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Lunchtime lens test – Phillips K 165/2.8 projector lens

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

A while ago I picked up a Phillips K 165mm/f2.8 projector lens to experiment with on my Speed Graphic and last week I finally managed to make a few test shots. It’s always nice to have patient work colleagues when testing lenses. On this particular day it was very overcast and gloomy so I used a small LED video light for a bit of fill but it’s not very noticeable. There is no aperture inside this lens so it’s f2.8 all the time which could be tricky on a bright day so I must remember to keep some ND gels in my camera bag.

[Tech info]: Speed Graphic 5×4, Phillips K 165/2.8 projector lens, Kodak Tri-X 320 (expired 2003), developed in Kodak HC110 1+31. Colour shot is a bleached Fuji FP-100C neg.

Camera and lens used. I have since mounted the lens in a proper lens board. My cardboard effort was just to see if it was worth doing properly for this lens

Gear: Pentacon Six TL

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Here are some images from the first test roll through a medium format camera that I picked up recently. The Pentacon Six TL has been on my radar for the last couple of years because of one particular lens, the Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8. As luck would have it I came across a nice condition setup for sale last weekend for a reasonable price so I decided it was time to give it a go.

The first thing that struck me was the size of the front element of the 180/2.8 lens, it’s huge! My largest filters are 77mm but this lens requires 86mm filters. The camera is very nice to use, especially with a prism instead of a waist level finder which makes it easier to balance the big lens. The only camera I have that is similar in size and design is a Pentax 6×7 but two immediate differences struck me about the Pentacon Six TL – it’s a 6×6 format camera so you use it in landscape orientation the whole time, also the mirror in it is a lot quieter than the Pentax 6×7 and doesn’t cause as much camera shake. One thing I didn’t realise about the prism is that the viewfinder is not 100%. I’ve got a lot more image in the frame on the film than I remember seeing through the lens. I’m not sure if this is down to the prism or whether you get the same with the waist level finder (which I don’t have).

So far I’ve enjoyed using this camera and lens combo and look forward to seeing more results from it.

[Tech info:] Pentacon Six TL, Carl Zeiss Jena 180/2.8, Kodak Tri-X (expired 2002) developed in Kodak HC110 1+47 for 8 mins.

Oxford: Town vs Gown Boxing 2015 – part 2

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

It was nice to see some familiar faces at this years’ Town vs Gown Boxing competition at the Oxford Union, especially some of the team from last year who had come to cheer on Oxford. Last year was my first time photographing this event and I had no idea what to expect when I arrived there. This year was very different because this time I had access all areas and I also had last years’ pictures to live up to (which can be seen here and here).

After much deliberation on which cameras and film to take with me I eventually decided that I wanted to make some portraits on medium format but the difficult part was choosing which medium format camera to take. In the end I went for my Mamiya 645 Pro TL because it’s the one that I own with the fastest lens and not only did I want a shallow depth of field but I also knew that the light levels inside the Oxford Union are fairly low. The 80/1.9 lens that I took with me is quite unforgiving when it comes to focussing it at anywhere near to wide open and the focussing screen that came in my camera (I’m not sure if it’s the standard stock screen) is very bright and clear which actually makes it more difficult to tell whether something is in focus or not so the sharpness in some of the shots below is lacking. The Mamiya 645 Pro TL is a nice camera to use but the thing I hate most about it is the shutter release travel feels like it goes on forever which can cause movement of the camera (in my experience) just before the shutter fires. I have a motor-drive for mine which came with the camera but I haven’t used it yet because once you’ve loaded the grip with AA batteries it adds quite a bit of weight to it as well as increasing the overall size.

[Tech info:] Mamiya 645 Pro TL, 80/1.9, Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ISO 1600, processed in Kodak HC110 (1+31) for 16mins.

 

Oxford: Lunchtime session – Tori (film)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Here are some medium format shots I made during my recent lunch time session with Tori. I previously posted a couple of Fujiroid bleached neg shots here. The format for these shots was 6×9 which is one of my favourite medium format aspect ratios but I only have one camera that was designed to use that format and these shots reminded me that I don’t use it enough. You get 8 shots of 6×9 on a 120 size roll so it’s not a format for the trigger happy. For this shoot I decided to use fresh film stock for a change and while I can’t see a huge difference compared to some of my expired film shots I do think that the contrast was handled better on the contrasty back lit shots. We were a bit rushed in this session because I wanted to use medium format, 35mm and Fuji pack film all within 25mins which is not easy when you’ve got lots of people moving around during lunch time and you have to keep stopping to wait for a clear background but Tori was very patient despite the cold weather and we got everything done in time.

[Tech info:] Mamiya Universal, 100/2.8, Kodak Tri-X 400, processed in Kodak Xtol 1+1.

 

Oxford: Cast & crew of Spilt

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Spilt is a short film written and directed by Alvin Yu and I was asked if I’d like to do some portrait photography while they were filming in Oxford a couple of weeks ago. Due to timing conflicts I was only able to make it to set on their final day of filming after it had gotten dark outside so I made these portraits indoors with the available light (a bulb hanging from the ceiling in the hallway). The crew were setting up for a shot so I had to work quickly, one frame on each person, no re-takes and no second shot. What you see here is the entire roll of film, uncropped. Apologies to any crew members that I didn’t manage to include, hopefully I’ll get you on another project.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex 2.8F, Zeiss Planar 80mm, Kodak Tri-X 400 rated at ISO 1600, processed in Kodak Xtol 1+1.

Oxford: pushing Tri-X

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

It’s been a long time since the last time I can remember pushing Kodak Tri-X film to ISO 1600 and processing it in Rodinal developer so that’s what I decided to do a few weeks ago. There are a mix of images on this roll ranging from some night portraits that I made during a photography class I was teaching to Ruskin art students on the High Street during their drawing sale to raise funds for their end of year degree show. I’d like to do some more work with Art students but they seem to be an illusive bunch so it’s currently a work in progress.

[Tech info:] Nikon FM2, Zeiss 50/1.4 lens, Kodak Tri-X 400 (expired), rated at ISO 1600, processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 18 mins.

Oxford: Meatchute behind-the-scenes

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Some shots from the last day of filming of a short film titled Meatchute, directed by Tom Shennan. It was after I posted my shots from Waterbird that I received an email from Tom asking if I’d be interested in doing some photography during his shoot. I liked the sound of the location and the prosthetic make-up and fortunately it was on my route home from work so I stopped by and shot a roll through my Rolleiflex twin-lens camera – this is the entire roll of 12 shots. The location was very cool in a run down kind of way and I liked the simple lighting they were using with some added smoke for atmosphere. I tried to photograph as many of the cast and crew as possible without disrupting the proceedings too much. Everyone was very nice to work with and I look forward to seeing the final edit.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex 2.8F, 80/2.8 Planar, Kodak Tri-X @ ISO 800 (expired), processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

 

Oxford: first shoot with Suzie – part 1

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

These shots are from my first shoot with Suzie on an overcast Saturday morning. I decided to experiment a little here and keep the overall look a little underexposed for a heavier feel. Two different cameras were used on these shots – one of them had a wide-angle lens on which was not what I had intended but I decided to go with it anyway and I quite like the results despite the obvious distortion. More to come.

[Tech info:] Pentax 6×7, 105/2.4 lens. Bottom two images with Mamiya RB67, 50mm lens. Kodak Tri-X (expired), processed in Kodak HC110 1+31.

Oxford: Waterbird behind-the-scenes – part 2

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Waterbird is a short film directed by Alex Darby which was being filmed in Oxford a few weeks ago. Alex invited me along to shoot some behind-the-scenes stills during a night shoot in the Westgate car park. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for very much of it but I did manage to shoot a roll of film of some of the cast and crew.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, Kodak Tri-X @ ISO800, processed in Kodak HC110 for 9 mins.

 

Oxford: Waterbird behind-the-scenes – part 1

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Waterbird is a short film directed by Alex Darby which was being filmed in Oxford last week. Alex invited me along to shoot some behind-the-scenes stills during a night shoot in the Westgate car park. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for very much of it but I did manage to shoot a roll of film of some of the cast and crew. More to follow.

[Tech info:] Rolleiflex SL66, 80/2.8 Zeiss Planar, Kodak Tri-X @ ISO800, processed in Kodak HC110 for 9 mins.

Oxford: first shoot with Iona

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Some shots from a quick session I had with Iona a couple of weeks ago. I first shot with Iona during a promo shoot for the Christchurch Ball but as there was a specific theme for that shoot and quite a few other people involved so I didn’t have much time to shoot much film. The two Polaroids I shot of Iona were overexposed due to a sticky shutter in the lens so I was pleased that we were able to find time for this shoot. These shots are all from the same roll of 10 frames. I also shot a roll of slide film which I hope to develop later in the summer once I’ve built up a batch of rolls to develop at the same time.

[Tech info:] Pentax 6×7, 105/2.4, Kodak Tri-X [expired], processed in Kodak Xtol (stock).

Oxford: lunch hour session – Imogen

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

I haven’t used my Mamiya Universal press camera for a while so I decided to dust it off for a quick shoot with Imogen during my lunch break. No matter how hard I try I still don’t like rangefinder camera’s. I like to use wide aperture’s for shallow depth of field and having to focus in the middle of the frame and then recomposing is not helpful for maintaining critical focus. The thing I like about the Mamiya Universal is the versatility of being able to shoot so many different film formats and also full-frame Polaroids. These were all made with a 6×9 roll film back which gives you 8 frames on a roll of 120.

[Tech info:] Mamiya Universal, 100/2.8, 6×9 roll film back, Kodak Tri-X 400 (expired), processed in Kodak HC110 1+31 for 7:30.