Back in 1989 after graduating from undergraduate school and before starting graduate school, my wife and I planned a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico to document the various markets in and around the city. My mentor and close friend gave me a challenge of taking only one camera and one lens and the camera had to be 35mm since I was devoted to the large format camera at the time. My choice was to take my Nikon F2 mated to a 28mm. I remember having a great time, but unfortunately I never really did anything with the work, because I immediately started graduate school, where I was teaching and developing a large format class curriculum.
Now nearly 30 years later, My wife and I are planning a trip back to Oaxaca and I was curious about the work I had captured way back when. So, I dug up the negatives, had them scanned and downloaded them into LightRoom. I immediately regretted not doing more with the work earlier, but enjoyed reliving the time we had. Being older, and having a bit more discretionary income I had 30 years ago, I have several cameras and several lens at my disposal to take with me on this new wonderful journey. So what do I take? Will, it has to be “One Camera, One Lens”! The camera is a no brainer, I’m taking my Fujifilm X Pro2. The lens is a toss up between the Fuji 18mm f2 and the fuji 23mm f2. The 18mm gives a 28mm equivalent FOV for full frame 35mm camera like the Nikon f2 while the 23mm gives a 35mm FOV. But here is my issue, neither lens offers depth of field markings on the lens, and both offer a rather disappointing experience when used as a manual focus lens.
So what I’m looking for is to have a similar shooting experience I had 30 years ago but with a modern digital camera. So what I came up with is mating the Fuji X Pro2 with a M mount Voigtlander 21mm f4 Color Skopar. This arrangement gives me a tiny lens with a 30mm FOV 35mm equivalent, depth of field markings on the lens, and a focus rotation from 1.5 feet to infinity that is significantly less than half a rotation of the lens barrel. So let me clarify, this is a manual focus lens only and I love it! I have had a chance to work with it a bit shooting a local festival and was not disappointed! So I have included some work from our trip to Oaxaca in 1989 above and our local UFO festival photographed in 2018 below.