A lens needs a story to tell: The XF60mm Macro and my f/50 custom ring

The Fujinon XF60mm f2.4 R Macro lens needs a story to tell. A single image is not enough.

Only the noblest and most precious lenses can have such a perfect balance between sharpness and blur. Ready for a macro set and for portraits too. Its autofocus speed is not a problem if you work with the X series’s “Big Mama”, the superb X-H1. But these are technical details that have nothing to do with narrative.

During the last few months, I was looking for a story to tell. One day I decided, for fun, to ask a friend to make me a silver ring with the logo of the f/50 International Photography Collective of which I am a proud member. My idea was to create a jewel similar to the NFL Super Bowl celebratory ring… Ahhh, aah, aaahhh…

The shop of my friend and designer Gian Marco “GiMi” Nuvoloni is just around the corner from my home. GiMi Creations, founded in the of Winter 2017 by Gian Marco and Andrea, is located in the heart of the “Concashire” neighborhood, not far from the famous Milan Canal district, the Navigli.

I had already photographed Gian Marco at work, but this time I hoped to document the “birth of the ring” from the wax model to the last refinements on silver: step by step, following Gian Marco’s hands while he modeled, engraved, polished.

The soul of arts & crafts recorded. The XF60mm mid-telephoto lens was my partner. 

Without being too close to Gian Marco and his sharp and shiny tools, the 60mm lens allowed me to go into detail and get closer to the secrets – the ones that could be told – of the design of 925 silver custom jewels.

The XF60mm macro features were an amazing passe-partout to access the world of art and craft philosophy – hands are among the most fascinating subjects one can photograph. Dirty and busy working hands even more – and also the core of Made in Italy quality.

Recording awls and scalpels used to engrave first the wax and then the precious metal has meant recognizing greater value to Gian Marco’s craftsmanship, but also to the final object of his labors, the f/50 International Photography Collective custom ring. 

And then… knowing that another f/50 Ring will never be the same as mine… well, this is priceless, just as my XF60mm. But these are personal choices. I know that well. 

My advice is to let yourself be fascinated by Gian Marco’s hands so much that you will want to know more about his art of jewelry design… You, too, will have stories to tell with your lens.

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Matteo Ceschi - Milanese street photographer, essayist and journalist, writes for several magazines and has exhibited his shots in various locations. He is a member of f50/The International Photography Collective. His latest projects were in collaboration with English photographer John Meehan, founding member of the f/50 Collective, and with Italian fashion brand Lucio Costa. His latest exhibition "Ko.existence" (with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Bosnia Herzegovina) was in collaboration with photographer Jim Marshall at Public Room Evergreen gallery in Sarajevo.

4 Comments

  1. Very nice images, and I’m glad that you included the portrait in the mix.

    The 60mm f/2.4 is a macro, but it functions very nicely as a short telephoto in the more moderate and longer ranges. I’ve had mine for a couple of years, but with thousands of photos taken with it, only a handful could be considered “macro”.

    It pairs nicely with a 23mm to give the classic full frame equivalent that I used on my Leica of a versatile 35mm and 90mm kit.

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