A Favorite NYC Building, Two Formats, and Kodak Tri-X 400

As much as I love the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, there are many other great NYC architectural icons. 70 Pine Street, a 60-story skyscraper completed in 1932, is one of my favorites. There are taller buildings sure, but when this Art Deco beauty was completed it was the third tallest in the world. Standing *only* 952 feet, it now seems almost quaint compared to the current crop of buildings outstretching each other every year. When we lived in the Financial District, I always loved to see it peeking out at me between the other buildings. Up close, it features sleek details, including a miniature model of the building itself above the entrance. Another thing I like is the pedestrian bridge linking it with the Deutsche Bank building across the street. Right before we moved to Brooklyn, I dropped by with a camera to take a couple photographs of the building using the bridge as a way to frame the building and lead the eye. I've always liked this photograph, but I have also felt that the lens used at the time (a 28mm Nikkor f2.8) was a bit wide for me to really love this photograph. It was shot with a favorite combo - my Nikon FM2n and Kodak Tri-X 400, but I've often meant to reshoot the building from the same spot with a 25mm or 50mm lens.

70 Pine Street, Shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with a 35mm Nikon FM2n Camera 70 Pine Street, Kodak Tri-X 400, Nikon FM2n

I don't have my Nikon anymore and use my Hasselblad as an everyday camera. It has an 80mm lens on it, which is equivalent to a roughly 40mm lens in the 35mm format, and it obviously has the square format. This photograph was taken this week in almost the same spot on the sidewalk, but I like it much better. The lines that form the shape (or frame) of the photo are much shorter and bolder. The detail in the building, thanks to the larger negative and Zeiss lens, is much better in this version. The sky is almost the same, but the sun was not shining on the building as much as it was in the Nikon shot. This version also omits the very modern building to the right on Pearl Street that distracts in the Nikon version.

70 Pine Street, Shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with a Hasselblad 501cm Camera 70 Pine Street, Kodak Tri-X 400, Hasselblad 501cm

There's no real point I'm trying to make here other than sometimes the camera does make a difference. The only constant here, besides the scene, is the always reliable and consistently fantastic Kodak Tri-X 400 film. One of the most annoying phrases I hear people repeat in photography (next to the "The best camera is the one you have on you.") is "The camera doesn't matter." Well, yes sometimes it does matter. As does the lens. As does the film. If it didn't matter we would all use the same camera and lens and be done with it.