35mm

A sudden yearning

Yashica T2 35mm compact camera. AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 film from Poundland. A bit of post scanned neg. post process on Gimp 2.8 software.

I have this sudden yearning to use a Yashica T series compact camera with a bit of colour film.  I did buy a Yashica T2 three years ago – and used it to take the above photo.  The camera that I bought though was sick.  After one test film, I put it back down.  Not long after, I discovered the 50p camera – my Olympus XA2, then moved onto home developed b/w film.

It has been said that a truly creative photographer can use any camera to make good photography.  However, gear is still important.  We do become attached to our cameras.  I’m interested in photographs that portray this, that show people with their cameras.  Are cameras like pets?  Do their owners resemble them?  I love seeing young film photographers on Flickr and Tumblr, flaunting their vintage cameras.  There is something personal about a camera.  It is not just about function.  If it is, then I suggest that you buy whatever the latest magazine bench mark tells you to, no doubt some Canikon DSLR.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s I couldn’t afford a “proper” camera.  No classic SLRs for me back then.  However, I did graduate from some pretty awful Polaroids, 126 Kodaks, and 110 pocket cameras to owning a series of 35mm compact cameras.  Autofocus and motor film wind were amongst the cool features of this breed.  Some of them, including the Yashica T series, even sported posh lens.  There were 35mm compact cameras, then there were 35mm compact cameras with Carl Zeiss.

As above.

I think my yearning now may be based on a nostalgia for those cameras.  I want to hear the motor winding the film on and then back.  I want to manipulate that auto focus.  I want to see if people on the street recognise that I’m using an artefact from 1980s culture, if they look around when they hear the motor.  Will young people wonder what that was?

Yes, you’ve guessed it, a T2 is already on it’s way to me.  I’ve finally given up looking for one at the car boot sales.  I’ve even decided on the first test film – an unloved 35mm Kodak Color film sitting on a bedroom shelf, that was given to me.  Fingers crossed that this one isn’t sick.

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Film

Foma Fomapan film

Zenza Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan 100 medium format film developed in ID11.

1. Foma Fomapan 100 Classic

Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. S-18 extension tube. Foma Fomapan Creative film. Developed in ID11.

2. Foma Fomapan 200 Creative.

Bronica SQ-A camera. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4 lens. Foma Fomapan Action 400 film. Home developed in ID11 at 1:3.

3.  Foma Fomapan 400 Action.

All of the above examples taken with same camera and lens, and all developed in ID11.  Three examples of three of the Foma medium format 120 films made in the Czech Republic.

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Monochrome, Rants and discussions

Respect

Disrespect. Walking over laid down grave headstones in Wisbech. Pentax SP500 Spotmatic. Super Takumar 55mm f/2 lens. Rollei Retro 400S b/w film. Developed in R09.

I’ve not posted much recently, because besides recuperating from my injury, and trying to learn to play a musical instrument (for the first time in my life), I’ve been reading.

Recent reads include a few on photography:  The Street Photographers Manual, by David Gibson; The Minds Eye, by Henri Cartier Bresson; and presently, Henri Cartier Bresson, by Clement Cheroux.

What can I say?  I’m in awe of some of these works.  Inspired?  Sure.  Cartier Bresson photography, it doesn’t get much better.  A range finder, 35mm film, no colour, no set ups, no flash or artificial light – not even a reflector, no darkroom post process edits.  Yet brilliance in un-posed b/w 35mm film photography.

Other news on the photography front?  I’m presently trying out some Foma Fomapan Action 400 film in 120 roll.  It’s cheap, but reports by others suggest that it isn’t the best, and suffers from stains that appear to originate in the backing paper.  I did recently have this problem myself, while using the slower Fomapan Creative 200 in an Isolette.  I developed it in R09, so with this 400 stuff, I’m trying to develop it in dilutions of ID11.  The first trial is presently drying.

On the subject of cheap medium format film, I’ve ordered some even cheaper and perhaps nasty b/w film from China to try out.  It’s called Shanghai GP3, and even with delivery works out at a mere two quid per roll.  Apparently it is rated at ASA 100, but can be a little slower.  I’m also told that I’ll need to keep a roll of sticky tape with me, as there isn’t any at the exposed end!  But two quid per roll!

I’m also using a different fixer chemical – FirstCall / Agfa AG Plus Fix.  I made up a litre last night, but I’m sure that’ll be fine.

I recently found my first car boot sale Olympus XA with an A11 flash unit at a booty – the range finder, as opposed to the much more common XA2.  I’m suspicious that it’s not a worker though, and haven’t yet had the interest to fit it with a battery.

Now I’d better get back to making awful noise with that mandolin.

 

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Monochrome, Street and Protest, Zenza Bronica SQ-A

Cambridge

Cambridge. Bronica SQ-A. Zenzanon PS 150mm f/4. Foma Fomapan Creative 200 film. Developed in R09

While I was busy travelling back and forth to Cambridge, to buy then return that dodgy DSLR, I at least had a chance to have a few stalk around walks with the Bronica, on the streets of Cambridge.  Mission was to try and to capture the atmosphere of Cambridge – colleges, students, tourists, and … class.

It’s not so easy to stalk street photography with a huge and very slow Bronica by your side – but it is fun.  There is definitely an element of looking down that is less confrontational than holding up an eye level camera.  No light meter used other than eye and brain – I apologise for the poor exposures.  Still, did Vivian Maier always have a light meter with her?  Film media at hand were some rolls of cheap Foma Fomapan Creative 200 in 120 medium format.  To be developed mainly in FirstCall R09.  Foma Creative is described as a traditional, no frills B/W film, and is manufactured in the Czech Republic.  Although I do try to support Ilford, and their materials are a higher quality, I do actually like Foma, and I like to have some in the fridge.

So, here you are …. Cambridge.

 

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