It has been a long and intense year, the one that is about to end. This blog has grown thanks to the many readers around the world. Many things have happened and others will shortly happen. The most important was the Darkroom I built, where finally be able to print the best shots made with film. Soon, I will also print using ancient techniques, such as Platinum/Palladium and Cyanotype, when will be ready the U.V. contact printer that I’m building. Thanks to contact printing, I’ll be able to better use large format cameras too. Already a couple (M.P.P. Mark VIII 4″x 5″ and Reality so Subtle pinhole 4″x 5″) are already waiting to be used. But it will also, print (via internegative) images from digital files. So even intangible electronic images will become real. This post by the end of the year is dedicated to another East Europe’s camera, but this time it is not only manual, but electronics controlled with aperture priority exposure: the Praktica Bc1.
As I already wrote in the first part of this post, while traveling in Bavaria, apart from a roll shot with the Leica R-E and one with the Canon P (nightshots), I used two Olympus cameras (OM2n and OM10). I have already expressed an opinion about the films I used (Ilford XP2 Super 400 and Kodak Tmax 400).
Leica R-E & Vario Elmar 35-70mm – XP2 Labdeveloped
As loyal readers already know, at the beginning of December I faced (after almost 15 years) traveling exclusively using film cameras only. In this post I showed the equipment that I planned to use. Furthermore, I also had an Olympus OM10 with three Zuiko lenses (28, 50 and 135mm) as a backup just in case. Once in Munich (Bayern), I bought a nice Olympus OM2n, accompanied by a Zuiko 35-70mm f/3.5-4,5 and a Tokina RMC 24mm f/2.8. The films I used were Ilford XP2 Super 400, Kodak T-Max 400 and Ilford Delta 3200. In total, I took 8 rolls of 36 frames. A ridiculous number of shots when compared with those obtained in a half-day with any digital camera. But this is precisely the reason that led me back to the film, so I am absolutely delighted to have chosen this path.
After the recent test of the Leica R5 (with the Vario-Elmar 35-70 zoom), I had the opportunity to shoot again with a series R camera, namely the R-E. This is a simplified version of R5, diversified by the fact of having only the manual exposure and aperture priority. It’s been produced in a limited number of units (about 6500) and according to the experts, has proven reliable and free from some electronic drawbacks present in the Leica cameras made before the R5. This time, in addition to the Vario – Elmar zoom I got to shoot with the “Mighty” Summicron R 50mm (Type II – Made in Germany) f/2. A lens that, if not quite up to the homonymous M series for rangefinder cameras, it certainly comes very close to the performance of that.
Another box of slides emerges from the past …. Nothing more than a memory, since I was photographing the Air Show of 1996 with completely unsuitable gears: namely with a compact Olympus mju zoom (35- 70 mm). In my partial excuse is the fact that I did not know there was the air show, but I was just doing a walk to the sea …. 😉
Who knows why, for some reason, every time I used a Leica, was never mine? The first time, an M7 with Summicron 35mm, I was entrusted by the magazine which I collaborate with (Fotografia Reflex), the second time, a D-Lux 6 (Digital), directly from the Leica factory itself. You can see some of the results on the Leica official blog. This time, I had the opportunity to test one R5 with the Vario-Elmar zoom 35-70mm f/3.5, thanks to a friend who had just bought it. Basically, I’m doing the beta-tester for him! Sooner or later … I’ll have to decide to get one of my own … 😉