There’s a thrill that comes with nailing the shot you envisioned after just one or two clicks of the shutter – no overshooting and no post-processing necessary! The versatile Burnside 35 helped Rich Ormanowski become even more intentional in his process and is now his ultimate urban and street photography tool.
The Burnside 35 is my perfect lens for street/urban photography as I use it almost exclusively wide open at f/2.8. It is that sharp and has great depth-of-field to be used as a fast street lens. Despite being a manual lens it is fast to focus, though it takes some getting used to. When I first got it, I noticed it was hard for me to focus and I was always depending on the focus selection in the camera viewfinder. But as time went on, I became more accustomed to the lens and its focusing. For my landscape and street photography, I’m almost always focused at infinity and if I need to refocus quickly, the lens handles it perfectly.
My main obsession with the Burnside 35 was the thrill of reviewing the image on the camera’s screen and knowing that is was the image I wanted. The saturation of the subject was there, the edge fall off and vignetting was what I wanted and I was happy (thrilled) that I didn’t have to spend HOURS in front of my computer using filter after filter editing the images to get what already was in-camera. I got what I wanted pretty much straight out of the camera with a little tweaking in post-process but nothing major.
Before getting this lens, I’d never thought of doing 99% of my personal work with a fixed focus lens. Using a 35mm lens on a full format camera, I had to re-think the way I photographed. I was forced to slow down, think about what I was photographing, compose the images and not overshoot thinking that out of all these I have one or two good ones. Now, they are all well composed and to my liking. At most I’ll take 2-3 frames depending on the subject but sometimes or most times with street photography, you only get one frame before the subject changes. The Burnside 35 makes me think and compose before I snap the shutter. Having used it so often now, I can pre-compose if I see something in the street and let a subject walk into the frame knowing that with the Burnside 35 I’m almost guaranteed to end up with the images I like.