My humble contribution to World Pinhole Day 2017. This shot was made on a 5″x7″ paper negative on April 30th 2017.
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.
Today it is raining so, instead of going out to photograph (that is the thing I love the most), better stay dry and write a nice post on my blog. This time we’ll talk about a high-end camera …. lent by a friend (yes, the same one who gave me the Leica R5) for this test. Some general thoughts before strating: the history of photography, especially of lenses, before the advent of Japanese ones, was made almost entirely by two brands: Zeiss and Leica. Two houses that have marked the mass diffusion of 35mm photography and in the case of Zeiss, also of medium and large format.
The Voskhod (Восход), which means “Dawn”, is a rare (approximately 59,000 units produced by Lomo factory) Soviet camera made during the mid ’60s. At the height of scientific and economic power in the former Soviet Union and in full Cold War, the Voskhod was designed to demonstrate the technological (and stylistic) autonomous capabilities behind the Iron Curtain. So, no more one of the many clones of famous Western cameras, but a completely new, cutting-edge project and well built camera. It must be said that one can not remain indifferent to the shape (very 60’s) really unusual for a camera, as well as in front of some technical characteristics.
Another Soviet camera: the Zenit 11, another film: the Rollei Rpx 25. As usual, I do too many things together but, the pleasure of trying new things, and the need not to overstretch the times, forces me to concentrate several elements in a single test. Let’s start from the camera: mine is really in very good condition … it looks almost mint and I got it for few bucks. She comes with the standard lens (later joined by a Pentacon 29mm f/2.8) Helios 44M 4 58mm f 2 and an uncoupled selenium light meter , apparently still working well.
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.