Vintage Modernity

Let’s say you’re an experienced architectural photographer. Let’s also say that you have some art school cred from a prestigious institution. Finally let’s say that like most photographers you have a fascination with equipment that borders on obsession. If that’s the case you are a lot like Eric Staudenmaier.

Eric is an Los Angeles-based photographer and a poster child for all things compelling in the “tools of the trade” department.

The photograph above shows a perfect meld of modern and vintage with Eric’s current primary system.

The Sony camera is a megapixel heavyweight and the manual focus lens is from the storied Pentax 6×7 system and the adapter is from a machine shop in China, which are churned out at a price that’s less than lunch at Applebee’s. The Canon lens cap is a nod to function over form which is another hallmark of Eric’s process.

There’s a certain irony that photographers are returning to manual focus lenses. Not out of a sense of nostalgia but out of a strange price distortion that makes these vintage lenses cheap as chips. For architectural photographers who have subjects that don’t move, there’s no downside to manual focus.

The ability to buy lenses that were once so unaffordable and adapt them for digital use is a dream come true.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer specializing in creating environmental on-location portraits and corporate photo libraries for blue chip companies.