I have invited a friend who likes to paint miniatures for wargames to come over and see if we could take some cool pictures. In anticipation of his visit I thought I’d give it a go to iron out the worst problems in the method beforehand. Since a game auction at a convention a couple of years back I had some MechWarrior toys sitting in a plastic bag, so I took a couple of those, draped a bed sheet over some boxes by the window and assembled the new Calumet large format camera again.
In the picture above I shine a flashlight into the scene from behind to make a sort of cave-entrance like effect in the picture.
In the picture below I waved a grey sheet around in the scene during the 30 second exposure to create a mist/smoke like effect.
Below is a small detail from one picture out of the series. My friend’s miniatures have more fine details and are much nicer painted. I think we will be able to make some very cool images.
This year my vacation coincided with the annual medieval festival.
I had planned to bring a large format camera there and make some portraits. But I couldn’t find a dog sitter. Keeping an eye on the dog in a crowd with my head buried deep under the focusing cloth is impossible, so I changed my plan and packed the Pentacon Six with the massive Jupiter 36 lens, a 250mm f3.5 lens from the old USSR. Together with the prism finder it is the heaviest camera intended for handheld photography I have.
The weather was horrible, all bright, sunny and warm. But if things were going to be bright I could just as well take advantage of it and shoot a setup that would push me into 1/500 and 1/1000 shutter speeds.
It seems the aperture automation doesn’t really sync up between the Pentacon Six and the Jupiter lens. Considering that the lens was made for a different camera it wasn’t very surprising. But it caused me enough problems during the day that I’ll see if I can disable it in the lens and use it as a fully manual lens in the future.
I brought the Pentacon Six to the company picnic and shot three rolls of Rollei Retro 400S.
My 80mm f2.8 is uncoated, or at least not equipped with a very impressive coating. A lens hood was not enough to shoot into the light.
I decided to try semistand developing with the Retro 400S film this round, and the negatives came out a bit thin
I had forgotten that the Mamiya C220 had a roll of film in it, so the last few frames were lost when I took it down to play with the shutter.
The pictures on the roll that survived where from a photo walk I took with the dog on one of the first real summer days a couple of weeks ago.
I developed semi-stand with agitation at 0 and 15 minutes for a total of 25 minutes with the 1 to 100 dilution of the HC-110. The negatives looked pretty OK.
The Mamiya Sekor 80mm f2.8 lens is very sharp, and the camera is a joy to shoot, even if it is a bit unwieldy.
I was browsing EBay listings and stumbled across some very blurred images of something that was clearly not the enlarger with darkroom goggles it was advertised as. It looked a lot like the Calumet 4×5 I got a couple of years ago, the one without a lens, but in the blurred shots I could identify three lenses on lensboards. The price was right, so I bought it hoping that the lenses and shutters would be OK. If at least one of them was OK I could put it on the camera I already had, and if more stuff worked it would be a bonus.
The camera came, and when I opened the box I was met by a strong damp smell, this camera had not been properly stored at some time in the past. I did inventory of the contents expecting the worst. The camera itself seemed to be in OK shape, the lenses were mostly OK, and there was a dark-cloth, an angled viewinghood and various other bits and pieces. And some mysterious white spots in the carrying case.
I attacked the white spots with a sponge and vinegar. And then did inventory of the lenses. The Caltar-S II 150mm f5.6 has some fungus in the front segment, but the shutter is fine, and as can be seen in the image below the fungus isn’t so bad that the lens can’t be used to take pictures.
The lens above is a German Steinheil Quinon-S 210mm f5.6 convertible lens, the front part can be unscrewed and then the rear portion functions as a 310mm f12. The glass was mostly clean, but the shutter was very sticky and slow, and never closed fully. I unscrewed the element groups and wiped down the oily shutter blades with a rag. While not the recommended cleaning procedure it worked this time and I used the lens to take some pictures. The shutter is close enough for all practical purposes.
Then there was the lens above, the Graphic Kowa 360mm f9, in beautiful condition. Both shutter and lens look like they were never used. And when I looked it up online I found that it is claimed that it covers up to 11×14 size negatives. Perhaps it will be a gateway to Ultra Large Format photography in the future.
I spent yesterday shooting some still life with the new camera, it is in better condition than my old Calumet. And now that the damp smell has come out it is a lot nicer to work with. The picture above was shot with the Steinheil lens.
The picture above was shot with the Caltar, which in spite of the fungus was the easiest lens of the bunch to work with. Mostly due to the shorter focal length, I think. And the picture below with the Graphic Kowa.
All in all I think a struck gold. Another functional monorail camera, three working lenses and some other bits and pieces. I should host a photography workshop so both cameras can come into use at the same time. 🙂
I went on a rare business trip and spent two days in Kista/Stockholm. The Yashica C has become my regular travel camera, and this trip was no exception.
The Rollei Retro 400S images looked rather flat right out of the scanner, so I have increased the contrast a bit on these.
The Mamiya C220 is definitely a nicer camera. But the Yashica C is lighter, and should it break it isn’t all that a big loss.
The light didn’t agree with me, so the end of the roll was shot at Arlanda while I waited for my flight back home.