An afternoon in Saratoga Springs with a Canon FL 35mm f2.5


""Spit and Spat" fountain, Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

For some reason, I really like this shot of “Spit and Spat,” a fountain in the Italian Gardens in Congress Park in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.  The sky was overcast and it was the middle of the day so the light was less than optimal, but still captured a nice reflection on the water. I also like the point of view, which is a little different from most of the photos I find of this fountain.

I was in Saratoga as the driver for my wife who had some business there one Sunday in September. I had about 4 hours to kill, and walked about town testing out the Canon FL 35mm f2.5 I had just purchased.

This is what the beast looks like

I had the lens mounted on my trusty F-1, but found that the FL mount doesn’t engage the aperture readout on the light meter, which meant I had to go hand-held.  In fact, the aperture control doesn’t work at all unless I put a wedge in to hold the lever on the mount side in place. So, FL lenses mount on FD cameras, but that’s about it. At least for this model.

The other down side is that this lens weighs a ton. Combined that with the already hefty F-1 and you’ve got a package that can be quite a burden for a walkabout. Still, I like the 35mm focal length and the lens is more than sharp enough. I might have to get one of these in the FD mount.

Going back to an SLR for anything but shooting sports (kids) was a departure from my current stint trying out rangefinders. There’s a definite advantage to seeing through the lens, but one, I think, off set by the bulk and weight of a single-lens reflex system. I would not want to carry around something like this on a trip like my recent one to Japan.  A lighter lens and body (such as my T-70 with a newer FD lens) might make a difference, but for portability rangefinders have it hands down.

A few more samples. I was using an expired roll of Kodak Gold 200 I had picked up at a tag sale. Worked fine for me.

Congress Park

Post Office

Antique store


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