As you may have read in my previous post, here came recently a noble representative of the British pride: the Agilux Agifold III. A 6×6 medium format camera. Unfortunately, its extinction meter is no longer working (or at least, I have not been able to figure out how to use it) and then, I decided not to leave her alone in this test and I accompanied with an equally british Weston Master III.
Okay, do not say I did not warn you! Most of my purchases in recent months has focused on Kodak Retina and Retinette cameras. As a result, even my shots and post on this blog … reflect this trend. This time, however, let’s consider one of the “Top” models of the range: the Retina IIIc (Typ 021 Ausf I). Laboriously, and after a long search, I managed to win one at an affordable price. In fact, many collectors and enthusiasts, eagerly, are grabbing these jewels of photography, conyinuosly raising the prices. Indeed, the aesthetics, the level of construction and the photographic performance, give their holder the feeling of holding in your hands something really valuable.
Ferrania is a brand that all Italians of a certain age know, at least also in name only, because until the ’70s the advertising signs and neon signs appeared often in alignment with the photographers “shops” even in the remotest villages. Who then did not use at these times at least one Ferrania film roll? In short, it was kind of our local Kodak. Currently, this brand has returned to the attention of analogue photography enthusiasts with a crowdfunding operation to reactivate the film production lines once famous both in Italy and abroad. Anyway, is not the film that I want to speak about here, but a medium format camera: Ferrania Eura. Built since 1959/early ’60s, the Eura was a kind of Italian Holga, but made in a more refined and reliable way as well, with a decidedly higher level design.
About a year ago, I got a nice Minox GT camera and I took some rolls of film straightaway. The second and third have already seen them in these posts. The first one however, remained hidden somewhere, patiently waiting for me to find the time to handle it. In fact, there was the problem of the film tail completely rewound in the cartridge: the first empirical attempts, however, had not brought good results and the “Film Picker” I had purchased had disappeared during the move. Well … a long story.
For one time, I make a transgression in this blog devoted entirely to analog. But it is not so strange, because the passion for vintage photographic gears leads, inevitably, to accumulate lenses, thanks to appropriate adapter, can also be used on digital cameras, taking advantage of some positive features . One of these is the Bokeh, which is the practical result of the reduced depth of field (D.O.F.) using wide apertures.
She’s really small, almost looks like a toy. She fits in the pocket of a jacket and you almost do not notice but when you load the film, you put into the same 120 rolls of any other medium format camera and then you realize that you can take “serious” pictures with this one too. I’m talking about the Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515, a 6 x 4.5 cm folding camera which at the time belonged to Zeiss economic production line. I bought one for a few euros and couldn’t wait to test on field.
There are many reasons (especially in the case of film photography) that lead me to prefer the black and white as a medium of choice. The main ones are precisely expressive. Eliminating the color variables, in fact, I can concentrate more on composition, I can pay more attention to the volumetric elements, to the alternation between light and shadow, to the almost infinite shades of gray. Probably, the b/w also helps in emphasizing certain elements that we can define as “emotional” of the picture. There are some nostalgic reasons too: many years ago, I began to approach to photography as passionate right through the b/w, developing my own films and printing in the darkroom. There are also practical reasons: to be able, in fact, develop easily (and cheaply) by ourselves is a major plus, to gain time and have more possibilities for action/experimentation to achieve the desired results. Continue reading →