Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter 127 Day 2012

Today, January 27th, is the Winter 127 Day (1/27). To celebrate it, users of cameras taking the 127 film format around the world go out and take pictures on this type of film. This year, 2012, marks also the centenary of the introduction of 127 film (created by Kodak in 1912). Even though 127 film saw a golden age around the 50s, nowadays only a handful of manufacturers (Efke, Maco, ...) still produce it.

voigtländer rollfilm 5x8 sportkamera
(EOS 40D, Sigma EX DG 50mm f/2.8 macro, 5s, f/5.6, ISO 100)

My Voigtländer Rollfilm 5x8 camera was designed to use 129 film, which was also introduced by Kodak in 1912 but discontinued in 1951. 129 film being only slightly wider than 127, my camera was adapted to take 127 film instead: metal spacers were added to account for the narrower spools and a 4x6.5cm mask was added to the original 5x8cm format.

I love the fact that someone cared so much about this camera to have it professionally adapted to 127 film, even though at the time the camera was already more than 20 years old. This alone, without counting that wonderful Heliar lens, makes me love this camera even more.

Happy Winter 127 Day everyone! :)

EDITED: Here is the link to my Winter 127 Day 2012 set on flickr!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Series - voigtländer heliar

(Rollfilm 5x8, Rollei Retro 80S, ISO 80/20°)

The Heliar, the "master lens", consists of 5 elements, from which 2 pairs are cemented. If 4 elements are enough for the Skopar, why does the Heliar need five? An invention of the year 1900 lead to the construction of the Heliar.

biergarten (+1)
(Rollfilm 5x8, Efke R100, ISO 100/21°)

All lenses presented before possess a flawless sharpness. The Heliar does even more. It has certain qualities that can not be explained through cold, sober formulas, certain virtues that are emphasized again and again by letters of thanks from the Voigtländer community, it has something that does not show on the laboratory test bench but only in its daily use in the field: the Heliar does not merely make a picture, but an image(*).

winter tree
(Rollfilm 5x8, Rollei Retro 80S, ISO 80/20°)

Even though possessing sharp delineation and excellent resolution, the Heliar --so say its happy owners-- does not have a cold and hard sharpness but a filmy one, that softens the transition between the in-focus and out-of-focus regions, and does not let any part of the picture stand out in a displeasing way, but instead conveys an harmonic and natural roundness to the picture.

(Rollfilm 5x8, Efke R100, ISO 100/21°)

And its peculiarity is that this lens is not better suited for a particular photographic field, but it masters the whole spectrum, from portraiture to sport photography.

nostres banderes
(Rollfilm 5x8, Rollei Retro 80S, ISO 80/20°)

Therefore the "master lens" and therefore five elements!

(text taken from a Voigtländer catalogue from 1930)

(*) Das Heliar gibt uns keine Abbildung, sondern ein Bild.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Time machine - Important notice

«Also, it is scarcely necessary to point out that, when the camera is loaded, the shutter should be opened only for the purpose of taking a picture; any accidental exposure will spoil a section of film.»

(from the instruction manual of a 1930 Voigtländer Rollfilm camera)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Red sweater [stranger 17/99]

red sweater [stranger 17/99]
(Flexaret VI, Kodak Elite Chrome Extra Color 100, ISO 100/21°)

My seventeenth stranger was reading a book minutes before her bus came.