Monday, August 9 2021
I was not too fond of the results from the last (first) roll of Vision3 250D that I had developed and scanned last month. I figured either the scans were off, the roll was bad, or the light meter in the camera was off.. Amateur photographer Aron wrote a blog post about his experience with Vision3 250D. His results were better than mine. I left a comment about my experience. Anson suggested that I scan the negatives myself and compare the results.
Below are some of the scans from Old School Photo Lab to compare with the ones I scanned with my Epson Perfection V600 scanner. The scans I did with the Epson Perfection V600 scanner all have a black border. I overscanned on purpose to capture the entire negative frame. The images scanned by Old School Photo Lab do not have a black wall.
To my eyes, the images from Old School Photo Lab have a reddish cast. They look like images captured on a point-n-shoot from the early 2000s. The scans I did on the Epson Perfection V600 have a calm bluish tone. They may not be accurate to reality, but I find them more appealing, especially on skin tones. The skin on my dark-skinned sister-in-law looks horrendous in the scans from Old School Photo Lab.
This image was captured with my Fuji X-T2 for comparison.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Tripped going out the door this afternoon. The Fuji went flying from my hand. My hands did that thing where it looked like I was juggling. Then the Fuji hit the top step and bounced onto the third step before hitting the bottom. The attached Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 is fine. The hinges around the rear LCD were bent. The body is scratched. The shutter still fires. The viewfinder does not display any images. When I adjust the shutter speeds dial, it moves, but the shutter speed is stuck at 1⁄250 s.
I am sending it off for repair.
A major lure of photography for me is that it allows me to wander through fields, woodlands and ancient churchyards, whilst barely seeing another soul.
The experience of hunting for compositions I find beautiful is a very personal, solitary, and perhaps near spiritual experience.
I don’t want anyone to disrupt that precious, almost meditative flow.
How about you? Do you prefer to photograph alone, with no-one else around? Are other people a central aspect of your enjoyment of making photographs? Or do you not mind either way?
Making friends and being with people with similar interests is good for mental health. Sharing an interest gives me something to talk about. When I used to find conversation difficult, doing an activity together makes hanging out easier. And because of our affinity for those activities, I found close friends with whom I can have a conversation just about life.
Sometimes I grab a camera and go out in the early morning to find “something”. Sometimes people will see me, and we have a brief conversation about what I’m doing. Sometimes, I learn about a previously unknown location that might be exciting to visit because of these chance encounters.
And sometimes, I want community, the company of my tribe. I want to be around other photographers en mass doing “whatever” for a few hours before heading back to an agreed-upon location to break bread together and share a pint. That’s why I love photowalks. I think that's why Beers & Cameras was created.
But some photo walks are too [large].
I am an introvert. I enjoy social activities in smaller doses than extroverts. So I choose my company carefully. I love conversations about passions (photograph, computers, hiking, beer). I treasure my relationships and prefer a close circle of friends. Most of my friends are on an intersecting Venn diagram of photography, beer, hiking and computer geekery. Photowalks with a tribe of photographers (by a tribe, I mean a dozen or so people) all walking around pointing cameras at things and then meeting up afterwards to break bread, drink a pint and squint at the back of an LCD screen or talk shop about a camera.
As for street photography, my interest in the genre was born of necessity. I had severe medical issues in 2018 and then 2019, and I travelled to Philadelphia every day for treatment. I spent a lot of time waiting outside medical centres for the valet to bring the car for my wife (I was not in a condition to drive). Why not photograph people while I wait? After a week of medical treatments, I knew that I wouldn't have the energy to go out with the camera. Why not make the best of it? I didn’t have a dislike of people (but sociopaths do). I was just afraid. Now I am no longer afraid.
Friday August 13, 2021
Photographer Mathieu Lamontagne-Cumiford writes in Casual Photophile about his love for his Minolta AF-C point-n-shoot film camera.
Now back to the reason I decided I needed to write all this up. The other day, while bicycling far from home, I swerved to dodge an oncoming family and my dear AF-C, hanging loyally from my belt, was savagely smacked by a bollard. Gripped with panic, I immediately pulled over to inspect the damage, fully expecting this to be the end of the camera. I would like to reassure the reader that my Minolta survived its mistreatment without issue, and continues to function with its usual excellence. What I realized in that instant, however, was that I really, truly love that little camera. I love to shoot with it and to carry it around. Having it with me and knowing that at anytime I can snap a shot I would be happy with means a great deal. I’ve learned to trust its circuits, and to allow them to do the mundane work of focusing and exposure.
And so I apologize. To not only my Minolta AF-C, but to all point-and-shoots. To all the daft little electronic cameras that will someday wear out and no longer function. To all the plastic bricks with their average lenses and sometimes mediocre construction. To all the battery sucking, borderline disposable light-tight boxes. To all the over-hyped and over valued compact film cameras of the world, I salute you. You have shown me the truth, that **the best camera in the world is the one I have with me**. That the greatest lens in the world is useless when tucked away safe in a backpack or at home on a shelf. That electronic wizardry can be good, and that letting go of control can help perfect one’s craft by removing the minute tasks that we already do well enough.
I agree. It's one of the main reasons why most people use a smartphone.
Rollei RPX 25
OTE: I'll begin this experience report with a brief disclaimer. It's been less than a year since I returned to shooting 35mm film after switching to digital photography over 20 years ago. I've inundated myself in as much film education as possible between web articles and advice from experienced film shooters. But, with my former experience way in the past and limited recent experience, this review is coming from a relatively novice point of view.
Last December, on a cold (2ºC), overcast and damp day, I ventured into Princeton on a personal photo walk. I wanted to complete a roll of Rollei RPX 25 that had sat in my Minolta X-700 for several months. I explored the homes and other buildings along Witherspoon Street and Leigh Avenue. The sky was filled with grey clouds, giving me a "softbox" lumination. Given the lighting conditions, exposing the ISO 25 film was a challenge, but fortunately, I had a tripod. I alternated using my Fuji X-T2 with the XF27mmF2.8 lens (~ 41mm FOV) and the X-700 with the Minolta MD-Rokkor-X 45mm F2 lens.
The images sat around in my Adobe Lightroom catalogue, and I rediscovered them today. I shot the roll at box speed. An old-school camera store developed and scanned the roll New Jersey Camera and One Hour Photo. I KNEW I HAD FOUND SOMETHING SPECIAL when I saw the display case full of 1970-1980s classic film cameras. The only camera store in the area filled with more nostalgia is New York Camera in Princeton.
While I love slower 35mm film for the fine grain, I was disappointed with the results from Rollei RPX 25. I blame myself, not the film stock. I should have waited for a sunnier day and used a balance on my tripod. I have to correct the horizontal perspective for all of the images. And on a very sunny day, I may not even need a tripod.
- Type: Panchromatic B&W Negative Film
- Base: Polyester (PE)
- Film Speed: ASA-25, with a Latitude between ASA-12 and ASA-50
- Formats Available: 35mm/120/4×5
Lens-Artist Photo Challenge
This week's Lens-Artist Photo Challenge word is inspiration. I sat all week with this, trying to think about what images I would post. I'm unsure what inspires me to pull out the camera, frame a subject, adjust the camera setting, and push the shutter.
Since my camera is broken, I've been using my iPhone to capture images from the weekend. The best camera is the one you have with you, right? But none of those images are inspired. They're just snapshots. But then I have a bit of inspiration. Why not share some of my favourite iPhone images taken over the years?
Sometimes my inspiration comes when standing on a train platform watching the train rush by.
Sometimes I am inspired when attending a model portrait class to put down the DSLR and try something different.
Sometimes, inspiration fills me when I am driving to work on an early fall morning.
Or sometimes, I just want to be with nature.