My Leica M6 in Scotland By Philipp Wortmann

My Leica M6 in Scotland

By Philipp Wortmann

Hi Brandon,

It was so cool the last time I got featured on your site I just had to give it another try 🙂

This time I took my beloved M6 on a short trip to Scotland. I stayed in Edinburgh for a couple of days and also had the chance to take a short trip into the highlands and meet some of those legendary “hairy cows“.  As to be expected the weather was very cloudy so ended up pushing my Portra 400 to 800, which I didn’t mind at all since Portra handles that beautifully!

More pictures of the trip can be found on my flickr:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/derphilipppp/

Have a great day and best regards,

Philipp

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16 Comments

  1. Thanks for showing us a bit of Scotland, Philipp. It’s no doubt a beautiful place – I don’t think I’d want to miss it if I ever travel up that way.

    I think that the colours are completely fine – however, it was the light that was the problem. Overcast conditions don’t always lend themselves to beautiful photos! You’re right about Portra’s latitude. It’s very good.

    The Pakon is also very good, but I have not yet seen a photo scanner I can really love. Cinema scanners, OTOH, are amazing. Photo scanners are either soft or accentuate grain. Cinema scanners do amazing, beautiful things, even with pushed 16mm. Film is superb stuff, but never is given the treatment it deserves IMO.

    There is one thing I noticed about all the images here (and most of the rest on Flickr): you aren’t getting close to your subject. I think that if you took the closer-is-better approach to the six photos above, they would have more impact. Just IMHO. 🙂

    P.S. I wish I had not sold any of my Leicas!

    • Personally, the “closer-is-better” thing bores me. I like to step back, provide context and use the environment of my subjects as part of the composition.

  2. He must be using a dedicated scanner. the pictures are nice but the colours are a tad off for portra

    • jup dedicated 35mm scanner. See my reply at the top. I personally don’t the think the colors are off, at least not on my screen. However they are certainly different from Portra at 400 since I shot it at 800.

  3. It would be nice to know from your perspective what you got image wise from your trip other than just seeing the snaps.

      • What were your experiences, what did you learn, what impressed / disappointed you about the area / trip? I guess that is Steve’s question.

        Did you shoot the film and 800 and process for ISO 400, or did you compensate any?

        • hm, it seemed to me he’s making some sort of differentiation between an “image” and a “snap”, which I really don’t see the point of.

          In terms of learning… Well, I don’t know it was just a 4 day trip to visit someone. I wasn’t intending to make some sort of educational experience out of it.

          I had the film developed at 400. So I guess it’s not technically “pushing”.

    • Hi,

      I’m using a Kodak Pakon 135+. It’s a former lab scanner, that you can now buy used for pretty reasonable prices. Very happy with it, especially in terms of speed and color.

      • Hi Philipp, nice pictures!
        I myself am an M6 and Portra shooter, and i process, and then scan myself on a Plustek 8200i, so i’m very interested in your experience.
        I would like to know more about your scanning process. I have never used a pakon 135+ and so i’m curious. Is everything auto ? balance, exposure etc, or do you set that manually, if so, for each frame ? (i know that’s what i do) Do you scan tiff ou jpeg ? at what dpi ? Do you correct a bit in photoshop to get the colours you want or do you just go with what the scanner gives you ?
        Thanks a lot if you find the time to answer me, and keep up the good work ! 😉

        • Alexis, I’ll provide some thoughts…

          I shoot with a Zeiss Ikon ZM and scan with a Kodak Pakon 135+. A quick Google search should be able to find you one for ~$250. It’s a phenomenal scanner in a lot of ways, with some short comings in other ways.

          The Good:

          – Scans Color Negative
          – Scans most B&W (I’ve had more success with Tri-X & Ilford HP5+, but not as much with Tmax 400)
          – Scans an entire roll in ~4-5 minutes with Dust/Scratch removal
          – Scans TIFF’s (17 MB files)
          – Does have basic editing during scanning (brightness, contrast, coloring)
          – The colors that the scanner gives out of the box is top notch. I don’t have to spend any time on editing colors, only maybe a slight touch to exposure or highlight/shadow controls in Lightroom.
          – No grain: My Nikon Coolscan 4000 + Vuescan can give a lot of grain on Portra 400, but on the Pakon, clean images.

          The Bad:

          – Has to be used on a machine with Windows XP installed, or used on a Virtual Machine with XP installed (my setup)
          – File size is 6 MP (2000 x 3000)
          – B&W has a bit of ‘sepia’ tones, so you have to desaturate them in post for true B&W

          But, I love the Pakon, and can only recommend it to 35mm shooters. It’s saved me a lot of money as compared to sending my 35mm to some labs, such as Indie Film Lab, or others. While IFL uses Frontier scanners with higher resolution, the Pakon is capable of giving me enough for an 8″ x 10″, and if I need more, then I try the Nikon Coolscan or send out to IFL (or equivalent).

          • ..what he said. Except for the price tag. They used to be 250$, but the major sellers are out of stock and the ones that still have some offer them for anything between 500-1000$.

          • Thanks a lot for both your answers, that’s very interesting. I like the fact that it’s very quick and clean, i guess i could live with the 6MP if it’s clean and detailed.
            Indeed the prices have gone up lately, i guess the word has spread that it’s a good one !
            I’m quite happy with my Plustek right now, it’s really not as quick and needs more work but i can get quite nice results too. Maybe i’ll try and feature something on this site at some point too !
            Thanks anyway for your advice, it’s always welcome.

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