Banana Pudding and a New Lens

man scooping pudding from bowl into dish

Ilford HP5 pushed to 1600

Mitch made banana pudding for Super Bowl LV from a friend of a friends recipe, I believe. It was delicious. I’m not sure if banana pudding is a thing outside of the south eastern United States, but you should try it sometime if not. Those Nilla Wafers, though.

Normally I wouldn’t just sit around snapping photos of Mitch cooking, as cute as he is. But I had a new lens to test out. And since the weather has been pure garbage for the last month it seems, I gotta make photos in the house. What lens? Glad you asked.

man scooping pudding from a bowl into dish

Ilford HP5 pushed to 1600

The other night I was checking KEH for no reason, as a GAS-fueled , bored guy during a pandemic does, when bam my dream lens pops up. A Leica 35mm Summicron Aspherical (version 1) rated Excellent. With both caps, no less! Unfortunately no hood which I will get to in a moment. I didn’t plan on buying this lens until later in the year, but the price was about half of what a new one cost and if you have any experience with KEH, you know “excellent” basically means brand new. And it truly seems like this lens has barely been touched.

Previously the only other Leica glass I’ve used is my 90mm Tele-Elmarit. Also from KEH but rated “UG”, or “Ultra Good” (just kidding, it means ugly ☹️) And that lens is anything but! There’s something about Leica glass, it just hits different. Due to the creamy bokeh or background blur, the subject that’s in focus seems to literally pop off the screen, film or print. Whatever you’re looking at. This is a more modern Summicron and doesn’t really have the “Leica Glow” that you may have read about, but it definitely does a solid job at isolating your subject.

man crumbling cookies onto banana pudding dish

Ilford HP5 pushed to 1600

I’m not, nor will I ever be, a technical review person. I will just say that this lens is an absolute joy to use. The build quality is second to none, the focus throw short and smooth. The weight…this lil baby has heft. Unfortunately mine didn’t come with a hood and I’ve read that the only complaint about this lens is the hood. One, it’s plastic. Two, it clips on, which is kinda weird. Three, the clips (I read) make it easy to bump and knock the hood off of the lens, therefore losing it. Four, people try to charge upwards of $300 for this tiny plastic hood.

Thankfully a buddy found me one at Leica SF’s online store for under $100, which is typical lens hood price for something on brand, albeit, usually made of metal. Not plastic. Well I’m not entirely sure if other people had a really bad copy but my dirty little plastic lens hood seems as stable as can be. It barely wiggles and is nice and sturdy. Even though it’s plastic.

leica m6 with 35mm summicron asph and plant

Leica M6 + 35mm Summicron ASPH

I didn’t mean to get long-winded in this post. But I’m very excited and happy about this purchase. It sorta put me at an “end-game” so-to-speak. I don’t really have other gear I’m lusting for at the moment. Honestly thinking of selling my Hasselblad 500c after I get it repaired. Just not feelin’ it, but I should probably give it more time. It’s unfortunate it broke down so soon after getting it.