Sunday, October 27, 2013

Print: Yard

Another print from the Northfield trailer park. I really liked this guy's yard. He has his Saturn with flat tires parked on his lawn, with a empty box of booze laying behind it. I don't know what was in the bag. Once again, this was done with my Exakta VX and a 58mm lens on Ilford HP5+ film. The original print is 7" x 10".

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Print: The Religious Type.

Here's another print I made from my trip to the trailer park in Northfield. This one trailer we saw had some creepy religious sculptures in the front window. There was a lot of fog and moisture on the inside of the glass (gross), and it turned out looking pretty cool in the finished print. Those baby things are creepy! I wish it wasn't crooked... I think it's because as I was taking a photo of the window, someone started to come out of the house, and that caused me to tilt the camera a little bit, out of fear. oh well, nothing's perfect.

Shot on my Exakta VX with a 58mm lens and HP5+ film.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Print: The Condemed Trailer

A couple days ago, my brother and I explored a trailer park in Northfield, Illinois. The park is sandwiched between a Jewel Osco and an Enterprise Car Rental. The park is made up of around ten blocks of trailers, although about half of the place is unoccupied. Many of the lots are empty, and there are a fair number of trailers that have been vacated. This is one of those trailers. I used my Exakta VX with a 58mm Zeiss Biotar lens, on Ilford HP5+ film. The actual print is 7" x 10".

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Roll: Michigan City

 Michigan City is a weird place. It's not even in Michigan! Here are some photos I took there, as well as some I took in the actual state of Michigan, and some shots I took back home. I used my Olympus Pen FT with Ilford HP5+ film. 

 Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Spotlight: Pentacon Six TL

I have always wanted a Pentacon Six. I've been warned against it by multiple people, who have said that it's poorly built and unreliable. But there was just something about it that fascinated me. Maybe it was the 6x6 square format, or the waist level finder, or the fact that it looks like my Exakta VX on steroids. This week, I finally bought one.

 Turns out, I was right to be warned. The Pentacon Six is... well, it's kind of a clunky piece of crap. But, a very loveable clunky piece of crap.

First, I'll talk about the good things:

It looks f**king cool- The Pentacon Six has a really sweet design, in that it looks just like a large 35mm SLR. Sure, the Pentax 6x7 has that same kind of aesthetic, but the Pentacon Six was made long before the 6x7 (1950's vs. late 1960's). I love the how the silver body contrasts with the black leatherette.

It's small (for what it is)- As far as medium format SLR's go, the Pentacon Six is pretty light and compact. It's much smaller and lighter than a Mamiya RB67 or my Pentax 6x7. Even with the moving mirror inside of it, it's really not that much bulkier than my beloved Mamiya C330.

It's fully mechanical- I love fully mechanical cameras, mainly for the fact that you don't need to worry about your batteries running out of juice (or going out of production).  So the Pentacon Six gets a point for not requiring batteries to operate (angry glare at my Pentax 6x7).

And now the bad:

Dim and Dull Focus Screen- The stock focus screen that came standard with the Pentacon Six (And the one that is in my camera) is quite possibly the worst screen I have ever tried to focus with. It's not bright in the slightest, and it's nearly impossible to tell when something's in exact focus. It doesn't help that the screen is completely matte, with no aids at all. Before you call me a wuss, I've used matte screens in other cameras, like my Exakta, Yashica 635, and Mamiya C330. With the screens in those cameras, subjects really POP when they come into focus. It's not like that with the Pentacon Six's screen. Everything just looks... mushy.

The standard lens isn't very sharp- My Pentacon Six came with a Zeiss Jena 80mm 1:2.8 lens. I think pretty much all Pentacon Six's were sold with this lens back in the 50's. Aside from having an annoyingly long focus throw, the lens just doesn't seem to be very sharp, even when stopped down to f8 or f11. My photos look okay on a monitor, but through a loupe on a light table, my Pentacon Six negatives look soft as hell compared to negatives from my C330 or 6x7. I was fairly shocked by this, since my Zeiss Jena lens on my Exakta is pretty great, as I've said in earlier posts.

Katie with the Pentacon Six for size reference

Here are some shots I took today and yesterday with the Pentacon Six:

My Pentacon Six could definitely use some work. There seems to be some light leaks, as well as shutter curtain problems. I could use a brighter, custom focus screen, which are available if you know where to look. But in the end, it just wouldn't be worth it. My Mamiya C330 and Pentax 6x7 are just way better cameras. I sadly most likely wont use this Pentacon Six again for a long time, if ever. It's just too... unreliable. But hey, at least I have a sweet looking camera for my shelf, and now I know I'm not missing out on anything special by not using one.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Print: Jetplane

I found this machine rider next to the bathrooms in an outlet mall in lower Wisconsin. I just loved how he looked completely baked (And while flying, I might add!). I used my Olympus Pen FT with Ilford HP5+ film. The original darkroom print is 7" x 5".

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Print: The Sophisticated Lady

I found this nice looking lady in the middle of an antique mall in Michigan City, Indiana. I like how her lack of hands doesn't keep her from striking the classic "hands on your hips" sexy pose. I used my Olympus Pen FT with Ilford HP5+ film. The original darkroom print is 7" x 5".

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lost Negative: Church

So I can't sleep right now, so I thought I'd test out my Epson V600's ability to scan 120 negatives. It did a pretty decent job, I think. Definitely good enough for internet posts.

I took this shot a few weeks ago by my parents' house in Wilmette. One of their neighbors has an awesome collection of hand-made birdhouses in their yard. This one, of a church, was one of my favorites. I used my Mamiya C330 with an 80mm lens and Arista 200 film. I think it was shot at either f2.8 or f4. I burned in the background a tiny bit in Photoshop, and cropped it to 8x10 format, but that's about it.

Work's been keeping me pretty busy lately, but this weekend I'll be taking some photos in Michigan! Thanks for looking.