Apr 282016
 

My Pentax 6×7 Experience

By Fahad A.

Pentax_6x7_(8169376210)

Hi Brandon,

I would like to share my limited experience with film. Sometime in 2010 I decided to try medium format, after a quick research I bought myself a Pentax 6×7 along with the 105mm lens. that one the heaviest camera I have ever held!

After purchasing the Pentax and exposing the films I bought (Ektar & Pro H 400), I needed to develop the film and scan it. i could easily find places that would develop the film, but couldn’t find someone to scan it. so I had to buy a scanner, ended up buying the canoscan 8080.

I like the outcome, however if you asked me today about developing and scanning, I would have preferred sending the film to a pro lab to do it. It’s obvious my negatives were dirty and my scanning skills are not the best.

Pentax 6×7, 105mm 2.4 lens

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Apr 272016
 

Flower shots on 800 ASA film with a canon FD 85mm f/1.2 and a Petzval lens.

By Dirk Dom

Disclaimer.

I have somewhat mixed feelings sending this write up about shots, taken with 40 and 100-year-old gear, and which aren’t even remotely sharp. This is not at all for pixel peepers and gearheads. I hope you enjoy the shots as much as I do, and, who knows! Maybe you’ll get a roll of film out of the fridge and try it too!

The Story.

About ten years ago, I tried to do macro shots of flowers with the 85mm f/1.2 and a 50mm extension tube, to see if ultra-shallow DOF shots of flowers looked like anything. I used 400 ASA Fuji Superia film which I overexposed some four stops. (Had no choice). I discovered that compositions had to be extremely simple which made for very intense searching and the least bit of wind made the flower wiggle and made focusing very difficult. Over the course of two weeks I managed three nice shots.

About a year and a half ago I looked at the scans of these shots and I discovered something I had ignored before: grain! While digital grain (“noise”) is random in color and ugly, film grain comes in the same color as the subject and is, to me at least, gorgeous. I bought a three stop grey filter and Easter of 2015 I made macro shots on Fuji Superia 800, with the 85mm wide open, overexposing 4 stops.

For some reason I had no more trouble finding compositions and the shots came out extremely nice. I’ve put them on this website, you can find them back.

This Easter I went to the Costa Blanca, Spain, where I did more of the same. I introduced a 100 or 150 year old Petzval lens.

The Gear.

Canon F1 new, FD New 85mm f/2 L, Speedfinder, 50mm and 25mm extension tube, 3 stop ND filter.

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The Speedfinder allows shooting up to ground level because it revolves from horizontal to vertical. It allows to see your entire viewfinder image up to 2 ½ inch distant. I used manual metering all the time. The three stop ND filter allowed me to shoot, four stops overexposed, at 1/2000 to 1/250 second.

Canon F1 with Petzval.

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I got this lens for free with a large format camera, it covers about four inches image circle. It’s focal length is about 150mm, f/4 to f/5.6, uncoated of course and it’s very soft focus. I made an bronze adapter for it which connects to Canon FD, with a further adapter I can use it on any mirrorless camera. I’ll tell you later about this unique and very difficult to master lens.

The shots:

Pixel peepers should stop reading now.

Over the course of two weeks, during five walks, I shot eight films, 360 images. 59 of those were good. This is a selection, from sort of normal to sort of crazy. First the Canon lens, everything at f/1.2, the Petzval I keep for a bit later.

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The images, scanned and post processed, were a complete surprise. In Spain I saw my images through the viewfinder, with shallow DOF etc etc, and I knew it was technically possible, but that was only ten percent of the bargain. Only now I see what the images really are. They have to be thoroughly post processed because they exit the scan with the colors out of whack and rather flat. Fuji Superia 800 clearly isn’t made to be overexposed four stops and still be perfectly balanced. It’s also possible the scanner software (Silverfast) plays tricks. Every shot I need to search how to make it work. But when it opens up, it’s a revelation. I have to be very subtle with color saturation and contrast and levels, because otherwise the delicate grain and image structure gets destroyed. The grain only can take so much tweaking. So, the results you see here aren’t far off from what got on film originally.

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My Eizo screen is absolutely essential; it’s the best buy I ever made. The photo’s light up on it. If I had done the processing on my laptop, it wouldn’t have worked: Colors are flat compared to the Eizo and I’d either have given up or way oversaturated and the prints would have been money down the drain. Because, just as with black and white: The print is the only thing that counts. On a screen you can get anything. Everyone sees something different and most of the time, unless you have a really good one, it’s a serious disappointment. Imagine seeing this on a smartphone!

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I don’t know if you can see the grain structure on your screen, but it’s I think the most beautiful thing in these shots. Not only are they to be appreciated from a distance, but you can also look at the structure from very close by. They are in fact identical to film black and white, with color as an extra dimension. This is a shot, totally underexposed for a change. Contrast is just about nil, I couldn’t up it more without destroying the grain structure.

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Not knowing what will emerge feels very weird to me. Black and white, with its grain and color filters, is partially like that, but there I ‘m confident the outcome will be beautiful.

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The Petzval: something different.

This lens is so difficult I almost sold it twice already. It’s a hate/love affair.

It’s a very soft focus lens which has a mind of its own. Sometimes it’s sharp and sometimes it isn’t, and I still don’t know why. A second thing is, that because it’s not sharp, I keep on hunting for focus and don’t know when to press the shutter. This is extremely tiring especially at close focus.

The images it gets are often wildly unlike what I remember was in the viewfinder.

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Because of the difficulties, I got fed up with the lens, once again decided to sell it and only shot one film, which yielded these three images.

They exhibit sort of an impressionist look, I think. Will I sell it? Certainly not! I have to learn to control it.

A good ten years ago I went to the nature photo club with a disgustingly high self-esteem. I thought my flower shots were very, very good, while they were lousy, I can show them to prove it. God, I’m still embarrassed about that. The shots I make now make me feel very humble and grateful. I’ve hit photography which needs more searching and control than ever, and yet every shot here is a surprise. I only take images in nature, it’s amazing there is so much beauty there.

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What am I going to do with these shots when I’ve reached 200 images or such? Evolve further? Stop it? I can’t just stop this. I have to find a positive way out. Making money on flower shots is almost impossible. Maybe I should offer prints to hospitals. It took me 40 years to get this far. I’m 58 and I got my first camera, a canon Ftb, from my parents when I was 18. I bought a few diopter lenses, two years later I had a macro lens and it started: Shooting flowers has always been my passion.

Bye,

Dirk.

Apr 222016
 

Into darkness with Ilford film

cover photo – Pentax MZ-S, SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited

cover photo

Another day, another film and another report. And yes, I stole name of article from Star Trek.

Even in shrinking film world there are choices, possibilities and a lot of things to learn. Last spring I played with slow ISO50 film, and now I went opposite way – picked Ilford Delta 3200 film with incredible ISO3200 sensitivity and went to test it into darkness.

After three rolls I feel that I just scratched the tip of the iceberg in terms of possibilities with this film. Why do I think so? Well, documentation of this film and internet if full of information about possibility to expose it from ISO400 to ISO12800, to make it less/more grainy or less/more contrasty with different development materials and techniques. As for me I don’t develop myself (oh I feel this will change soon, might be very soon, I’m so tempted), and I shoot it at box speed, or to be more precise DX code speed on 3200 ISO. But this film is already in my list of my favorites together with: Portra400 – go anywhere film, Cinestill 800T – low light film, Ektar 100 – film for sun. Ilford Delta 3200 in this list will be film for night.

To sum up my personal evaluation of this film I can say, that it was a first time for me when I had a totally analogue trip, I had a confidence to go for short vacation only with film cameras, one was loaded with portra for day and other with delta for night. Not saying that digital is bad, only saying that its not amount of light decides which medium to use, Its me who makes decision.

And now to list of observations and remarks:

– Its fast film. All shots here were metered at 3200 ISO, some of them were adjusted in PP, with minus half stop EV. I saw quite good or at least acceptable examples of this film shot at 6400, or even 12800.
– Its grainy. I like this type of grain. Read that it could be make less or more grainy depending on developing materials and techniques.
– Contrast is low. I like more contrasty view, so I took advantage from hybrid process and increased contrast in LR. Together with grain it gives me pleasant film noir look.
– Its possible to use this film in daylight as well. Two shots here I made with 3x ND filter. Then its like shooting 400 ISO film.

Thats it. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to share some tips regarding this film in comments.

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

Picture 1 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Marumi ND filter

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Picture 2 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

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Picture 3 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Marumi ND filter

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Picture 4 – Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 50mm F1.4

belgija, briuggė

Apr 162016
 

Friday Film on a Saturday – Leica M5 and Tri-X

by Matt Forsbacka

Hello,

You run a fun web site – your enthusiasm for photography is infectious. I recently visited Tokyo and Yokohama with my M5 and vintage 35mm Summilux during the iconic sakura season. All of the attached pix are Tri-X pushed to 1600 (developed and scanned by the folks at The Darkroom – thedarkroom.com). I really enjoyed shooting film as an added dimension to my digital picture taking.

All post processing was done in Apple Photos, and I found the scanned files to be pretty forgiving for my amateur photographer purposes. Film or digital? I say both.

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All the best,

Matt

Mar 182016
 

Polaroid 195 & Fuji FP100C

by Adam Laws

Evening Steve,

Hope this correspondence finds you well.

It’s been quite some time since I submitted a feature but with the much talked about demise of peel apart film I thought it would be fitting to post my thoughts/images/tribute to the much-loved format.

The below shots were taken on a Polaroid 195 a somewhat rare vintage manual Polaroid camera capable of shooting at an aperture of F3.8.

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Unlike many 195’s I have kept the original twin viewfinder. Personally I find this view finder more accurate than the Zeiss VF found on the likes of the Polaroid 250, however I do admit it makes the process of shooting the 195 somewhat slow, yet it’s such a joy to shoot a manual vintage Polaroid I don’t mind savouring the moment.

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I generally shoot Polaroids to break up and give some diversity to my portraits. I always get such a great reaction from my models when I shoot with it, and as I’ve described before when you point what might be considered a large antiquated camera at an individual you tend to find your subject all of the sudden takes things rather more seriously, which always makes me laugh as I generally try to keep things as relaxed as possible. It’s still a wonderful experience to have a real tangible image appear after a minute or so, which you can share.

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FP100c was always a joy to use. Although the 100 speed film was limiting and future generations will not know the frustration of how a freshly peeled film had a magic ability to attract all dust within a mile radius the beautiful tonality of the film made up for it. In addition the ability of transferring print from the negative to a sheet of paper was always quite fun even if the results did vary considerably for myself.

I fear after my small stockpile of film is consumed this beautiful camera will be relegated to a shelf queen, and the joys of shooting with FP100c will be a distant memory. I have Lomo instax wide to continue my love of instant film (And an sx70 in urgent need of repair) but instax film feels somewhat cheap compared to the images produced with peel apart film and the lack of a manual instax is somewhat frustrating.

Anyway I hope you all enjoy the images hopefully viewing them with a cup of tea and slice of cake.

Models include the most gracious:

Iesha McLean
Jordan Ebbit
Hannah Owen
Vicky Kozlowska
Filippa Karolina
Charlotte Roffey

www.instagram.com/adamlawsphotography

www.AdamLaws.com

Mar 092016
 

The French Quarter of New Orleans

By Anthony Killeen

The French Quarter has to be one of the best places for street photography. It’s full of interesting scenes and people, and it’s a hive of activity all day and night.

All of these were taken withe a Leica M-A and Summilux 50 mm f/1.4. For the first shot, I used CineStill 800T, which is a relative newcomer to the film market, made by the Brothers Wright. It’s made from film stock produced for the motion picture industry and is color balanced for tungsten lighting. The anti-halation layer at the back of the film has been pre-removed to make it possible to develop in routine C41 chemistry. The consequence of this removal is that the film is subject to halos around bright lights, but in this kind of shot those halos only add to the drama of the lighting.

The other two shots were taken with Kodak Tri-X 400.

Thanks for considering these!

My blog: www.anthonykilleen.com

 Orleans band

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Flying around

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Street preacher

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Anthony Killeen

Feb 232016
 

What is cinematic?

By Aivaras Sidla

There is a style of photography where picture looks like a still scene taken from movie. I saw such look in other photographers work, managed to make several pictures myself and I’m drawn to learn how to create such pictures on purpose.

This style is usually called “cinematic”.

After reading a half of internet, going trough lot of pictures of several serious photographers, that use this style (would recommend to pay attention to  mr. Matt Osborne work) and experimenting a bit, I learn that there are several important aspects that helps to create this specific look.

I’m going to share a list of observations and some photos (please remember that looks is very personal and things which I see in picture you may see differently). Thing is that I don’t grasp all of important aspects, so this time I’m trying to make interactive post :) – please share your remarks and observations.

Picture1. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited, Kodak Portra 400

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Picture2. Pentax MZ-3 (panorama mode), SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, Kodak Portra 400

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Picture3. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, CineStill 800 Xpro Tungsten

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Picture4. Pentax MZ-3 (panorama mode), SMC Pentax-F 50mm F1.7, CineStill 800 Xpro Tungsten

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Picture5. Pentax MZ-3, SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited, Kodak Portra 400

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Anyway, here is a list:

-Aspect ratio. Wider is better, but I dare to say that it is not dead necessary. 3×2 aspect looks OK to me.

-Its better when subject doesn’t have direct eye contact with camera. Not sure why, maybe we are used that there is no operator in movies, he has to be invisible

-There should be tension in the frame. I try to create it by looks, movement, composition, and emotional aspects.

-Depth of field. Limited depth of field works better for me, but it shouldn’t be just pone detail and a splash of bokeh in the rest of the frame. There should be context in the picture.

-Light. Proper directional good quality light is very important. But here I don’t see that much difference from usual still photography style. So looks like that there is no need to go into specific details.

-Lens flare. I didn’t tried to use it. I know that I have to learn how to crate it in controllable and suitable way. Like long lens flare that goes trough all frame.

So this is what I know. Now it’s your turn, readers; what would be your opinion, observations for creation of cinematic look?

O! Almost forgot, that this is gear site. Yes. I just have to get my hands on Hasselblad X-pan II with 45mm F4 lens and center ND filter. Yes, again. That should answer all my questions. He he he. J
Regards,

Aivaras

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

Feb 102016
 
Return_to_Film-8

A Return to Film from the Leica Monochrom

by James Suojanen

Hey Steve!

I began making photographs in the 1960’s using a 35mm rangefinder and developing my own black and white film. I also made contact prints and did some enlargements. But I fell away from photography through college, professional training, career and early family life; no time, no money. And color photography eluded me. But when digital became affordable with the Nikon D70, I began again. Initially I went the SLR route, but as I got older I disliked the size and weight so I ended up back with rangefinders, eventually acquiring a Leica Monochrom to complete the return to my roots; or so I thought.

Using the Monochrom with just about any decent lens produced unbelievably sharp images.

This image was made using a 60+ year old 50mm Summarit during the Memorial Day Parade in my town (Summarit yellow filter, handheld) – Leica Monochrom

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I made this image I made at the Military Cemetery in Bourne, Massachusetts. Normally the graves can have NO decoration. But the father of a posthumous Medal of Honor soldier buried there won the right to have flags placed at every grave site for the Veterans Day and Memorial Day weekends. An amazing event in which hundreds of volunteers appear, place the flags and then remove them. (Monochrom with a 21mm SEM on a tripod with a yellow filter) – Leica Monochrom

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On a trip to my old stomping grounds in the South, I made this pic with the Monochrom and a 35mm Summilux FLE (UV filter).

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I like all of these images. The prints have a medium-format acuity to them. But I just found/find them a bit sterile; they lack(ed) a certain “je ne sais pas” for me. So when I saw an announcement of a Leica Akademie workshop on film photography coincident with a trip to LA, I decided I’d take a second look at film. What I like about workshops is not only the focused time devoted to learning and practicing, but also the people the people I meet. I wasn’t disappointed by the cast of characters who assembled. And I was given 2 36-exposure rolls of Ilford XP2 for a sojourn through Chinatown and environs. Great fun, great instructor and a real adventure! Film DOES make you slow down and think about the images you’re making.

XP2 is a Black & White ISO 400 negative film developed using the C-41 process for color films. The images shown here were commercially scanned at the time of development with a 3,000 x 2,000 pixel resolution. All images were made with my Leica M7 and Voigtlander 35mm Color Skopar, except for Bruce Lee – 90mm macro elmar. I used a yellow filter for about half of them. I post-processed in Lightroom and Nik. I think the color processing gives the files a good bit of latitude for digital post-procesing. The grain is very fine and uniform. For those do-it-yourselfers, I imagine that Kodak TMax would give similar results.

Peculiar – an open but very hostile gate.

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Church in Hispanic neighborhood next to Chinatown

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Building next to the Church. As I unloaded the second roll at the end of the day, I realized I had not rewound before I opened the camera. Steve can’t publish what I said at that moment, but I quickly closed the camera back up and hoped for the best. This bit of serendipity occurs with film and can make for some interesting images. The light from the sprocket holes provides celestial framing for this otherwise boring composition.

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My favorite image of the day. Simple story within a complex image – maybe a metaphor for most of us seeking to find a path through the complicated thing we call life.

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Statue of Bruce Lee. The sprocket light made a spotlight for his face. I had a very difficult time framing since I wanted to get his hand in-between the lanterns, like he was balancing them. I had to account for the lens/viewfinder parallax while I held the camera upside down.

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A bench. The Voigtlander lens renders very nicely on film. It’s as sharp as a 35mm Summicron (had one a while back) with very nice bokeh. Small and light, I find it’s short focus throw terrific for street photography. I spent about $350 for the screw mount lens and adapter. It also looks great on both my M7 and my Leica IIIf.

For me, I saw these images and knew I was home again – at least for B&W. They just breath more that the Monochrom pictures. I don’t really know what it is. Certainly a lens will interact with a 20µ thick film emulsion differently than a 1µ micro prism at the top of a photocell in a digital sensor. It may also reflect an analog vs digital tonal range. Perhaps some/most of you reading this (thank you for taking the time to read this piece and look at the photographs), will think me deluded. That’s okay. Art is art, and a wise man once said, “There are as many paths to God as there are people on the Earth”. I’ll paraphrase him by saying that each of us has our own path (i.e. camera, lenses, etc.) to making THE PICTURE which we all seek.

Cheers and blessings,
JNSuojanen

P.S. Given the rapid depreciation of digital cameras, I don’t think there is any significant cost between film and digital for most of us amateurs (except if you shoot action stuff). My Leica IIIf is 60+ years old and works perfectly (I can’t say the same about myself).

Feb 052016
 

Film Friday: Weddings

by Michael McFaul

Hi Steve!

Happy Friday! And with that being said, I’d like to, once gain, contribute to one of my favorite segments on your site, Film Friday. ‎Last Fall you posted a Quick Shot I submitted titled ‘The Breakup w/ the Pentax Spotmatic’, and I wanted to share some images from a wedding that I had the opportunity to be a part of.

I’d say that I truly do love black and white film. To me, it just feels a bit more artistic, photojournalistic…from the grain, to the different tones of black to grey and white that film conveys…I love it. This is all subjective, of course, but it’s what keeps me inspired. :) And the funny thing about b&w film, is that in the past year, I’ve really utilized the darkroom for printing and toying with different methods of making the print…contrast filters, dodge and burn, etc…which in turn have helped me appreciate LR a lot more, cause I loathed PP.

These were edited a bit in LR with dodging, burning and slight cropping, if at all…I think. Hope your readers enjoy them.

Also, if I can add…I love the simplicity of film. Before I got into investment finance (my current FT job), I was in the golf industry as my first FT job straight out of college. Doing golf course management, giving lessons, grounds maintenance, the likes…and while there, I had access to Taylormade golf clubs at times either for free, or at cost. And as you’d might imagine, I’d be switching out clubs 2 to 3 times a year. Always trying to find the next great club and feeling like the current club was never enough…so I burned out and left. Golf was a passion of mine from my first job as a kid, to competition, amateur tournaments, and was a part of my daily life. Yet I walked away from it.

For a while, digital photography was doing the same with me. I went from a simple p&s, to the Panny GX1, then onto the Oly OMD EM5…and yet in between them, non-stop research. Should I go FF, stay with m43rd…Sony, Leica, Fuji…Aaah! Out of a bit of desperation, and to reconnect with my late father, I bought a film camera. And for me, I’m better off for it. I still love the Oly and use it often for family functions…but film has really slowed me down, work more on the artistic side of photography, focus on composition, seizing the moment, and all the other clichés that have been said in the past. And to be honest, they’re somewhat true. Yet at the same time it really allowed me to appreciate the OMD, and realize that it is a capable camera, has everything I need, and to instead focus on acquiring more m43rd lenses…and appreciating PP in LR, too! :)

Sorry I went off topic, but hope this tidbit of info can help others who are going through the same thought process. ‎As creative individuals, the biggest doubter/critic, can often times be ourselves. Constantly questioning the uses of our tools, and trying to find new products/methods/whatever that IT is to convey our expressions. If anything, give an old SLR a try. :)

As for golf, I’ve probably played 4 full rounds in the past 5 to 6 years. It’s but a distant memory.

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Cheers,

-Michael

Jan 292016
 

Friday Film: Leica M6 Classic

Hi Steve and Brandon,

I hope this email finds you both well. Recently we had a chance to escape the Canadian cold and take a (short!) family winter getaway. I brought only the Leica M6 classic, the Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC, a 3-stop ND filter, and a pile of Portra.

It is always exciting to get home, process the film, and relive the experience. (Though there is always that tiny bit of concern that the rangefinder was bumped out of alignment, and you actually have nothing to show for it!)

Fortune smiled upon us this time.

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These are all self-developed, and scanned using the Pakon F135+. Included below are some samples. More images may be found on my site at http://iftimestoodstill.net/the-analog-vacation/

Thanks for considering.

Warmest regards to you and your readers,

Mark

Jan 222016
 

Film Friday: Portraits of Nepal on Hasselblad 500cm

by fiftyasa

Dear Brandon and Steve,

Once again thanks for keeping up the good work with your website!

I just came back from a trip to Nepal and would like to share some film shots taken with a Hasselblad 500cm, Planar 2.8/80 and TriX400 or TMAX100 (last 2 images).

As you might recall, Nepal was heavily hit by a terrible earthquake last year. The signs are still visible with several temples and buildings destroyed. In addition to the earthquake devastation, the country is now suffering from a border blockade (explained for example here) which leaves the population with shortage of fuel, gas and medicines.

In spite of this, Nepal remains a wonderful country and a photography paradise! Nepal needs today more than ever that tourists return to visit its amazing valleys, mountains and villages and enjoy the hospitality of its people. My strong recommendation is to go without hesitation! If you are a travel photographer, this country is a gem!

Most of the images below are taken in remote villages off the beaten tracks where accommodation is home-stay based: you will stay with a hosting family, eating with them and sleeping in their houses. This is an amazing experience that no hotel in the world can give you.

RAW-WB: 0.342704 1 0.815287

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The rest of the images are visible here: https://fiftyasa.wordpress.com/portfolio/portraits-of-nepal-on-film/

If you also want to see digital images of the trip same (taken with a Leica M9), you are welcome to visit my website here: https://fiftyasa.wordpress.com/portfolio/nepalunknown/

Negatives are digitalized with a Sony A7 mounted on a copy-stand with an Apo-Rodagon D1x (a merge of 2 shots gives you 36 MPixel resolution per frame).

Dec 042015
 

Film Friday: Flamenco

by Dierk Topp

Hi Steve and Brandon,

This is a series of flamenco images. I took these images with the Nikon FA and T-Max 400 in 1987.

My wife loved flamenco, since she went to school and later she joined a small group and they danced just for fun and on small events in public.

The first images of my wife and a friend of the flamenco group are made in our living room with two soft boxes. Images 8 and 9 show the famous Swiss flamenco dancer Nina Corti dancing in the “Fabrik” in Hamburg, Germany. On these images the light was not easy. The lens could have been my 35-135mm or the 180/2.8 Nikkor.

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

analog: T-Max 400, 1987

flamenco Nin Corti

Sony NEX-6 with Meyer Optik Trioplan 2.8/100 @ f/2.8

I digitized the images with the set up that you see on this last image:

making of: Sony A7R, bellows and Leitz Focotar 50mm/4.5

The Sony A7R with a Metabones adapter attached to a Nikon mount bellows with a Leica enlarging lens and a slide/film copy adapter. Light from a Nikon SB800 set on manual exposure. Today (for these images shown here) I use my A7RII with 42 MP = 5.300 DPI and a wireless TTL controlled Nissin Di700A flash. That makes it easy and I shoot a complete set of 6 negatives in about 20 seconds with perfect exposures. Processing with PS for inversion to positive and some cleaning and cropping and with Nik Silver Efex Pro for final B&W.

Dierk

Nov 132015
 
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Spain, Costa Blanca with the Mamiya 7

By Dirk Dom

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Hi!

Spent a week in Moraira, Costa Blanca, Spain with my folks and my sister and her husband.

I took the Linhof technical camera and the Mamiya 7 with the 65mm and 150mm lens. These lenses were newly bought and I hadn’t used them yet.

The 150mm has a bad rap, because it is supposed to be difficult to focus with the rangefinder. So far, I only had the 43mm superwide for that camera, which I always zone focused. This was in fact the first time I was really obliged to use the rangefinder.

It turned out that all my exposures were focused spot on. I think the bad reputation of the 150 is because many people buy this lens for street photography (it’s equivalent to a 77mm on full frame (35mm film) and focusing with the rangefinder on moving subjects may be difficult. You need something with good contrast.

Because I was enjoying this vacation with other people, I didn’t use the Linhof. I shot the 150mm all the time, except for one shot with the 65. All in all I shot eight films, 80 images.

Well, enough said.

For the tech people:

Mamiya 7, 6×7 format.
150mm f/4.5
65mm f/4.5
Kodak Tmax 400 exposed for 800, developed in Tmax developer at 24°C for six minutes
Orange filter
Scanned with Epson V750 at 2,400PPI, photoshopped (levels, burning and dodging)
Prints on Hahnemühle Baryta.

Here we go:

Here I had this diaphragm spot. I decided to make it more obvious and use it in the composition. I think it came out nice, but of course it’s not something I do every day.

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Underwater rocks are always beautiful. Black and white isn’t an obvious choice for this, because the brown rock and the beautiful blue water. I think this simple image came out nice.

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On the way to Denia this landscape with three clouds.

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This is the Ifach, the epic rock at Calpe which was a navigation landmark for the Phoenicians.

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When I saw this image, I only had a second. I grabbed the camera and fired. This shot for some reason was extremely difficult to post process, because the coastline in the back was a perfectly even grey. It took four tries to make it into something sensible, and even now I’m not fully satisfied. But I can’t make it any better.

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This tower I’ve been shooting for years. The sky happened to be beautiful this time.

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I just love cloudscapes. A few weeks ago, I thought: “Why don’t I take photographs of just clouds, without landscape underneath?

These are my first images.

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Only shot taken with the 65mm on this trip.

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These cloud shots are a riot. I use the shot as a template and then I burn and dodge to taste. It may sound a little weird, but I take a great deal of time doing minute detail, going back and forth from a big image to a small one. I only stop when it looks perfect and balanced to me. I guess this is the ultimate “Negative is the Score, Print is the Performance” (the famous Ansel Adams quote) experience.

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Well, ten shots out of eighty. Not bad.

The Mamiya 7 is an ultimate fun camera. It handles extremely easy, and the negatives… Well, let’s just say half a year ago I really, really wanted a Sony A7S, well that want has just gone away, I’m on a different road. I’ve never had such a positive photographic experience as with medium format black and white. I must say the rangefinder experience is extremely positive.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the show, thanks for looking.

Oh, yes, got a website now: www.kridmod.zenfolio.com

Bye,

Dirk.

Sep 302015
 

A Hot Summer in Rome

by Massimiliano Tiberi

Dear Steve how are you!

I am here in Rome waiting for the autumn looking back at what I shot this summer and I would like to share with you all my roll of film done with the Leica M2 and a great Tri-X. So refreshing to shot with a so simple camera.

Rome in August can be very hot and the city is a bit empty and lonely but so interesting because something that is hidden became more visible. The people in Rome are so incredibly surrounded by masterpieces that sometimes you forget the living ones to focus on what was done by the ancient inhabitant of this city.

Something of the beauty of this city is fading away so do not miss the chance to visit soon.

more if you like there : http://blog.massimilianotiberi.com/rome-in-an-empty-summer/

I wish you can enjoy :-)

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Sep 212015
 

A night of Post Processing

By Dirk Dom

What a night!

I did ten black and white shots of my San Francisco trip.

At first, I got all crazy about printing big and I wanted drum scans made. Since that, and printing four feet would see me bankrupt, I used my own scans and enjoyed these.

I’ll print 12 x 18 inches, 30 x 45 cm, on Baryta paper. With my own scans I can go to 24 inches, 60 cm at 300 DPI.

This was a night of calm creativity and intense concentration.

Ansel Adams, the greatest printer that ever lived, said: “the negative is the score, the print the performance”. I performed tonight.

I’m deeply grateful I can do this.

The tools I use would make any Photoshop specialist laugh so hard he’d get cramps, but I use them until I can’t make the print any better. I do burning and dodging, a little bit of levels, mainly to check if I reach the black and white limits (ALT key), that’s all. Of course the images need spotting. Photoshop is as refined as you want, no limit.

Usually I have a very vivid idea about the potential of the print and what I want it to become, getting there is usually not difficult but takes lots of time.

Well, here they are, I didn’t include shots of the city because buildings don’t fit in this series.

This one I made very high key to offset the jet black charred stump and the rest of the Redwood forest.

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Here I think I got the range of light in the forest.

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Another jet black stump.

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The bank of a creek in Ukiah. This shot is so sharp you see every thread of moss on the trees. It screams “Enlarge me BIG!!!”

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My son.

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One afternoon, the clouds were just magic in Ukiah. I was out for hours watching it all evolve.

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Yummy…

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Finally, I include this city shot, because of the nice sky: San Francisco from Bernal Heights. I think that’s the best view of the city.

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I’m so glad that last year I decided to go for film and not for digital black and white. There are always beautiful structures in the negative, often totally unexpected.

Like the cloud in the San Francisco shot:

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No way you can get such a thing digitally! (Does Nik software emulate this? I’d like to know) Such structures make a print glow. A print shows this sort of detail, to discover and enjoy.
I think there is nothing more beautiful in photography than fine black and white.

Well, enough.

And,

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If it doesn’t look good as a thumbnail, it’s no good.

Bye,

Dirk.

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