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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Hall

The Buckingham

I’ve had an idea percolating for awhile: to make my own vintage filter. Actually, I had a vintage window and it needed to be replaced; so I thought, “Hey! I bet that old, wavy, leaded glass might make an interesting look!” Our house is a 1924 “Spanish Colonial Craftsman” in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. When my wife and I bought the house, one of the very obvious things wrong was a hole in the main room bay window. The hole was covered up (for who knows how long) by an old plastic plate – which obviously doesn’t make for the best curb appeal. The window was original to the house and had beautiful weeping ripples with little black beads all over it. Obviously, we wanted to replace the glass but we still really wanted to retain the old look. Long story short:  we got the sheet replaced with a similar vintage piece and then – finally! – I had a few pieces of glass from the original window that I could make into my 1924 California window filter. I called it: THE BUCKINGHAM!

Below is a VERY short test I shot in the backyard.  I used my panasonic GH4 shooting in 4K @24p through a Tamron 18-55mm IS photo zoom.  Both shots were shot at about 45-50mm.  The stop was t2.8 with a Tiffen Variable ND in front to control the light.   I looked at both front lit and back lit lighting lighting situations.  Here’s the test.

• The first things I saw is it absolutely took away the sharp edge of the image and lowered the contrast by a fair amount.

• The second thing I noticed was a color shift toward green. I only really noticed it when light was hitting the filter directly so it could have just be a diffusion flare.

• The last things was distortion.  You can see a little bit of image warping from the weeping glass in the filter.  You can especially see it in deep and short focus parts of the fame.

I think it’s a fun little filter.

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