Leica m2 – voigtlander 2.5/35mm + yellow filter. Tri-x 400 @ 1600, developed in hc110 + rodinal mix.
Last week I revisited an old favourite spot for landscape photography. I have made many photos on this field/hill ¹ ² ³. I wanted to finally try my noon pinhole camera while the weather was nice and bright enough for pinhole photography.
This isn’t a review, but here are some thoughts on the camera. The craftsmanship and finish of the wooden camera is nice, but could be better by polishing all four sides of the camera the same colour. That said, it looks good on a shelf. It would make a nice gift for a photographer. Appearances and build quality aside, and with practicality in mind, its a little bulky. A spirit level is absent (I taped one on) and the body doesn’t have composition aids, things you find on the excellent reality so subtle cameras. The shutter, a simple sliding piece of felted wood, is okay in that it works but once or twice while walking it would slide open by itself despite being relatively tight against the wood. The pinhole itself looks efficient and clean with no defects. The back of the camera features a hole for frame numbers which I taped up, not trusting it on a very bright day.
The images the camera produces are sharp enough, not to a reality so subtle standard, but fine in pinhole terms. The images also have vignetting issues, commonly found in most pinhole cameras that don’t curve. The vignetting seems very pronounced at the top of the frame, rather than the usually balanced subtle drop off towards the centre which is often the case for pinhole photography.
Here are a few images taken on expired kodak ektar and souped in, what I didn’t know at the time, exhausted c41 developer. Lots of funky colours which I tried to sort out on scanning the film.
Noon do not make this particular model anymore, instead they make a more refined version which appears to resolve some of the negative aspects such as size and weight. I should also note as this is more a hand made item, rather than manufactured. Logically each camera and it’s results will be a little different from one to the next.
I don’t think the camera is practical, it lacks composition aids and seems overly bulky making it awkward to use. It is however a solid working camera with simple moving parts and no electronics, that will out live most film cameras.
This is a motion picture film that has been ready spooled into 35mm canisters by the people at nik & trick. It comes in a reclaimed canister with old school kodak labelling.
Shooting the film- no surprise, I underexposed. Instead of the native 250iso, I shot it at 800 so that I could carry on using my usual hyperfocal focusing technique (I usually shoot at 1600 for this). Additionally I used a yellow filter.
I developed it in hc110 dilution h 1:63 for 20 minutes, a time I figured out based on the 400iso times. The roll came out with too much contrast, crap for printing but okay for scanning. I was expecting grain having seen images on flickr of punchy grain riddled images at even 400iso. Maybe I’ll mix rodinal into the hc110 next time for a more gritty look, especially if I do some street photography.
The following are from 2 walks.
The images have a broad tonality with shadows keeping lots of detail even with a yellow filter. The film, when paired with hc110, has a nice look to it. I want to say it has a indie movie quality look to it, but that’s a given -its motion picture film.
First of all, this lens is atrocious.
There are many Russian LTM lenses. Some have an almost cult like following such as the jupiter 3, the more affordable jupiter 8, and the sharp, often rumoured radioactive, industar 61LD. I can vouch for the latter two as being decent for any zorki, fed, voigtlander and even leica rangefinder. The Industar 69 does not come close to any of these lenses.
The lens is actually for a Russian half frame camera, which has enough coverage for my fuji mirrorless, and is a weird zorki m39 mount, similar to the l39 mount used on leica screw cameras but with no rangefinder coupling and a different flange distance. Since it is slightly different from a typical screw lens, the lens requires modification for focusing to infinite when paring with a l39 lens adaptor, this can be done in minutes. There are other, more time consuming ways to achieve this, such as filing down adaptors, but this seems a little overkill for a cheap lens.
The pancake form factor and the 28mm, which results in a wide normal lens around 43-44mm on a aps sensor, makes for a convenient little lens. At the widest aperture nothing is sharp, though it favours the centre with dramatic falloff and blurred edges. It can be sharp around f5.6 but better at f11.
Yes, the lens is awful, but at the same time its becoming my favourite lens on my xpro1. For me, digital photography is too perfect at times. In the film realm I have my leica for straight photography and then I have my holga for pictorial-artistic sort of images, polar opposites. This lens, which didn’t cost much from Bulgaria, creates interesting artistic images with distortions that are not present in the perfect native fuji glass. It fulfils a role away from straight photography.
I have been holding off posting this, as some of the images I am using for neopantastic. As its post week, I don’t think it matters now.
The following was taken with my leica m2, voigtländer 35mm f/2.5 + yellow filter, with bergger pancro 400
The following was shot with fuji acros 100 and a oly mju ii.
I haven’t posted in almost a month. Up until recently, my spare time had been cut short. The irony of a photography degree is that most of the time you are researching and writing rather than taking pictures. I have been putting the final touches to my FMP, in which I used a Holga for a documentary project.
Between coursework and college I have been shooting acros 100 for #NEOPANtastic, which I’ll post on share week, and some poundland colour film for kicks. I am definitely a black and white photographer, however I have the c41 kit and the film is a pound a roll. To make it interesting I decided to push the film a stop, shooting it at 400.
The oly mju ii, like most compact film cameras, automatically sets the ISO via contacts inside the camera which read the chunky black and silver encoding on the side of the film canister known as the dx code. These electrical contacts can fooled by modifying a canisters dx code by scratching the black paint to reveal the metallic surface and by covering the metallic surface with black tape. Its better explained here, on the amazing 35mmc.com site.
The c41 kit I use is the BelliniFoto Monopart C41 Kit. It seems to develop expired agfa vista 200 (poundland film) with some success and its easy enough to use. I couldn’t find any guide lines about pushing film with the developer kit, but I read others had added 30′ seconds to 1 minute per each stop for other kits. I went with 1 minute extra to be on the safe side, changing the standard c41 development time of 3:15 to 4:15, and developed normally from then on.
The images look surprisingly fine with no crazy colour shifts, which contradicts images I have seen on lomography. The greens are muted, the yellows are fleeting but saturated, and the magenta is dominant. Pretty much the same as at box speed but with an increased amount of grain.
The pictures are not great, they were took for fun and mostly of family, and like I said I’m more of a black and white photographer. I am sharing these purely to show the outcome. The images were scanned with vuescan, with no edits.
It’s difficult to judge the results as I have not developed a fresh roll of the film at box speed with the BelliniFoto kit. However, the results are better than my expired examples and film lab developed examples from my flickr archive. All of this, plus an extra stop to help in varying lighting conditions. If anything, this just shows what modern film, a decent chemical kit and scanner can do. I would like to see what it looks like at el 800.
If you are interested in similar posts about abusing agfa vista 200 then you might like this post, which is on my main website, whereby I developed the film in Ilford Ilfosol 3. Another example of abusing cheap film is by Mr Irving, stand developing Kodacolor in rodinal.
Normal programming will commence from now till the end of summer with the usual “stuff I saw” series. Also hoping to show some different types of film too.
Holga images taken on hp5.