Tag Archives: Ilford Delta 400

November #CameraChallenge: Part IA The Second Story

I ended up recording two stories with my Reality So Subtle 6X6F Pinhole.  So here is the second story: Watching the Snow Accumulate during one (of 3 ) October Snow Storms.

I’m still hoping to capture big fluffy snow flakes with the pinhole.  But so far only the fine dry snow…..

More Scenes from my Back Yard……..

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SnowStory6

I. M. Pei’s Mesa Lab Through the Fisheye

Last week featured the disastrous Lomo Purple pinhole results.  This week a better result with B&W film, a Fisheye lens and the Mamiya 1000S 645 shooting Sunny 16.

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Famous Architect I.M. Pei (1917-2019) designed the Mesa Lab for the National Center for Atmospheric Science in 1961.  It was his first totally ‘hands on’ project in a number of years and he found inspiration in the natural rock formations, The Flatirons.

My favorite photographic location at the Mesa is the Courtyard:

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You have to love that Star Sun, totally unexpected!  You just have to accept the lens flares.  They don’t bother me.

Mesa_StarSun

I had toyed with the idea of buying a Mamiya 645 fisheye.  But when I thought about it the price was prohibitive (>$1200) for a lens I would rarely use.  So when I came across a discussion online about the Arsat Zodiak-8 f/3.5 30mm fisheye for and average price less than $200, I started searching for one.  Glad I bought this last Winter, because it seems to have been discovered and the prices have doubled.  The Luminous Landscape has a nice write-up on the lens, so I won’t try to duplicate that here.

Mamiya_1000S_Zodiak_8

The set-up: using my lovely refurbished Mamiya 1000S with the waste level view finder and shooting Sunny 16 with Ilford Delta 400 film.  Check out more Fisheye Fun here.

Why Fisheye?

I’ve realized that I had several Fisheye lens/camera set ups.  My First was a Zenitar Fisheye for my 35 mm Minolta Family:

 

 

Minolta Zenitar Redwoods:

Redwoods

Next I acquired a Lomo Fisheye:

PeachesBooks

Then a Fisheye attachment for the Holga.  My First Emulsive Secret Santa Gift:

Holga_Fisheye

Next A Fisheye Lens for My Diana:

Diana_Fisheye2

Wow this is out of control right?  So I thought about “Rewarding” myself with a Mamiya 645 fish eye lens after recovering from a recent illness.  The price though, was daunting  (~$1200) and I thought about how little I actually use any of my other Fisheye Lenses. Then I became aware of the Arsat Zodiak-8 Fisheye, and picked one up for $120.  In fact I bought two cameras and two lenses for the cost of the most expensive M645 Fisheye listing ($1800).

So, now for the first results from the Arsat with comparisons to my 35 mm Fisheye:

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Chapel on the Rock: 645 Arsat Fisheye, Peak to Peak Highway

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Above: I call this one the “Tree on the Rock”  also Peak to Peak Highway.

Now from some side by side comparisons to my 35 mm Zenitar Fisheye )left B&W is 645; right color is 35 mm):  These were taken from the same tripod position.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are old enough to remember, the 1970’s were a Fisheye crazed time.  Even the original Hawaii 5-0 had a fisheye view of a landing plane in its Intro. But, I haven’t answered my question yet:  Why Fisheye?  Well, just for the fun of it!

Post Script:  I haven’t forgotten 9/11, I’m just not going to support the politicization of it.  I will Always Honor those who died.

Inspired By: Kim Weston

Let’s start with a Weston Interview Quote:

“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”

I love the quote because I rarely use my spot meter…….

Now, what inspires me?  If you check out his website….he exclusively does nude photography.  Although tastefully done, it’s not my thing (although there is one image I do love: Nude in Cactus).  And this is as far as I go into Nudes:

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What Inspires Me? First I am inspired by His warm and welcoming attitude towards film students and film enthusiasts in the Monterey Bay Region.    I met Kim Weston when he welcomed our Monterey Peninsula College Class to Wildcat Hill.  At that time he was making predominantly platinum prints and we were an Alternative Processes class.  So he demonstrated the printing method for us.  He also discussed his artistic philosophy, and let us see his famous grandfather, Edward Weston’s, simple but beautiful darkroom. Imagine yourself making fabulous 8X10 contact prints like pepper #39 using an incandescent light bulb.

Kim Weston invited us to drop by, and if he wasn’t busy, we could talk about photography.  One of my friends spoke up.  Luther was having trouble learning to use his 4X5 view camera.  Kim just said, drop by with the camera sometime.  Luther did, and Kim Weston spent the afternoon showing him how to get the most from his 4X5. His support of film photographers, especially students, inspires me.

But Kim Weston eventually took it a step further, starting the Weston Collective, a scholarship program for students in Monterey County that are studying fine art film photography.  And the Collective has taken a step forward in support of fine art photography by opening a darkroom and teaching studio.  Raising the funds and managing the space for the benefit of ‘developing’ film photographers is inspiring.

 

 

 

Results of Film Expertise Survey and My Personal Thoughts

I have my favorite films and I ask myself whether it is worth the time to learn about new films?  My favorite B&W: Kodak T-MAX 400, Ilford SFX-200 and I when I want less contrast Ilford Delta 400;  I also want to spend some more time with Ilford Delta 3200 My Favorite Color film for now is Kodak Portra 400;  I am presently testing the new Kodak E100.  So I have 3 main films (bold); one that I use under certain conditions (bold italic and posted image below); and two that I am experimenting with (plain text italic).

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So I posted a Survey on Twitter and asked the followers of both of my Blogs to add their comments.  The Twitter Survey ran for a week with the following Results:

Survey_Results

Most of my blog followers are also on Twitter, so their votes are included above.  I agree  with the survey results: 48% of you say 3-4 films and 23% say 1-2 films.  Total for less is more: 71%.  So most of us agree that you cannot be an expert with dozens of films.  My husband said that his answer was 5+ films.  He really likes to find special films for special circumstance and does more experimentation than I do, which is a film multiplier.   @donkittle on Twitter wrote to me supporting different films for different situations also.  I typically shoot 3-4 different types of scenes/subjects.  So following this approach may explain why I only need/use 3-4 film types.  And I think that most photographers in that 71% are doing the same, typically shooting select films for their preferred subjects and no more.

I am open to experimentation on a limited basis, or using a certain film according to the conditions if I know that it will perform better (Delta 400) than my usual B&W (T-MAX 400).  We should all consider new films from time to time.  But film testing is time consuming, and I think that my days of trying new films are pretty much over once I’m done testing Kodak E100.  If I like the new E-6 film, then it will largely replace Portra 400, since ISO 100 films are better for travel (i.e. they survive possible airport X-ray mishaps better; also some film travel tips here and more here).  But since I already understand Portra 400, I can pull it off the shelf when I need it.  And although I don’t like the color balance of Portra 160 for my landscapes in general,  I can recommend it for Pinhole Cameras.  So another case of a special film for a special case.

Now lets consider some Favorite Films of Famous Photographers.  I’ve tried researching this on the WEB.  Lot’s of discussion of gear (cameras, lenses, etc), but very little on Films used by the Famous.  So isn’t Film part of your Gear?  Isn’t that why we choose certain films for certain circumstances?   Hey, if you become famous, please include preferred Film Types in your Gear……..  Here’s what I found after a few hours of searching for a some of my Favorites who considered the Film a part of their Gear:

I realize that it may be harder to find this information for deceased Photographers. But if you are still alive, please let us know what type of film you most recently used (even if you have switched to digital).

A Final Thought from the Weston Interview linked above:

“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring a Real Win

What a moment to be on a ‘Best Of’ list……….Film Photography Blogs that You Should Follow.…..  That’s a Real Win, and non-distracting.  I’m on the list, so I don’t have to keep trying to BE on the list.  And I made the list for Blogging Here, not on someone else’s site.

Entanglements

I’ll take that as a sign that Untangling myself from needless social media distraction is right direction.

Check out the 7-Day Challenge

Something friends have been passing around on Facebook (evil I know).  But you can view the Series as posted here.  And see the collage below:

 

Locations are posted on the Blog link………