May 272016
 
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Friday Film: Mamiya RB67 Pro S

by Hafiz Kamsadi

Hi Steve & Brandon,

Firstly, thank you so much to you both for everything you’ve done for the photographic community so far! Such fantastic passion and commitment to all things photography has really made this my daily site to visit for inspiration and fresh ideas and opinions.

I am a 24-year-old Singaporean based in Perth, Western Australia and I started photography 8 years ago shooting for my school’s media club. Understandably, I started off with DSLRs (Canon) but it was never more than just a hobby at that point in time. Fast forward 8 years (and MANY cameras and lenses from GAS) and I recently started a side business 3 years ago, as my hobby turned into my passion and love for photography.

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My point is, after going through Canon, Fuji mirrorless, back to Canon, and then Sony A7r system, I felt that I needed a change from digital and decided to make the jump into FILM! I had ZERO experience with film cameras or different film types and it was all new to me. After a few weeks of reading and after finding a pretty sweet deal secondhand, I purchased my very first film camera, which also became my very first MEDIUM FORMAT camera – the Mamiya RB67.

All I could say was WOW! Addressing the common perception with this camera: Was it big and bulky, heavy, slow to use, hard to focus, not that many fast lenses? Yeap, all that and more. But there’s nothing you can’t do without PATIENCE and PRACTICE. Here was a 1970s camera used and abused by so many professionals from that period and here I was 40 years after production still learning how to make the most out of this wonderful beast.

The Mamiya RB67 shoots 10 images from a 120mm film in a 6×7 format which in itself was a big change from the 3×2 ratio that I was used to from Full frame digital. My deal came with 3 lenses, a 50mm f4.5, a 127mm f3.8 and a 180mm f4.5. In full frame 35mm terms, that’s roughly a 25mm f2.2, 64mm f1.9 and a 90mm f2.2.

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The thing I enjoy most with the RB67 from the very first shot till now is still that HUGE mirror slap that probably causes tremors. Shaky photos? Yes sometimes but I practice good form and technique so it has improved tremendously. That bright and big viewfinder was like going to the movies every single time i look down into the waist-level viewfinder. The all mechanical machine with zero electronics meant that every single motion and action I did was all up to me. No autofocus, no metering, no auto film winding and I found it a JOY and a breath of fresh air from all the digital settings that we are all too accustomed too.

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With all the comparisons with different digital sensors from different manufacturers, have a look at the insane options of film! Each film stock has its own unique characteristics and strengths and weaknesses. It was wonderful to try various film to learn and experiment. The smooth tonal range of 120mm film, the grain (or lack thereof), and the HUGE latitude you get with film that is still unsurpassed with digital (Portra 400 has 19 stops of dynamic range!!).

Ultimately, it was the experience of re-learning photography from scratch that tugged my heart to film. Any error in the final photo was noone’s to blame but mine. I understood how to meter by looking at the quality and intensity of the lights and shadows and I appreciated composition and the quality of a scene more than anything since I only had 10 shots per roll. I purchased an Epson V700 scanner to minimise the high costs of lousy lab scans to maximise the beauty and quality of each roll I had. Till this day, NOTHING beats the feeling I have when I get back my film negatives and slides (especially my Fujifilm Velvia slides!) and popping it into my scanner, make adjustments and make the final test print as the final product.

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After 6 months with the camera, it felt like digital was too easy. Yes digital was convenient and efficient and I still use it mostly for my work. But every chance I get, I go analogue and I shoot film because it refreshes my soul.

I think I could go on and on about film so I shall stop here! xD

I am still new to film and am learning new things everyday. I normally use Kodak Portra 160, 400, Ektar 100 and Fujifilm Velvia 50 & 100.  I occasionally shoot TMAX 100 and Delta 3200.

I hope my story and my images below will be a source of ideas and inspiration to a few, just as the countless previous posts on this website have been an inspiration to many.

You can find more of my work on my online portfolio at hafizkamsadiphotography.com

Please also support me if you like my work:

Instagram: @hkamsadi

Facebook: Hafiz Kamsadi Photography

Thank you Steve for this avenue to express myself and happy clicking and snapping to you all :)

Your film photographer,

Hafiz: Mamiya

May 202016
 

Winter Day… Resolve

by Dirk Dom

Hi!

Last month I spent €1,400 on prints. That’s crazy. I have credit card debt, and I want to get out of it. So, I told myself to spend no more than €300 a month on projects etc. I’m really, really serious about it.  Main thing is that I’ll stop black and white photography for eighteen months. Black and white, for me, needs to be postprocessed and printed in very high quality, and with €300 a month, that’s not possible. When I have images, I can’t resist printing. If I don’t generate images, I won’t have the urge to print.

So, goodbye Linhof and Mamiya 7, for a while.

Will I be miserable?

Certainly not. There is so much else I can do with photography. It’s only a matter of selecting what else I will do. I’m going to shoot the Hasselblad Xpan and my Canon F1. (Lost all interest in digital a year ago) Color neg, prints cost only a quarter of black and white. A 6 by 18 inch Xpan print costs me 3 Euro’s.  Today, I’ve been looking around my Xpan shots, just to get an idea of possibilities and potential.  Here are some which I like, but be warned: with me, anything goes in post.

So, I said, no black and white. Well, that’s going to be tough. A few minutes of post on this Fuji Superia 400 color image yielded this:

Note the nice silvery greys of the Cathedral and the great grain in the skies. I don’t often convert color to black and white.

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Looking a bit further in my files, I found a shot of a sidewalk in San Francisco.

Popping saturation up to 50, made it into this

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Cropping and converting to black and white:

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And saturating red:

I shoot just about anything that shows potential. Not that I take many pictures: I give every shot careful thought.

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The silver screen behind a windshield, solarized and made it high key:

I got less and less frustrated with my resolve not to shoot black and white for 18 months, but I got a little worried I’d start printing.

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I fooled around with solarisation and converting to negative, and I found this image of a box full of oranges:

Now, isn’t that cool? Images which convert in such a nice way are extremely rare.

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I can even shoot normal stuff, the 90mm is very nice for close ups:

My son, with the Golden Gate, 90mm.

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So,

I’m going to walk around with the Xpan and have fun. In a more serious way, I’m going to shoot Antwerp for a year and a half. This Summer, I’m bicycling from Antwerp to Benidorm in Spain and I’ll also take the Xpan, with the 45 and the 90 and a batch of Ektar 100. That’ll cost me less than staying home. At first I wanted to take the Mamiya 7 with the 43 and 150mm and do masterly black and white, but it’ll be for another time.

Bye,

Dirk.

 

May 202016
 

Film Friday: Rolleiflex w/ Ilford Delta 100

By David Patris

I am from Belgium and I have been a frequent reader since a few years now. Recently I discovered my father’s Rolleifleix ( 75mm, Tessar 3.5), which was left a long time in a closet, with this camera I am enjoying to go 6×6 cm.
I use the Ilford Delta 100, a long favored film of mine, scanning them with the Epson V750 and processing the files with lightroom.

Thanks for your work with this site. I hope you will appreciate the following pictures.

David Patris

Blankenberge, Belgian coast 1.

Blankenberge, Belgian coast 2.

Colorado provencale. Lubéron, France.

Lubéron forêt des cèdres arche 2

Lubéron, forêt des cèdres. France.

Arc de Triomphe. Paris.

Congressiste, porte Maillot, Paris.

Parisan Trip.

May 122016
 

Blast from the past – Kodachrome 25 revisited

by Jerry Melcher

Brandon and Steve,

Believe it or not I have been playing around with a select set of Kodachrome ASA 25 slides from a series of vacations taken in 1984. The images that pop out at you in a small slide viewer or on the screen from a Leica projector are very difficult to capture in a display monitor much less print.

Little Yosemite_from Glasier Point

So about 10 years ago I began a journey to process my old pics. I cannot tell you how many articles I read, how many types of scanners I’ve tried and services I’ve paid for. On top of that every time a new piece of imaging processing software showed up I had to pull out the set of Keepers and rerun them. Anyway I hope you find these 3 shots from Yosemite enjoyable. I will also provide over the coming months examples from Ireland and England also from 1984.

Three Brothers Yosemite Valley Oct1984 Sentinel Dome Jeffrey Pine 1984

All shots taken with a 1982 Pentax ME Super with 28mm lens. The last two images scanned at West Coast Imaging on a Heidelberg Tango. Kudos to them.

” . . .Momma don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

Jerry Melcher

May 062016
 

Film Friday: Paris ‘Les Halles’ in 1962′

By Dierk Topp

Hi Steve and Brandon,  in 1962 I made my first trip to Paris. At that time I used an Edixa Reflex with Kodak TRI X for my photographs.  I visited ‘Les Halles’, at that time an incredible market in the center of Paris. This market does not exist any more, Paris built a new one.

Here are four images from that visit. I never saw something like this before.

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

Edixa Reflex, Kodak TRI X

And just for fun the last image is the very first image, that I ever made. I made it with the Agfa Box of my mother during vacation with my school class in 1955 on Perutz film. To be honest, it is ma second photograph, the first one on this roll is just to bad

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hörnum 1955

 

my images are here at flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dierktopp/

Digitized with Sony A6000 with enlarging lens on a bellows and Nissin Di700A TTL flash. Works perfect!

Apr 222016
 

Into darkness with Ilford film

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

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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

NewOrleansPreacher

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 122016
 

Hasselblad Xpan, a print solution.

By Dirk Dom

xpan

The Hasselblad Xpan is a panoramic rangefinder which makes 65 x 24mm images on 35mm Together with the Mamiya 7, this is my absolute favorite camera. A problem is: what do you do with its output? The panoramic format doesn’t lend itself to standard stuff.

Here’s a solution which works real well for me.

Scanning.

I use an Epson V750, scan at 2.700PPI. That is resolution enough for a 24 inch print.

Printing.

I used to paste two images together on a 30 x 45 cm print, and have it printed on a Fuji Frontier. But these prints were just too small, and I had no solution to present them, so it wasn’t any good.

After two trips to san Francisco, Easter and Summer 2015, I decided to go without compromise. I was going to make a real album with 24 inch prints.

Here’s how I did it:

I scanned my images and photoshopped them. I looked at them at 200% and got rid of the tiniest faults.

Printing image by image on a 24 inch roll of paper made for lots of paper loss, so in Photoshop I combined the images in huge prints of ten, with 1 centimeter of white in between. I can tell you these 2.5 meter prints look real impressive.

The prints were made on a very high quality inkjet printer with archival inks and on Permajet Oyster paper. I didn’t do this myself, but had it done by the company Kodec in Belgium, who are real masters. I have a 24 inch Eizo screen and the image on it is 100% the same as the printed result, so I don’t need to have tests made.

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I bought myself a paper cutting machine and cut out the prints.

I bought 100 grams tracing paper to put between the prints and cut that, too. The prints were 604mm long, I got two sheets out of A1 size tracing paper. All the cutting was done in two hours, I could have never done it without the paper cutting machine.

The prints came from a roll and they had a curl. I first put them under a flat board for a week, but that didn’t help. After looking on the Net, I discovered you need to reverse curl the prints. I experimented a bit. The photo shows how I did it, between rolled up drawing paper.

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You need quite a small curl radius: first I tried 6 cm, then 4, and only with 2cm it worked and the paper went flat. I used a plastic broomstick of 2 cm diameter on which to reverse curl. I rolled and held for two minutes. Of course I did all print handling with white cotton gloves.

I made front and rear covers in matte cardboard. The bridge drawing I got off the Net.

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Everything was now ready to bind.

I used a spiral (Wire-O) bind because I wanted the photo’s to open completely flat. I had a plastic cover put over it. The binding I had done at a printing shop. There are two options to bind the book: either you put the binding to the left, which makes the book open 1.2 meters, or you make the binding on the top, like a calendar. I thought the part above would interfere with appreciating the shots, so I chose a binding to the left.

This is the result:

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Although it’s very clearly visible that this is a book which is self-made, it handles perfectly. The pages turn over very smoothly, and the tracing paper stays nice and flat. To me, it’s a success.

The 24 inches are a perfect size for the Xpan photo’s. Xpan panorama’s need 24 inches for their WOW! Factor to come out. I can now take my prints anywhere, and even let people handle them. I’m thinking of converting all my portfolio’s to this bound shape.

The book is a bit too big to carry around, I’m making a cardboard box for it.

How much did it cost? Well, not cheap. The book has 36 prints. It cost about 800 dollars, of which 300 went to buying the necessary tools. These, of course, I can use again.

I researched having a panoramic album with prints this size printed commercially. There are print services for it on the Net. The price is the same as this DIY book and they look very beautifully made. They open flat, but the panorama is printed across two pages and has a fold in the middle. I was 100 % sure the print quality of my book would be outstanding, with the commercial work, you have to wait and see. So I chose the DIY option.

Well, Xpan users, this is my solution to the print problem.

If you’ve made it this far through my exposé, you deserve a little reward. Here’s some shots I made with the Xpan in S.F. All Kodak Ektar 100.

I have both the 45mm and 90mm lens, I used the 90 (equivalent to 50mm on full frame) about 80% of the time.

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Thank you,

Bye,

Dirk.

Feb 102016
 
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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.

Return_to_Film-7

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).

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

RAW-WB: 0.354571 1 0.850498

R02F05_Hasselblad_TriX400-2

R02F07_Hasselblad_TriX400

R02F08_Hasselblad_TriX400

R02F09_Hasselblad_TriX400

R02F10_Hasselblad_TriX400

R03F04_Hasselblad_TMAX100

R03F07_Hasselblad_TMAX100

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
 
image008

Spain, Costa Blanca with the Mamiya 7

By Dirk Dom

Mamiya_215_020_7_II_Camera_Body_169291

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.

image002

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.

image004

On the way to Denia this landscape with three clouds.

image006

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

image005

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.

image008

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

image010

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.

image012

image014

Only shot taken with the 65mm on this trip.

image016

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.

image018

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.

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