50 days of 50mm #9

Day nine of my 50mm project and a trip to Dartmoor is planned, in my camera bag is my trusty canon 50mm f1.8 and a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 lens, the latter being a lens I have had for some time but have rarely used beyond looking for those close up shots with that lovely out of focus bokeh that old manual lenses are known for.

Not all vintage lenses work perfectly with my 5d mk II, some lenses can touch the mirror when focused to infinity, hence the addition of the native canon lens.

Today’s first stop is to Hexworthy, St. Raphael’s church, well known for its proliferation of snowdrops at this time of year and a few images of the inside of this charming little church in the middle of nowhere.


The takumar does well on the detailed shots, is it my imagination, or do the black and white images render better with vintage lenses?

While today is a bright winter’s day, the strong wind is bitingly cold, I am thankful I brought my flask of tea to enjoy between destinations.

The next stop is less than half a mile away, Huccaby bridge, a popular summer haunt for picnic’s and paddling in the river, today’s visitors are dog walkers and hikers, keen to keep moving to keep warm!


The third and final visit, is just another couple of miles away, Sherberton farm, where the light is at its best as I capture the local bovine and equine population at lunch, the vintage lens does me proud on a couple of these shots as the animals enjoy lunch.

This is one of my favourite walks, following the track to Swincombe bridge and up the ruins of Swincombe ford cottage, popularly known as John Bishop’s house.

This John Bishop was a tin miner, not the comedian of the same name, probably working at the local Gobbet mine, records indicate that he occupied this house from 1840, until his death in 1892.

A few pictures show the ruins bathed in sunlight, I waited patiently between rain showers, watching the clouds pass by until the sun peered through, a wait of about ten minutes that seemed so much longer in the bitter winds.

These remnants of Dartmoor’s industrial history will long remain a source of fascination, as will my desire to explore further, this beautiful landscape.

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