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Monday, April 7, 2014

I've been shooting more and black and white and for some reason, it has mostly been trains. Here is a little mix of those. I'll note what film and camera they are.


Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Crown Graphic
Kodak Tmax 100

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Fuji GF670
Ilford HP5+

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

Nikon F5
Arista Premium

Nikon F5
Arista Premium


These were all developed in Ilfotec DDx at 1:4, I really like that developer. 







Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I shot a wedding, way back in October of 2013. It was for a friend and her fiancee. The wedding was a small gathering in Nag's Head, North Carolina. It was a learning experience for sure, and I would not write off doing it again. I'm severely lacking in the attention span needed to edit the mass amount of photos in one, two, or even three sittings; I am done, though I keep going back and looking back over them and fiddling.

I rented a D600 and a 70-200 2.8 as well as a 16-28 2.8. After having been given a Nikon F5 as well as the full array of lenses, I would really like to try this again, but with film, I'd probably toss in some 4x5 and some 6x6/6x7 photos with my other film cameras as well. I'm not going to narrate each photo, but just post about 40 in a row, have a look, make a comment, I'm ok with that.


















Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I am parting ways with this amazing piece of equipment, so I figured I would write up a little bit of a review about it. This camera and lens combination are superb, and if I could afford to keep it, I would. Unfortunately I cannot hang onto it, so it has to head over to a friend. I am going to do my best to keep this impartial, but I am much more pleased with my GF670 than this camera, and they are similar.



For those who are not acquainted with this camera in any way, it is a 6x7 rangefinder, interchangeable lens camera that will shoot 120 or 220 film. The camera has a built in meter with aperture priority or manual mode. The camera does require a battery to operate. The shutter is in each lens, as such, it is extremely silent.

The lenses for this camera are:


  •  43mm F4.5
  •  50mm F4.5
  •  65mm F4
  •  80mm F4
  •  150mm F4.5
  •  210mm F8
The 43mm and the 50mm require external viewfinders, as do the 150mm and 210. I have the 43mm and external viewfinder. The 43mm is equivalent to 21mm or so on a 35mm camera. It is wide, very wide, and even though I shoot wide and enjoy it, for some reason I was never able to connect with this camera. 

The 43mm is extremely sharp, with very little distortion. I found the focus a bit stiffer than I enjoy with my Fuji, but about equal to my Leica. The external viewfinder is super bright, though it might be a touch over-large for some folks. It does add some bulk to the camera, and having to remove and replace it every time one takes it out of, and returns it to the bag is a bit bothersome, to the point that I started shooting without it, which was pretty fun, actually. Shooting the 43 with a flash was exciting, too!

The camera body itself feels solid, and is built well, with a few strange caveats to that. The shutter button is a modern button, but there is a shutter cable release on the side of the camera. The PC connect, though the camera has a hotshoe, is on the front bottom, right near the bottom of the lens. 

This camera has a film advance lever, not a knob, like my fuji, which is far better than a knob. I've heard that the gearing in these can be weak and you have to be gentle with it, but I never had any problems. 

One huge advantage, besides the film advance lever, is that the camera has a timer, which is awesome for when we travel and I want to do pictures of my lady and myself. For my fuji, I had to get a mechanical timer that screws into the shutter.


The shutter, or all the lenses and shutters, go from 4 seconds to 1/500th of a second, as well as Bulb. There is a shutter priority mode, as well as an Auto Exposure Lock mode, which I find works well. The meter is center weighted, and not through the lens. The meter is located directly above the lens. 

Iso settings go from 25-1600, you can set the camera to over, or underexpose 2 full stops, giving you an effective Iso range of 6-6400, which is pretty nice. 

This camera was later replaced with a Mamiya 7ii, which has a more contrasty viewfinder, and a few other minor changes. The 7 system is pretty amazing, and a great buy if you do not mind the dedicated 6x7 and a rather bulky camera. The glass is tac sharp, and the range is versatile. 

Ilford FP4

Kodak Ektachrome E200


Sunday, February 23, 2014


As I said with my last post, I have been collecting as much film, expired, discontinued, new, and hard to find films as much as I can lately, and up until recently, I have not been shooting them, why? Well, I cannot really say, probably because I fear I will not use them properly, or will find I really like them and cannot get new ones. 

Today, I went out shooting with my lovely girlfriend, and 3 cameras, my Leica M3, a Nikon F5 that was just given to me, and my Fuji GF670. The Fuji was loaded up with a roll of Kodak Vericolor 400plus that expired in 2000, 14 years ago. I've heard that its best to shoot one stop over for every decade that a film is expired, so I shot this at 200, well, actually, I shot it at 160. This roll was 220, and I shot it 6x7, so I got 20 frames out of it. Just a few locations around town, these are the ones I liked, that were not redundant. 










I have to say, I was extremely pleased with this film, it was a more muted film, that produced results exactly as I had hoped. Now, as I had feared, I will be looking for this film on ebay and what have, just like I have with the Kodak Pro100, oh well. At least I like portra, too. 





Monday, February 17, 2014

I have spent the last few months collecting expired films of all kinds, I think at first I thought I was getting a good deal, but, looking at it, I have not really been. I am collecting films that I really like, for example, Fuji Pro800z and Fuji Astia.

I also have a weird problem where I do not want to shoot the film I collect, as I wont be able to find more of it. I have been trying to shoot more of it, and I have been enjoying it. Here are some of these. I'll list the film underneath each photo.


Most of these films were expired for around 10 years, and I keep them in my fridge. I also shot them at box speed, or 1/3 stop over, I think that they all came out pretty well. These are the best from each roll, though, others were a little worse.

Fuji GF670
Fuji NHG800ii
Howard County

Yashica EM
Kodak Portra 400
Atlanta, Ga

Fuji GF670
Minolta Centruria 400
My basement

Fuji GF670
Kodak PRN100
Elkridge, Md

Fuji GF670
Fuji Astia
Marrakech, Morocco




Monday, January 6, 2014

Our last trip of the year took us to four destinations in Europe and Africa, they were: Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, and Spain. This post will mostly focus on Morocco, the two cities and third location we went to, probably because it is what I have developed and scanned the most of.


We flew to Morocco from Portugal after originally planning to take the bus train bus ferry bus train, but as we had little time, we opted to just fly, the cost being about the same and to spend more time actually in Marrakech and around there. We flew into Casablanca and took the train to Marrakech, which was actually a nice ride and uneventful. The train was not particularly nice, though it did come all the way to the airport, and then let us out in Casablanca until we were able to catch the next train to Marrakech.

We took this time to spend walking around Casablanca, and see what we could see. The city was drab at best, wanting a nice cleaning and very active, though, not overly chaotic. We had read that the city was a epicenter of sorts for business with not much to do otherwise, and the hotel prices reflected this, as they were quite high, this being the reason we did not stay here. There was a nice tram system, and the few people we interacted with while here were friendly enough.

Fuji GF670
Kodak Portra 160


I bought some bread and coke while here, and my lady got some of the same, and we headed back to the train station after about 2 hours walk in the city. The train station was pretty busy, and fairly ruleless, which I've found most train stations in these types of places to be, which is much nicer than a station with massive amount of rules.

Fuji GF670
Kodak Portra 160

Fuji Gf670
Portra 160

Fuji GF670
Fuji Pro400H

After a four hour train ride, we arrived in Marrakech around 7 or 8, sometime when it was dark, who knows, evening time. Our Riad was a few miles from the train station, and though we were told "there is no way to walk here, get a cab" we decided to leg it anyway. The walk took about an hour and a half, and was not bad. It did take about 30 more minutes to actually find out place, as nothing was labelled and it was on some weird back road. Some old gent helped us find it and he was given a handful of coins, that was a thanks you. 

Riad La Porte Rouge
Fuji GF670
Fuji Pro 400h

We spent the evening walking around a little bit, but after a day of travel, we stayed in our room. The Riad we stayed in was one of the nicest places we have ever stayed on our many travels. The staff was friendly, attentive, and not overbearing, nor too far away when we needed. I would suggest staying here if you ever feel the need to go to Marrakech.

The next day we ventured out into the market, which was a whole other world. Tight alleys, lots of people, chaos, and the worst of it was scooters everywhere. I was expecting a lot more from Morocco, I suppose that would be because I hold Muslim countries to the standard that Egypt and to a lesser extent, Turkey have set for me. I must say, I was a bit let down. While there were a lot of friendly people, most of them seemed overly rude or just wanted something from us. And while I understand that they have lives and businesses to run, I do not need a t-shirt from every single person selling a t-shirt, I do not need a cell phone from everyone selling a cell phone. 

The Market
Fuji GF670
Fuji Astia

Fuji GF670
Fuji Astia

Fuji GF670
Fuji Astia

The whole day in the market was a long walk, with lots to see. I enjoy the large market atmosphere, usually, the hustle and bustle, and the way that other's lives are different from ours. I think we had pizza that day.

The following day we arranged to take a mini-bus to the desert to see the D'ouzoud Wasserfall, which is the largest waterfall in Northern Africa. The ride was about 3 hours or so, and was not that bad. Upon our arrival, we were approached by someone who just started to walk us in the direction of the falls, and was telling us things. He slipped in "oh, if you like it, it will be 50 or 60 dirhams a person". He was a tour guide, which was fine, but he didnt even give us the option to not take his tour. We walked away and went where we felt the falls were. They were not hard to find. 

The guide, who we naturally ran into a few times more, as there were few groups, and we were all going to the same area, would not look or talk to us. It was strange. 


The falls were a decent sight, but not the best, after one sees Iguacu, not much compares. 

Fuji GF670
Fuji Pro160c

Fuji GF670
Fuji Pro160c

To get to the falls, you walk along the river to the top of the falls, where there is a precarious overlook with no railing, then you walk down the hill, crevace, mountain, hold, whatever term is used. At the bottom, there is a bunch of camps that one can camp at, there is a small restaurant as well. You then walk to the base of the falls where there is a pool and some paddle boats. You can pay a Euro to ride in the boats, or just walk across. We just walked across. 

Then the walk up the mountain, hill, etc is paved on the other side, and lines with small shops. We were not overly sold to here. At the top there is a market, which was fun to walk around in. 

Fuji GF670
Fuji Pro160c

The ride back was equally uneventful, and we were let off at the market. That basically ended our time in Morocco. That night we ate at a vegan place we had eaten the night before, which was amazing. We went back to the riad, enjoyed our time relaxing, and went to the airport the next day. 

While Morocco was not my favorite place, nor would I go back, I do think people should go to experience what the country has to offer, much like I think people should all go to any place before writing it off. Moroccans are supposed to be some of the nicest people when it comes to tourists, I did not see that, though you might. 

Portugal, Spain, and Turkey are up next. 

















 
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