Thursday, August 16, 2018

Last Week in Regulated Garbage (8/10/18 ~ 8/16/18)

The latest work from my daily observational drawing series, Regulated Garbage. View the entire collection HERE.

Potluck at Jane's, 8/10/18, Micron on Stationary

Chooka Watches Katie Play Zelda, 8/11/18, Micron on Card

Katie Working on the Mac, 8/12/18, Micron on Sticky Note

1st Grad Meeting of the Semester, 8/13/18, Micron on Bulletin

Waiting for Paint to Dry, 8/14/18, Micron on Coffee Maker Instructions

Late Lunch, 8/15/18, Micron on Book Page

Brooklyn Pizza, 8/16/18, Micron on Clothing Tag (found in parking lot outside restaurant)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Spotlight: Mamiya RB67 Pro-S

The Mamiya RB67 Pro-S is a monstrous beast of a camera, weighing in at nearly six pounds. Released in 1974 as an incremental update to the original 1970 model, the RB67 Pro-S is a serious camera for serious photographers.

As a result of its tremendous weight and girth, the RB is considered by many to be a tripod camera, best suited for studio and landscape work. In addition to its size, RB lenses are relatively slow, with the standard 90mm lens sporting a maximum aperture of only f/3.8. However, these "qualities" did not stop me from handholding the RB for most of my time with the camera, even in extreme low light conditions. Though the viewing mirror inside the camera is large, the shutter for the RB is of the leaf variety, making exposures surprisingly smooth and light on vibrations. I'm used to my Pentax 6x7, where the gigantic focal plane shutter causes the whole camera to bounce violently in my hands. The downside of the leaf shutter is that since each lens has its own shutter, initial cost and upkeep can be expensive.

The rotating back

The most obvious innovation with the RB system is its unique rotating film back feature (hence the "RB" name). Typically, composing vertically oriented pictures with waist level finders is a total drag. Not so with the RB. All you have to do is spin the back 90 degrees, and you're good to go! The frame-lines in the viewfinder even change depending on how the back is set. Totally painless.

The RB is completely modular, and the lens, finder, back, and focusing screen can be easily swapped out. The split-image screen is especially handy for focusing. The available screens are also nice and bright, especially when compared to a Hasselblad. 

These red lines appear on the focusing screen while the back is horizontally orientated

The RB focuses with the body, not the lens, by means of a bellows. The bellows can extend pretty far, which in turn makes any RB lens a capable macro lens! It's pretty crazy how close you can get without any kind of attachments. 

Multiple exposures are easy to perform. A little toooooo easy, in fact. You have to remember to separately advance the film after cocking the shutter/mirror. I accidentally made a sweet multiple exposure without even trying... 

Overall, the RB is a highly capable photographic tool. Depending on how you like to make photos, it may even be the perfect medium format camera. As previously stated, the only major drawbacks are its bulk and slowish lenses. If I ever come into a bit of extra cash, I may consider picking one up for myself one day. Here are some pictures I made using the RB with a 90mm f/3.8 lens, and expired Delta 400 film. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Last Week in Regulated Garbage (8/3/18 ~ 8/9/18)

The latest pieces in my daily observational drawing series, Regulated Garbage. You can view the entire collection HERE.

E Makes a Zine, 8/3/18, Micron on Photograph

Streetcar, 8/4/18, Micron on Ticket

MJ in his Studio, 8/5/18, Micron on Mail

Line at Post Office, 8/6/18, Micron on USPS Form

Katie Naps Before Work, 8/7/18, Micron on Packaging

Waiting Room, 8/8/18, Micron on Medical Brochure

Man Reading, 8/9/18, Micron on Card

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Spotlight: Hasselblad 500c

First released in 1957, the Hasselblad 500c is a modular medium format SLR camera. By "modular," I mean each major component of the camera (lens, back, and viewfinder) can be swapped out and interchanged. I borrowed this 500c from my buddy, Tom Foley, while participating in an artist residency in Galesburg, Illinois. Thanks, Tom! 

First off, the 500c is an absolutely beautiful camera. Build quality is second to none, with all-metal construction that is a delight to touch and hold. The thing feels like a little Swedish tank. Ergonomics are pretty solid, though focusing can be a bit uncomfortable due to the narrow and cramped focus ring on each lens. Also, most (if not all) lenses have an aperture/shutter speed linking system that not all users will appreciate. Operation of the camera is quick, thanks to the film advance being coupled to the shutter/mirror cocking system. Unlike most medium format system cameras, the 500c is small, especially when compared to the likes of the Mamiya RB67 and Pentax 6x7. It's relatively painless to carry a Hasselblad with you in a shoulder bag all day long. In fact, while a bit bulkier, it's really no heavier than some of my 35mm cameras. 

The 500c accepts 120 film. The standard "A12" film back makes twelve 6x6cm square images, while an alternative "A16" back makes sixteen 6x4.5cm images. The A16 back (which I used) is great in that you get more photos per roll, but it makes vertical compositions a total pain in the ass to perform with the standard waist-level finder. 

A16 back with makeshift frame-lines in the viewfinder
Focusing with the 500c is a bit of a chore. Common with cameras of the era, the focusing screen on the 500c is a bit dim, and it's often difficult to tell when your subject is in perfect focus unless the lighting is strong. There are no focusing aids on the focusing screen either, and screens are unfortunately non-interchangeable, an issue that was remedied with the 500cm model. Without a split image or microprism assist, I found myself constantly stressing out about critical focus while using wide apertures. 

Multiple exposures are possible with the 500c, but it's a bit of a hassle. You must make an exposure, then insert the darkslide, remove the back, cock the shutter, re-attach the back, remove the darkslide, make your next exposure, and repeat. Not ideal, but it works. 

Here are some images I made with Tom's 500c. I used an 80mm f/2.8 Planar lens for all of the images except for the multiple exposure, which was done with a 50mm f/4 Distagon. The film was Ilford Delta 400 that expired in 2004. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Plate: Durations (Duffy's)

This Durations photograph depicts an evening at Duffy's (a bar in Galesburg, IL) with my friend, Tom. Made using Tom's Pentax K-1 and a 50mm f/1.7 lens.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Last Two Weeks in Regulated Garbage (7/19/18 ~ 8/2/18)

I'm finally back in New Orleans after my month-long residency in Illinois. From now on, Regulated Garbage will resume its daily updates. As always, you can view the entire collection HERE.

Photographs and camera spotlights from my residency are coming soon!

Knox Humane Society with Natalie, 7/19/18, Micron on Flier

Julia and Aaron at Softball, 7/20/18, Micron on Softball Packaging

Meier's, 7/21/18, Micron on Coaster

Great Harvest with Calder, 7/22/18, Micron on Bulletin

Train Back to Galesburg, 7/23/18, Micron on Ticket

Knox Darkroom, 7/24/18, Micron on 120 Film

Tom with His Tree Making Photos, 7/25/18, Micron on Found Receipt

Resident Lunch at El Rancherito, 7/26/18, Micron on Bulletin

Tom Makes a Contact Print, 7/27/18, Micron on Leaflet

Early Morning in Galesburg, 7/28/18, Micron on Hotel Notepad Paper

Bristol Ren Faire, 7/29/18, Micron on Program

BBQ at Tom's, 7/30/18, Micron on Food Packaging

Figure Drawing at Evanston Art Center, 7/31/18, Micron on Flier

Atwater Apartments Pool, 8/1/18, Micron on Found Book Page

Red Eye from Chicago to New Orleans, 8/2/18, Micron on In-Flight Magazine Map