Jul 232015
 

Getting Acquainted with the Mamiya 7

By Andy Gemmell

Hi Brandon

After “scratching my itch” with the Leica Monochrom, I sold it 18 months ago and decided to give “film only” a go for a while. At the time I wanted to also try a medium format option and coming from a rangefinder and wanting to enjoy a camera which I could still carry around easily the Mamiya 7 seemed like a great choice. The Mamiya lenses are also superb and although possibly over shadowed by Zeiss and Pentax to some extent….they really shouldn’t be!

The camera itself is in a 35mm “style” of layout (conventional winder, back door loading of film, shutter dial on top of the camera, etc) and although not built of metal or alloy it is still well built and sturdy and could take some knocking around. One of the big benefits of this MF set up (unlike the Hasselblad V series) is the shutter mechanism (quite a s mouse) and ability to given no mirror to shoot handheld down to 1/15th (and possible even lower!) without disturbing the image. The lenses though are not fast and come in at 4 to 4.5 depending on what one you are using. I have the standard 80mm f/4 and the 50mm f/4.5 (keeping my Zeiss 25/28mm finder from the M days to use with this lens).

Unfortunately for various reasons I have not been out and about shooting as much as I’d like to, though have run a few roles of Tri-X and Portra through the Mamiya in street photography situations in Melbourne where I live. I personally haven’t really gelled with it, to be honest and it may be not having used it enough. Also coming from the MM as a much smaller 35mm option the adjustment is more than I had imagined. All up though I’d highly recommend it as a serious option to consider in the MF film world.

Have a great weekend!

Andy

Starting Blocks – Tri-X 80mm

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Rest – Portra 400 80mm

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Sundays at St Kilda – Portra 400

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Breakfast on Spring Street – Tri-X 80mm

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Spare Change – Tri-X 80mm (testing it too the limits in very dark alley at f4 and 1/15th handheld)
The Jetty – Tri-X 50mm

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Morning Gold – Portra 400 50mm

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Jul 222015
 
000020-2

titlemanf

LIGHT AND CONTRAST

by Michiel Faro

Time to get some of my own work out there, to be commented on and be criticized, instead of it all going the other way.

A bit about myself: I’m 62, Dutch and live in Holland, married, a stepson of 18 and two lovely two-year old girls. I work as a lawyer in Amsterdam. I have two potentially time-consuming hobbies: riding racing bicycles (I rode competitively for 25 years) and photography. I’ve been photographing since I was 14 or so.

My late father taught me everything, darkroom work included, though we never progressed to colour. I started with a Werra, which is more or less the most simple and wellmade camera one can think of. A Zenit slr was next, then a Yashica TL Electro (great camera), until a Nikon FM2n followed in 1990; a body I still have and use with great pleasure. FE2, an FM3a, a Contax RTSIII and a collection of used Nikkor and Zeiss primes round-up my analogue stuff. Digital started in 2008 with a D200, then a D700, then a D800 and now a D800E (both the 800 and the E can be underexposed routinely by almost up to a stop without any noticeable loss in image quality; a real bonus) with the 24, 35, 58 and 85 1.4G’s. I like the SLR form factor, prefer OVF’s over EVF’s and displays, dislike tiny camera bodies that may be light but have infuriating ergonomics and no viewfinder, and once you’ve gone full frame there’s no going back to a smaller sensor. Oh, and I don’t buy the next best thing every time it comes out, which can be quite frequent. Learn the stuff you have thoroughly, and that’s complicated enough in itself.

My photography can be divided roughly into three main categories: portraits (close, and possibly intrusive), situations/geometry/shapes, and emptiness. That last category is even more frustrating than the others and might be suitable for another post in the future. For this submission it’s situations/geometry/shapes and portraits.

Near the place I work in Amsterdam are two photo museums: FOAM and Huis Marseille. I try to go there on my lunchbreak every month or so. There’s always something to see. I may not like a particular exhibition or image, but it always sets your mind working: what is it I don’t like, what is it I do like, could I emulate it, could I approach that level of perception and technique, what sort of gear was used (ha!), etc etc. On the net, apart from the usual gear sites it’s AmericansuburbX and Lensculture I have a look at quite frequently; always something interesting to see.

Foremost in my mind (subconsciously no doubt) when taking photographs is light and contrast. Light because of what the infinite varieties of light can do to what the human eye (and film or sensor) sees. Contrast because of the inherent, subdued or loud, tension I wish to see in the images I take. Interest, tension, something that makes you wonder, makes you ask questions, is what I’m looking for. Always.

So here is a selection of B&W film images, made with cameras like the Contax RTSIII, Contax RTS, Contax S2, Nikon F2AS and Nikon FE2 and a variety of primes, usually Tri-X and HP-5, and colour images, made with the D800 and D800E. Two of the three portraits were made with the Nikkor 58/1.4G, an amazing (and sometimes frustrating) lens; the third one with the 85/1.4G, another gem.

The 58, to dwell on that subject briefly, is attractive as an everyday walkabout lens (I have a camera with me always; 1.4/35 this week) for its (comparatively) low weight, but you have to account for the almost “short tele” like focal length. It really shines as a portrait lens in ambient light. I think it is, for all it’s failings, a classic in the making that has to be used frequently to be fully appreciated.

Captions for the images are as follows:

B&W Situations

1 Man in FOAM museum: camera and lens unknown, TRI-X

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2 Man with hoodie: Nikon F2AS, Nikkor 2.0/35 AiS, TRI-X

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3 Man at Terry O’Neill exhibition: Contax RTSIII, 1.4/35 Distagon, TRI-X

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———-

B&W Portraits

4 Cor: Contax RTS, 2.8/85 Sonnar, HP5

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5 Olivier: Contax S2, 1.7/50 Planar, TRI-X

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6 Rob Regeer, the artist and his art: Nikon FE2, Nikkort 1.8/50 AiS, TRI-X

 

 

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———-

Color Shapes

7 Nikon D800E, Nikkor 1.4/58G

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8 Nikon D800E, Nikkor 1.4/58G

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9 Nikon D800E, Nikkor 1.4/58G

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———-

Color Portraits

10 Ed de Jong, photographer, with waitress held napkin reflector at his insistence: Nikon D800, Nikkor 1.4/58G

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11 Jan Maaso, friend, Nikon D800, Nikkor 1.4/85G

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12 Wessel, colleague, Nikon D800E, Nikkor 1.4/58G

DSC_0506

Thanks to Steve and Brandon for posting this and, more importantly, for keeping this podium alive for many to post on and for even more to comment.

Best regards,

Michiel Faro

 

Jul 032015
 
Pentacon Six TL 6x6

Film Friday 6×6 images

By Dierk Topp

Pentacon Six TL 6x6

Hi Steve,

This is a small collection of analog images made with the Pentacon Six medium format camera, made in the GDR, German Democratic Republic, long time ago.
I used the Zeiss Flektogon 4/50mm  and the  Zeiss Sonnar 180mm/2.8 with the Kodak T-MAX 100 and Agfa Ultra 100 color negative. Scanned the negatives with Epson Photo 2450 scanner and digital processing with Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex.

You may find more of my analog and digital images here on flickr

Pentacon Six 6x6, Zeiss Sonnar 2.8/180mm, Kodak T-MAX 100

Pentacon Six 6x6, Zeiss Sonnar 2.8/180mm, Kodak T-MAX 100

Pentacon Six 6x6, Zeiss Sonnar 2.8/180mm, Kodak T-MAX 100

I could not resist to make a  triptych from these images

Pentacon Six

Pentacon Six

this series is in memoriam of Ansel Adams

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

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6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

analog 1992

analog 1992

 

analog 1992

analog 1992

The next images are from La Palma, Canary Islands

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

 

6x6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

6×6 analog, Petacon Six, Zeiss 50mm

…and last but not least stitched panorama shots, that I made in 1995 in Hamburg
I planed to mount the prints but never did, now with stitching software it is easy and perfect

stitch of 3 images

stitch of 3 images

Pentacon Six 6x6, Zeiss Flektogon 4/50mm, Agfa Ultra 100 color n

…and again, as it is at the top of this post, this is the camera (with the 80mm Biometar)
it is blurred, but I have only this one. I sold it to Hong Kong long time ago.

Pentacon Six TL 6x6

thanks very much for your time and attention

regards
Dierk

Jun 262015
 

Shooting CineStill 50Daylight Xpro film

By Aivaras Sidla

Picture1. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA31mm F1.8 Limited

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As darkness of Lithuanian winter gave place to sun and light, I finally reached the depths of my fridge and took out new CineStill film for testing. CineStill 50Daylight Xpro is ISO50 film balanced for daylight. Basically its Kodak motion film remade and suited for C41 process. Plenty of information on that you’ll find in manufactures site.

I had 5 rolls ant it was enough for a full month of exiting life in strange ISO50 world. I like to shoot one film extensively, for longer period of time, to try it in different situations under variable light and with different glass. It gives perspective and possibility to adjust shooting to results.
So here go my remarks:

Its slow. Slowest film I shot before was Kodak Ektar. CineStill is whole stop slower than that. And it makes big difference; each shot has to be taken with greater care, tripod becomes your great friend, you start to notice that snails start to overspeed. Really. But as all limitations it helps to focus and improves skills.

Colors this film provides are neutral, but provide enough punch. Skin tones are pleasant and accurate.

Halation. As usual with CineStill films there is an issue with halation effect. In this case is much less pronounced comparing to 800 tungsten film, actually as you see in photos I was able to shoot directly into evening sun and get away with almost no halation effect. Cold be that this effect is more pronounced with artificial lights, but I haven’t had many opportunities to do that, as this film is to slow for dark places.

Overexpose tolerance. Film has huge ability to keep information in highlights. I noticed that after few first rolls I started tendency to meter and expose more for shadows and compensate it in post process.

Grain in this film is very fine, provides smooth look.

Conclusion is that its good film with natural colors and overall look. Main properties of this film that I noticed are latitude toward overexposing and speed. Biggest impression from this film – ISO50; its strange to be more disciplined while having fun. :)

Thank for reading!

More: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aiwalit/

Aivaras

Picture2. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA50mm F1.4

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Picture3. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA50mm F1.4

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Picture4. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA43mm F1.9 Limited

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Picture5. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA43mm F1.9 Limited

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Picture6. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA43mm F1.9 Limited

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Picture7. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA77mm F1.8 Limited

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Picture8. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA77mm F1.8 Limited

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Picture9. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA77mm F1.8 Limited

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Picture10. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA31mm F1.8 Limited

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Picture11. Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA31mm F1.8 Limited

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Picture12. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F50mm F1.7

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Picture13. Pentax MZ- SMC Pentax-F50mm F1.7

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Jun 122015
 

Friday Film: Leica M6 & Kodak

By Santiago del Águila

Hi Steve,

I believe its been 2 years since I’ve submitted any pictures to your site, 2 years ago I sent in some pictures from Sierra Leone, and since then I’ve gone into film shooting 100% film, since then I went one summer to London and took a course in darkroom processing which I enjoyed a lot and found really useful, I got crazy shooting film almost ran out of money! hahah. Images of London where very focused in street photography and the intensity as I said really helped me get real good at knowing my camera and getting fast and consistent with it.

Shortly after this I was lucky to go on a trip to Japan this January, it was only one week, but real intense… We spent the first half of the trip in Kyoto and moving around the area visiting the traditional architecture (I study Architecture 5 year now, 2 to go!), and the next half we went to Tokyo were modern Architecture and urban life style kicked in. I would say I enjoined a lot both parts but Tokyo was awesome, for street photography, Kyoto was also good but I believe a got most of my keepers in Tokyo.

For the images I’m going to show you, the gear I took was: My Leica M6 TTL body, a Voigtlander 35mm f 2.2 colour Skopar lens, A Carl Zeiss 50mm Sonnar F 1.5 (50s model with the Amadeo adapter)
I shot about 19 rolls of film, mainly B&W Kodak T-Max and Tri-X, Fujifilm Superia 200/400, Ilford hp5

Now time to choose 3 photos…

Picture 1, could be my lucky shot, not sharp and all but hey I had 2 nasty doors and a banner covering half my lens did not see it because in the view finder it did not show up as I had the camera in contact with the door at the end of the metro wagon, still the scene is perfectly visible and creepy, maybe just a contrast of cultures. (Lens is the 50mm and Tokyo and Film is Kodak T-max 400)

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Picture 2 was also complicated, I did it while visiting Kengo Tange’s Catholic cathedral of Tokyo, Did now disturb the guy I believe, he didn’t even know. I like the light in it how it discovers some emotion in his face. (Lens is the 35mm and film is Ilford hp5)

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Picture 3 Was made at the Tsukiji market tuna auction, tells a bit of the process into it, there’s more of it in my flickr.( Lens 50mm f 1.5
film fuji Neopan 100)

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My biggest concern about al of this is being always stuck in a constant ISO that in various situations do not work at their best or at all, I think it brigs a whole bunch of problems to deal with and some times it’s a little bit depressing seeing your colleague with a Sony A7 charging with all the ISO of the world and you forcing your way with low shutter speeds and getting light out of nowhere, maybe it’s joust fine at the end you get different results and points of view…
Anyway this is for fun not for work as I say.

Thanks in advance Steve,
and sorry for my writing could me much better.
Santiago del Águila

Here’s My Flickr Page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/santiagodelaguila/
Here’s the japan Album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/santiagodelaguila/sets/72157650393784347

Jun 052015
 

Film Friday: Australia

By Massimiliano Farinetti

Dear Steve, Brandon and all stevehuffphoto.com readers

one month ago my business brought me to Australia for a couple of weeks. When I was packing my luggage I wondered which gear would have been with me and finally I decided for beloved Leica M2 with skopar 35/2,5. No digital but the smartphone. In the fridge I had a roll of Rollei RPX400 and two rolls of FP4+: I put them in the bags and off I went. As it wasn’t meant as a leisure trip I knew I’d have had few time to shoot photos, but it helped me to relax during such demanding business trip. I’ve been to Adelaide first (where I’ve visited the incredible Trent Parke’s “The black rose” exhibition I recommend), then to Sydney and ended up in Brisbane. Back home I developed the films and put them in the Epson V600 selecting some pictures I share here with you. Some of them will be furtherly printed as soon as my darkroom will re-start.

I thank you again if you’d admit me to the Film Friday

Carry on!

Massimiliano Farinetti

Adelaide-2

Adelaide-7

Adelaide-8

Brisbane-7

Brisbane-15

Brisbane-18

Brisbane-20

Sydney-1

Sydney-3

Jun 052015
 

Film Friday

By Zhao TianYu

Hi Brandon,

It’s been almost a year since I last wrote to you. Over the last year I made the switch from digital to film and have since been shooting exclusively on film for my street works. Would like to share with you some images taken during the past few months in various parts of the world. I’m looking at getting a masters degree in photography in the US next year (I don’t have an art background) so I would really appreciate if you guys can give me some feedback on these. I’ve got both 135 and 120 shots and it’s definitely going over the 3 shots limit so please bear with me :)

All 135 shots were taken with Leica M6 and Summilux 35mm f1.4 FLE on Trix. 120 shots were taken with Hasselblad 500cm and 80mm f2.8 kit lens on various films.

Hope you will like them!

2015-04-05-0006

Scan-140901-0003

Scan-141015-0011

Scan-141018-0014

Scan-150102-0056

Scan-150103-0041

2015-04-05-0013

Scan-141027-0014

2015-05-29-0028

2015-05-29-0029

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D1000010-2

D1000012-3

Thanks a lot!

flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tianyuzhao/
instagram: tianyuzhao

Jun 052015
 

Film Friday

By Dierk Topp

Hi Steve and Brandon,
this is a small collection of photographs for the “Film Friday”.

I loved panorama photography for a long time and was dreaming of a 6×17 camera. One day on the Photo Flee Market in Hamburg about 1990 I saw the Russian panorama camera Horizon 202 – and I bought it. The negative size of this camera is 24x56mm. The first series was made on a foggy November day 1995 in Hamburg, Germany I used Ilford Delta 400 and scanned the negatives with my Epson Photo 2450 scanner
digital processing with Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex

You may find more of my analog and digital images here on flickr

#1
this type of panorama is only possible with a “one shot” panorama camera with the panorama function of a digital camera “stitched during the esposure” you get a lot of ghost images in this type of panorama with moving objects

scan of 24x56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

scan of 24×56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

#2
the rotating lens gives the same distortions like you see on stitched images straight lines look like curves

scan of 24x56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

scan of 24×56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

#3

scan of 24x56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

scan of 24×56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

#4

scan of 24x56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

scan of 24×56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

#5

scan of 24x56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

scan of 24×56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

#6

scan of 24x56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

scan of 24×56 negative from Horizon 202, Russian Panaorama Camera, PP: LR5 and Nik Silver Efex

The second series on Ilford Delta 100, 
I used the NEX with a bellows, Leica enlarger lens and a slide duplicating adapter. Due to the 24x56mm of the negatives I shot two parts of the negatives and joined them with stitching. As you get digital negative images, you have to invert them in to positive (for example with Photoshop or Lightroom)
#7
analog: Horizon 202, 24x56mm, Ilford Delta 400, 1996
#8
analog: Horizon 202, 24x56mm, Ilford Delta 400, 1996
#9
analog: Horizon 202, 24x56mm, Ilford Delta 400, 1996
#10
Horizon 202 (24x56) B&W film
#11
Horizon 202 (24x56) B&W film
#12
Danmark, 1995, Ilford Delta 100, digitized with Sony NEX-6

Danmark, 1995, Ilford Delta 100, digitized with Sony NEX-6

#13
Danmark, 1995, Ilford Delta 100, digitized with Sony NEX-6

Danmark, 1995, Ilford Delta 100, digitized with Sony NEX-6

 

#14
try this with the panorama function of a digital camera, it will not work
Markt Wedel, 1995, Ilford Delta 100, digitized with Sony NEX-6

Markt Wedel, 1995, Ilford Delta 100, digitized with Sony NEX-6

#15

hfbeibdg

#16 
this is made with 1/5 sec. during the exposure of the Horizon is running,
you see the unsharp movement of the front including the lens behind it
lens ist rotating during exposure

lens ist rotating during exposure

#17
the film plane is curved corresponding to the rotating lens
Horizon 202 Panorama 24x56mm
many regards
dierk
May 222015
 
image010

San Francisco and the Xpan: how I think my photography

By Dirk Dom

I’m not manic now for a month or so, which is great, but I didn’t start or did anything. Day before yesterday I just stopped scanning at 1AM, yesterday and today I don’t feel in the mood. I ‘m going to start something because like now I waste time. My shots of S.F. are good. I learnt a lot about what’s interesting in photography. Not the usual tourist stuff.

The panorama’s of the Xpan I make straight, they look better that way, they look finished.

From this (original scan)

image001

To this:Select, process, transform, and stretch away. Anything goes.

image008

This one I think real special:

The Xpan on “B”, f/22, eight seconds’ exposure, hand held while a train got in the station. It moved, it’s double; the manikin ghost is made of the two overlapping images of that man.

image009

Peter Lik (one of the two photographers in the world who sell to the general public for lots and lots of money, and who is a commercial genius) sold a shot with a ghost for over 6 million dollars:

Maybe I can, this one, too? I’m happy with 5,999,995 dollars. I’d better keep the negative safe, because I’ll never be able to make this shot again.

image010

The shot I’m proudest of is this one:

Of course, this is the ultimate tourist shot. Just that I haven’t seen it yet and it’s so spectacular. I was walking near this boat, searching for interesting images, and I just couldn’t believe it when I discovered this one. The tower and this boat, couldn’t be better. I’d take the big Fuji 617 to S.F. just to take this one shot. But with the Linhof and the 47mm I can shoot it in 6×9 black and white and crop. Finding panoramic compositions is different, you have to fill the entire image with interesting stuff in a way that looks natural and not just shoot things that are in the middle; it takes an effort. I discover panoramics before I look through the camera and this one really hit me. Sometimes Photoshop helps: I’m crazy about fire escapes

image014

Original image:

Now, that wasn’t panoramic enough.

image015

Stretched (at these extreme perspectives you get away with anything):Nice, eh?

Kodak Ektar 100 is a sublime film which scans incredibly. Burnt out highlights like cloud parts, I don’t even look at them anymore, they’re always good. Shooting film is so much easier than shooting digital!
The 65mm (2.55 inch) negative of the Xpan is very comfortable to work with, with the Epson scanner at 2,400PPI I can enlarge to about two feet at 300DPI.

I really like the colors of this one:

A sidewalk, cement. Such fine color nuances you can get with the digital Leica, I don’t think I could get them with mu Olympus PEN. Look at the fine, etched highlights.

image018

I crop to this:

image021

Which reminds me of this:

Not doing anything with it, because the image isn’t good enough, but a new idea: associative photography, showing with an image what the abstract shot reminds you of. No words.

image022

The most typical S.F. shot I took: Haight Street, of course.

image023

From this shot, had a bit of work with it:

image024

Since legal, Marijuana is everywhere, must be a big boost to the economy.

image030

Finally, to show that I’m just as good as famous Flemish photographer Bert Danckaert: See how I put the shadow out of the middle? I’m an Artist Genius!
image039

Allez, groetjes,
Dirk.

May 192015
 
Drum Men

Hi Steve and Brandon,

My name is Richard Palmer

All these photos have been shot on a Mamiya 7ii using Ilford Hp5 and developed in Ilford Microphen.
The photo of my dad was shot at 1/125 using f8, the photo of my brother was shot at 1/30 using f5.6,
and the photo of the rugby pitch was shot at 1/250 using f16.

My details are:

Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/richie_photographer
and my instagram is https://instagram.com/richardjamespalmer/

Thanks for this opportunity.

Richie.

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May 192015
 
image025

Return to film: Spring flowers in San Francisco

By Dirk Dom

Hi!

The last two years I’ve been serious about black and white on film and I grew to enjoy grain very much. With my Hasselblad Xpan I shot Kodak Ektar and fuji Superia 400 and I immensely liked the results. My Olympus PEN digital camera is extremely good, but I got tired of color noise. Film grain is beautiful, digital color noise is ugly.

So when I went to san Francisco this easter, I had my Xpan, my canon F1 and my Olympus PEN with me. And, not to my surprise, I didn’t shoot a single digital shot.

I wanted a creamy and graphical look for my flowers. The cream comes from shooting with a Canon FD 85mm f/1.2, at f/1.2. The graphical part comes from Fuji Superia 800. I used a 3 stop ND filter all the time. I used extension tubes. I don’t think there is any modern camera system that allows this kind of shots with modern lenses. Digitally, the Sony A7 with Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 and extension tubes and a $30 adapter would do the job perfectly. But I shot at ground level a lot, you’d need to use the screen, then.

Today I got my negatives back and I’ve met my objectives. This was what I had in mind. Sharpness freaks will be disappointed: this is not about sharpness but about beauty and atmosphere.

Film is beautiful.

Enjoy!

California is in its fourth year of draught, so there weren’t many flowers. Still, I got nice shots.
 image021

Pacifica. A lily.

image022

At the beach.

image023

Also near the beach.

image024

Poppy, Golden Gate Park.

image025

Golden Gate Park. Shot through a flower in the foreground, focused on a flower behind. With the Canon F1 speedfinder I can shoot right to ground level.

image026

Cherry tree.

image001

The 85mm sometimes gives rainbows.

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Beach near the Golden Gate: great diversity of flowers. Unfortunately, they were mowing the path when I got there. 

image008

Poppies at f/1.2.

image009

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Grain. Love it!

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Bernal Hill, all the flowers were already gone.

image018

Bye,
Dirk.

May 152015
 

Film Friday: Riots and Zeiss Biogon T* 2.8/25 on Leica M6

by fiftyasa

Steve already wrote a good review of the Zeiss Biogon T* 2.8/25 back in 2009 (http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2009/11/18/the-zeiss-zm-25-2-8-biogon-lens-review/), but the lens does not seem very common among Leica M shooters, especially if compared to other Zeiss lenses like the Planar 50 or Biogon 35.

I recently picked up one copy and tried to shoot some street action in the city of Hamburg where every year peaceful demonstrations and riots take place as a tradition on May 1st. Mounted on a Leica M6 loaded with TriX 400 and TMAX 400, I made my way through the “urban guerrilla”…

Shooting from the hip while walking and pre-setting the focus distance seem to work OK with a bit of luck (although the agents seem to smile at me, I don’t think they realized that I took a photo of them shooting from the hip):

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But the lens is wide! It seems you are never close enough… In the following 2 pictures I pre-set the focus distance, walked as close as I could and used the viewfinder to (guess-)frame.

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In the picture “you are never close enough” it is interesting to see that the 2 subjects did not notice me despite I was at less than 1 meter from them, while the young guy and the woman behind were probably asking themselves what I was doing so close…

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Unfortunately most of the copies of this lens bring up the 35 mm frame lines on the M6, M9 and Zeiss Ikon ZM. This is a bit distracting for me. The 28 mm frame lines would be a better choice (but not perfect, this lens is substantially wider!) if the external viewfinder is not available, but, at the time the lens came to the market, it targeted the M8 where the correct frame lines (35 mm equivalent) is triggered.

It is known that the lens can focus down to 0.5 m but the rangefinder disengages at 0.7 m. So if you want to use it from 0.7 and 0.5 m, you’ll have to guess the distance. I would also like to mention that, despite some websites state that the Zeiss Ikon ZM can use the rangefinder to focus down to 0.5m, this is not true. I have a Zeiss Ikon ZM and the rangefinder disengages at 0.7 m like the Leica M6 and M9.

Being the angle of view so wide, the Biogon 25 is an ideal companion for landscapes and cityscapes

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Or to give a “wide angle effect” to your shots:

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Or to capture a lot of things in one frame:

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Yes, the lens is sharp. In the picture above you can actually read the street sign next to the last flag on the right:

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Three more attempts to get closer to the subject:

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These pictures are digitalized by photographing the Kodak negatives with a Sony A7 mounted on a copy stand and equipped with bellow and macro lens Apo Rodagon-D 1x 75 mm. Negatives are inverted with negfix8 and post-processed (mainly tone curve adjustment only).

If you like to see more, please visit https://fiftyasa.wordpress.com

May 132015
 

Leica M6 TTL & Eeyore’s Birthday Party 2015

By Khunya Lamat Pan

M6

Hello all! Some might recognize my name and you may attribute it to my extreme loyalty to the Pentax K1000 and the Super-Takumar line of lenses. While I still LOVE the hell out of those, I finally made a big purchase on my dream camera and bought a nearly mint Leica M6 TTL body with a Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 lens. I chose the M6 due to its pure mechanical nature, with the exception of the light meter. Much like the K1000 actually! I like having the option of using a light meter, but if it fails or the battery dies, I can at least keep on shooting without any hiccups.

Bark

Drum Men

Not long after I bought the new setup, the annual festival in Austin, TX known as Eeyore’s Birthday Party took place. For anyone not familiar, the festival is a celebration of the character Eeyore created by A.A. Milne. Most everyone probably knows him from Winnie-the-Pooh. The festival has live music, egg toss, yoga, drum circles, food/beer, a real donkey, etc. It’s an all day event held in a beautiful park, and while it can get quite intense, the best thing to do is to find a nice shady patch on the hill within the trees and set up camp to watch all the interesting people walk by.

Guitar

Hammock

Legs

The M6 performed flawlessly. Like any Leica, it didn’t attract attention to itself in a horde of people. And while nearly everyone at the festival had a DSLR with them, I still felt relatively discreet. For the intensity of the festival, I felt the M6 was the perfect tool. I never felt like I had to worry about it, it just always works and feels smooth and precise. Even changing film on it in a crowd of people was easy, and I was expecting the worst since many people seem to hate the M6’s loading system. It was a very hot and sunny day, so I chose Ilford Pan F+ 50 and Efke KB 25 film. Efke is not longer in production, but I have stockpiled a lot of it in my freezer for special occasions like this. My style has always been to shoot more wide-open, so these two films are perfect for me, especially since I reside in sunny Texas. I developed them using Rodinal and Ilford Stop/Fix baths, and scanned myself using the Plustek Opticfilm 8200i 35mm film scanner.

Metal Head

Piggyback

Tattoo

On to the pictures! You can follow me on Flickr here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/khunya

You can also check out my website here: http://www.khunyalamatpan.com/

Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy!

-Khunya

Apr 282015
 

daslast

Dad’s Last Roll of Film

By Darek Meyer

Hi Steve,

I hope you`re doing well!

On my side – not that many changes since my last mail. I`m still in Asia, still taking pictures. With Robert Kresa, we`ve started “Where Were We” page. All our new things, as well as some older stuff, is there:
http://www.where-were-we.com

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These days, gear manufacturers keep us busy – all these new cameras, lenses, all sharp and all… This story however is not about gear.

Some time ago, I went back home to Poland, to arrange things and catch up with friends. At home, going through papers, I`ve found a box, full of old prints from my student times. There was also a roll of film.  To my surprise, they were not my pictures. They`ve been taken by my Father. After some investigation, it turned out they were shot around 1971-72, during his trip to Hungary. The camera used was most likely russian Smena 8M.

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The thing is, I do not recall my Father taking any pictures. Yes, he could paint, and he was good with it. But pictures? I started to look for more negatives, hoping to see more of his work. Well, not actually work – but captured pieces of his life, years back. I started to ask questions. And got very few answers. Too long time ago, already too many people passed. To my surprise, it occurred he was renting darkroom from one of local photographers. As I was told, there were several rolls developed and printed every week. What was there? Friends, architecture, nature, … ??!!

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But here is no happy end.

No more rolls.

The negatives I`ve found, they are just transparent. They did not survive harsh conditions of storage. They`ve been kept at countryside house, exposed to humidity, low and high temperatures, rats, and gods know what else. The old house my parents lived in, was sold, rebuild, so no chance to find forgotten negatives somewhere in the attic. This is it. Just 36 frames.

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I`ll keep on asking, keep on searching through family, if they have any prints left. I know that chances of success are small, as this is second or third generation already. People do not keep old things anymore. For you, just couple of frames. Are they world-class photographs? For sure not. There will be no more mention about them. But they are reflecting one of most important things in photography. And this is not about pixels, fps, or flares. They keep memories of people and events alive. They let me learn more things about my family.

Best regards,

Darek Meyer

Apr 242015
 

Street Photography in Dublin Ireland with Film

By Fergus Fitzgerald

Hi All,
I hope I am familiar to most of the regulars here as I post a lot as a commentator but never before as a contributor. I suppose you could call me a street photographer in as much as most of my photography seems to take place on the streets. My interests in photography these days is in street photography and those photographers who are regarded as being talented in this genre.

I do not take myself too seriously. I think street photography is valuable in the sense that it is entirely without an agenda which is its strength.

I realise this is a gear orientated site and I am definitely not a gear head though most photographers who say that are actually not telling the truth ! How can I explain this ? You see we all start out with an ambition to produce a great image -the image that is in our heads – if we do not succeed we will try again and again always seeking that elusive image. If you have experienced this feeling and know the frustration and remain faithful to that image in your head -then you are a photographer simple as that.

We can try all kinds of ways to achieve our goal -most of us (myself included ) at some time or other will succumb to the allure of the apparatus. If only we could get that new piece of equipment -that would make the transformation for us . In time we learn that the secret is to just keep shooting with what you have and try to become enthused more by the images you are creating and not the apparatus used. Mind you, I am more than willing to concede that gear can and does inspire people. So once you don’t go too crazy, what’s the harm in enjoying a new Nikon Canon Sony or even a Leica ? Not all at once of course !

I have used many cameras in my day and finally settled for Leica for many reasons -firstly they are beautiful and minimalist in the extreme and have superb optics. Secondly I like the European heritage -not to mention a desire to be a bit different.

I think of my images as being snaps for the thinking snapper. I hope anybody who recognises himself or herself in one of my photos will have the sense of humour to just have a laugh as I would never take an image to show a person in a bad way -though I will not allow my photography to become anodyne either.

These images are mostly from my M6 with 35 and 50 Summicron lenses on Ilford XP2 film scanned on my Nikon Coolscan V ED .  The images are just incidents I happened upon as I walked around where I live which is Dublin Ireland . For example the girl walking in costume reading the book was an actress rehearsing her lines during a break at the Samuel Beckett Theatre festival.

fergus4

I tend to shoot mostly with the 50mm lens and do not get too up close. Despite what Capa said I feel you can still produce good pictures from a slight distance. I cannot for example imagine myself ever using a 28mm or wider for street -though many do this magnificently.

I traded my M6 for an M8 seven or more years ago and occasionally I get a Lumix G1 on loan from a friend .I used this to get the image of the old lady bemused by the two guys reaction to whatever was on the laptop screen. I actually like the G1 a lot as it is nice and compact and produces good colour images -though I’m not a big fan of EVF’s Actually none other than Saul Leiter used one at the latter part of his career!

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The photo below was taken in Moore St Dublin where traditional traders still sell from stalls and many have family roots going back generations:

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The old gent looking through the view window is in Temple bar which has nice bars and restaurants and is a great spot for street photography. My favourite haunt there is “The Gallery of Photography “where I have seen such wonderful exhibitions as Genesis by Salgado. Keen eyed photographers will see this is not a film scan -it’s actually from the M8.

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Luck and happenstance play a big part in street photography. One day I was in the old Animal Museum in Dublin known to the kids of Dublin as the “Dead Zoo” with my nephew when I snapped a photo of him looking in wonder at a Moose. When the film was processed it turned out to be a different kid altogether as my nephew had wandered off to view something else! Years later myself and friends would visit “Yellowstone Park” in the US and I would have a very similar reaction to a live Moose -Wow they are big!

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When I got the M8 I shot almost exclusively in colour but now I mostly shoot in black and white . I love the way Leica M digital cameras render black and white. I have not seen better. Strangely I now seem to be shooting Black and White on digital and colour on film which is the reverse of a lot of photographers I know. Kodak Portra film has a lot to do with this as I love it‘s subtle pastel like colours. I have now resurrected my ancient Pentax K1000 and a few Takumar lenses for colour.

Hope you like the images.

Rgds Fergus Fitzgerald

PS might post a few colour street photos from the M8 in the future…….? Thanks Steve and Brandon.

© 2009-2015 STEVE HUFF PHOTOS All Rights Reserved
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