Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 2nd Analogversary! :)

Two years ago, on December 10th 2010, I posted my first film picture on flickr. One year ago, I already celebrated my first "analogversary". Today, one year later, here I am, still going strong on my commitment to film photography with vintage cameras.

This second year has been one of more mature camera choice and use, in general a year of more thought of photography. All in all, I exposed 71 films (22 black and white, 32 color negative, 17 color slide) using 14 different cameras. The camera that I most often used was my Rolleiflex Old Standard 621 (18 rolls). The color negative film that I most used was again Kodak Portra 400 (8 rolls), for black & white Kodak Tri-X 400 (3 rolls) and on color slide Fujichrome Velvia 50 remained a favorite (5 rolls).

In this year I got 5 new (old) cameras (Rolleiflex, Contessa, Ikonta, Super Ikonta BX and Rollei 35). In order to balance the energy, I also gave 5 cameras away (Polaroid, Vitomatic, Flexaret, Beltica, Hapo). As it seems, I am taking a more mature stand to vintage camera use, since I only got cameras that have some kind of significance, some meaning.

Another reason I am happy with my second analogue year is that I managed to accomplish one of the challenges that I set myself last year: doing my own camera repairs, which is a natural step when the objects you are trying to work with are (almost) all many years older than your parents. I got tons of patience, some specialized tools, and lots of information and good advice from websites and flickr pals. I managed to recover all speeds of the Compur shutter on my Rollfilm 5x8, to repair the jammed film transport in my Contessa 533/24 and to lubricate the focus system and recalibrate the rangefinder on my Super Ikonta BX 533/16. Oh yes, and there were some fun experiments with junk Compur shutters, too... :)

I will definitely keep photographing on film with vintage cameras next year. My next project, though, has all the meaning of the world for me: 6 weeks ago Mar gave birth to our first born. Long before I could hold him in my arms, I thought I would try to find a camera from 1912, a camera 100 years older than our child.

happy 2nd analogversary! :)

This camera, a Vest Pocket Kodak, could have been the one, since it was introduced in 1912, like the 127 film that it takes (and it fact, 127 film was especially designed for this camera). Some of its features (lens, body finish, autographic feature, engraved patents), though, point it to a little later (1921-1926).

The quest, thus, is still open. I'll be happy if you keep sharing this journey with me! :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Series - airport

(Contessa 533/24, Kodak Portra 160, ISO 160/23°)

come in
(Contessa 533/24, Kodak Elite Chrome Extra Color 100, ISO 100/21°)

turn around and look
(Super Ikonta A 531, Fujichrome Provia 400X, ISO 400/27°)

empty baggage claim
(Contessa 533/24, Kodak Elite Chrome Extra Color 100, ISO 100/21°)

waiting in redscale backlight
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Lomography Redscale 100, ISO 100/21°)

(Vito I, Agfaphoto CT Precisa 100, ISO 100/21°)

(Super Ikonta A 531, Fujichrome Provia 400X, ISO 400/27°)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

(2nd) Winter 127 Day 2012

Yesterday, December 7th, was the 2nd Winter 127 Day (12/7, as written in American fashion). Although the "official" date seems to be January 27th, I decided to load a Rollei Nightbird 800 into my Voigtländer Rollfilm 5x8 and take a couple pictures on 127 film.

(iPhone 4, Hipstamatic, Jimmy lens, Ina's 1982 film, no flash)

I am not expecting great pictures, because there were too many exposure mistakes (I forgot to set the aperture at least twice!), but maybe some kind of fate muse smiled at me anyway. The exposed film is already prepared to be sent to the lab next Monday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Series - b&w week 2012

These are the pictures that I posted on a B&W week that I took part on with a couple of flickr pals. Take a look at all contributions in this flickr group.
For this week, I decided to post portraits, both of Mar and self-portraits.

a year ago...
(Vito I, Ilford FP4 Plus 125, ISO 125/22°)

in the train
(Super Ikonta BX 533/16, Ilford FP4 Plus 125, ISO 125/22°)

(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, ADOX CHS 100, ISO 100/21°)

(Contessa 533/24, Efke 50, expired, ISO 50/18°)

four eyes [super ikonta selfie] (+1)
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Kodak T-MAX 400, ISO 400/27°)

in the library
(Ideal 250/3, Fomapan Classic 100, ISO 100/21°)

team work [our gazes converge through mirrors and lenses]
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Kodak T-MAX 400, ISO 400/27°)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

renfe te da la bienvenida [stranger 20/99]

renfe te da la bienvenida [stranger 20/99]
(Vito I, Kentmere 400, ISO 400/27°)

My twentieth stranger checked her smartphone once again as the train was leaving the station.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Herrensalon Wistuba

I am not a superstitious person. I like black cats no less than any other cat, I have no problem walking under a ladder and I do not seem to show any feeling whatsoever about Friday the 13th. What I do have, though, are certain funny little ways, certain everyday "rituals", that I unconsciously link to the success or failure of my daily enterprises. Crossing a certain street at a very concrete point on my way to work, leaving the fork to rest on the plate pointing down at the end of my meal, or hanging my bag to my right in the morning and to my left in the afternoon are a few examples of such rituals.

As taking photographs is an important part of my life, these kind of obsessions have spread throughout my photography as well. In fact, it seems to be not uncommon. I read that photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson had the superstition to test new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published them, as he considered it a "baptism" of the lens.

Since I am not only attracted to old cameras but also to vintage typefaces as well, the sign of a hairdresser, gone out of business a long time ago, caught my attention on my way to the office very soon. I could not resist the elegance of the bold '70s typeface, the off-center "holes" of the Rs, the well-balanced colors, the two windows, the tree, the cobblestone, ...

herrensalon wistuba
(Hapo 66-E, Rollei Retro 400S, ISO 400/27°)

That's why I started taking this picture again and again, at first almost without realizing it, later challenging myself to have a photograph of the Herrensalon Wistuba taken with every single camera and lens that I own. Talk about obsessive-compulsive disorder... ;)

herrensalon wistuba 02
(Flexaret VI, Fujichrome Velvia 50, ISO 50/18°)

herrensalon wistuba
(Nikon Coolpix S200, digital shot)

herrensalon wistuba
(Rollfilm 5x8, Kodak Farbwelt 200, expired, ISO 200/24°)

Well, sadly I have to admit that I failed the challenge, although it has been not entirely my fault. After at least 8 years of no activity, someone came to the idea of using the old hairdresser salon for a spice shop. Of course, a sign reading "Herrensalon Werner Wistuba", no matter how elegant the typeface, could be a little confusing for customers willing to buy exotic spices. The sign has been recently removed, putting a premature end to my challenge.

herrensalon wistuba
(Super Ikonta BX 533/16, Lomography Redscale 100, ISO 100/21°)

Anyhow, I have 23 pictures taken with 17 different cameras and lenses. The ultimate goal of photography is to keep memories. I'll be able to further admire the sign every time I want, in 23 different fashions.

My "Herrensalon Wistuba" set on flickr

Friday, July 27, 2012

Roll in a day / A day in a roll - 12th July 2012, All Kodak Day

On July 12th flickr group Roll in a day / A day in a roll celebrated George Eastman's 158th anniversary by shooting a roll of Kodak film and/or using a Kodak camera.

The 12th was in the middle of our vacation in Croatia, and I shot a roll of expired Kodak Portra 160VC with a Rolleiflex Old Standard 621 in and around Pula, Fažana and the Brijuni Islands. The complete set can be seen here.

My favorites are:

seagull (11/12)
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Kodak Portra 160VC (expired), ISO 160/23°)

ožujsko (08/12)
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Kodak Portra 160VC (expired), ISO 160/23°)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Roll in a day / A day in a roll - 22nd June 2012, All B&W day

The fourth round of Roll in a day / A day in a roll happened a little while ago, on June 22nd.

This time the group called for a black&white day. I decided beforehand to use the Flexaret VI for this round, but unfortunately, I had no b&w medium format film available. I used a roll of Fujichrome Velvia 50 and converted the color shots to black&white using pretty much the standard conversion in Lightroom.

This round was interesting in that it was not on a Saturday but on a Friday, so I needed to combine the shooting with my work. Interesting indeed.

My favorite shots are the following:

bus (10/12)
(Flexaret VI, Fujichrome Velvia 50, ISO 50/18°, b&w conversion)

kaslöchl (11/12)
(Flexaret VI, Fujichrome Velvia 50, ISO 50/18°, b&w conversion)

karte à €0,40 (12/12)
(Flexaret VI, Fujichrome Velvia 50, ISO 50/18°, b&w conversion)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Series - construction work

recess of the beast
(Praktica BMS, Prakticar 50mm 1:1.8, Fomapan Action 400, ISO 400/27°)

caterpillar (+1)
(Vito I, Ilford FP4 Plus 125, ISO 125/22°)

high angle break
(Super Ikonta A 531, Kodak Portra 400, ISO 400/27°)

futility [beast on the beach]
(Vito I, Kentmere 400, ISO 400/27°)

less noise, more swing
(Praktica BMS, Prakticar 50mm 1:1.8, Fujichrome Sensia 100, ISO 100/21°)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The film - Roll in a day / A day in a roll - April 21st 2012

The Tri-X 400 film that I shot on April 21st came back from the lab yesterday.

contact sheet_petit

You can see the whole roll on my flickr set here. I started my roll of film at 9am having breakfast in Augsburg and finished it at home in Salzburg at 5pm. My favorite shots are these:

mild hangover breakfast (02/36)
(Ikonta 522/24, Kodak Tri-X 400, ISO 400/27°)

foreground brake (07/36)
(Ikonta 522/24, Kodak Tri-X 400, ISO 400/27°)

US Tram (22/36)
(Ikonta 522/24, Kodak Tri-X 400, ISO 400/27°)

spring leaves (25/36)
(Ikonta 522/24, Kodak Tri-X 400, ISO 400/27°)

we scream for ice cream (30/36)
(Ikonta 522/24, Kodak Tri-X 400, ISO 400/27°)

It was again a lot of fun, and not at all difficult to shoot the whole 36 exposure roll. I'm also impressed with the performance of the Novar lens. As I said, I wanted to sacrifice this camera to donate the film transport to my dormant Contessa 533/24. As it turned out, I managed to fix the film transport in the Contessa without needing anything from the Ikonta, so it seems I got myself yet another little 35mm viewfinder camera... :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Roll in a day / A day in a roll - April 21st 2012

Roll in a Day / A Day in a Roll - 2nd round, 21st April 2012
(Canon PowerShot A560, 1/20, f/2.6, ISO 80)

The second round of Roll in a day / A day in a roll has been today, April 21st 2012. This time I used a whole 36 exposure 135 roll of film, a black&white Kodak Tri-X 400, one of my favorites.
The camera has been a Zeiss Ikon Ikonta 522/24 that I just got last Thursday and that I plan to eventually use to donate the film transport mechanism to a Contessa 533/24 that is in need for a new one.
I wanted to run a roll of film through the Ikonta first, though, to see how the Novar lens performs. It is a lovely, handy and very fine camera to use. My roll has been shot between Augsburg, Munich and Salzburg. Let's see how it turns out... :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Voigtländer effect - Voigtländer Vitomatic Ia

Sometimes the things that came to you almost by chance, without having planned anything, are the ones that you end up loving the most. I got my Voigtländer Vitomatic Ia thanks to the selling eagerness of my favorite camera dealer, who is always willing to let out as much of his stuff as possible, probably with his retirement already in mind.

vitomatic 03
(EOS 40D, Sigma EX DG 50mm f/2.8 macro, 1/15, f/11, ISO 100)

When you hold the Vitomatic in your hands for the first time, its heavy weight comes as a surprise. Few moments afterwards, you realize that someone spent a lot of thought designing this machine. Every single control (shutter release, focusing ring, film advance lever, aperture/speed setting ring) is exactly where your fingers expect it to be, ready to be operated and remaining discreetly out of the way when you don't need them.

The Vitomatic's construction is solid as a tank, and the quality of the used materials is A+. Every single part is machined to amazing precision, which makes possible a crisp and round operation. The shutter release is especially worth mentioning, because if you press it slowly and carefully, it reaches a point where it just kind of shoots by itself, with no apparent pressure coming from your finger. This feature, together with the sleek leaf shutter and the heaviness of the body, allow for virtually no camera shake at insanely slow speeds (1/15 and even 1/8 being no real problem for a reasonably steady hand). The swiveling mirror of a single-lens reflex camera can only dream of such a shake-free shooting quality.

Another very interesting feature of the Vitomatic is its bright life-size viewfinder, that is cleverly positioned so that you can look through it with your right eye while keeping your left eye open. The 1x magnification creates the optical illusion of a frame floating in the air. Combined with the projection of the match-needle light meter situated on the camera top onto the viewfinder (which, incidentally, is the feature that distinguished the Ia from the I model), this feature makes the Vitomatic a really quick shooter. The solid, single stroke film advance lever only adds up to the shooting readiness.

But the most amazing feature of the Vitomatic Ia is its lens, a coated Voigtländer Color-skopar 50mm 1:2.8 that is capable of rendering images with virtually infinite sharpness. The level of detail that this lens is able to produce is truly incredible. The design of the Color-Skopar comprises 4 elements in 3 groups, a classic Zeiss Tessar design. Voigtländer really knew how to take the most out of this killer design. The Vitomatic uses unit focusing, which means the whole lens, and not only the front cell, as is most common in this kind of camera, moves forwards and backwards to focus. This contributes to even more sharpness. The shutter blades are behind the rear cell.

vitomatic 04
(EOS 40D, Sigma EX DG 50mm f/2.8 macro, 0.6s, f/5.6, ISO 100)

The Vitomatic Ia is a clear example of what I like to call the "Voigtländer effect". This is the realization, as soon as you hold a Voigtländer camera, that these are devices made for a lifetime, where cutting costs in the quality of the materials or the build was never an issue. When you hold a good Voigtländer exemplar in your hands, you understand what camera design is all about.

Voigtländer Vitomatic Ia
My Vitomatic Ia flickr set

Maker Voigtländer
Model Vitomatic Ia
Type viewfinder camera
Lens Voigtländer Color-Skopar 50mm f/2.8 (No. 6452606, ~1964)
Shutter Prontor 500-SLK, 1 - 1/500 + B
Film type 35mm 24x36
Year 1960-1964
Country West Germany

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Results: Roll in a day / A day in a roll - March 24th 2012

The film that I shot last Saturday came back from the lab yesterday.

contact sheet

You can see the whole roll on my flickr set here. My favorite shots are these two:

double selfie (02/12)
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Kodak Portra 400, ISO 400/27º)

heaven (12/12)
(Rolleiflex Old Standard 621, Kodak Portra 400, ISO 400/27º)

I really enjoyed doing this, it was fun. Next time I guess I'll be using a 24 or 36 exposure roll, since 12 was much too few! :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Series - trains

traveling shadow
(Vito I, Rollei Digibase CR 200 Pro, ISO 200/24º)

newspaper break
(Super Ikonta A 531, Kodak Portra 400, ISO 400/27º)

(Vito I, Kentmere 400, ISO 400/27º)

(Flexaret VI, Rollei Digibase CN 200, ISO 200/24º)

estació de frança (+1)
(Vito I, Kentmere 400, ISO 400/27º)

db [stranger 18/99]
(Flexaret VI, Rollei Digibase CN 200, ISO 200/24º)