The UPS man showed up earlier today with this, my Leica m6 with a Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f/1.4 lens. Over the course of the morning, in between working (hi, boss!) I shot off a roll of BW400CN film as a test. Some of the shots were actual, you know, 'shots', while others were test strip type shots - e.g. meter a shot, then shoot all up and down the range of apertures or exposures to compare results. I then, over lunch, gave the film to my friendly neighborhood walgreens with a "rush, please, and gimme on a cd!"
I have to be honest, here. I have zero interest in shooting 35mm film. All of my film shooting up over the past 10 years has been 120 medium format or 4x5 large format. Digitally, I shoot with a Canon 5d mk II, and shot with a 5d for over three years before that. My thought process was something along the lines of, "I have a digital camera that beats the resolution one gets out of 35mm film, so why waste my time with it?"
I think I now have a reason to waste my time with it. Before I go into some of the shots from that first test roll, I have to say, shooting with this camera was a dream. Everything just fit in my hands and flowed very naturally for me. The only bit of awkwardness was the initial film load, though even that became natural when I swapped out the first roll and put the second roll in. The camera has some heft to it, it's heavier than I thought it would be, but still lighter than anything but my WWII era folders. When I hold it in my hands to shoot, I feel like my fingers can reach everything without having to reach - focus, aperture, exposure, film advance, even the adjustment lever for the framelines.
I think I'm going to enjoy living and shooting with this camera.
The first shot that I'm grabbing from my roll, over here on the right is a sculpture that's in my apartment complex made from the old fire control system that was in place when the building was a warehouse/factory. This sculpture has been on every first test roll of every camera that I've gotten over the past 3 years. It's practically a tradition, at this point.
I'm already comfortable focusing with this system, even though I've never used a rangefinder before today. Partly because I use a split image finder on my medium format cameras (a Hasselblad currently, and Mamiya 645 and RZ67 cameras before that). If you've never used one before, it can take a little bit of getting used to, but once you do it's great for rapid manual focusing of a scene. The short version is, you find a vertical line in your scene, and center the rangefinder on that line. Through the center of the range finder, you'll see that the line is broken, a small segment floating off on its own. You adjust the focus on the lens to bring the floating segment of the line back in line with the rest, et voila! You have a focused image!
While I liked the responsiveness and immediateness of getting my film developed at walgreens, unfortunately they scan their film at a sickeningly low resolution (and I suspect they may be scanning their prints, not even the negatives, but don't quote me on that). I need to find someplace that will develop my 35mm film -and- provide me with decent scans. They don't need to be massive, but I'd like something in the 6-15megapixel range - not the mere 2 that walgreens gives me.
( More random shots from the first roll )
There are a few more images in the Flickr set for my first roll.
In the meantime, I do have -some- pictures, taken today, even! I just recently purchased my first large format camera. A 4x5 film camera - the Graflex Super Graphic. That's 4x5 inches (most of my cameras up till now have been measured in cm - a 6x6 camera has a roughly 6cm by 6cm negative (actually less, but who's counting?)). The negatives on this thing look like they'll be huge!
Typically referred to as a press camera (vs. a full on view camera with all front and rear standard movements or the slightly more portable but sometimes limited in movements field camera) - the Super Graphic did add enough flexibility/movements that it should more than satisfy my Scheimpflugging for a while.
When I got the camera it came with a pack of film (old kodak tri-x 320 in a 16-sheet pack - alas, as nifty as the pack appears to be I don't believe anyone makes 4x5 film in packs anymore, just sheets). Granted the film expired in 1974 but that didn't stop me from loading up the film into the holder - tossing it into my bag - grabbing my tripod and going wandering!
I've taken 9 shots so far - mostly boring shots for testing out the camera. 4 shots of a church with different camera movements to see its effect - a few other street shots and some shots of my favorite piece of local sculpture. I also got to use the camera in it's original roll as a press camera - there was a lot of cop action in fruitvale! (Bus pulled over and empty and something like 8 cop cars :) If only I had the big bulb flash on there, I could've gone right back to the 50's
I also took one shot with a completely insane set of camera movements - to fuck with perspective and planes of focus. In fact the camera in these shots is how it was set for that last test shot (though, I have to admit, I did add some tilt to the camera halfway through the shoot - to get more of a ... sultry look out of it ;)
I've got 7 more shots to burn then I can take it in to get developed and see what comes out the other end. I can't wait!
Today I went wandering around Shoreline park in the middle of the port of oakland...
( Selected scans from the port of oakland )
The shots were taken with a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, mostly with a 150mm lens at f/3.5. The film is a mixture of Ilford FP4 and Ilford Pan-F. I was experimenting with these films to see how they came out in diafine. Unfortunately - i'm not overwhelmingly happy with how they turned out. I think i may be sticking with tri-x for the next little bit (not including the infrared films I want to try playing with.
Alas, my shots from last night need to be redone (and some of them can't be - poo) - the c220 was a bastard and decided to freeze the shutter on my 65mm lens.
Mamiya rz67 pro II with a 180mm lens using Kodak t-max 400 - I think 1/200s at f/5.6, maybe f8?
Taken on a lunch time wandering yesterday, developed yesterday evening, scanned last night. I'm slowly getting more effecient at this whole film thing.
( scans )
Favorite of this set, which is my favorite of the three sets aroraborealis and I did when she was out here visiting. Played with some fun ideas with mirrors and reflections and such. I can't wait to do more!
(Still playing around with ways to reference sets of photos from flickr and such - i don't think I will continue with this setup for long)
( Cut for flash gallery )
And, as usual - there's the flickr gallery and the Gallery 2 version.
vicissitude posing at his new yoga studio
Still exporting the rest of the shoot for him, and I think i've got my favorite dozen or so narrowed down. I'll probably put those up as soon as I get an OK from him about sharing some around - but I couldn't resist popping this one up :)