Sometimes, when you receive a vintage camera, it happens to find inside an old negative, forgotten there for who knows how many decades. It happened to me twice in the past, into a folding 6×6 Rheinmetall Weltax and a few days ago, in another folding MF, the Agilux Agifold. In the first case, the roll was totally blocked and I could not avoid exposing it to light to pull it out. I only remember that it had a red bordeaux paper. This time, however, having noticed through the rear window the presence of a film (at N° 10), I rewound with the intention of developing it. It was an old Tri X Pan Professional, which I developed semi-stand on Adonal (Rodinal) 1: 100 for an hour. Results? Totally disappointing but ….
This is the fiftieth post of this blog! It is now two years since I started shooting again with film. And to do that, I have from time to time, let fascinate by many “vintage” cameras which, in during the late 70’s/ early ’80,s when I was a young photography enthusiast I would have considered old and obsolete, not up to fulfill my alleged. ..talent. Obviously, the inexperience led me to consider the modern (at the time) Nikon F2, Pentax Lx, Olympus OM1 etc. as the only ones capable of producing high-end images. Of course I was wrong and I understand it … thirty or more years later, during my second analog life. One of the cameras that gave me the most satisfaction was an humble medium format folding made in the ’50s: the Agfa Isolette III.
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.
In this Christmas post I want to begin by thanking the thousands of readers who have been kind enough to follow my blog. Being able to reach and share my experiences with people of every continent is to me, a source of pleasure and pride. Personally, I learned (and still do) a lot from the many blogs on the web about analogue photography. I could see countless photos, evaluate the results of many different pairs of cameras / lenses / films / developments and get an idea before i can do it myself. Sharing is caring … is an important concept, and I wanted to give the humble contribution of my experiences, sure it could be (sooner or later) useful to someone in the world. The results achieved in such a short time (less than 9 months) confirm and encourage me to continue on this path.
This time, the subject of my post is the Zeiss Ikon Contessamat SBE loaded with Adox CHS II ISO 100, from which the film was practically … perfect!
Surely, many fans consider the XP2 Super an excellent film. High sensitivity, fine grain and good tonal scale are the reasons for its success. There’s only one small problem: it is designed to be developed with C-41. The same process used to develop color films. In recent years, however, after the explosion of digital, the laboratories that dealt with these films have gradually disappearing and often, those who want to use them, must resign themselves to send the rolls of exposed films to other cities (with consequently higher costs and waiting times), or to develop by themselves.
Ok, it’s a long time since I published on this blog. The problem is that my move went for long and between the forced inactivity and the cartons still to be opened, I have not been able to develop some rolls which are waiting for months. But a true blogger can not leave his readers with no new posts for too long. So I went to rummage in the archive and I pulled out some shots. These images come from the first roll which I took with my Rolleiflex Planar 3,5F more or less a year ago. Continue reading →
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.
Some time ago, stimulated by certain images seen on the net, I wanted to try the Ilford XP2 Super 400 film. This stems from the XP1, which appeared in the early ’80s to make more widespread treatment of b/w and to provide less grain than other films of these times (which often had too much of it). I must have somewhere a series of negatives taken with the XP1 ….. The XP2 must be developed by the classic C-41, used routinely for color films. This could have been a major point in its favor, at least until the advent of the digital era.
As you can see, the experiments with infrared (IR) continue. As mentioned in the previous post, during the last photographic trip, besides the Ilford SFX 200, I shot a roll of Rollei IR 400, with the aim of developing it in new Ars-Imago Fd. A couple of days ago, I had enough time to do it and as first thing I had to find a starting time for development, given that it was a “first time” and there were no data about in the data-sheet.
After the first (successful) attempt with infrared photography (IR), I immediately wanted to try it again and so, taking advantage of a beautiful sunny day, I shot other two rolls with my “usual” Rolleiflex. The first, a Rollei IR 400 again, I have yet to develop. As a second, this time I used the Ilford sfx 200, to assess any differences in performance with the previous one.