, Republic of Togo, September 2008.

Rolleiflex SL66, 80mm Planar, Neopan 400.